HOUSTON - Hundreds of Houston women have turned to a controversial website to earn, in some cases, thousands of dollars per month.
The website, seekingarrangement.com, bills itself as a "the elite sugar daddy dating site for those seeking mutually beneficial relationships."
"I have had guys meet me out and take me to dinner, and the next time they took me to dinner they gave me $400," one female website user said.
Typically, women post profiles, and sometimes revealing photos, along with their height, weight and the amount of money they expect to be gifted per month in return for their company.
Some women require less than $1,000 per month, some expect upwards of $20,000 per month.
"I mean, I am attractive, so why not use it to my advantage?" college student Hannah Harper said.
The website specifically warns potential clients not to use it for prostitution, but critics, and even some police agencies, don't buy it.
Former police investigator Tom Berry is convinced the majority of women who use seekingarrangement.com do not understand how dangerous meeting strangers on the Internet can be, especially in the wake of the "Cragslist killer" case.
Another case also highlights the risks.
Recently, in Detroit, two women were found dead in the trunks of cars. They had advertised their escort services on backapage.com.
"They risk their lives in doing that. It's just a way of life. They think they're smarter than the next guy, and they're not," Berry said.
The website's creator insists there are strict rules noted on the website and seekingarrangement.com is not a prostitution website.
"You're bound to have people who try to misuse the system, so there are a lot of escorts who sign up for the site. We kick off plenty of them, hundreds of them, every week," Brandon Wade, the website's creator, said.
Women, labeled "sugar babies," on the site are not charged for signing up. So-called "sugar daddies," men who want to browse the thousands of pages of women, can also sign up for free, but a premium membership, which allows them to contact the women, costs $49.95 per month.
The website also allows the roles to be reversed, allowing men to seek arrangements with women.
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