A website called SeekingArrangement.com purports to help young men and women get money or gifts by arranging "dates" with older men and younger women. If this sounds like prostitution to you, you are not alone.
The site bills itself as "The Elite Sugar Daddy Dating Site for Mutually Beneficial Relationships."
The site writes:
Sugar daddy, mommy: Rich and successful. Single or married, you have no time for games. You are looking to mentor or spoil someone special — perhaps a "personal secretary"? secret lover? student? or a mistress for an extra-marital affair?
Sugar baby: Attractive, ambitious & young. Sugar Babes are college students, aspiring actresses or someone just starting out. You seek a generous Benefactor to pamper, mentor and take care of you — perhaps to help you financially?
The site launched in 2005 and reportedly has 800,000 members. The website is very careful to avoid such terms as "sex," prostitution" and even "money." Instead is repeatedly says "Mutually Beneficial Relationships."
For example, in defining what the site is all about:
An Arrangement is short for "Mutually Beneficial Relationship" between two people. Such a relationship is usually between an older and wealthy individual who gives a young person expensive gifts or financial assistance in return for friendship, or intimacy.
Sounds a lot like prostitution to at least one sociologist.
"Under the banner of sugar daddy and sugar baby arrangements, a lot of prostitution may be going on," the Daily Mail quotes Ronald Weitzer of George Washington University as saying.
However one lawyer disagrees.
"Any relationship that is an ongoing one that's not purely about sex but may have a sexual aspect to it, you can't really classify as prostitution," Allen Lichtenstein said.
Here is a report from AOL News on the service: