WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — An online dating website which bills itself as “The World’s Largest Sugar Daddy Dating Website” says it has recorded a 50 percent jump in average daily sign-ups since the start of the government shutdown.
SeekingArrangement.com claims its traffic has seen a dramatic rise in people seeking “sugar daddies,” which Merriam-Webster defines as: “A well-to-do usually older man who supports or spends lavishly on a mistress, girlfriend, or boyfriend.”
Similarly, WhatsYourPrice.com – which allows first-dates to the highest bidder – has reported a similar massive increase in daily signups since last Sunday despite the fall typically being a slow time of year for such financial matching websites.
“We usually have a lull in September and October,” Seeking Arrangement’s public relations manager Jennifer Gwynn told NPR. “For us to peak at the end of the month in September, and this week in general, it makes no sense for us to have a growth like this.”
Loss of funds and a quick-fix for cash from the federal government shutdown are being attributed as factors for the websites’ current success. Seeking Arrangement’s website says it always free for “Sugar Babies,” and says the site is for matchmaking between “successful and wealthy benefactors, and attractive guys and girls.”
“Half of the new members are single moms, so we’re thinking that it’s tied directly to the government shutdown, since programs like WIC (the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children), that help more than 9 million moms, have been stalled. It would make no sense for growth otherwise.”
Users of WhatsYourPrice.com have the possibility of earning an average of $80 for accepting a date with the highest bidder.
Seeking Arrangment noted another tie to the government shutdown: the worldwide website only saw a membership spike in the U.S. since last Sunday, and difficult economic times commonly encourage traffic to such dating websites.
“Since the recession the site has experienced tremendous growth, tripling its membership base to over 2 million members since 2008,” Gwynn told NPR.
The federal government shutdown continues into its second week, with Democrat and Republican lawmakers still in disagreement as the country continues toward an Oct. 17 deadline to raise the debt ceiling or face a first-ever default on financial obligations.
— Benjamin Fearnow