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Using matchmaking websites like Seeking Arrangement, a growing number of university students have been signing up online as “Sugar Babies,” offering to enter into romantic and/or sexual relationships with wealthy, older males — a.k.a., Sugar Daddies.

(Though most Sugar Babies are women, there are some men who sign up as Sugar Babies in search of Sugar Mamas).

This may sound like high-class prostitution, but in reality it’s more like advanced gold digging.

Seeking Arrangement, for example, is set up like a dating service; Sugar Daddies don’t select Sugar Babies and don’t expect sex for a set price.

Babies and Daddies choose each other and discuss sex and financial compensation when and if it suits them (Hint: it usually does).

Like prostitution, this isn’t even remotely a new phenomenon.

Media around the world, (including the Star) have covered Sugar Babies for years.What is brand new, though, is its exploding popularity on Canadian campuses.According to Seeking Arrangement’s annual ranking, released this month, “Sugar Baby sign-ups” among university students in Canada have increased by 21 per cent over the last year.The trend is particularly pronounced at the University of Toronto (where the site saw 133 new Sugar Baby recruits), the University of Guelph (122 ), and Mc Gill University in Montreal (110).Mackson Mc Dowall, a 60-year-old former lawyer who lives in Niagara Falls (he practised immigration law in the United States and was disbarred in the mid-2000s for commingling funds) has contributed financially to Sugar Babies at York University (his alma mater) and Princeton University in the United States.In an interview, he said he attributes the increased student presence on the site to a heightened appetite among young people for “fun and excitement.”“If you had a choice between a Shakespeare play in Stratford, Ontario, or a Shakespeare play in London England, which would you choose? Sugar Daddies, Mc Dowall argues, can afford to take their Sugar Babies somewhere exotic, whereas university aged guys probably can’t.“Maybe they can take them to Buffalo for chicken wings.” Seeking Arrangement, Mc Dowall said, “expands horizons.” Chicken wings, one presumes, don’t.