Google bans ‘sugar dating’ apps from Play Store

Photo (c) Juanmonino - Getty Images

The change is part of an update to its existing policy regarding sexual content

As part of an update to its Play Store policies, Google will be banning so-called “sugar dating” apps. Beginning September 1, the company will no longer allow apps that focus on "compensated sexual relationships (i.e., sugar dating)” to exist on its Android app marketplace. 

“Sugar dating” is typically when a wealthy older individual agrees to provide financial assistance to someone -- usually a young female -- in exchange for a sexual relationship. 

Apps focused on facilitating these connections are popular, with many of them garnering over a million installations. Some have names that strongly suggest their intent, like “Sugar Daddy,” while others have more vague names like Elite Millionaire Singles, SeekingArrangement, and Spoil.

Google is cracking down on these types of apps under an update to its sexual content policy. Starting in September, Android users will no longer be able to download sugar dating apps from the Google Play store. 

Google’s updated policy, as reported by Android Police, states that it’s “updating the Inappropriate Content policy to institute new restrictions on sexual content, specifically prohibiting compensated sexual relationships (i.e. sugar dating).” 

The tech giant’s Play Store policies already prohibit apps that promote “services that may be interpreted as providing sexual acts in exchange for compensation.” The policy change announced Wednesday expands the definition to clearly state that it will not allow apps that center on the concept of a compensated sexual relationship “where one participant is expected or implied to provide money, gifts or financial support to another participant (‘sugar dating’).”

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