A sugar baby is a person who is in a specific type of mutually beneficial relationship for the expressed purpose of achieving economic security. A sugar baby's male partner is often referred to as a sugar daddy, whilst the female equivalent is a sugar momma. A person in such a romantic relationship may receive cash, gifts or other financial and material benefits in exchange for being in the relationship.
The practice is sometimes called "sugaring". The sugar baby's partner is referred to as either the "sugar daddy" or "sugar mama" and is typically wealthier and older than the sugar baby. This expanding trend has produced the highest number of sugar babies in the United States, followed by Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Colombia. In America, students are able to find men or women through online dating services with such names as "Mysugardaddy", "Sugardaters", "Sugardate", "Sugardaddie", "SeekingArrangement", "SugarDaddyForMe", and "MutualArrangements". The site SeekingArrangement claims to have over 1.4 million students among its members, comprising 42 percent of registrants. Almost one million of these are in the United States.
According to the SeekingArrangement website, 36% of what sugar babies using their site receive goes to tuition payments, while 23% is used to pay rent. The rest is spent on books, transportation, clothes, and other items. However, more than just students, Sugar-dating is also prevalent in the older age range.
The online sites used for introducing people who may negotiate sugar arrangements are technically dating sites. Membership on one site in 2016 was $70 a month for sugar daddies, but free for sugar babies. What happens after the initial date, whether much or nothing, involving sex or not, is between the parties.
Currently there is a debate about whether this practice can be considered prostitution or not.
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- Elizabeth Hernandez (13 May 2016). "Colorado "sugar babies" use online dating to cover soa. There are more than 2,700 sugar daddies registered with Seeking Arrangement in the Denver area and 202 sugar mommies". The Denver Post. Retrieved 13 May 2016.
Local law enforcement agencies say that because the site was set up like a dating website and advertised as facilitating consensual connections, it is not illegal.
- Juan Fernández, Jorge de (2019). "El fenómeno sugar babies". 21. La Revista Cristiana de Hoy. 1029: 38–41.
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