Cambridge Students rely on “sugar daddies” to pay for degrees

Joseph Winters 30 January 2014

Students at Cambridge are fourth most likely in the country to turn to “sugar daddies” to fund their university degrees.

According to seekingarrangement.com, a dating website with one million subscribers, 166 students claiming to study at the University of Cambridge have signed up for support from wealthy men.

In 2013 Cambridge was responsible for the most new sign-ups in the country making first in a national league table listing the fastest growing “sugar baby” schools.

A sugar daddy is a “rich and usually older man who buys presents for or gives money to a young person, especially a woman, usually in order to spend time with them or have a sexual relationship with them”, according to Cambridge Dictionaries Online.

Yet Brandon Wade, founder and Chief Executive of seekingarrangement.com, told Cambridge News, “The student loans lead to endless debt, which amounts to more than the average graduate who earns £21,000 can handle.

“Sugar daddies provide real solutions to the problem of students debts.”

The website has attempted to redefine the modern sugar daddy as a “mentor, sponsor or benefactor who is always respectful, generous and seeking to empower others.”

It tells prospective daddies “no matter what your desire may be, you are brutally honest about who you are, what you expect and what you offer.”

Ellie Myerson, a first year English student at Peterhouse, told The Cambridge Student, “The concept of a sugar daddy can’t be modernised because it is fundamentally based on out-dated patriarchal values. Women gaining financial independence was, and is, integral to the feminist movement; the idea that they should turn to an older man for support is disturbing.

“Their presentation of the ‘sugar daddy’, plays to stereotypes of men as sexually aggressive or predatory – another example of how misogynist ideas are also often misandrist.”