According to a new Gallup survey, 38 percent of Danes aged 15-20 think its OK to pay for sexual services and 23 percent see no problem in giving oral sex in exchange for a gift.
The leader of a Copenhagen centre for abused and prostituted women told Politiken that the concept of ‘sugar dating’, in which one partner gives financial incentives in exchange for sexual services, represents a grey zone between prostitution and normal relationships.
“It crosses boundaries when someone has sex in exchange for something rather than out of desire,” Charlotte Fuglsang, the leader of Reden København, said.
She said that the poll results reflect the fact that many young people’s viewpoints on sex have changed.
“We experience that young people’s actions on social media and other places online have contributed to moving boundaries for what is acceptable to do. It’s clear that young people don’t think that it’s the same to receive for example an iPhone or a bag for sex as it is to receive money,” Fuglsang told Politiken.
The Aarhus-based website SugarDaters, which helps ’sugar daddies’ find ‘sugar babes’, says it is “completely natural” for adults to enter into a consensual agreement in which both parties get what they want.
“Let's face it. It's in the human nature, that successful people want younger and more attractive partners. It's also natural for younger men and women to search for more experienced, rich, sophisticated and generous partners,” the site reads.
A consultant at the National Board of Social Services (Socialstyrelsen) told Politiken that these sorts of relationships are “very, very complicated”.
“What is payment? And when do you have sex? Sex can also be had in exchange for protection or to be allowed to enter into a social group. Is that also prostitution?” Mogens Holm Sørensen asked.
Although the Gallup survey, which spoke with a representative sample of 330 Danes aged 15-20, revealed high levels of acceptance of so-called ‘sugar dating’, far fewer young people were willing to actually carry it out.
Just four percent of respondents said they would consider offering sex in exchange for some sort of gift and just two percent said they would give a gift in order to get sex.