See Where 'Sugar Daddy' Matt Gaetz Looked for 'Sugar Babies'

Saturday April 10, 2021
Originally published on April 8, 2021

Matt Gaetz
Matt Gaetz  (Source:Associated Press)

In their reporting on the Matt Gaetz scandal, New York Times reported the Florida GOP congressman and Joel Greenberg, the Florida pol who is in custody for federal sex trafficking charges and other crimes, used a website called Seeking Arrangement to meet young women.

"Seeking Arrangement is a dating website dedicated to matching financially well-off 'sugar daddies' with attractive 'sugar babies' seeking partners who can provide them with "the finer things in life," writes Slate in a report on Gaetz. The site also advertises itself as a resource for people to obtain financial aid for student debt through support from wealthy partners.

"We provide relationships on your terms," promises Seeking Arrangement on their home page. "Where Sugar Babies enjoy a life of luxury by being pampered with fine dinners, exotic trips and allowances. In turn, Sugar Daddies or Mommas find beautiful members to accompany them at all times."

"The site was founded in 2006 by entrepreneur Brandon Wade, who came up with the idea while attending the Massachusetts Institute of Technology," writes Slate. "Seeking Arrangement now has 20 million users. Wade has repeatedly contended that the site prohibits users from paying for sex and that it is not an outlet for sex work, though previous reports indicate that it's been commonplace for sugar daddies to provide sugar babies with cash after dates, some of which have involved sex."

"We want to drive people to talk honestly on the first date about who they are and what they expect to gain from a relationship, just like you discuss in any business relationship and any business arrangement," Wade told the New York Times in a 2018 report on "sugar dating."

"If anything, a 'sugar baby' hoping to find a lasting arrangement with 'a good provider' should withhold sex for as long as possible, said the thrice-divorced Mr. Wade, who also runs other dating sites including OpenMinded.com, which promotes so-called 'ethical cheating.' 'The moment you give sex, you have lost all your power,' " he told the Times.

"Sugar daddies (and some sugar mommies) pay monthly fees of $99 a month, which allows them unlimited access to the profiles of sugar babies, who join the website for free. ("Diamond" memberships for sugar daddies cost $200 per month and provide sugar parents with search engine optimization and top-of-page promotion for their profiles)," reported the Times.

What Gaetz's membership level was is not known, but "Gaetz may have left a trail of evidence that could leave him more legally exposed than the average user of Seeking Arrangement," adds Slate. "Paying for a date's flights or hotel rooms isn't illegal; it's pretty much just a more expensive version of taking someone out to dinner. However, Times reporters viewed receipts of Apple Pay and Cash App payments that Gaetz made to one of the women allegedly involved in the scandal. One source claimed to the Times that Gaetz told the women to say that the payments were for dinners and hotel rooms, when in actuality they were explicitly for sex."

Central to the scandal is Gaetz's relationship with Greenberg, who is currently in custody "awaiting trial on a wide-ranging 33-count indictment alleging a host of financial crimes, stalking, identity theft and sex trafficking a minor, all of which have become national news because of his close association with Rep. Matt Gaetz, the Florida Republican congressman fighting for his political life," writes Politico.

Both men were elected during the 2016 Trump wave "and became close friends because of their shared interest in brash populist politics, cryptocurrencies and attractive young women."

"Joel idolized Matt, said one mutual friend, who declined to be named," Politico adds. "And since they both loved beautiful women and Joel seemed to have endless access to them, it was definitely an additional incentive for Matt to stick around. Also, Joel is one of the funnest people you can hang out with."

"The two shared more than one girlfriend, according to interviews with eight friends and associates who know the two men. Gaetz described Greenberg as a 'wingman' to some acquaintances, and even promoted him as a potential congressional candidate. Now some suspect Greenberg might be cooperating with prosecutors to build a case against Gaetz."

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