Lane Community College's Student Newspaper

Welcome to the meets market

Posted on February 6, 2013 | in News | by

Some say they want a house or a car. Some want nice clothes. Some want to pay their student loans.

Some want $10,000 in cash.

Screen shot 2013-02-06 at 4.28.05 PM

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A few Lane County students are using a website, seekingarrangement.com, to exchange their companionship for money. According to a Seeking Arrangement press release, the site boasts a user population of more than 1.7 million.

Men and women sign up for accounts with the website Seeking Arrangement, where attractive people are grouped with generous people with money (or sugar) to spare. So-called “sugar babies” have the option of paying extra money to become certified as college sugar babies. From there, members are encouraged to begin “mutually beneficial relationships,” which usually consist of the sugar baby receiving a monthly stipend from a “sugar daddy.”

The majority of sugar babies are female and the majority of sugar daddies are male. Sugar babies seek a variety of arrangements and set a wider variety of conditions. While some sugar babies said they are looking for companionship, others impose a no-touching rule while others remain open to anything. Two women who share an account said they don’t like to do anything without each other and they “love to just let our hair down and get wild.”

According to the website, Seeking Arrangement is engineered for men who make a good living but may not be the most handsome, suave or outgoing.

“As the cost of living rises and tuition hikes continue, co-ed sugar babies continue to flock to Seeking Arrangement in search of sugar daddies,” Seeking Arrangement spokeswoman Jennifer Guinn says.

One student, who calls herself Loyalbabygirl in her Seeking Arrangement ad, is a 23-year-old Springfield resident who, with five years of service in the military, is also an aspiring actress and model. In her ad, Loyalbabygirl wrote she’s “looking for my Hugh Hefner — and yes, it’s OK if he’s younger (winky-face).”

“I just haven’t been receiving the support I need from my previous sugar daddies,” Loyalbabygirl wrote in her ad. “I’m hoping to find someone who’s generous and giving without making me jump through hoops to get what I need.”

What Loyalbabygirl said she needs, exactly, is monthly cash payments of anywhere between $5,001 and $10,000.

According to Lane’s website, the estimated three-term cost of attendance for an in-state student is $9,595 while the cost for an out-of-state student is $14,653. The U.S. Census Bureau reports the median household income for Lane County residents is $42,621.

Loyalbabygirl is asking for $60,012 per year, minimum.

Lane Dean of Cooperative Education Al King said he was shocked to learn that students are advertising such services online.

“Boy, I really just hope these students are being safe,” King said. “There’s no judgement at all on their character. I’m just concerned about safety.”

“They’re college-aged. They’re no longer children,” Seeking Arrangement spokeswoman Angela Jacbocs-Bermudo said. “We’re offering an alternative to getting a part-time job, full-time job or dropping out of school altogether.”

Singapore native Brandon Wade founded Seeking Arrangement in 2007, 11 years after he graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management. Wade said his site promotes traditional values, such as men picking up the tab for dinner — values Wade believes may have been lost in the commotion of women’s liberation.

“I joined it not as a career,” aspiring sugar baby Julie B. wrote in an email. “I’m tired of dating guys (when) I always end up paying for everything.”

While the website describes its sugar babies as sophisticated, ambitious women, Wade wrote the website offers a variety of potential partners.

“They truly are sugar babies,” Wade wrote via Twitter, “although we do have a mix of new and experienced sugar babies.”

Wade’s company also owns whatsyourprice.com, a similar website that divides its userbase between “generous” and “beautiful,” and seekingmillionaire.com. Wade argues that being a sugar baby is a legitimate way to make a living.

Jacobs-Bermudo said that for college students, being a sugar baby is better than a part-time job.

“For anyone going into an opening level part-time or full-time job, you’re going to start off either at a minimum (wage) or a dollar or two above the minimum,” Jacobs-Bermudo said. “That adds up to between 20 to 40 hours a week, and for college students, that affects their potential for achieving their academic goals. A certain amount of time is necessary to succeed as a student.”

ASLCC Senator Adam Brown said with tuition rates rising and financial aid stagnating, “it makes sense that this would be happening here.”

Guinn agreed.

“If you have been following the news on college students, the Millennial Generation, Generation Y or the Lost Generation, then this really shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone,” she said.

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12 Responses to “Welcome to the meets market”

  1. hmm@hmmm.com' Hmmm says:

    1.) Why is this relevant to the student populace at large?
    2.) This would have made a much better opinion column, I think you all should weigh in on this.
    3.) You do realize that your tone/handling of the subject matter appears to endorse this, correct? And maybe you do, which is fine, but you might want to take a step back for a moment.

  2. 1oregonjake@willamette.net' Barry Sommer says:

    A piece I wrote tonight that has been given to the local and national media. A firestorm is coming to LCC and it ain’t gonna be pretty.

    Local Oregon Community College advocates prostitution for students who need money for tuition!
    “Welcome to the Meets Market”

    In the latest edition of ‘The Torch’ newspaper printed by Lane Community College in Eugene, Oregon, the front page article is titled “Seeking Arrangement” with the subheadline “Website opens up new earning
    possibilities for students” does not tell the reader anything, it is only when reading the article does it become embarrassingly clear that the purpose of the article is to advise students, especially female students that they can go to a website and enter into what is euphemistically called a “mutually beneficial arrangement” whereby they hook up with men who are called “benefactors” and pay the women their tuition, and other expenses in return for…companionship. No matter how you pars it, this is nothing less than a prostitution ring, operating under the guise of helping young women get their school fees paid for by men who want the “benefits” of an “arrangement” that allows them to dictate the terms of the agreement, specifically sexual favors. The fancy website, obfuscating words and the stereotypical behavior of older men wanting to bed young women is nothing if not demeaning and a perpetuation of the age-old ploy women use to get what used to be called a “sugar daddy.” For Lane Community College to publish this, without presenting an opposing view is shameful and a blight on LCC. There is nothing in the article that gives context, nothing is said to inform the students that this is prostitution and nothing to discourage students from signing up and trying to find a “sugar daddy.”
    LCC Dean of Cooperative Education Al King said in the article “Boy, I really hope these students are being safe…” WTF! Safe? Thats all the indignation he can muster when confronted with a student publication advocating female students enter into prostitution to pay for LCC tuition?
    King’s remark is beyond the pale, and he goes on to say “There’s no
    judgement at all on their character, I’m just concerned for their safety.”
    I ask King, would he take the same stand if it was his daughter having
    sex for money? I highly doubt it. A Dean of a highly regarded community college saying he has no problem with the character of a female student who chooses to prostitute themselves for tuition should not be allowed anywhere near females, on campus or off. How dare he make a statement that perpetuates a stereotype and essentially encourages this behavior. Disgusting. King should be fired immediately.
    Brandon Wade founded the site, and explains away the problematics by saying his site promotes “traditional values” in that men are encouraged to pick up the tab for meals and says his site gives the girls, or “sugar babies” a “legitimate way to make a living.” That is promoting
    prostitution; Wade is essentially and legally a pimp, for which he should be prosecuted and jailed. The article goes on to extol the virtues of being a paid whore instead of actually working a real job, rationalizing it away by saying it is too tough to get a real job, that it takes away time from studies and is easier for females to get through school if they give up their goodies for money.
    The end of the article tells the reader that all this is OK, it is nothing new and that no one should be shocked. If it was a legitimate website with the goal of finding mentors that support education opportunities for ALL students through private financial help, a different story would have emerged. Instead we find a LCC student, Adan Brown claiming that with the rise of college costs, “It makes sense this would be happening here.” The responsible thing to say, and print would be a strong condemnation of this activity along with a clear delineation between acceptable and
    unacceptable behavior with students. There is a Student Code of Conduct at LCC, maybe it is time to reinterpret what it means to be a student at Lane Community College and set a benchmark that allows no sexual conduct for favors or money.
    Lastly, I leave you, the reader with this quote from Angela
    Jaccobs-Bermudo, spokeswoman for the website, “We’re offering an
    alternative to getting a part-time job, full-time job or dropping out of school altogether.” Understand that she is advising young women that a full-time job is useless to pursue, that they should use their lady parts to get what they want. The oldest profession has now invaded LCC campus. May God help us all.

  3. Byron Hughey Byron Hughey says:

    Many of these issues will be addressed in the editorial of The Torch next Wednesday, Feb. 13.

    Thanks for reading.

  4. blitzkriegbailey@verizon.net' Realistic says:

    Whats next? Encouraging students to be strippers to pay tuition?No judgement on those that do strip,It’s more honest than being a prostitute,but no one from any educational institution should be promoting either.BTW, I’m a straight male.

  5. email@email.com' Carrie says:

    Barry, I can tell you are passionate about the article, but I have to disagree with you completely. After I read what you wrote about the article I find it hard to believe we read the same “Torch” piece. I did not think the author, the school, or anyone but the web site itself was promoting this avenue for funding their education. It is something that is topical and relevant. Although you may not wish to go this route to “pay your way” there are people out there that do, weather you agree with it or not. Just because we/you disagree about something doesn’t mean we don’t talk about it. I do have a question for you, did you know this was going on before reading the article? Did you know that students were paying their way by having a “Sugar Daddy” or “Sugar Mamma”? I did not know about any of this before I read it. Therefore, since the “Torch” an other papers are here to inform us I feel that it was appropriate. Maybe it’s right maybe it’s wrong, but saying the “Torch” is promoting it? Maybe you should reread it, all I read was that people are doing this, not that they should.

  6. none@hotmail.com' Tyrone says:

    You ever see the Chappelle Show skit where Tyrone Biggums talks to the middle school about drugs? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FvOD6HLMbA4 This article is kinda like that.

  7. lcccomplaintbox@yahoo.com' Lane Complaint Box says:

    Found this

    http://www.kmtr.com/mostpopular/story/Article-on-Seeking-Arrangements-causes/1j0dCNj5M0-ClwTJTks6Cg.cspx

    Besides a few emails to our box dealing with folks who thought the article was offensive, barry though you need to chill out. More to this then what you think, and even if it is so; you have no moral high ground to stand on dealing with it.

  8. joemomma878787@yahoo.com' Frank Blue says:

    Great article! I don’t agree with the people saying you are promoting this, considering you are only reporting the facts. I’d never use that arrangement site myself, but I don’t care if others do.
    If a rich old guy wants to date a pretty girl in exchange for money, I’m pretty sure that’s been a common happening (see: Hugh Hefner).

    Also, I don’t know what Barry Sommer’s deal is, but she definitely wasted a good portion of her day writing a hate comment.

  9. chubby2bunny@hotmail.com' Gene says:

    Barry,
    I am disappointed that you would take such a negative stance towards this article. I agree with Carrie, that we must have been reading two different articles. What I read was a report on a trend that has recently come to the public’s eye. It is fair and even journalism, but what you and many others are demanding is a “bashing”. When I was in school for journalism, we were taught to never take a side and to report the news. That’s that. Unless it was an opinion piece, then you kept your beliefs out of it. I commend the students who operate The Torch for standing their ground, as well as being fearless in tackling a testy subject with good taste instead of giving in and becoming biased.

    In addition, I would like to address the inaccuracy in your assumption: “Lastly, I leave you, the reader with this quote from Angela Jacobs-Bermudo, spokeswoman for the website, ‘We’re offering an alternative to getting a part-time job, full-time job or dropping our of school altogether.’ Understand that she is advising young women that a full-time job is useless to pursue, that they should use their lady parts to get what they want.” Clearly Ms. Jacobs-Bermudo is saying that the website believes it is an alternative option. Wherein that statement did she say that a full-time job would be fruitless?

    Lastly, perhaps you shouldn’t be so quick to judge these young women. There’s a witch hunt out and people like you are calling for scarlet letters to be branded on these women. Have you ever been a sugar baby? Have you ever met one who attends college? Then how on Earth do you have any idea what it entails? I say keep your opinions, but respect others as well. We are working to give the LGBT community the freedom to date and marry freely who ever they fancy. What makes this any different?

  10. bitnitlit12@yahoo.com' B. W. R. says:

    Next time you want to make a point, make sure to hit enter a few times.

    Paragraphs are your friend.

  11. lcccomplaintbox@yahoo.com' Lane Complaint Box says:

    Barry is a male

  12. Pingback: The Torch remains free and objective | The Torch

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