Brandon Wade, founder and CEO of the “sugar-daddy” dating site SeekingArrangement, posted a video on June 4 offering to pay for women in states that have passed near-total bans on abortion to travel out of state to get the procedure done.
Wade explained his offer in the video as well as the reasons behind it, saying, “When any state makes the decision to deny women the right to make choices about her body, we can help. We will provide women and families who cannot afford to provide for themselves travel out of their home state to access proper health care and to exercise their right to a choice.”
In the video, Wade explains that his girlfriend grew up in Alabama and said that she “wept” when the state passed a ban on nearly all abortions last month. He asked her why women in Alabama couldn’t just travel out of state to have the procedure, and he learned that the answer, “may have more to do with money than legislation.”
“If lawmakers will not step in to help these desperate women, then I will,” Wade said.
You can watch the full video below:
SeekingArrangement has set up a charitable organization called Fight Against Poverty to assist women in Alabama, Kentucky, Georgia, Mississippi and Missouri who want access to abortion. A spokesperson for the company also told Newsweek that Wade would pay for the abortions as well.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Wade Studied Physics and Electrical Engineering at MIT
Brandon Wade was born in Singapore, and he came to the United States to study at the renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He graduated with a BS in Physics and Electrical Engineering. Wade also earned an MBA from the Sloan School of Management.
In a 2012 conversation with Business Insider, Wade recalled his college years. ” I was very much a nerd,” he said.
“My mother saw me in a great deal of pain, so she told me to focus on my goal: To study very hard, because if I was successful later on in life and I had the financial means, and I could be generous, then dating would be easier for me,” Wade continued.
After college, he worked as a software engineer, then as a management consultant for Booz Allen.
2. Over 10 Million People Have Active Accounts on SeekingArrangement
Wade founded SeekingArrangement in 2006. He has since spun off his site’s success into a slew of other, more niche “sugar daddy” sites such as MissTravel, What’s Your Price?, and OpenMinded.
According to public user data on SeekingArrangement, the site currently has over 10 million active users. The site’s dating pool consists of roughly 8 million “sugar babies” clamoring for the attention of 2 million “sugar daddies & mommas”.
In a 2014 editorial for CNN, Wade wrote that he founded SeekingArrangement because even with a six-figure salary and a world-class education he still lacked the confidence to approach women. “I created my first dating website to meet women who I knew would be interested in a relationship with someone like me,” He wrote. “And yes, to offer the financial incentive to give myself, and others like me, a fighting chance.”
3. Wade Notoriously Said ‘Love Is a Concept Invented by Poor People’
Wade shared his idiosyncratic views on love and romance in a 2014 CNN editorial. He famously wrote, “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.” He continued.
In the column, Wade argued that mutually beneficial arrangements could provide the same benefits as marriage without the risks associated with divorce. According to Wade, “sugar” relationships provide a more honest version of the transactions already inherent in romantic relationships. “This is the future of dating,” he concluded.
4. Wade Is Adamant that His Sites Do Not Enable Prostitution
Although SeekingArrangement and its sister sites have come under fire from critics, Wade maintains that what these sites offer is definitely not prostitution. He told Business Insider that the sites are monitored and profiles they suspect to belong to prostitutes or escorts are removed.
He went on to say that his sugar dating sites are distinct from prostitution services because what he offers is the chance to build a real relationship. “Just because money is exchanged in a relationship doesn’t make it prostitution,” Wade said. “My mother stayed at home and she got an allowance from my dad. Others pamper their girlfriends with gifts and shopping and spa treatments.”
5. He Has Been Divorced 3 Times
Wade is currently not married, and the New York Times reports that he has been divorced three times.