Monday's episode of Bethenny featured three "sugar babies" from the controversial dating site, SeekingArrangement.com. The website helps connect "attractive, ambitious and goal oriented" sugar babies with "respectful and generous" benefactors. The ladies who appeared on the talk show were young and shared the same shameless enthusiasm for dating men for money. However, their reasoning for romantic income completely differed. Some reasons were actually quite valid.
Sunni is a sugar baby who says her experience with dating rich older men has serviced her as mentorship. Yes, she dates married men and at least three of them at a time. But at least those married guys are helpful. Right? Sunni also believes that she isn't home-wrecking but is rather helping that married man's marital situation. Then, we have Kelly, a med-student who uses the website to help her pay her college tuition. According to Kelly, "This is what it's like to be an independent woman trying to work your way up." And finally there's Sara-Kate, the most entertaining guest of the trio, who bluntly admits that she refuses to date men her own age for free and that she prefers elderly men because of the expedited access to their assets once they've passed away. The ladies admitted to having sexual relationships with some of their sponsors but made it clear that most of their relationships were platonic.
Of course, the audience found nothing sweet about these sugar babies; there was no hesitation as host Bethenny Frankel passed around the mic for viewers to speak their minds. But when you really think about the sugar baby and sugar daddy (or mommy) relationship, it's not much different than some of the relationships we see everyday. Every "Real Housewife of Some Place" dated and then married for money. They don't really hide their vanity or materialistic side, yet they are celebrated in the media. How about the several rags-to-riches stories we read every year about some student, maid or waitress who married a millionaire shortly after meeting? I think the real issue everyone has is the fact that there's a website that actually coordinates infidelity. Sans adultery, the setup is quite honest. Sara-Kate explained, "When you meet someone on Seeking Arrangement, before any words are spoken, he knows that he is going to be helping you out, supporting you -- giving!" It's better than pretending to love for cash. Not to be confused with prostitution, the "arrangement" does not require the sugar babies to sleep with the sugar daddies/mommies. It's no different than Kim Kardashian's paid companionship to 81-year-old Austrian billionaire Richard Lugner at the Vienna Opera Ball. I know that was a terrible example but it really is no different.
There's also a double standard here. The controversy focuses on women not supporting themselves but depending on some random man. While that is a fact, let's not forget that the site connects male sugar babies with a benefactor, too. There's not much discussion on that. Believe me, I'm all for female empowerment. But why can't the male sugar baby be a part of the conversation also? It's not something I would do however, I don't see anything wrong with a person spending time with another person who wants to spoil and pamper. Whether or not SeekingArrangement.com exists, men and women with money will continue to seek lovers to spoil and those lovers will gladly accept.
See video of the Bethenny segment here.