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sugar baby

Sugar dating is a modern phenomenon in which young girls meet older, wealthy men and swap their companionship for gifts and cash.

Some young Irish women have become experimental with their means of making income, and have flocked to sugar dating websites to fund their lifestyles.

The girls negotiate transactional "mutually beneficial relationships," and can promise anything from a lunch date to sex in exchange for cash sums or a Grafton Street shopping trip. 

Seeking Arrangement is one of the most popular dating sites for "sugaring," and college students are one of the largest demographics seeking sugar daddies. 

The site has released some official figures, according to the Sun, about the numbers of sugar babies in each Irish university, and Trinity College Dublin was revealed to have the most sugar babies using the site last year.

Trinity College had 72 people sign up to the site last year, bringing the total of Trinity members to 585.

This was closely followed by Dublin City University, who saw 71 of it's students sign up to the site, creating a total of 568.

However, it is University College Dublin who has the highest number of sugar babies overall, with a grand total of 601 sugar baby students attending UCD. 

NUI Galway had 70 new sign-ups, 474 in total.

University College Cork, the University of Limerick and the Cork Institute of Technology all boasted figures in the five hundreds. 

Brandon Wade, CEO of Seeing Arrangement, attributed the high costs involved in attending college for the high numbers.

"Our site has helped facilitate hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of arrangements that have helped students graduate debt-free. That’s more than anyone can say of any particular government party."


Young Irish women strapped for cash have been forced to become experimental with their means of making income.

To date, approximately 9,000 Irish girls have joined the sugar dating site SeekingArrangements.com to organise transactional ‘mutually beneficial relationships’ with wealthy older men.  

The girls offer their company, charm and attention in return for cash, allowances and lavish gifts.

Many women on the Seeking Arrangements site are college and university going students looking for help to keep their finances in order, often looking for men to make fee and accommodation payments to keep them in college.

Vanessa [not her real name] is a 19 year old Dublin university-attending sugar baby. She became aware of the "sugaring" lifestyle four years ago as the phenomenon gained media attention, but it wasn’t until her first year of college that she genuinely considered joining the Seeking Arrangements site, spurred on by a friend who was already meeting wealthy men online. 

Her drive to experiment with this lifestyle came purely from the enticement of money, fine dining and the wish to achieve a more comfortable lifestyle while studying for her degree, after moving to the capital from a small town in the south of the country.

Vanessa began her sugaring endeavours on Google and found the Seeking Arrangement site, which to her seemed different to other cheap "shady" websites she had previously encountered.

She described the site as being more "executive, elegant and just proper" and created her account.

She recalls how she was swamped with attention when she first joined and was flattered, and slowly whittled down the potential sugar daddies by trawling through hundreds of profiles and conversing with men, searching for signs of legitimacy.


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Vanessa admits that men would message her clearly seeking sexual services, using the simple line “how much for tonight”.

"Some men are looking for a prostitute, but you can sense that straight away by the questions they ask, or if they are asking about money straight away you know they’re looking for one thing, and that’s not what I’m looking for," she said adamantly. 

Many sugar babies insist that sugar dating relationships are non-sexual and platonic, but Vanessa completely disagrees, and believes that most girls are lying when it comes to this aspect.

Any search on YouTube for "sugar dating stories" provides plenty of examples of women claiming there is zero sex work involved. 

"I’m sure that in certain situations the sugar baby says no and the man says OK… But for me I’m ok with sleeping with these men as I can be attracted to them. I think the majority of these girls are probably lying when they say it’s all above board."

In Vanessa’s world of sugar dating, safety is key.

Her advice to potential sugar babies is to "have your wits about you at all times, you can be talking to someone online and they can seem like the nicest person ever but until you meet them you do not know".

"When you do progress on to meeting people, let a friend know, take a picture of yourself in case you do go missing that night of what you are wearing, that’s how serious the realities of this lifestyle are."

Vanessa has been offered holidays, phone bills paid and accommodation payments covered, and will accept no less than €500 for her company for the day or night. She admits to her previous naivety when she first joined the site.

"The first person I decided to meet I made an arrangement of €180, which is a lot of money to a lot of people and does make a difference, but now that would be a waste of my time."

While Vanessa concedes that the sugar baby lifestyle works for her, she does not advise other college students to take this route:

"I would tell them to back away. I feel that in years to come I’ll definitely regret it. I hate to think that someday I’ll have to tell my husband about this part of my life, and he might not accept it."

The enticement of quick cash is enough to sway many Irish students, and seems much more favourable than a student loan or a part time job, but Vanessa concludes that while it all seems easy, putting a price on your time is actually quite a difficult moral issue

"It might be ok now, but down the line I 100% believe this will come back to haunt me."