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Sugar Daddies: Sleazy, smart or scary?

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TAMPA, Fla. -

You can find the original report from WFLA by clicking here.

Some young women are paying off those staggering student loans in a way that is frightening. They often live lavish lifestyles as they, in turn, provide companionship to wealthy men.

It's called "sugaring." Some say it's sleazy, but some like “Jenny” say it's smart.

"I think it is smart," she said. "You have to do what you gotta do to get ahead, so make it happen."

For the 22-year-old college grad the sugar baby life is sweet. No bills, no debt. Her entire $100,000 college debt was paid for.

She says her decision to become a “sugar baby” gives her a sense of freedom.

“If I wanna get up and do something, I have the means to do it."

Jenny wanted to share her story, but didn't want to show her face. She was afraid her parents might find out.

"People will judge me for doing this, and I can't stop them. They have their preconceived notions about it.  No matter what I say they'll have that."

For Jenny, becoming a sugar baby was easy. In fact, her friend encouraged her to sign up for free online. Before she knew it, dozens of wealthy, older men were contacting her for companionship. In the end, she met a 55-year-old global businessman.

“He was a nice guy, but I wasn't attracted to him in that manner," Jenny said. "I knew what it was when I was coming into it, so I didn't want lines crossed."

Jenny describes their arrangement as a friendship.  No sex, no romance. Basically, he was a buddy who was willing to spend big bucks.

“I think it's mutually beneficial to both partners. Everyone is getting what they want at the end of the day."

For Jenny,  it was all about economics, not emotion.  He paid the bills, she maintains, and that's it.

There were all-expense paid trips to Miami for Jenny and her friends. But, when he wanted more, offering lavish getaways to Africa and France, fancy holiday presents and even a relationship, Jenny declined. 

She claims that was never the agreement.

Jenny feels her arrangement was a good one.

"If a guy wants to talk with you just to talk and you're gonna benefit from it. You should go ahead and do it.  No reason why you shouldn't."

But is it legal?

According to, "A sugar daddy relationship becomes prostitution when there is a specific agreement to exchange cash or material possessions for sex."

"That agreement usually must be explicit and consummate almost immediately, which is why most sugar daddies are legal.  Couples tend to arrange their relationship so sex is not an explicit or dominant requirement."

The website said instead, couples usually agree to social events, companionship and compensation.

And finally, is finding a sugar daddy smart?

Rebekah Begay with “Awakening Hope” has seen similar decisions take a very dark turn.

Begay survived a life that began with a man making promises only to follow those promises by taking her freedom.

KULR-8 showed her Jenny’s story prior to airing it on Local News at 10.

 “I always like to look at it like your signing with the devil," Begay said. "I mean to be honest... That's honesty! You're signing with something that's evil and no matter what these guys want to say to you you are literally signing your whole body and who you are to them.”

Even in silhouette Begay was studying Jenny's body language.

"She will never get away from it, and she knows that," Begay said. "You heard it in her voice. As soon as I heard it in her voice I was like… you know right then she clearly signed something that she knows she can never get out of. She's going to play it okay to show that she still has the upper hand and she doesn't. I did the same thing."

Begay adds that the woman choosing not to show her face is telling as well.

"My biggest takeaway is just knowing the pain behind the story. That's my biggest takeaway. I look at it and I'm like… that's not her. She's lying and that's what breaks my heart, because I already know the girl behind that is scared. That's why she doesn't show her picture."

One last thought from Begay: She encourages parents to be pushy. She says you should know what's going on your kid’s life and with whom they are in a relationship.