“Where beautiful, successful people fuel mutually beneficial relationships”—that’s the tagline for Seeking Arrangement, a dating app that introduces sugar babies to potential sugar daddies.
It’s not totally what you’d think, however—you know, creepy old dudes with a lot of money spoiling young women in desperate times. It is a lot of that, sure. But Seeking Arrangement actually claims that 56 percent of university students who sign up come from “middle and upper-middle class families,” and “mutually beneficial relationships” doesn’t have to mean the exchange of money for, well, sex.
To find out what it’s all about, we caught up with one woman, 25, who has made decent dough from the app by going on a few dinner dates a month. For privacy purposes, we’ll keep her name out of this.
We went out for a steak dinner and he paid for everything, then wired me $1,500 into my PayPal once the dinner was done.
1. How, when and why did you decide to join Seeking Arrangement?
I decided to join in the early spring of this year. I had a friend in high school who had tried it with some luck, and it was more of a no-harm-no-foul train of thought when I opted to create a profile.
2. Describe your profile—what kinds of photos did you post and what information about yourself did you share?
I had a pretty vague profile. My face was not in the profile picture and I had two face pictures that were on private, so only people I allowed to view them were able to see who I actually was. My only interests listed were red wine and history.
3. Describe the profiles you saw—what kinds of photos did the men post, and how did their profiles generally read?
Lots of older men, mostly with no profile photos or very dated ones. Their profiles were definitely more filled out, but most of them were looking for intimacy and tried to phrase it in an eloquent way. It just came across as creepy for the most part. Some of them were looking for conversation and dinners, which is more along the lines of what I wanted.
4. What were your initial thoughts on using the app? What did you think of the sugar daddies available?
The app wasn’t as user friendly as I would have hoped, got a lot of messages from really old guys right off the bat which was a little off putting.
5. Can you share some of the weirdest messages you received and how you handled them?
The weirdest messages included me kicking them in the balls, sex during the work day and cheating on their wives. I usually didn’t answer those or made comments about how infidelity was some fucked up shit.
6. How did you make the decision to answer some men over others?
I replied to the guys who treated me like a person and not some online hooker—respectful questions about what I liked to do, the wine I liked and things of that nature. These guys definitely gave off a vibe of being more lonely and desperate for attention than sexually weird. Most of them traveled a lot for work and wanted someone to get dinner with while they were in the city.
7. How long did you use Seeking Arrangement and how often did you check the app/go on dates?
I used it actively for five to six months and checked it maybe once a day and less frequently towards the end. I went on maybe one or two dates a week and found one or two guys I saw consistently for dinner when they were in the city.
8. How much money did you make? And what are some of the other material gifts you received?
I made it clear that it was cash via PayPal only. Dinners ranged from $500 to $1,500 per dinner.
9. How did you spend that money?
I mostly spent the money on clothes and rent, and I saved some of it to move.
10. How many dates did you ultimately go on, and why did you stop using the app?
I went only roughly 20 to 30 dates, I would say. I stopped using the app once I moved and got sick of listening to these guys complain about not being able to find love/being lonely.
11. What were the boundaries you set and how did you have that conversation before meeting these men?
My boundaries were that nothing sexual was ever going to happen; I made that pretty clear after the initial few conversations on the app and, if that was amenable to them, then we would get dinner and potentially make it a regular occurrence. Anyone who brought up having some sort of sexual relationship was shut down.
12. Describe your first date with a sugar daddy.
My first date was with an older guy. His pictures made him look maybe mid-40s but, in reality, he was probably closer to 60. So that didn’t last long. He had gray hair, was maybe 5’10. We went out for a steak dinner and he paid for everything, then wired me $1,500 into my PayPal once the dinner was done. Aside from his obvious age difference, the conversation went well—until I found out he was a Trump supporter.
14. Did you have any concerns on these dates? On the contrary, what was the best part of going on them?
My biggest concern was always my safety, so whenever I met someone it was always in a public place. But it was interesting meeting these new people and figuring out why they would sign up for something like this. Making serious cash didn’t hurt either.
15. What about these guys? What were their reasons for wanting to take you out?
A few of them were divorced and lonely, or traveling often and didn’t want to spend all their time alone. One guy tried to use the app like you would Bumble, but I had to explain to him that, even if he was paying for dinner, he was also paying for my time because I wasn’t on this site to find someone I actually gave a fuck about as a person.
Photo: Getty Images/AlexVolot