Are Women Trading Sex for Health Care?

SeekingArrange
A website is helping women find sugar daddies to pay their premiums. Courtesy of SeekingArrangement

Obamacare might be making a lof of rich, lonely men very happy. And that isn’t a reference to the U.S. Senate.

SeekingArrangement.com, which bills itself as the “largest online dating community for ‘Sugar’ dating,” says the number of women writing in their profiles that they want help with health care jumped 83 percent since October 1. In the past two weeks, the company says, one third of the 24,000 women who signed up listed health care as “part of their ideal arrangement.” (There are some men seeking men and Sugar Mammas seeking babies, too, but the overwhelming majority of the members are daddies seeking baby women, according to the company.)

The website has launched an ad blitz to “educate women about the benefits of having a Sugar Daddy… The newest benefit? The benefit of having someone pay for your rising health care premiums.”

SeekingArrangement.com’s campaign includes a billboard in Dallas that reads: “Don’t get Screwed by Obamacare, Find a Sugar Daddy.” The sign features the profile of a woman in a short, tight black dress lying on her stomach; a stethoscope dangles from the heel of one of her red pumps.

In a new YouTube video, a male announcer boasts that SeekingArrangement.com can connect babies with a sugar daddy who will foot the bill for insurance, “no strings attached.” The man puts on a white doctor’s coat and walks into a waiting room, then selects a busty brunette from a row of leggy, scantily clad women. He leads her into a silver sports car, saying, “If you’re an attractive female, or a male, if that’s what you’re into, the door is always open for you.”

The PR push comes at a time when the financial viability of Obamacare continues to be challenged by reports of lackluster enrollment numbers -- especially among the young. In order to fiscally succeed, insurance applicants must reflect a broad range of ages, and health statuses. But young people aren’t signing up as hoped, while older persons (who are more likely to have expensive medical conditions) are.  And too many of the latter threaten to throw off the system’s balance, meaning that prices could go up for everyone, according to reports.

Brandon Wade, SeekingArrangement.com’s founder and CEO, tells Newsweek that arrangement-seekers are increasingly worried about their lack of insurance or the new requirement to get insurance under the Affordable Care Act, and “they’re trying to find a way of funding it.”

He is uncomfortable with the notion that his website is encouraging people to trade sex for health care, but doesn’t completely dispute it.

“In a way it’s true; in a way it’s not,” he says. “The website really promotes relationships that are mutually beneficial. Obviously, people are trying to set a higher standard in terms of who they date. They understand that in today’s society, unfortunately, there are real life financial challenges. They’d rather date somebody who could alleviate these financial challenges.”

He maintains that the website promotes a relationship “that is empowering, that meets your needs.”

To that end, the company will put up more health care-centric billboards – though Wade has not been able to do so in his target market, he laments.

“We tried to get one up in Washington D.C., but it was a big challenge for us,” he says. “None of the billboard vendors would do billboards with ‘Obama’ in them.”

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