‘Sugar Dating’, a Covert Version of Prostitution, Grows in Spain

Free trips, dinners in luxurious restaurants, paid studies and expensive gifts. These are some of the benefits that a ‘sugar baby’ can have when they enter into an “agreement” with a  ‘sugar daddy’  or a  ‘sugar mommy’. Do these concepts sound familiar to you? This is the ‘sugar dating ‘ phenomenon, a supposed contract relationship model to which more and more people are joining.

In a capitalist society like the current one, it seemed that it was only a matter of time before it was even possible to “buy” a partner or companion. The phenomenon is not far from being another form of prostitution. ‘Sugar dating’ is an embellished and sweetened version of what has been known up to now as ‘escorts’, in which young people with modest economic resources lend their company -or something else- to another person in exchange for money.

Attractive ‘babies’ and wealthy ‘daddies’

The ‘sugar baby’ is the young person offered by their company in exchange for a consideration that, in addition to those already mentioned, may include a monthly salary or the opening of an investment account. A ‘sugar daddy’ or ‘sugar mommy’ is a man or woman with a high economic status who wishes to be accompanied by someone young and attractive.

The most popular platform to put these actors in contact is ‘sugardaddyseek‘, which would translate as “sugardaddyseek”. From this website, which also has an application for mobile devices, they claim to have 20 million registered members spread over 139 countries around the world.

The website was created in 2006 by Brandon Wade, who has explained, in various interviews, that the idea arose for his own benefit. Speaking to the magazine ‘Vice’, Wade recounted that when he was a university student he had a hard time finding a partner and his mother told him to focus on his studies and not worry about girls, because one day he would succeed and then he would stop having problems with flirting. From this statement came the idea of ​​’sugar dating’, which Wade defines as one more relationship, in which the ‘sugar daddy’ or ‘mommy’ dedicates himself to ‘pampering’ his ‘sugar baby’.

Spain is the Fifth Country with the Most Users

According to sources on the page itself, the top five countries in which there are more registered members are, in this order: the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and Spain. In fact, in our country, there are a total of 400,000 registered people, a figure that, according to ‘sugardaddyseek’ sources, grows year after year. Of all these, 307,000 are ‘sugar babies’ -84% girls-, 80,000 are ‘sugar daddies’ and 13,000 ‘sugar mommys’. The Spanish cities with the most users are Madrid, Barcelona, ​​Seville and Valencia.

The average age of registered ‘sugar babies’ is 27 years old, while the average between ‘sugar daddies’ and ‘mommies’ is 44 years old, as reported by ‘sugardaddyseek’ to this newspaper. The former can use the platform for free, while the latter must pay a fee of about 70 euros per month to be able to talk to the ‘sugar babies’.

In Spain, prostitution is not a crime, but it is to profit from a third party exercising it. The Deputy Prosecutor for Computer Crime, Roberto Valverde, warns that ‘sugardaddyseek’ is “playing with the limit of promoting prostitution.” The Penal Code also includes as a crime the fact of facilitating the prostitution of minors, and the truth is that in ‘sugardaddyseek’ it is easy to lie about it when registering. “If it is determined that the page does not have an adequate age control policy and, thanks to it, a minor receives money for sex, the page could be closed and criminal responsibilities could be drawn. Those responsible”, indicates the prosecutor in an interview with this newspaper.

Six Months of Being a ‘Sugar Daddy’

Miguel, his fictitious name, is a 39-year-old businessman who entered sugar daddy websites after discovering the page through his investor friends, whom he always saw in good company. “When I met up with my colleagues outside of work, they always showed up with gorgeous young girls,” he explains.

Miguel had a six-month relationship with an 18-year -old sugar baby. “We would spend the afternoon together, then we would go out to dinner and, if it happened, we would go to a hotel , but the latter did not always happen,” she says. He explains that he got into ‘sugar dating’ for a practical reason, because it made it easier for him to meet young girls. “What I like the most about these girls is their freshness, their will to live”, he declares. (theshoalspharmacy.com)

“Sell Youth” to a ‘Sugar Daddy’

Anna is studying for a doctorate at the University of Barcelona and is a ‘sugar baby’. Her other job doesn’t give her enough to live on, so she got into ‘sugardaddyseek’. “Men pretend to be interested in you, but they’re just thinking about how you’re going to end up. It’s decorated prostitution,” she admits.

Why is it still ‘sugar baby’ after all? The answer is simple, and it is that you need the money and no “conventional” job that you can combine with your doctorate will give you the salary you need. “Still, sometimes I think I’m selling my youth to men who have more wrinkles than anything else,” she recounts.

Do Not Fall into Moral Judgment

The matter of ‘sugar dating’ is somewhat delicate, and it is difficult not to fall into moral judgment. However, from a psychological point of view, an agreement between a ‘sugar daddy’ or ‘sugar mommy’ and a ‘sugar baby’ does not necessarily have negative psychological consequences.

Mariona Xaubet, a psychologist at the Dendron clinic in Barcelona, maintains that what exists between these two actors could be considered a relationship. “It is because it is an interaction between two people in which the conditions are clear and both agree in a responsible way to adhere to terms that they have previously negotiated. If the relationship is adult to adult and the two agree to a fruitful exchange, who are we to say if it’s okay or not?

However, the expert insists that it is important that this link does not create discomfort. “Let’s say someone needs the money and gets involved in this kind of relationship, and it doesn’t make them feel good. In this case, the person would have to be accompanied to study alternatives to cover that need and leave the relationship, ”she explains.

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