The Huffington Post has an interesting piece up today that says that more college-aged women and women in their twenties are turning to sugar daddy relationships to pay off school loans. According to the article, the partners in such arrangements often find each other online:

Saddled with piles of student debt and a job-scarce, lackluster economy, current college students and recent graduates are selling themselves to pursue a diploma or pay down their loans. An increasing number, according to the the owners of websites that broker such hook-ups, have taken to the web in search of online suitors or wealthy benefactors who, in exchange for sex, companionship, or both, might help with the bills.

Writer Amanda M. Fairbanks also reports that the number of female college students on sites like these — girls who call themselves sugar babies — has gone up in recent years:

…over the past five years, [Brandon Wade, the founder of a sugar daddy website] says he’s seen a 350 percent increase in college sugar baby membership — from 38,303 college sugar babies in 2007 to 179,906 college sugar babies by July of this year.

Some of the sugar babies interviewed for the article said they felt bad about the work, while others felt quite good. Almost universally, they felt that what they were doing was not prostitution.

Jennifer doesn’t label what she’s doing as prostitution. “I’m not a whore. Whores are paid by the hour, can have a high volume of clients in a given day, and it’s based on money, not on who the individual actually is. There’s no feeling involved and the entire interaction revolves around a sexual act,” says Jennifer, who wears a $300 strapless dress purchased with money from her most recent conquest. The rest of the money, she says, went towards paying down her student loans.

I suppose that everyone is allowed to call their job whatever they want to call it, and certainly the question of what is and what is not prostitution is more than I have room for in one blog post (although big props to the lawyer quoted in the article who said that “One could even consider certain marriages where there are unequal financial resources to not be overly dissimilar” to prostitution). But I can’t say that I support anyone, sex worker or not, passing judgment on what other people do to earn money, and it sounds like that’s what this Jennifer character did.

Anyway, that said, would you give sex work a try to pay off your loans (or have you already)? Or, for that matter, to pay off anything, or even just for fun?