New comedy explores the challenges and benefits of working as a ‘sugar baby’ to pay for college

The idea of using sex work to pay for college has occupied popular culture and the public imagination for years. But rising college costs, growing student debt and the explosion of new technology has taken fascination in a new direction.

Headlines across the country have highlighted the stories of “sugar babies,” or young women who use matchmaking websites to find older men who can offer financial help in exchange for companionship and sex. Now, a new film explores this phenomenon — through comedy.

“The New Romantic” premiered last week at South by Southwest, a music, tech and film festival.

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