A young woman who paid her university fees and high rent by dating rich older men has revealed why she joined the ‘sugar baby’ trend which has been sweeping Australia.
The woman named only as Samantha, from Melbourne, is one of many young women signed up to the dating site Seeking Arrangement as a way to meet rich older men.
The 26-year-old Monash University student has managed to afford $1,800 a month in rent by being a sugar baby – which involves spending time and sometimes having sex with older men in exchange for gifts or cash.
A young woman (pictured) who paid her university fees and high rent by dating rich older men has revealed why she joined the ‘sugar baby’ trend which has been sweeping Australia
The 26-year-old Monash University student (pictured) has managed to afford $1800 a month in rent by being a Sugar Baby
Another sugar baby: In her time as a ‘sugar baby’ Brooke West (pictured) has received lavish gifts totalling $30,000, including an expensive laptop, flights and even a dog
As an overseas student, she has to pay her university fees upfront, which can range between $8,500 and $10,000 a semester – and her ‘sugar daddies’ have helped with this.
Samantha, who is originally from New Zealand, has also been treated to an all-expenses-paid trip to Bali by one of her ‘sugar daddies’.
And she even pocketed $8,000 as part of the arrangement that saw her spend four days on holiday, news.com.au reported.
The 26-year-old has been showered in gifts from the men she dates, including expensive meals and clothing, as well as an allowance. She earns around $50,000 a year in ‘allowances’ from the men.
While sex is not expected as part of the arrangement, it does tend to happen, she said.
Miss West (pictured) meets her ‘Sugar Daddies’ at the strip club she dances in and makes a choice about whether they’re someone she wants to engage with
Samantha (pictured), from Melbourne, is one of many young women who joined the controversial dating site Seeking Arrangements as a way to meet rich older men
‘You don’t have to (have sex) but you tend to find you develop these relationships – a lot are superficial but you still have a friendship connection.
‘For me personally, if I was dating somebody I wouldn’t just jump straight into sex. I’d see them for a while, form some emotional connection, it’s the same in this case.’
Samantha said she initially signed up as a joke with friends but before too long had dated five or six men.
‘It’s a weird situation and it’s never really felt normal, because it isn’t normal, it’s really taboo,’she said. ‘But if it’s mutual and everyone’s got respect and everything’s on the table, you feel much more comfortable.’
Samantha is not alone. There has been a growing trend of young, attractive women seeking out ‘sugar daddies’ in the hope of living a life of luxury.
According to Seeking Arrangement, there are 150,000 women signed up as sugar babies across Australia.
What is a Sugar Baby?
Attractive people looking for the finer things in life.
They appreciate exotic trips and gifts. Sugar Babies get to experience a luxurious lifestyle, and meet wealthy people on a regular basis.
What is a Sugar Daddy?
Successful men who know what they want.
They’re driven, and enjoy attractive company by their side. Money isn’t an issue, thus they are generous when it comes to supporting a Sugar Baby.
A 19-year-old from Sydney told Daily Mail Australia she had been receiving $1,000 a week from her ‘sugar daddy’ to ‘help her maintain her lifestyle’.
In exchange for the money, the pair meet up once a month and have the occasional phone call.
‘He lives interstate, so our relationship exists predominantly over the phone – I’ve never been intimate with him,’ she told FEMAIL.
She said that when he visits they will go out for coffee or lunch or he will take her on a shopping spree.
When they go shopping he buys her anything that makes her gaze linger, such as designer clothes and bags, or designer shoes.
‘At first it was really hard for me to get used to getting all these gifts! He used to make me send him a ‘wish list’ of things that I wanted, so he could surprise me with a couple of them when he came here,’ the woman named as Gemma said.
‘We get along really well and hold great conversations. After our first meeting, he started gifting me $1,000 a week to help maintain my lifestyle, even though he is far away.’
Gabi Grecko famously admitted in 2015 to meeting her now-husband Geoffrey Edelsten (both pictured) on sugardaddie.com
Amy Keating (pictured), a ‘sugar baby’ known online as ‘Sweet Sophia Rose’, told New Idea earlier this month she had been texting a 43-year-old married politician
Similarly, Brooke West, who is based in Auckland, New Zealand, has managed to build a lucrative career as a Sugar Baby.
Miss West would meet her sugar daddies at strip clubs where she was a dancer and decide whether she wanted to take the relationship further.
The exotic dancer told NZ Herald she had noticed a trend of ‘everyday’ women engaging in the online trends, which caused her some concern.
‘It’s not necessarily easy money – there are definitely men that can become intense and controlling, creating a pretty toxic situation if you don’t know what you’re doing and how to manage that.’
In her time as a ‘sugar baby’ Brooke West has received lavish gifts totalling $30,000, including an expensive laptop, flights and even a dog.
But the 26-year-old from Auckland, New Zealand, doesn’t classify her work as ‘prostitution’ and argues there is a clear difference between them.
‘The most surprising thing about these relationships to outsiders is that they don’t involve sexual services, it’s about companionship,’ she explained.
Edelsten, who is a medical entrepreneur and founded Allied Medical Group, met the model-turned rapper in 2014
‘Sleeping with men for cash is just prostitution and I’m going to need some of us to be honest about that. Prostitution and sugars are two separate things.’
Another sugar baby, Amy Keating, was at the centre of a sexting scandal with federal MP Andrew Broad.
Amy Keating met Mr Broad on a dating website for ‘sugar babies’ and he took her for dinner at the exclusive Aqua restaurant while he was at a fruit conference in Hong Kong in September.
In December, Ms Keating told New Idea magazine that Mr Broad, 43, had sent her lewd messages, referring to himself as ‘James Bond’, while bragging about his ‘important job’.
Five weeks before the controversial texts were leaked, Mr Broad told Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack he would be willing to quit the front bench.
And even celebrities have been involved in the sugar baby trend.
Model Gabi Grecko famously admitted in 2015 to meeting her now-husband millionaire Geoffrey Edelsten on the website sugardaddie.com.
Edelsten, who is a medical entrepreneur and founded Allied Medical Group, met the model-turned rapper in 2014.
Being a sugar baby, though, is not without it’s risks, experts have claimed as the trend sweeps the nation.
Laura Ramirez, Coalition against Trafficking in Women program co-ordinator, said ‘sugaring’ almost always involves a coercive exchange of money for sex.
‘There is a power imbalance between the man and the woman,’ she told the New York Post last year.
‘And I think a lot of women don’t realise the position that they’re placing themselves in, and the subjugation that they’re sort of willing to go through to have a man pay for their things.’
‘Regulars are men that I met in strip clubs, over numerous occasions, developing a familiarity that was organic and tangible; and if at any point I wasn’t comfortable I could remove myself or them from the situation,’ West (pictured) explained