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Secrets of Sugar Dating BBC documentary reveals 1,000 University of Kent students from Canterbury and Medway are being paid to date 'sugar daddies'


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More than 1,000 students from the University of Kent could be turning to "sugar daddies" to finance their studies - a higher number than at any other uni in the country.

Secrets of Sugar Baby Dating, a BBC Three documentary which aired last night, revealed how websites are targeting cash-strapped students by promising them quick money.

They match the so-called "sugar babies" with older men - who they are paid to date.

The largest of these websites, Seeking Arrangements, offers a premium membership to those signing up with their university email. It claims to have registered more than 1,000 students from Kent - which has campuses in Canterbury and Medway.

It is claimed 1,000 students from the University of Kent are sugar dating. Picture: BBC Three.
It is claimed 1,000 students from the University of Kent are sugar dating. Picture: BBC Three.
One woman, Valentina, says the average sugar baby can earn up to £3,000 a month
One woman, Valentina, says the average sugar baby can earn up to £3,000 a month

The university page of its website boasts that becoming a sugar baby can earn students an average of £2,900 monthly, and also comes with "networking opportunities, career or business advantages".

One student, Yasmin, who considered signing up, told interviewer Tiffany Sweeney sugar dating is increasingly seen as similar to online dating via sites like Tinder or Plenty of Fish.

Although the 20-year-old decided against it, she says she became curious about the prospect after learning a friend was earning £300 in a single day.

"Some people want company, so you'd meet the person just to have dinner with them, talk to them for a few hours. Other people would want maybe sex or a relationship," she explains.

University of Kent student Yasmin, 20 (12290974)
University of Kent student Yasmin, 20 (12290974)

"It's just easy money. I could get £500 of my rent done. I could do that three times a week.

"Obviously as a student it's very difficult with money. I don't have a full-time job, I work part-time, and I would get less than that in a whole month.

"With rent to pay, living costs, it is really difficult. Seeing friends do it, it's quite tempting.

"Being a part of Instagram, Twitter, [with] so many social media public figures - seeing their lifestyle, it's like I want that. I want instant money as well.

"I just think the repercussions aren't really spoken about. Even if it's at uni, or between friends, it's quite difficult to talk about it without being judged."

Across the UK, half a million students are said to be signed up to Seeking Arrangements.

Lecturer Caitlin has been offering advice to students about sugar dating (12290977)
Lecturer Caitlin has been offering advice to students about sugar dating (12290977)
The University of Kent featured in the BBC Three documentary (12290986)
The University of Kent featured in the BBC Three documentary (12290986)

In an effort to support young students considering entering such relationships, media and culture lecturer Caitlin has been offering an open-door policy to those who want advice.

"Sugar dating websites tend to claim that it's all above board, but not a lot of information is provided on these sites. We don't hold them accountable in any way. This is why we see the targetting of young people," she said.

"Women are more accessible than ever before, and people who want to abuse that access can do that quite freely."

The University of Kent have been approached for comment.

Read more: All the latest news from Canterbury

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