Meet Sarah: a bona fide blonde, 22 years old, lip glossed and giggling over a vanilla-flavored vodka drink.
Wealthy men, willing women
A woman of curves and cunning who was certain of two things three months ago: She was beautiful, and she was broke. No longer. Billed as the "premier Sugar Daddy dating site," SeekingArrangement is online match making for "wealthy benefactors" and willing women - women who understand there will be no long-term romance, who understand their Sugar Daddy may be married, who understand that sex, and secrecy, is expected.
Women willing to understand all this while often forgiving age difference, appearance and even personality for money. There are approximatelyregistered SeekingArrangement members throughout the U. Sarah, who asked that her last name not be used, has been listed on the Web site since April. She is an aspiring Playboy modeland the pictures posted on her profile show it; soft and slick, with strategic coverings rather than clothes. She's a former ant queen who graduated from her Northern Nevada high school with a 3.
She was engaged to be married six months ago, until she found out her doctor fiance was cheating. Shortly thereafter, when a roommate revealed she was using the site to make extra money, Sarah ed. You can accept it, or you can be left behind.
Since it s debut inSeekingArrangement has been criticized by some for teetering toward prostitution, while others have lauded the site's frankness. SeekingArrangement's founder, Brandon Wade, 36, an MIT graduate living near Lake Tahoe, says the site's success lies in its candor: Sugar Daddies are asked to disclose their income, profession and how much they can spend on a Sugar Baby every month.
In return, Sugar Babies vie for their attention, and nobody is offended when the evening ends with an envelope. Not filthy rich, but have a disposable income," Wade said. They are looking to be pampered. They understand money is important. Sarah carries a red Louis Vuitton purse, an item she selected during a shopping trip with a Sugar Daddy. Some men, she says, sit and wait for you to pick your purchase.
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Others want a show in the dressing room. Sugar Babies can search for free. It's not something everybody wants to admit. None of the Nevada Sugar Daddies contacted was willing to comment, though their profiles are plainly viewable to anybody with an. Las Vegas' Sugar Daddies range in age from the mids to late 60s and beyond.
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They are real estate developers, contractors, chief executives, attorneys, doctors, business owners and any variety of self-made millionaires, or so they say. Sarah dated a dentist specializing in gum disease. None of the men she met live s in Nevada. To get acquainted, she made them fly to Las Vegas and dine, or get drinks.
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Then she decided which ones she liked - two of the four. Different though each Sugar Daddy may be, they are almost all alike in their desire for discretion and relationships without strings. Whether this is because paid companionship is taboo, or simply because they're already attached - 30 percent of the site's male users admit they are married - is unclear.
Perhaps this excerpt from the Web site clarifies: "Because of how our society works, it is awkward for someone to walk up to another to ask them if they would like to get involved in a Mutually Beneficial Relationship. It's questionable whether SeekingArrangement is anything more than a glorified Internet version of the everyday practice of picking partners primarily for wealth or looks.
And whether purchasing intimacy - in the form of a date, a therapist, a massage or a Sugar Baby - is all that uncommon. To say that exchanging sex for money is somehow qualitatively different than that is kind of drawing an arbitrary line. The difference between SeekingArrangement and other dating sites - the reason why the site is controversial - is the brazen discussion of money with an implicit promise of sex.
But Sarah isn't bothered. Sugar Daddies post photos of themselves on the SeekingArrangement site; posing with a private plane, oror in a suit with fedora and cane, as one man did. His profile indicates that who m ever he dates is required to laugh at his jokes.
Without proof that money is directly exchanged for sex, the site is more like an escort service, and equally protected, said Lynne Henderson, a professor of constitutional and criminal law at Boyd Law School. He's also planning on offering Sugar Daddies the option of having their net worth verified by SeekingArrangement staff, who will check asset records and give men who pass a seal of approval, encouraging more Sugar Babies to flock.
Though the men Sarah met may have been dating, none seemed to have a serious relationshipshe says, legs crossed, jacket folded at her side, silk shirt slipping open. Or on the street waiting to see who pulls up in a car," she said.
She grew up in government housing and qualified for free lunches at school. Dating these men, making this money, having nice things, is almost an instinctive need, she said.
They're helping me along in that sense. I'm almost a charity," she says, stopping to laugh.
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Sarah's rent is paid three months in advance and her savings is as cozy as her off-Strip condo. When she's done with school, she'll focus on modeling, hopefully with an allowance from her benefactor - whichever one she chooses.
Meanwhile, the market is increasingly glutted with almost identical dating Web sites - there are upward of 20 variations of the SeekingArrangement theme, promising Sugar Daddies, Mommies, Babies, Sugar anything. The competition has forced Wade to diversify. Last month he launched a site for women trying to marry rich men: SeekingMillionare. Wealthy men, willing women.
Tuesday, June 12, a. She doesn't take checks. She brushes back her bangs and smiles. Wade has a wife 13 years his junior.
So is it prostitution? Sarah's dead certain she's not a prostitute.
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I walk into a room, and he turn. So far, the site has more than 5, members. Sarah isn't one of them.