Is there any sugar in Sugar Dating?
Sammanfattning: The sugar dating market is divided into the interpretations of either being a niched dating style or another term for prostitution, disguised to align with the Swedish Sex Purchase Act. Despite sugar dating platforms prohibiting prostitution and escort services, previous research shows that sex for remuneration is common within sugar dating concepts. The aim of this thesis is to analyze the approaches used by actors on the sugar dating market that either enable or limit the promotion of sugar dating in Sweden. This will be accomplished by investigating any discrepancies between how sugar dating is promoted on sugar dating platforms and how representatives of official organizations, both governmental and non-governmental, interpret the sugar dating market in relation to the Swedish Sex Purchase Act. This will be theoretically explained in terms of capitalism, patriarchy, and the commodification of intimacy. The thesis presents a qualitative analysis of empirical data from five online observations of sugar dating platforms and three informant interviews with representatives from three official organizations in Sweden. The findings and analysis demonstrate that capitalism and patriarchy are intertwined on the sugar dating market due to it being based on patriarchal structures that capitalize on the commodity of intimate relations. These capitalistic and patriarchal structures influence cultural norms which in turn affect the economic market through strategized promotions.
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