New Delhi: With a surge in unemployment rates and the fear of an uncertain future brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, many young Indians are turning to another means of making some money — namely, sugar dating.
Sugar dating is an arrangement wherein a person receives money, gifts or other financial benefits in exchange for a relationship that is. The giver of said benefits is called a sugar daddy or sugar mommy, while the recipient is a sugar baby.
Data released by leading sugar dating website and app SeekingArrangement states that Mumbai is the hotbed for sugar dating in India, with 6,246 sugar babies and 21,464 sugar daddies, followed by New Delhi with 3,447 sugar babies and 13,127 sugar daddies. Hyderabad trails closely behind with 1,218 sugar babies and 11,784 sugar daddies.
The concept is also popular in cities like Pune, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Surat and Jaipur.
According to Brandon Wade, the CEO and Founder of SeekingArrangement, many young, urban Indians burdened with a staggering unemployment rate of 27.11 per cent, heavy education loans, and increasing expenses are seeking new means of funding.
“Even worse, students find themselves juggling multiple jobs while in university and oftentimes end up dropping out as they are unable to cope with the mounting pressure,” Wade says, adding that a sugar baby gets up to INR 35,000 in monthly allowances which could prove of great help to a struggling university student.
Wade launched the platform in 2006, but the India operations are currently run out of Malaysia.
Sugar dating goes beyond financial benefits
“Sugar daddies and sugar mommies don’t only come in the form of providing financial assistance — rather, they also serve as mentors, offering financial guidance, networking opportunities and career advancements, among other things — in the name of raising the bar for aspiring professionals while they’re still in university,” Wade explains.
The app works like any regular dating app, on which one has to answer basic questions about their age, gender and preferences, and can see the profiles of other people based on various parameters such as location, age and wealth. The person needs to indicate whether they are looking for ‘success and wealth’ or ‘looks and charm’.
According to the app, sugar daddies/mommies are defined as successful men and women who “enjoy attractive company by their side” and for whom money isn’t an issue. At the same time, sugar baby is defined as someone “attractive people looking for the finer things in life and who appreciate exotic trips and gifts.”