The “sugar dating” website known as SeekingArrangement, shows that some of its top users in Canada are students attending post-secondary schools across the Waterloo Region.
“Sugar dating” is essentially a process where two individuals enter a transactional relationship consisting of a younger sugar baby and an older “sugar daddy,” where the older individual financially supports the sugar baby in exchange for spending time together or general intimacy.
According to SeekingArrangement’s “Top 10 Canadian Sugar Baby Universities For 2021”, Wilfrid Laurier University and The University of Guelph placed 5th and 7th on the list respectively.
The average cost of first-year expenses at Wilfrid Laurier can cost up to $28,580 considering tuition, residence, student fee, and any added costs.
Additionally, it’s important to remember that many students are struggling financially far more now than before due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which has impacted their education and their means to pay for their education.
According to a study conducted by Statistics Canada, the COVID-19 pandemic has negatively affected post-secondary students who financially supported their education, usually through part-time jobs. However, since the pandemic has caused many to lose their jobs, the employment rate fell by 23.6 per cent from February to April 2020.
However, there have been efforts by the Government of Ontario to assist students financially during the Pandemic through programs such as the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), or the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB), however, not everyone can get approved for these benefits, which leaves them in the dark.
Due to the financial burdens that many post-secondary students suffer from because of the high cost of their education, it is no surprise that some are choosing to become “sugar babies” to pay for tuition.
However, these arrangements can often have a darker side due to the power imbalance between the sugar baby and the sugar daddy, leading to sexual assault and violence.
A tragic example of the dangers of sugar dating occurred on June 17, 2019. Mackenzie Lueck, a 23-year-old University of Utah student, was murdered by Ayoola Ajayi, 31, where the two met through SeekingArrangement.
While the idea of these relationships sounds appealing to younger people due to the promise of financial support and gifts, it comes with a cost that can often be dangerous and lead to being taken advantage of by the older individual in the relationship.
It can be difficult for students to find ways to pay for their tuitions, however, students looking to become “sugar babies” should continue with caution, because in many instances, the risks may outweigh the benefits.