Hundreds of skint Northern Ireland students are ditching their part-time jobs and searching for a sugar daddy to help ease their financial woes.
Over 200 female students at Queen’s University have signed up to the Seeking Arrangement website where rich men pay cash-strapped young women, known as sugar babies, on average £5,000 for their company, or more often, for sex.
Last week the website released its annual ranking of the fastest growing sugar baby schools of 2015, placing Queen’s at number 10 in the UK with a 49.41 per cent increase on signs ups from last year.
So what’s behind this upsurge in Belfast sugar babies?
Seeking Arrangement CEO Brandon Wade, who once said “love is a concept created by poor people,” believes crippling university fees are to blame.
“Tripling tuition fees are crippling students, who are left to sort out how to afford their education.
“True, they can do it the hard way, but why struggle when there are people who are happy to help?” he said.
“Three-quarters of graduates won’t even be able to pay off their debt.
“Sugaring not only aids in the cost of pursuing an education, but a large majority of these men and women will have a more solid financial situation upon graduation - maybe even a job.”
Seeking Arrangement and the hundreds of sites out there like it sell the sugar daddy/sugar baby relationship as a quid pro quo arrangement.
And it works - Seeking Arrangement is the biggest site of its kind in the world boasting four million members across 139 countries.
On the website, sugar daddies are described as: “Successful men who know what they want. They’re driven, and enjoy attractive company by their side. Money isn’t an issue, thus they are generous when it comes to supporting a sugar baby.”
Meanwhile a sugar baby who can sign up for free using a university email address is said to be: “An attractive person looking for the finer things in life. They appreciate exotic trips and gifts.
“Sugar babies get to experience a luxurious lifestyle, and meet wealthy people on a regular basis.”
Seeking Arrangement claims to offer a “relationship on your terms” between the two parties.
Brandon Wade said: “An arrangement is where people are direct. It allows people to immediately define what they need and want in a relationship - everyone gets what they want.”