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Image courtesy of Candice88

Online Sugar Daddies Offer Free Rent for Sex

by Karoline Hjorth

Desperate times call for desperate measures as affection-starved Londoners take advantage of the recession by posting online ads offering free rent in exchange for companionship and sex.

Major cities in the United States and Australia are already witnessing an upsurge in ads tailored for cash-strapped apartment hunters. And inventive Londoners are catching on to the trend as clammy recession hands tighten their grip.

A quick surf on, UK's biggest website for local community classifieds, gives house-sharing a whole new meaning.

As Dan Goodin points out in USA Today, offering shelter in exchange for sex is older than real estate itself but the online come-ons are getting franker and more straight to the point.

Free room fully fitted with man

"£1 room in North London," may seem like a bargain but it includes a little extra on the side.

"You need or could do with free/cheap accommodation in London. You also have a desire to explore and live out some unusual fantasies and have an open mind to try something unconventional," coaxes one advertisement.

Another describing himself as “an attractive, open-minded city lawyer to come included, absolutely free (!) in the package” serves up a page-long shopping list of desired qualities of any potential applicant and leaves less for the imagination. “I’m offering free accommodation to an attractive female in exchange for intimacy. “

And just to make sure his message gets out loud and clear he completes the shopping list with a final explanation of his needs and his offer: “My needs: A Horny soul mate and/or flatmate. I may not be an easy lay but I’m a bloody good one!”

It is unclear how much success these ads are bringing in but judging on the amounts of hits some of these ads are receiving the interest seems to be substantial.

“Free, cheap or rented accommodation for an exchange please,” and “Looking for female to share my accommodation for companion (£1 pw),” both received more than 100 views each.

Gumtree safety team to react withiin '12 hours'

After responding to most of the ads of the seedier kind, the feedback was not surprising but somewhat disappointing, with all but one being interested in an interview.

The lonesome spokesman was not too keen on revealing his identity but his simple explanation was “at the end of the day everyone needs a place to stay”.

As soon as the journalist hat came off however, the replies turned ever so flattering with one eager man after the other offering his room and body as if this was the most natural of shopping environments: “You are welcome to share my fridge, my bathroom and my bed…what do you say? x J.”’s ad policy does not allow anyone to offer free accommodation in exchange for sexual services and the site’s spokesperson, Sanjay Balakrishnan, says users should report any suspicious ads.

“The advertisement and procurement of sexual services is against Gumtree’s posting rules. We have a dedicated Safety team which aims to respond to any reports of suspicious activity within 12 hours.”

But a quick scroll through one of the top 20 websites in the UK uncovers a pick-and-mix of soliciting ads that have been featured for days and even weeks.

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