Culture, Economy & Business, Health & Environment

Marketing Can’t Hide the Culture Rot of Gen Z’s Women

When one thinks of sugar daddies and sugar babies, the image of a wealthy older man and a young guileless girl comes to mind. Maybe we think of a man with salt-and-pepper hair and a gold Rolex. Maybe he has an ex-wife with a yacht somewhere, or grandkids who summer with him in the Hamptons. And maybe the girl in this scenario comes from more humble circumstances. She is a college student with, perhaps, a nice family who can’t afford her tuition (or phone bill or car payments or whatever). Maybe she’s an aspiring actress whose sugar daddy funds her LA lifestyle when waitressing doesn’t cut it. You get the picture. It’s a scene from Pretty Woman and the woman is somehow innocent, if not quite the hooker with the heart of gold. But while this image still sometimes maps to reality, the norm is changing.

We never think of girls at elite universities with high-paying career prospects “sugar-babying” for a taxi driver or night-shift factory worker from a flyover state. Yet at Stanford, this was exactly the case. It also reflects a broader change in the sexual dynamics of American culture.

Sites like OnlyFans, popular among the “pay to see me naked” subset of gig workers, have entered the mainstream in recent years as millions of young women and men turn to it for supplemental income, or to chase full careers. Over 170 million others subscribe as “customers.” Celebrities like Bella Thorne and YouTube’s Corinna Kopf, the most well-known and highly-paid OnlyFans creators, overshadow the reality for the vast majority for whom getting nude for strangers nets an average of only about $151 a month and 21 subscribers. But focusing on OnlyFans alone ignores the vaster, far more commonplace, and socially acceptable enterprise of TikTok thirst traps. Read more…

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