Seeking Arrangement: Is it a form of prostitution?

ABOVE: Global’s Aalia Adam interviews a Montreal “sugar baby”.

MONTREAL – The growing trend known as ‘seeking arrangement’ has become more and more popular, especially among students.

Here in Montreal, McGill University ranked second on the website’s list of top 20 fastest growing sugar baby schools.

The site promises to hook-up wealthy men — or sugar daddies — with younger women known as sugar babies.

The concept begs the questions, is this a form of prostitution?

WATCH: Sugar babies at McGill University

Spokesperson for Seeking Arrangement Brook Urick insists, it’s simply the future of dating.

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“Prostitution is illegal and it’s clearly stated on our site in our terms that we don’t allow escorts on our site.” 

Global News met with a 24-year-old who claims to be a sugar baby.

‘Isabelle’ would not reveal her real name and Global News could not verify any of what she told us.

She said she’s a student at Université de Montréal and she was recently having trouble making ends meet.

She turned to looking for help.

“It’s a way to go to school and not stress too much and focus on my studies,” she explained.

“I don’t have to work 20 hours, so that’s the reason.”

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Her 45-year-old benefactor has been supporting her financially for the past five months.

“He’s paying for the place where I live, and if I need things like a laptop for school, he will buy me one.”

Isabelle claims they see each other twice a month and have not had sex, yet.

“I really thought I would but I don’t know, he just wants to take his time and doesn’t want to make it feel like it’s an arrangement.”

Isabelle’s situation may just be an exception.

Dating expert Frank Kermit has met with a number clients who used to be sugar babies and sugar daddies.

He told Global News “the majority of people who get involved in this want sex and that’s what it comes down to.” He doesn’t consider the arrangement very different from prostitution.

“There’s still expectations, there’s still an exchange but it’s considered a little bit easier on people’s souls to get involved in this manner.”

According to McGill ethics professor Margaret Somerville, arrangements that trade company for cash, devalue our real human connections.

“It’s a terrible loss for individuals and it’s a terrible loss for society,” Somerville said.

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“I’m really hopeful that the younger generation will re-think this and come back with a different approach to it.”

Seeking Arrangement insists it’s just a dating website that helps people like Isabelle find someone who’s willing to help out, in exchange for companionship and romance.

An option for some, but morally questionable to others.

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