A sugar baby is someone who receives financial and/or material gifts in exchange for a relationship. The sugar daddy or momma is usually much older than the sugar baby, according to Urban Dictionary.
It is common for people to believe that only women can be sugar babies, but the term is universal. A sugar baby can be anyone that fits the definition, regardless of their gender or expression.
The largest population of sugar babies has been found among college students. Although the average age of sugar babies was reported to be 25 in Money Magazine, most college students are between the ages of 18 and 22; so many sugar babies may be paying off student debt post-college.
Seeking.com is a very common website used for people to connect with either their sugar baby, daddy or momma. The website suggests that over 4.2 million college students, including a handful of UNM students, are using this site to find an arrangement. According to KOAT 4 News, there are an estimated 650 students who have successfully found arrangements and have used their earnings as a way to battle student debt.
Sugar babies do not fit into a strict mold. A sugar baby can be seeking an arrangement solely for financial reasons, may want to have a short-term or long-term relationship in addition to the financial help or may even be ultimately seeking marriage/life partnership with a sugar parent.
There are many reasons why sugar babies are looking for older, financially successful partners, though most who call themselves "sugar babies" are definitely seeking some kind of financial support as part of a relationship arrangement. It is clear that there is no standard for "payment" and any financial support is both sought and perceived as "gifts" rather than "payment."
What sugar babies are interested in providing in exchange for financial support can vary from companionship and conversation to physical affection and sexual contact. However, it should be noted that sugar babies are not considered sex workers, are not "for hire" and do not typically seek nor have multiple partners.
A majority of sugar babies purport to seek one-on-one exclusive relationships with a singular and financially supportive sugar daddy or sugar momma.
Sugar babies mainly seek financial support while in college — as a means of paying bills, rent or regular monthly expenses which are often not covered by a student loan disbursement. After paying for tuition and books, there is rarely enough left to pay for regular monthly rent, food, clothing and transportation expenses.
For college students to meet their monthly expenses, it can often require working several part-time jobs or even more than one full-time job, which means they have less time to devote to studies, reading, writing papers and performing important classwork required to obtain their degrees.
For many sugar babies, having a personal relationship that serves a dual purpose can be advantageous to the busy, over-scheduled, often overwhelmed and sleep-deprived college student in order to make ends meet and keep up with important school work.
Christina Kaskabas is a freelance news reporter at the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @cake_tinaa