"This idea of spending time with somebody and having economic support in exchange for that is not the same thing as sex trafficking – but they are still on kind of the same continuum," she told CTV Windsor.
Johnstone said students are likely embracing the sugar baby lifestyle because of societal pressure to get an education, despite the high cost of going to school.
A Canadian university student says she's benefited greatly from becoming a "sugar baby," and that people who condemn relationships that may involve an exchange of money between young, college-aged women and financially stable, older men are wrong to call it a sex trade.
"In business, partners sign business agreements that outline their objectives and expectations," it says on the website.
"Likewise, romantic relationships can only work if two people agree on what they expect, and what they can give and receive from each other." Seeking Arrangement spokesperson Brook Urick says gifting is a part of those expectations.
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