Meet the law graduate who used SUGAR
DADDIES she met online to finance her
entire $50,000 a year education
The law grad says she considers her sugar daddy one of her best friends and they care deeply for each other
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3615284/Meet-law-graduate-used-SUGAR-DADDIES-met-online-finance-entire-50-000-year-education.html#ixzz4DdYnH5tL
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook
By ASSOCIATED PRESS
Candice Kashani graduated from law school debtfree
this spring, thanks to a modern twist on an age old arrangement.
During her first year, she faced tuition and expenses that ran nearly $50,000, even after a
So she decided to check out a dating website that connected women looking for financial help with
men willing to provide it, in exchange for companionship and sex a
'sugar daddy' relationship as they are known.
Now, almost three years and several sugar daddies later, Kashani is set to graduate from Villanova
University free and clear, while some of her peers are burdened with sixdigit
'Great resource': Candice Kashani has graduated Villanova University with virtually no debt thanks to sugar
daddies met online. Even with a scholarship, she faced $50,000 in tuition and expenses in her first year
As the cost of tuition and rent rises, so does the apparent popularity of such sites among students.
But are they really providing financial relief, or signing women up for something more exploitative
and dangerous than debt?
Kashani believes such sites are a 'great resource' for young women, but others say these
arrangements smack of prostitution and take advantage of women in a vulnerable situation.
Lynn Comella, an associate professor of gender and sexuality studies at University of Nevada Las
Vegas, said that it is not unusual for students to turn to sex work such as stripping, prostitution or
webcam work to pay for school.
But the sugar daddy sites are relatively new, and she says not entirely upfront about what they are
These arrangements are more vague than prostitution there
is an expectation of material benefit
but it is not always specified and sex is not guaranteed.
Ron Weitzer, a professor of sociology at George Washington University and criminologist with an
expertise in the sex industry describes it as 'prostitution light.'
'Sugar Daddy' arrangements have existed for ages, and it's unclear if they are becoming more
common because the phenomenon is not well studied.
But experts say at the very least the internet has made these transactions far easier to arrange and
'It allows you to hone in on what you want,' said Kevin Lewis, an assistant professor of sociology at
University of California San Diego who studies online dating. 'You could argue it is just making the
market more efficient.'
Kashani says she sifted through many potential suitors before finding one she clicked with. She
says she considers her sugar daddy one of her best friends and that they care deeply for each
'The people who have a stigma, or associate a negative connotation with it, don't understand how it
works,' she says.
But unlike most relationships, she is paid a sizeable monthly allowance that helps her pay for
U.S. undergraduate students last year finished school with an average of $35,000 in student debt a
figure that has risen steadily every year, according to Mark Kantrowitz, a financial aid expert. The
average graduate debt load is $75,000, and some longer programs force students into much
Many students say their loans don't cover the cost of living, and with rent skyrocketing in most
major cities, they are left scrambling to make up the difference.
One graduate student at Columbia University in New York had a scholarship that covered almost all
of her tuition, but not her living expenses.
She spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the potential impact on her job prospects. She
tried to make do sharing
a room with a classmate and working a minimum wage job, plus any
freelance work she could get.
But still she struggled to pay her rent and utilities, and her grades suffered.
'That's just not why I am here,' she said. 'I wanted to find the most amount of money I could make
for the least amount of effort.'
So she found herself surfing Craigslist and Backpage.com and later, SeekingArrangement.com, the
largest of the sugar daddy websites. Now she has two sugar daddies, one she sees occasionally
and another who is more like a conventional boyfriend, except that he pays her a monthly
allowance and helps rent her an apartment closer to him.
SeekingArrangement.com said it is most popular in Los Angeles and New York. The average rent in
both areas is well over $2,000 a month, according to Zillow research.
The Columbia student says she plans to
continue 'sugaring' after she graduates to buy
herself time to find a more traditional job and
remain officially unemployed so she can defer
repaying the roughly $70,000 in loans she had
already racked up.
'There is a lot of moral panic about it,' she said.
'But what are the real estate and academic
´funding situations that led to this?'
Brandon Wade, creator of the site, touts it as an
'alternative to financial aid' but says the
company did not set out to target students when
it launched in 2006.
It stumbled on this niche and began in 2011 offering students a free premium membership, which
usually costs $30 a month. It charges sugar daddies $70 to $180 a month, depending on the
Seekingarrangement.com also offers to connect samesex
couples looking for such arrangements,
or 'sugar mommies' for men. But the malefemale
'sugar daddy' dynamic makes up the bulk of its
It's difficult to pin down exactly how many students are involved in such situations, because they are
private transactions. And it's a niche rarely studied by academics.
SeekingArrangement.com says student users on the site jumped from 79,400 worldwide in 2010 to
1.9 million this year and students make up onethird
of its users.
And while it sees thousands of signups on any given day, the company says enrollment jumps
during August and January when tuition is typically due, sometimes to more than double its normal
Women who have used the site report experiences that run the gamut from
dates all the way to aggressive solicitation online, even though it is forbidden on the site. Sex is not
guaranteed although most users say it is implied. The company says a few arrangements have
even led to marriage, although it is rare.
Some of the women say they feel respected and cared for, but remain aware that it is an
arrangement, not traditional romantic love.
'It benefits me in many ways we
have a healthy relationship, we travel together, I'm able to enjoy
the city more,' said the New York graduate student.
Still, she said, it is a job.
'It does kind of rub me the wrong way that some people don't see it as sex work,' she said.
Comella warns that unlike sex workers, many women doing this put their true identities online, and
that could put them at risk. While Seeking Arrangement runs background checks, there have been
reports of violence against both men and women stemming from sugar daddy websites.
Kristen Houser of the National Sexual Violence Resource Center says that violence is common any
time money is exchanged for sex. 'You need to pay attention that there is a power imbalance,' she
Wade says there are risks inherent in any dating website. He should know; he runs several,
including one that allows users to bid on dates and another focused on open relationships. He said
he created SeekingArrangement.com out of his own frustration with women.
An MIT graduate, he had difficulty meeting women and realized a site such as this would highlight
what set him apart money.
'Money and sex are things that people want,' he said. 'I think the controversy comes into play on
seeking arrangement because we are so upfront about it.'
Documentary reveals the sugar daddy dating phenomenon
"I would no more be a Master than a slave. It does not conform to my idea of Democracy." Abraham Lincoln 1856.