It has taken me a while to respond to the article "Could You Lend Me Some $ugar, Sugar?" for a number of reasons, one of them being that I did not know if it was even worthy of a reply.
The contention that trading for a sugar daddy is "prostitution camouflaged as profitable companionship, but “prostitution” connotes a person offering their body as a commodity for an unworthy purpose" is what raised my hackles. Did the author of this article, slap it together as a form of titillation, a piece of warbled upper class 'gazing' at 'what the rest of them are doing'? Did 'she' even for one moment think about body as commodity and what is 'unworthy purpose'? My dear sista writer, all our bodies are commodified and paid for by whoever makes it possible for us to don our Gucci jeans and tottering heels!
In an overtly consumerist culture as ours we all whore ourselves for one or another purpose and to think that one is more worthy than the other is just sheer vacuous rambling. I would strongly urge you contact SWEAT and spend a week with them to see whether having to prostitute oneself is an unworthy purpose and if being a sugar baby is so glamorous. Two kids or more at home, school fees to pay and a drunk for a husband, or more likely an absent one, provides some people with no choices! Students who can access funding to study whilst amusing your bourgeoisie readership with their titillating sexual escapades so that they have what they need are perhaps not much better off, but their future prospects certainly look better - assuming they actually make it to the finishing line.
"The concept is still taking off in South Africa"....where have you been for the last century? Slavery, racism and class struggle will show you that South Africa has had a violent and torrid history of women and men who have had to submit themselves to exploitation, sexual and otherwise. Our country has one of the highest rape statistics worldwide as well as high levels of gender inequity and homophobia all laced with violence and substance abuse. Does our situation really need to be compared to, say, the US as this article purports - a story lifted and 'fitted' over our situation - really?
The serious financial situations that men and women, both sex workers and students, find themselves in should not have to be "glammed" up for cheap thrill. Maybe that was not the intent, but I know the nature of media minds enough to know that sex sells - and media lust for money, ratings and readership sell sex remarkably well. And anyway, who said that being a sugar baby is not in and of itself just plain "lekka"?
Publish or don't, I don't care, but I think the writer needs to spend a week at SWEAT - and how about the whole editorial board?