DCU remains the second highest university in the country for sign-ups to SeekingArrangement in 2017, with 568 students registered to the Sugar Babies service, according to the website’s recent figures.
Trinity remains the university with the most sign-ups in Ireland.
Although there is no rise in the DCU Sugar Baby community, there is little evidence to suggest a decline is expected, especially as student fees have risen to over €3,000 per annum.
There are currently 39,387 Sugar Babies working in Ireland alone. 31,298 of which are female and 8,089 are male Sugar Babies. Almost 10,000 out of the entire number are students.
SeekingArrangement, the most popular website of its kind, was originally set up as a mutually beneficial agreement, so students could pay off college debt while supplying companionship. However, almost 30,000 Irish people using the service are not students.
“You are never too old to be a Sugar Baby. We have Sugar babies on the site of all ages,” said Josette D’Espyne, a Public Relations Coordinator with SeekingArrangement.
“If the Irish government’s proposed student loan scheme is approved, students coming from families who cannot afford to pay €20,000 per year in fees will be faced with crippling debt post graduation and nobody’s doing anything about it,” says Brandon Wade, Founder and CEO of SeekingArrangement.com.
It is evident the ‘Sugar Baby’ lifestyle has become increasingly normalised since SeekingArrangement’s inception in 2006. This could be caused by the renting crisis or the fact Ireland has the second highest third level fees in Europe.
Some see it as an empowering employment, like popular Snapchatter and former Sugar Baby Riona Little.
“I guess the reason I loved it is that it’s like being self-employed. You choose your hours, your payment and the activities. Sex isn’t really required,” said Little.
Sugar Babies get a monthly allowance of €2,150 from SeekingArrangement. This does not include gifts and other money they receive from their ‘Sugar Daddies’. The site does offer a 3rd party background check. Additionally, there are safety tips available on the website as well as SeekingArrangement’s sister site LetsTalkSugar.com.
Prostitution, the act of soliciting sexual favours for money, is illegal in Ireland. Although sex is not required when you become a ‘Sugar Baby’ the consensus is that it is expected, making the lifestyle controversial.