By Rachel Sandstrom
We Corvallisites often get lumped in with the Portland metro area, and given our many university-age women it may be creepy or exciting or both for you to know the aforementioned metro is 14th in the nation for sugar daddies, with over six sugar daddies per 1,000 adult males. Atlanta, Georgia is number one.
Portland is a hotbed of unusual activities, so it makes sense that that “weirdness” Portland is so proud of would carry over into relationships. Seeking Arrangement is a website that facilitates, umm, finding “mutually beneficial relationships.”
The site helps users create, as it says, “relationships on your terms.” Wealthy men, the sugar daddies, display prominently—right under their smoking habits—their net worth. And the arrangement they are generally seeking out is beautiful women, sugar babies, to accompany them for a weekend or two a month on extravagant, luxurious trips and the like. The relationship dynamics are not confined to the heteronormative, however; there are sugar mamas as well, so, there’s that.
Where Is Dr. Freud, and Other Concerns
At first glance, the sugar daddy/sugar baby dynamic seems a little creepy, pornographic, and ethically questionable. I won’t even get into the Freudian implications of the daddy/mama/baby dynamic. But I’d be lying if I said that it isn’t exciting to know exactly how much money a guy has. Now, I’m not saying I’m a gold digger, but it would be nice to know that I was taken care of. Some of the arrangements are allowance-based, meaning that these sugar daddies or mamas will give you somewhere between $1,000 and $10,000 a month for your time and company. Sugar daddies and mamas seek a “mutually beneficial relationship.” The terms are negotiated between couples and the user agreement states that this is in no way prostitution. On their homepage, Seeking Arrangement states that this is not a site for escorts either, so I’m sure that sex is never negotiated in any way for money—that would be wrong.
These relationships or “arrangements” mean different things to different people, but mostly this site presents itself as a way to bypass “games” and “drama.” Including the Freudian implications and potential for prostitution, but not including the ever-present possibility for assault.
And, it is the desire to avoid “drama” that makes me the most uneasy. Drama is not something that happens in healthy, fulfilling relationships as far as I can tell, so really, if you are looking for something drama-free, you should look for something honest and serious, I would assume. This makes me think that the “drama” being referred to is the stuff of relationships: the ups and downs, the emotional connection, the successes and the failures, the stuff that if shared, can make for a truly beautiful relationship. Purposefully skipping all of that stuff makes this seem more like Tinder plus a hefty monthly allowance.
But Then, Whatever…? Could Be Cool
Ultimately, it seems to me that these guys are nice enough. Not all of them are lascivious old dudes (which is what I expected). Some of these sugar daddies are (or claim to be) in their 30s and worth a lot, some upwards of a few million(!). These wealthy men are workaholic CEOs who have no time, energy, or desire to meet people in a “normal” way. A majority of the potential sugar daddies want to skip the “getting to know you” phase, describing it as “normal relationship B.S.” They move quickly, with an “ideal arrangement” found within five days, the website boasts.
Jessica is a member living in Portland. She stated that she joined to “explore something new and meet older, successful men.” Benefits to her include “connections and mentorship, and five-star dinners, gifts from luxury stores,” and offers to travel. It sounds like the high life, with little to no downside, but what about the sex?
Jessica’s relationship is her own, and they all look different, but she says her sugar daddy is “primarily looking for companionship and someone to talk to. A lot of people have this perception that SA is all about sex, but these relationships work the same as any other relationship… you aren’t intimate until you feel the time is right.” So it’s not prostitution, and it’s not creepy. Not that creepy, anyway. It seems like Seeking Arrangement is another dating site with the same risks, but potentially better rewards.
Seeking Arrangement is recommended by Jessica “because it’s a great way to meet successful men that you may not have ever met.” Seems pretty cool. It’s free to join, and it takes only a few minutes to set up a profile.
For more about Seeking Arrangement, visit their website: www.seekingarrangement.com.