Who's your (sugar) daddy?

Recently, a 20-something single woman I know was complaining because whenever she goes to a bar, some guy with a wedding ring on his finger tries to get cozy with her.

Now I haven’t gone to a bar looking for action, as they say, since the days when my attire of choice was a brown 100% polyester leisure suit, so I’m not quite sure what the modern etiquette is. Actually, I don’t want to know because it would diminish my faith in the younger generation, not to mention my own.

This woman said married guys are candid about their desire to pick up girls, which seems to be a shift in social mores. Several years ago, when my oldest daughter went to hot spots in New Haven, their approach apparently was different, as married men took off their wedding bands to hide them. Sad to say, she occasionally ran into a doctor who was married with kids and always slipped off his ring when he started chatting up a young, available woman.

Does this mean that men on the prowl are getting honest about their marital status and their intentions? And are young women perfectly willing to have a good time with a married guy, no strings or moral qualms attached?

We’ve entered the brave new world of so-called “sugar dating.” The rules have changed, but more about that later.

Another daughter in her 20s was out with friends in New Rochelle some time ago and a married predator in his 50s was hitting on her by offering to buy her drinks, find her a job in Hollywood, fly her to St. Bart’s and provide just about every other enticement you could imagine ... until her older sister interrupted this fusillade of devious improprieties and said, “Go find someone your own age.” Problem solved. Thank God for older sisters.

Apparently, the latest craze is for college-aged women to look for “sugar daddies,” who are older men with the cash to finance services rendered, sometimes willingly paying “retainers” up to $3,000 a month. (I’m not sure whether that includes out-of-pocket expenses like Louis Vuitton handbags.)

Through the miracle of the modern Internet, cash-strapped college girls can hook up with geezers who have money to spend on them. One sugar daddy dating site boasts almost three million members committed to the cause of “mutually beneficial relationships.” That almost sounds like marriage, but the “sugar babies” aren’t looking for love as much as a wealthy benefactor to pay the bills and give them a glitzy lifestyle. One NYU coed reportedly collected $20,000 during her relationship.

Many of the girls justify the practice by saying they’re struggling to pay their college tuition, and sugar daddyism is the solution — even though it sounds suspiciously like prostitution.

The average sugar daddy can spend up to $75,000 a year for the pleasure of a young female companion, which can involve a sexual relationship or merely “wholesome companionship,” where, I suspect, they spend the evening in front of the TV, eating Chex Mix and watching reruns of Leave It to Beaver — hmmm maybe we should make that Leave It to Geezer — and then go off to dreamland at 8 p.m.

I haven’t read any stories about “sugar mommies,” but it’s only a matter of time until some entrepreneurial reprobate starts a website with a promotional program that makes something wrong seem so right.

Admittedly, student loans are the curse of America, and they can make young people do questionable things. The world has changed so drastically that college students have to resort to immoral behavior, just like that Duke University freshman who has taken the name of Belle Knox for her side job making porno flicks because, she says, it’s self-fulfilling and financially rewarding.”

I’m from the old school. You need money? Try cutting lawns, baby-sitting or maybe stacking avocados in the produce department at Whole Foods. The pay may not be great, but the hours are flexible and at least you get to keep your dignity.

Joe Pisani may be reached at joefpisani@yahoo.com.