Photo courtesy SeekingArrangement.com
RENO, NV - Welcome to the world of sugar daddies and college babies.
More and more college girls are dating away their debt by spending time with wealthy, significantly older men. According to Fidelity, the average debt after college graduation is $35,200.
For many of these girls, it's business -- they go on regular dates, and in return, they get a financial allowance. However, many say this is no different from prostitution.
We found a few UNR students who were willing to share their experience with us. They asked to stay anonymous.
Kylie, who is using a pseudonym, is one of these girls. She is 20, a full-time junior at UNR and she brings in about $240,000 a year by going out with older men once a month. She's a sugar baby, and her three sugar daddies -- a doctor and two stockbrokers -- fly in to Lake Tahoe once a month to meet her.
"Each month I get around $20,000 from my three sugar daddies," said Kylie.
It's a deal that hundreds of thousands of college girls across the nation are making, and they are able to do this through SeekingArrangment.com -- a self-advertised dating site that connects young girls to wealthy, older men.
Maria, a UNR senior, found her sugar daddy on the website and says she could not survive without the monthly allowances she receives from her sugar daddy.
"School's a big financial burden right now. I feel like I'd probably be able to make it on my own if I wasn't in school, but I need to go to school to make it on my own later," said Maria.
There are about 4,000 sugar babies and 600 sugar daddies on Seeking Arrangement in the Reno area.
"I'm going to go out anyway. I'm going to be intimate with someone anyway, why not also be able to make my car payment?" said Maria.
Maria's sugar daddy lives in Reno and is married. He gives her a few hundred dollars every time they meet.
"He's older, and he's super sweet. He really is, and he likes to stare at me a lot. It's really cute, and I think it's because I'm a lot younger than him," said Maria. "He's 50."
But critics say this site is close to prostitution, and all of the sugar babies we interviewed said they have had sex with their sugar daddies.
"Yeah, I have had sex with all three of them, but it doesn't happen every time," said Kylie.
Another college baby Gigi says her personal choice does not hurt others.
"I think that to each their own. We're all our own body, we have our own body," said Gigi. "I see women get hammered and go home with someone they barely know and sleep with them, and I think if we can build a relationship with someone and get along with them, personality-wise, then sleeping with them is my choice."
The creator of SeekingArrangement.com says it's not prostitution because seeking arrangement is really a dating site.
Prostitution is very clear. It's an exchange of money and sex," said Brandon Wade, founder of Seeking Arrangement. "But sugar daddy relationships are really romantic relationships between a man and a woman. And of course there's financial exchange involved in most relationships. But because there's romance and chemistry involved, that's what makes it different from prostitution."
The UNR students offer their own explanation of why men, especially married men, join the website.
"One of them is married and...they haven't been sexually active in a long time, so he's just lonely," said Kylie. "But he says he loves his wife. She's his best friend. He couldn't imagine life without her -- he just doesn't get that attention from her."
"They're paying you to not want the relationship," said Maria. "Don't call me and tell me your problems, I don't want to know how your day was. I just want to hang out. I think that's what the payment is for."
As for the college babies, it's a means to an end that'll eventually mean independence from debt.
I don't know why people think we lose dignity," said Maria. "I think it's empowering that someone wants to pay to spend time with me."