In today’s world, gone are the days when sponsorship was meant for people who performed well in school and needed financial assistance to further their studies.
In Kenya, it has come to everyone’s attention that “old is the new thing” which is evident in the soaring number of young women seeking companionship from older guys in exchange for financial favors.
So who is a sponsor? In case you are wondering, a sponsor is a person who funds a young lady’s comfort and expenses, and in return, she has to satisfy him either emotionally or sexually. The lass engages in sexual and emotional relations with the man with the intention of gaining some material wealth from it.
The deed is highly frowned upon in the society but the willing participants usually go far and beyond to keep the fire of their romance burning despite criticism. Contrary to the traditional meaning of sponsors, it is a matter of dating an older person who is willing to share with you their ‘retirement benefits’ in exchange for sexual favors or to simply enjoy their sunset years with you.
The title sponsor has seemingly christened sugar dating in the society and particularly amongst young women, the prevalence of sponsorship relationships in Kenya is relatively high. In a bid to defend themselves, the women involved say the culture provides an opportunity to make money in an exciting way that complements their student life and less hard work.
The downside transactional sex with older folks is some of the women report abuse and threats to their health and safety but most choose to overlook the violence monster since they will eventually have the keys to the high life like traveling, shopping, and dining in places they would otherwise not have been able to set foot in.
Studies show 1 in 5 women at the university in major cities and towns currently have or have had a sponsor in their lives.
Is sponsorship acceptable?
While it may sound attractive and lucrative venture to some, the majority of people create shame in being associated with having a sponsor naming it modern-day prostitution. Love makes sponsored relationships more socially acceptable, but it is a very uncommontype of relationship at the same time.
In the modern-day sponsorship, the sugar baby is at a higher risk because of his or her dependency on the sponsor’s money, which gives the sponsor more power in the relationship.
The sponsee, despite the gender, loses power in the relationship because of their dependence on what the sponsor has to offer, in this case; money and other luxuries.
Additionally, it is highly discouraged and such relationships are not healthy because they are not rooted in love or affection.
This frowned upon act has increased due to certain factors like unemployment among the youth who crave to live beyond their means and they sell their bodies and get exploited for their sexual value for financial gains.
Basically, sponsors are a way of looking for a shortcut in life but to each his own. A person who decides to follow that path has good reasons for it although it’s highly discoured by society.
Who qualifies to be a sponsor?
According to online criteria, not any old random guy qualifies to be a sponsor. Young ladies who scout for such men are usually quick to pinpoint who fits the description according to the following financial qualities.
- One must be financially stable, and preferably rich.
- The man must have a car or a couple of them at least
- Should exhibit generosity with his finances
- He should be or have been in a long term commitment with another lady (wife).
- Age doesn’t really matter as long as the wallet is thick
- He MUST be willing to finance the woman’s needs
- To some, he doesn’t have to necessarily be physically attractive or good in bed. Money compensates for those.
These financial qualities explain why most young men get frustrated at the mention of sponsors since they face the burden of trying to compete with the heavily loaded old men who measure up to the young lady. The competition is very stiff, where the money is the shortcut and young women, the price. Potential and promising boyfriends are sadly being sieved out by other ladies because of sponsors.
The norm is increasingly becoming bold and evident in society and sponsors have several times fallen victims of criticism for leaving their wives for these young and sexy women who lure them with their attractiveness and desperation for money. Their wives have formed associations to take down these young ladies to a point of calling them “husband-snatchers”
Why do some young ladies choose sponsors?
The big question is why do ladies do this? Each sugar baby has their reason for doing this. For others, it’s financial while some younger ladies genuinely prefer dating significantly older men.
Other reasons could be;
Financial benefits-Some ladies imply that the main reason is usually the lucrative benefits that come with having a sponsor. These young ladies are at times driven by the wild desire to live lavishly at a young age and maintaining the expensive lifestyle that requires them to commit themselves to transactional sex with the ”loaded men” as they say. Morality has been overcome by the thirst for luxury to the extent of trading their bodies to older and mature married men just to have a grip at that expensive lifestyle.
Daddy issues-Some girls have also grown up in unstable families with father issues or absentee fathers and therefore end up lacking a father figure in their lives. In turn, they seek older men who will listen to them, advise them, and take care of them as their own daughters by forming a special bond. Such naive girls won’t mind trading sex with the sponsors who in turn fill the fatherly gap in their lives.
Previously bad relationships-Also, some ladies have been through hell and emotional wrecks in their lives with men possibly from their age groups. These ladies justify that younger men nowadays don’t know how to love and they are mainly after sex. Some claim the young men rarely understand how to appreciate a woman while the older men treat them in an appreciative and special way.
Peer pressure-These women embracing the culture join this bandwagon after seeing their fellow young ladies living the life they desire while they are still stuck at a lower financial level. It has also played a major role when it comes to influencing more women to take up sponsors and experience the much-coveted lifestyle. Girls who get into this have a hard time quitting as long as their friends continue to date sponsors.
Some older men are considered romantic and caring-Some sugar babies believe that older men are more loving, caring, and gentle which most younger men are believed to lack. To most young ladies apparently. It’s a more convenient option than having a boyfriend.
Too lazy to work hard – Interested ladies scout for very old sponsors with the aim of inheriting their wealth as soon as they pass on. These old men become a ‘Retirement plan’ for most of the young ladies out there who are too lazy to work hard and create their own wealth and build their future independently.
Status quo-Elevation of the status quo is what naive get attracted to sponsors because of the high positions they hold in society or the careers they have. Some girls entertain politicians to get the entitlement and power that comes with associating with a man of power.
Young ladies scout for such breed of men from different venues like high-end restaurants and clubs while others take advantage of social media’s vast digital space to scout for prospective sponsors. Therefore, social media contributes hugely to the possibilities of landing a sponsor.
Clubs have also become a hotbed for sponsors and rich men who are thirsty to have some fun with young ladies. Big cities and high-end clubs have become very popular for hosting young ladies who are on the hunting mission for rich and influential men. Classy events and conferences have also emerged as another potential scouting ground for sponsors and sponsees.
Some foreigners also trust their taxi guys to find them ladies within the city for a good time when they land in the country.
Types of girls who keep sponsors
Escorts-These ladies seek sponsors who will potentially shower their lavish lifestyle with money and in return look good for the sponsors. Sexual attachment may or may not be necessarily involved.
Short time flings-Here, the girl looks for instant cash by trading sex for a very short period of time and then moves on to the next sponsor.
Baby Mamas-Some women intentionally get pregnant so as to trap the sponsor and leverage on child support to get their lifestyle funded until the child is old enough.
Long term contracts-The “sponsored” lady gets into a long term exclusivity with the sponsor and trades sex for cash for a longer period of time, maybe many years, and some graduate to second wives but are not officially recognized by the family or colleagues and even bear children for them.
All in all, young girls should be discouraged from adopting this culture because it involves transactional sex for material gain. The move is not sustainable and morally upright since it’s a shortcut to a comfortable lifestyle.