Google will change the Play Store’s inappropriate content policies starting September 1st. With the update, some apps that promote “compensated sex”, ie “sugar daddy” or “sugar dating” apps will be banned on the platform.
Current policies already prohibit apps that promote services that could be interpreted as sexual acts in exchange for payment. The update, however, expands the definition to clearly include relationships that “rewarded dating or sexual arrangements where one participant is expected or implied to provide money, gifts or financial support to another participant.”
Google’s ad doesn’t explain why apps are banned now. However, the ban comes in a context of prosecution of online sex work by platforms after the introduction of the FOSTA-NASTA legislation in the United States in 2018. Other dating apps, which do not involve dating rewards, will continue to be allowed.
The fad of sugary relationships emerged in the United States in the early 2000s and arrived in Brazil in 2015. The relationship involves a “sugar daddy” or “sugar mommy”, a man or woman with financial resources looking for a companion, and a “ suck baby”, a beautiful looking younger man or woman who wants to enjoy a good life.
The practice is not characterized as a crime by the Brazilian Penal Code. The relationship differs from prostitution, as sexual acts are not mandatory. Many sponsors are just looking for a companion for travel or dinner. In addition, financial expenses can be paid in various ways, such as pampering and gifts.
Despite this, there are many reports of “sucking babbies” in these apps from men who treat women like prostitutes. To protect themselves from this type of treatment, Facebook and WhatsApp groups were created in which women exchange information about “sugar daddies”.