July 31, 2011
"I was thinking about going on Match but I needed help financially," says a 25-year-old student at a trade school in New York. When meeting men online, she sometimes goes by the name of Suzanne. "I guess what finally pushed me over the edge was that I needed help to pay off my loans from school."
Earlier this spring, after Suzanne got fired from her job as a waitress at a diner on the Upper East Side, a girlfriend suggested she create a profile on Seeking Arrangement. Suzanne had grown desperate after falling behind on rent. She also needed to come up with $3,000 for a trimester's worth of paralegal classes.
Suzanne already has an associate's degree in elementary education from a community college in New Jersey. Unable to find a job as a teacher's aide, she decided to enroll in paralegal classes at night. But after losing her job, the extra debt proved more than she could afford. She took out $10,000 in loans to pay for a year of school and promptly went on the hunt for a sugar daddy.
Over the past few months, Suzanne says she's gone on more than 40 dates with men from the site. She's not interested in getting wined and dined every single time. At a minimum, she hopes for at least a modicum of attraction. She's already turned down a man who weighed 400 pounds, as well as the advances of countless married men. Though desperate, Suzanne says a homewrecker she is not.
Following numerous emails and chats on the phone, Suzanne generally schedules a first meeting with a man in a public place -- a crowded restaurant, cafe or bar.
After nearly giving up on finding an arrangement, Suzanne recently met a 39-year-old college professor from Dover, N.J. So far, the two have gone on three dates. They typically meet at his house, where he usually cooks her dinner. Afterwards, they have sex.
"After all the assholes I've met, this guy's a real gentleman," says Suzanne, during a break before class. "At the end of the night, he usually gives me $400 or $500 bucks. It's not bad money for a night." While the men typically pay per meeting, Suzanne is hoping to set up an ongoing hookup. Mostly, she doesn't want the men thinking she's only seeing dollar signs, pegged to when her rent or tuition money is due.