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Thursday, November 19, 2020

Data Revealed That Pinays With Sugar Daddies Spiked Amid Pandemic



The COVID-19 pandemic left millions of Filipinos, including women who lacked the job opportunity that they once had. The widespread use of social media among Filipinas also impacted this current spike of women with sugar daddies. Sugarbook is one of the websites that provided women who call themselves sugar babies another way to make ends meet, get financial support from sugar daddies from overseas, and even here in the Philippines.


Pinay Sugar Daddy, Sugarbook
Image: SugarBook

In a somewhat controversial feature editorial by ABS-CBN News, an issue was raised in this current trend is dangerous? or empowering?
 The Philippines' huge English-speaking population is a thriving ground for American men and other foreigners who are also looking for a partner on the other side of the globe. The language and communication barrier is practically nonexistent due to most Filipinas' proficiency in the English language. It might seem harmless, but some women's rights activists or feminists are disturbed by this current trend.



In the article as mentioned earlier, data was presented about the demographics of those who signed up on the Sugarbook website. The demographic or age group that consists of the newest signups came from college students. In the new normal of education, the tuition fees are still roughly the same even though there are no physical classes—factors such as parents or guardians having their livelihoods affected by the pandemic such as unemployment or underemployment.  


Pinay Sugar Daddy, Sugarbook
Image: Asian Money Guide

Data submitted by Sugarbook also state that most of the new signups occurred during the most critical periods of the ECQ or Enhanced Community Quarantine enforced in Metro Manila and other areas from March to August 2020. While most of the signups came from the National Capital Region, there are also huge concentrations of signups in CALABARZON, Central Visayas, and other urban regions outside the capital. 


There is a more than 60 percent increase of new users or members of the sites during the worst period of the pandemic. Most of the new members are women who are often labeled as sugar babies. According to the data, the breakdown of new members goes like this: 28,310 sugar babies (ages 18 to 34), 46% are students. Other top signups are from women in the entertainment industry (15%) and the hospitality industry (10%), and the remaining 29 percent comes from different sectors or demographics. 


Pinay Sugar Daddy, Sugarbook
Image: ABS-CBN News


"Where romance meets finance" is the official tagline of Sugar Book, a site launched by a Malaysian businessman named Darren Chan in 2017, a year when dating sites and sites such as Tinder, Bumble, and OkCupid are getting mainstream attention. In an interview with ABS-CBN News, he states: "Unlike sexual workers, sugar babies are not forced into labor. Sugar babies have the freedom of choice, and they do not sell their bodies. They are single mothers, divorcees, homemakers, or students who are driven, successful, and goal-empowered to date financially secured people. 


There is a stigma regarding the dyad of Sugar Daddy and Sugar Baby. The stigma brought by beliefs that this arrangement often leads to abuse and dissolution of some marriages because of online dating. Women's rights activists often believe that these sites can be a channel for human trafficking and other abuses perpetrated towards women. Darren Chan may have intended the website to produce May-December romances, not the other way around. However, these possibilities of untoward incidents against women still haunt people concerned about women's rights.

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