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Sugar daddy websites growing in popularity

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At just 19 years old, Charlene Turner was looking for a way to pay for her education.

"I got what I wanted. I got to get the money that I needed to pursue for my schooling," Turner said.

She has her sugar daddies to thank now that she is graduating almost debt free with a massage therapy degree from Southeastern Institute in Charlotte.

About a year ago, Turner saw a news report about So she and a friend decided to sign up for fun.

It didn't take long for her inbox to be flooded by potential sugar daddies.

Turner said she was nervous to meet her potential sugar daddies, but her need for money outweighed her fears. She said there were other perks, too.

"When I need help, need gas money or need him to pay a light bill, he'll do it," Turner said.

She said she has had two sugar daddies in just a year and half. In that time, she has received more than $10,000.

"I'm not selling myself to be a prostitute or anything like that," Turner explained.

In North Carolina, there are about 40,000 sugar babies using

A similar website called believes its service is growing in popularity among college students. In the Triangle, Duke University has 41 sugar babies, 137 go to the University North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 52 attend North Carolina State University, 11 are at Shaw University, 14 go to North Carolina Central and 19 attend Campbell University, according to

"A lot of these relationships are derived from a business relationship where the sugar daddy man mentors the sugar baby in her future career goals," said spokesperson Alan Action Schneider. "It works out to a very honest discourse and there is a reciprocity and physical interaction like in any relationship, and it's definitely important."

Schneider is not only a spokesman for, he is a sugar daddy himself based in New York City.

"The bottom line is we all want to be loved. We all want to be respected and we all want to be cared about," Schneider said.

Turner said her experience with the men from hasn't always been about love. She said it started with the sugar daddy wanting to get to know her. But things escalated, involving money for photos or "inappropriate things."

Turner said one sugar daddy asked if he could suck her toes -- she let him.

She said a sugar daddy offered $500 to have sex with him -- she declined his offer.

Schneider said sex is a part of what many are looking for in their relationships through the website.

"I think sex is very important because in any substantial relationship, sex is a key ingredient. Without good sex, without good physical interaction, there could be a demise to a relationship just like in a marriage when you have bad sexual situations," he said.

Schneider was quick to point out that prostitution of any kind is not allowed on the website.

"It's a give and take. It's not just sex for money," Schneider said.

Turner said she needs a sugar daddy even if she has cut off the relationship with her previous men. She said they got too weird.

"I'm working two jobs and I'm going to school full-time, and I'm not even getting nowhere [sic]," she said.

She is keeping her account open in hopes of meeting other men through the site.

The North Carolina Attorney General's Office said it has not looked into sugar daddy websites as there have not been enough complaints about them.

Eileen Park

Eileen joined WNCN after years of working as a foreign correspondent. During her time off, she enjoys relaxing with her dogs, reading, and exploring the Triangle. More>>

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