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Accessing resources off campus can be a challenge. Lean Library can solve it. If you have the appropriate software installed, you can download article citation data to the citation manager of your choice. Simply select your manager software from the list below and click on download.

The e-mail addresses that you supply to use this service will not be used for any other purpose without your consent. Create a link to share a read only version of this article with your colleagues and friends. Please read and accept the terms and conditions and check the box to generate a sharing link. Although academics have focused on sugaring in various parts of the globe, sugar relationships in the United States have largely been ignored.

The few studies that address these arrangements in the United States often frame them as a form of prostitution.

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Drawing from 48 in-depth interviews with women in the United States who have been in sugar relationships, I adopt a connected lives approach to explore the structure of these arrangements and to assess the extent to which they are a form of prostitution. Overall, I found that, although there is a dominant, subcultural relationship script that serves as a blueprint for sugar arrangements, they comprise their own unique relational package and take a variety of forms when enacted on an interpersonal level.

Specifically, I identified seven types of sugar relationships, only one of which can be considered prostitution.

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These included sugar prostitution, compensated dating, compensated companionship, sugar dating, sugar friendships, sugar friendships with benefits, and pragmatic love. Further, several journalists have covered the topic of sugaring in the United States with many exploring the claims that women who enter into these relationships are disempowered Chung ; Kitchener ; Wexlermoney starved Loudenbackand desperate to pay their college tuition Bauer-Wolf ; Darby ; Fairbanks ; Somerville Although there is not a concrete definition of sugar relationships, they are often conceptualized as an arrangement wherein an older man or woman has a sexual relationship with a younger female or male in exchange for money, gifts, or other material goods Kuate-Defo Although this definition is useful for defining some sugar arrangements, it cannot be applied to all, as it is derived from Craigslist sex Laporte CO on transactional sex in impoverished areas specifically.

Most importantly, these relationships do not always involve age disparities Kaufman and Stavrou ; Ranganathan et al. Lee and Shek ; T. Lee, Shek, and Busiol Despite the proliferation of sugar web sites and increasing media attention on sugar relationships in the United States, there is surprisingly little research on sugaring in this part of the globe.

In fact, the bulk of this literature focuses on sugar arrangements in sub-Saharan Africa Dunkle et al. Specifically, researchers have found that those who engage in transactional sex are at a higher risk for contracting HIV Dunkle et al. This is due, in part, to the fact that females are often unlikely to use condoms during sexual interactions with their benefactor Luke Researchers argue that this is the result of the power inequities that stem from age Kaufman and Stavrou ; Wyrod et al.

Other researchers focus on sugar relationships outside of sub-Saharan Africa. For instance, some studies concentrate on a form of sugaring known as compensated dating in areas such as China, Japan, and Korea. Researchers have examined the reasons young women begin these relationships, with some indicating that money is often an incentive T. Lee et al. Studies have also found that social psychological motivations such as the satisfaction of being able to wear name-brand clothing and accessories, as well as the gratification from being desired by a benefactor may also play a role T.

These kinds of relationships are not a modern phenomenon as they have a long-standing history in places like Japan.

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These women were the precursors to Japanese geishas whose popularity increased in the s. Geishas were unmarried, poised, and stylish women who entertained men by dancing, singing, playing music, and reciting poetry but did not typically engage in commercial sex acts. In general, geishas were not considered prostitutes but were seen as socially respected entertainers Schliesinger The phrase highlights both the social and economic aspects of the relationship, as benefactors provide monetary support in exchange for social, and sometimes sexual, interactions.

Although there is an abundance of research on sugaring in sub-Saharan Africa and East and Southeast Asia, very few researchers have focused on sugar arrangements in the United States. The few studies that examine these relationships primarily concentrate on the popular sugar web site, SeekingArrangement.

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These studies pay particular attention to the factors that draw individuals to these arrangements, the power dynamics they involve, and the patriarchal discourses surrounding them Corderoas well as the ways in which individuals define intimacy, desire, and monetary transactions in the context of a sugar relationship DeSoto ; Nayer Other academics pay specific attention to the legality of sugar relationships in the United States and whether they fall under the umbrella of sex work Deeks ; Miller ; Motyl For instance, in her analysis of sugar web sites, Alex Miller argues that sugaring is simply another label for Craigslist sex Laporte CO.

Also analyzing the legalities of sugar web sites, Laura E. Several journalists covering the topic of sugaring in the United States have also situated their discussion in the context of prostitution Chung ; McKay ; Motzoften citing various academics who argue that women who sugar are engaging in sex work Brown ; Fairbanks ; Kitchener Framing sugar relationships in this way is not uncommon as many scholars who study compensated dating argue that it is a form of sex work Cho and Lee ; Kim ; M. Lee and Shek ; Li ; Song and Morash Lee and Shek This is also the case for enjo kosaias this phrase is often used as a catch-all term for commercial sex acts Lam However, I argue that sugar arrangements are distinct from prostitution.

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Like a handful of other scholars who have studied sugar relationships, I assert that lumping these arrangements under the umbrella of commercial sex work is problematic Cheung et al. Viviana A. Zelizer provides an extensive discussion of the ways in which intimacy and the economy are intertwined in her seminal book The Purchase of Intimacy.

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It follows that people must be wary of introducing money into friendly and familial relationships, as both realms will likely be corrupted. Rather than framing the economy and personal relationships as being at odds with one another, she stresses that they bolster and support each other. The interconnected nature between money and intimacy is evidenced by a variety of relationships such as those between nannies and children, professional caregivers and their patients Zelizersurrogate mothers and intended parents, and egg donors and their recipients Bandelj, Morgan, and Sowers They then identify and reinforce these boundaries by forming a distinct set of norms, practices, and economic exchanges that are befitting for the relationship.

Lastly, they deate different media such as currency, gifts, and allowances to enable economic transactions between individuals in the relationship. Each relational package involves specific, yet continually negotiated, norms regarding intimate and economic aspects of the relationship.

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Examples of deated relational packages include friendships, romantic relationships, or as is the case with the current research, sugar relationships. In the paper that follows, I adopt a connected lives approach to examine the relational package involved in sugar arrangements and the social scripts that guide them. Although there needs to be more specificity and precision with regard to defining sugar arrangements in numerous parts of the globe Chu and Laidler ; T.

As Christopher S. I drew from scripting theory to examine the structure of sugar relationships and to understand the variations in their relational package. Scripting theory is situated in the symbolic interactionist tradition and was developed by William Simon and John H.

Gagnon in their discussion of sexual scripts.

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They used a dramaturgical perspective to explain that, much like actors in a play, individuals rely on various social scripts to frame and guide their behaviors during sexual situations and interactions. Simon and Gagnon argue that scripting can occur on three levels: the cultural, interpersonal, and intrapsychic level.

First, cultural scripts operate on a macrosociological level and are derived from the larger, dominant master narratives regarding gender roles and expectations about sexuality. Cultural scripts can also operate on a subcultural level Wiederman Third, intrapsychic scripts are the manifestation of cultural scripts on the individual level.

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Although I discuss them as distinct here, these levels overlap and interact with one another Mutchler Scripting theory has been an enduring theoretical perspective Simon and Gagnon and one of the most cited theories in the study of sexuality Bancroft As such, it has weathered its fair share of criticisms such as the claim that it reinforces stereotypes Plummer and the status quo by failing to recognize the variation in how scripts are enacted Beres Others have critiqued scripting theory on the grounds that it fails to for the role of power, resistance, and inequality Brickellthe importance of which have been discussed extensively by Michel Foucault, Because of this, some opt for discourse analysis to understand the field of sexuality, as it recognizes the role of power and the ways in which people are invited to certain lines of action while being constrained from pursuing others Beres However, that scripting theory does not focus on power dynamics specifically is not necessarily a fatal flaw, as Simon and Gagnon admit that the perspective cannot explain all aspects of sexual behavior but was introduced to highlight the socially constructed facets of sexuality and the ways in which individuals draw from various cultural and social scenarios when engaging in sexual behavior Beres Because of this strength, scripting theory served as a useful tool to examine how women create connected lives in the context of sugar relationships.

In particular, the subcultural script involved with sugaring tells us about the nature of the relational package by outlining what norms, rules, names, labels, behaviors, and media distinguish this particular relationship from others.

Furthermore, interpersonal scripts help us understand the variations in the relational package involved with sugar arrangements and the ingenuity individuals exercise to negotiate them. This is important in terms of adding to the scholarship on connected lives, as Viviana A.

This research advances that goal by highlighting variations in the ways in which people Craigslist sex Laporte CO the subcultural template in their interpersonal interactions with benefactors. Furthermore, although all levels of scripting play a role in sugar relationships, I focus solely on the subcultural and interpersonal scripts that structured these arrangements.

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First, I identify the general, subcultural script that guides sugar relationships. Because subcultural scripts are enacted in various ways on the interpersonal level Holmberg and MacKenzieI then examined how participants adapted this subcultural script to create unique interpersonal relationship scripts. Specifically, I concentrated on five aspects of these relationships which included: the kinds of activities in which recipients and benefactors engaged, whether sexual interactions were involved, the nature of their financial arrangements, the extent to which genuine emotions were involved, and the degree to which their lives were intertwined.

In focusing on these characteristics, I found that, although there was a dominant, subcultural sugar relationship script that served as a blueprint for sugar arrangements, these relationships are not homogenous.

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Instead, they take a variety of forms when enacted on an interpersonal level. Specifically, I identified seven types of sugar relationships in my research, only one of which can be considered prostitution. In the paper that follows, I present an empirical typology of these relationships and the characteristics of their corresponding interpersonal scripts.

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I conclude with a discussion regarding the ways in which sugaring differs from prostitution. A typology lends itself to my inquiry as they are useful for identifying various dimensions of social phenomena, relationships, and groups Collier, LaPorte, and Seawright and have been used to study other areas relating to connected lives such as paid caregiving Porter et al.

Furthermore, a typology allowed me to highlight the flexibility in the relational package associated with sugaring, and the ways in which individuals creatively modify it in one-on-one interpersonal interaction. Lastly, a typology enabled me to present a nuanced picture of these relationships that moves beyond the dramatized portrayals presented in the media. ZIP: 80524 80535

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