Brandon Wade is the founder of numerous dating websites
Personal dating issues led him to found seekingarrangement.com
He calls it "a sugar daddy dating website where wealthy men seek out beautiful women"
Wade says love "is a fairy tale, and it doesn't last forever"
Editor’s Note: Brandon Wade is an MIT graduate and the CEO and founder of several dating websites including SeekingArrangement.com, WhatsYourPrice.com, MissTravel.com, and SeekingMillionaire.com. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. The opinions expressed here are solely his. Watch the premiere episode of Lisa’s new CNN show for a limited time right here on any device - no strings attached.
Believe it or not, my first kiss didn’t happen until I was 21 years old.
When you’re a teenager, appearances are everything, and I didn’t have a shot. I was an incredibly shy and lonely boy.
In college, I’d watch my peers fall in and out of bed with one another, biding my time until it was my turn to be loved. Around 25, the tide changes for women. Popularity is no longer a factor, and women start to look for less superficial qualities in their partners.
While attractive girls were being wooed away by handsome men my age, there I stood, the lonely geek. Little girls grow up believing they will find Mr. Right who is wealthy, successful and handsome.
I was two out of three, but when was I going to get my chance at love?
But my mother had instilled an important principle in me at a very young age. She told me that “one day, when you are wealthy and successful, your generosity will turn things around.”
And she was right.
Even after graduating from MIT and earning a six-figure salary, I was still too shy to make my assets work to my advantage. I had a problem: I finally had the tools to succeed with women, but lacked the confidence to approach them in public.
So I created my first dating website to meet women who I knew would be interested in a relationship with someone like me. And yes, to offer the financial incentive to give myself, and others like me, a fighting chance.
SeekingArrangement.com is a sugar daddy dating website where wealthy men seek out beautiful women. Unlike other “sugar” or normal dating sites, we encourage people to be unapologetic in their search for mutually beneficial relationships that fuel their ambitions and desires.
Addressing the critics
Little did I know that my saving grace would be met with so many critics. My successful little dating site had inspired millions of people to seek sugar relationships, but also sparked loads of controversy.
Accusations of prostitution have clouded Seeking Arrangement since its inception, and I’ll admit there is a fine line. But my intentions are pure. Why must we define a lifestyle we don’t understand as unsavory?
I created this site because I was having a hard time adhering to the conventional rules of dating. I wasn’t buying affection, but rather broadcasting my generosity to a potential audience of women that would normally be inaccessible to me. The best part is that the women looking for this type of “arrangement” could all be found in one convenient place.
The critics aren’t all wrong. I’ll be the first to admit that not everyone joins this site for the right reasons. We kick off dozens of escorts and prostitutes every day because they attempt to use the site inappropriately.
When you are providing a platform to meet successful and wealthy men, you will not always attract genuine hearts. There are always going to be people in the world who are looking to take advantage of your generosity. But to put all users in one box marked “escort” is simply unjust.
Seeking Arrangement is a dating site, which means most of the men here are eventually hoping to have sex. Isn’t that the point of dating? But this is not prostitution. Regardless of whether a man has money or not, when two people are dating, sex will inevitably be a part of the equation.
Feminists argue that sugaring reverts women to a submissive, “codependent” lifestyle. But the reality is, we are leveling the playing field. There is no room for feminism in traditional relationships as defined by society. A new generation of independent, strong-willed women has cropped up while society is simultaneously raising boys who fail to ever reach their full potential.
This website is empowering women, giving them the courage to go after what they really want.
They shouldn’t be afraid of using the resources and assets given to them to find what they truly deserve from a relationship. Why would anyone choose to date someone who is subtracting from, instead of adding to, their life?
Feminists aim to be seen as men’s equals. But being a feminist doesn’t mean you can’t be treated like a lady or complimented on your looks.
When we start perceiving acts of kindness from a man as an assault on independence, I question that brand of feminism.
A woman should have the right to form her own expectations from her relationship, just as a man should.
The future of dating
Morally, I believe that something is wrong with society. When morality is tied so closely with societal expectations, happiness is often sacrificed. I believe that happiness is more important than adhering to your “rightful” place in society – a place where most people feel trapped in moral conventions and shy away from relationships or desires that we have been told are wrong.
I’m a happily married man. Although I did not meet my wife on the site, I credit its creation for bringing us together. She is a partner who understands my lifestyle and adds value to me rather than stifling me, which is the case in so many marriages today.
I’m not against marriage, but I do recognize that the rules society forces us to play by no longer work for everyone. We grow up believing that a faithful and monogamous marriage is the end game, and if you marry the wrong person, it is the end. The end of happiness. The end of freedom. The end of hope.
Why is that the only acceptable option? You grow up, you get married, you have babies – you are not allowed to want anything else. We are trying to invoke the possibility of getting exactly what you want from your relationship, even if that isn’t what society dictates.
We are asking people to look at their relationships and make their own rules – create their version of a more perfect union. There are two reasons people get married: for love and for money. Ironically, these are also two of the biggest reasons why people get divorced. Marriage is messy, but divorce is even messier.
Yet marriage is not the only path to happiness or financial security. An arrangement can provide the same benefits as a marriage without the risk.
Love is a concept invented by poor people. Love at first sight that sends shivers down your spine is a fairy tale, and it doesn’t last forever. Such infatuation must be transformed into a selfless form of love, empty of possessive expectations, for any relationship to endure.
If we are allowed to admit that, then think of the possibilities. Traditional relationships are based on possessiveness and selfishness. As I look at the future of traditional relationships, I see divorces, heartbreaks and broken families.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
By encouraging people to find and negotiate an arrangement, we hope to create modern relationships based on open-mindedness, open communication, brutal honesty and transparent expectations.
This is the future of dating.
Go inside the world of “sugaring” on the premiere of Lisa’s new CNN show “This is Life with Lisa Ling,” Sunday, September 28, at 10 p.m. ET/PT.