Houston student describes her experience as 'sugar baby'

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For Asha, a first-year graduate student at the University of Houston, it all started with a conversation at an eyelash extension appointment. She told her friend that she might soon have a difficult time paying for everything and that she wasn't sure what she was going to do.

"So she asked me, 'Well, have you ever heard about this thing? Have you ever heard about being a 'sugar baby' before?,' and I was like, 'No, I would not do that,' and I left that day kind of in a huff and I just thought about it and thought about it and thought about it and researched it a bunch and I thought, 'You know what, I might as well talk to her about it again," describes Asha. Her friend suggested the website Seeking Arrangements, a place for 'sugar babies' to find their 'sugar daddies' and soon after she started an account, she went on a first date.

"This sounded real and the guy was really nice and he agreed to all of my terms, which were that it's a relationship and he just kind of supports me through grad school," says Asha.

The man agreed to her terms, a relationship and nothing physical unless she decided it was OK further on. He gave her two months worth of money to support her and after that, decided to end things. Asha talked to him on the phone and through video chat a handful of times, but only actually saw him in person once.
 
"$2,500 the first month, $3,000 the second month, $3,500 the third month, $4,000 the month after that and we would just keep it there if things were going well," adds Asha. She isn't the only college student doing this, according to Seeking Arrangements. There are many students using the website. Around 191 at the University of Houston, 106 at Texas Southern University, 39 at Rice University, 714 at the University of Texas, 78 at Texas A&M University and 15 at Houston Baptist University.

FOX 26 News met with attorney Cordt Akers to determine what was legal and what was not.
 
"If sex is part of the agreement, if you are saying, I will give you 'x' if you will give me or perform 'y,' then it is illegal," says Akers, who works with the Cogdell Law Firm in downtown Houston. "If it is just a byproduct of the agreement, or something that just happens to occur, then you're in the clear."

Asha recently decided to switch online services and around three weeks ago, met her current boyfriend. She says he's a medical professional in his late 50s with beautiful eyes. They have gone on a handful of dates and she says things are going well. Still, she stands strong and says that just like any other relationship, she will not be physically intimate with him, until she's ready. She also says she no longer has to worry about paying rent, college tuition, bills, groceries or being able to go out with her sister and friends.

"We just clicked on, it wasn't or it didn't feel like an arrangement or anything," says Asha. "It went well, yeah, we are still seeing each other."

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