"Does the money make me more attractive than I really am?"
I know those are words have pummeled the lips of many of you out there, bursting to be heard. You swallow them with your pride, just in case the answer might be, well, yes.
So perhaps you might be one of the 300,000 who populate Seekingarrangement.com, a site that tries to bring together those who have money (and are, by virtue of the virtues of capitalism, older) and younger things who wish to earn money in exchange for being, in the site's immaculate vernacular, sugar babies.
Seekingarrangement.com is profiled at some glorious length in Sunday's New York Times and one could scarcely think of a more appropriate subject for Easter Sunday. Here we have luminous Hefners in search of, hopefully, bed-hopping bunnies.
Indeed, the CEO of the site, Brandon Wey, decided to take on the name Brandon Wade. Because, he told the Times, it sounded more Hefneresque.
The Times' story is full of enchanting students who need money and pampering with the so-called finer things in life. You know, Fendi purses, Pucci dresses, and broccoli boiled in gold leaf. Of course, these finer things also may include hanging out with an old, balding, paunchy dude who just happens to have a black American Express card.
The site itself explains it in far more lyrical (and historical) terms: "In the past, Kings, Shahs and Emperors have had multiple lovers or concubines. It is human instinct to be attracted to beauty, as it is to be attracted to wealth and power."
Well, this human instinct seems to lead (mostly) men, who have to pay to be on the site, and women, who don't, to seek each other out for mutually beneficial relationships.
These arrangements are described in quite loving detail in the Times: sugar daddies who begin to feel real affection for their babies; sugar daddies who get jealous when they discover that their babies actually have nonpaying boyfriends at college; sugar daddies who have sour breath that kills their baby's sweetness.
But the hero of the piece is Sam.
Sam's goal is not rhythm. It is algorithm. He treats Seekingarrangement.com as the perfect scientific experiment. He establishes a trust in his sugar baby's name that pays $5,000 a month. Each daddy/baby relationship is a fixed-term contract. The money continues to flow even if the river of the lady's love experiences an unexpected drought.
Sam always has a fixed budget and even has quarterly reviews to assess progress. Naturally, he has certain exigencies--no tats, no implants, no veggies, for example.
But here is the bad news for everyone out there--those working for Google and those not--who believe that life can be boiled down to rational constructs: Sam has found little evidence that spending more money brings a better quality of relationship.
And so humanity trudges on, in desperate search of its own salvation in the arms and bank account of another.
Do you see any hope, people? Any hope at all?