News & Opinion | July 19, 2018 10:13 am

Brooklyn Summit Discusses Dangers of “Sugar Daddy” Sites

The sites aggressively target college students.

sugar babies
(Getty Images)

“Sugar daddy” dating sites are aggressively targeting college students, giving premium memberships if people sign up with an .edu email address. They assure members that being a “sugar baby” is safe, empowering and profitable. Experts at the “World Without Exploitation Youth Summit” held in Downtown Brooklyn for high school and college students say that sugar babies do not actually have control over these relationships, which often turn dangerous and exploitative.

Summit attendee Julianny Monegro, 19, told The New York Post that New York University students see “sugaring” as a legitimate side job.

“All you’ll hear [on campus] is ‘Oh, yeah, like whatever, I’ll just drop out and become a sugar baby,’” Monegro told The Post. “Or, like, ‘That’s how I’ll pay for school. And I think a lot of women don’t realize the position that they’re placing themselves in, and the subjugation that they’re sort of willing to go through to have a man pay for their things.”

Experts warned that “sugaring” almost always involves a coercive exchange of money for sex, regardless of the promises of “pampering, mentoring and networking.” Experts say this is a slippery slope to more extreme behavior.

“There’s an expectation that the buyer or the sugar daddy can do whatever he wants, so very often we hear there’s extraordinary violence when the door gets shut,” said Lauren Hersh, national director of World Without Exploitation, an anti-trafficking group, according to The Post.