I'm going to recap a bit, so if you've been following the story here, you can skip to the second paragraph. I've been playing around with a new project for the past month or so. It started with a couple of videos I created with Plotagon. I kinda fell in love with Jessie James, the main character, and ended up creating what is now a series of fifteen videos and a supporting blog and Twitter account. As the plot developed, Jessie signed up her arch nemesis, Lizzie, to Seeking Arrangements, a RL site that connects wealthy men with girls who want to be supported financially. As mentioned last week, I signed Lizzie up on the actual site so I could get a screenshot to use on the blog.
The Sugar Daddy story line started out being played for laughs. I thought it was an exaggerated caricature of what were certainly isolated relationships. But an email from Seeking Arrangements brought home that what's going on is not much different than a line of prostitutes standing in front of visitors to a brothel. This is an un-retouched screenshot from the email.
I'm about as liberal as they come when it comes to sexual choices. And there's nothing inherently wrong about a woman trading sex and companionship for money. And vice versa. But I can't ignore the history of patriarchy and financial inequality that supports this particular sex trade that hooks up young girls and old men. The flesh and blood daughters of these Sugar Daddies get to go to top colleges on free rides from their biological parents. The girls who turn to sites like Seeking Arrangement have to trade their bodies for tuition money from Sugar Daddies.
Yeah, I know that every Sugar Baby isn't a poor college girl with a heart of gold, and that some Sugar Daddies are just lonely men who can't otherwise find companionship. But this email seems to indicate that it's basically a meat market. So people can make fun of Second Life all they want for furry fetishes and gender-swapping cheaters, but it's nothing compared to what goes on in RL. Not even close.