|Look lady. You want a boyfriend, I can get you a boyfriend right now.|
This is “Boyfriend Rental” (彼氏レンタル or Kareshi Rentaru). Similar companion services have long existed in Japan, such as host bars. However, boyfriend rental was introduced this week onHakunetsu Live Vivid, a nationwide morning show.
The subtitle reads, “This is the time when you can also buy a boyfriend with money.” I’m pretty sure there has always been dudes for hire, but m’okay!
According to the manager of Rental Kareshi Premium, the service offers the experience of really having a boyfriend. (Note: This isn’t the only rent-a-boyfriend service in Japan. Of course it isn’t!)
Back in 2013, Kotaku introduced a “rent-an-old-man” service, which was about ten bucks an hour. Renting these boyfriends is far more expensive. For example, this particular service has different grades. There’s “Fresh” for 5,000 yen ($40.22) an hour, “Regular” for 6,000 yen ($48.26) an hour, and “Special” for 7,000 yen ($56.31) an hour.
So who rents boyfriends? Let's say it all out loud together...housewives. Nearly 40% of the customers are presumably lonely housewives, and what is more is that nearly 50% of the customers are repeat service users.
To be clear, this isn't prostitution. Rental boyfriends aren't even allowed to kiss their girlfriend of the day. Although hand holding and hugging are permitted.
I don't know...I would rather rent a Japanese beer pouring robot for that kind of money. It has a ton of personality, and although terrible, still tries really hard to provide me with all I need (which is a freshly poured beer.)