Why is it that when I think I've seen, heard, and read everything I see, hear or read something that firmly reminds me that I ain't seen sh*t? There's an interesting story I picked up over on ABC News about a new line of business in China. Specifically the business of rental boyfriends and rental girlfriends.
What the deuce? What fresh hell IS THIS?? In short a lonely person can rent some companionship for a few hours at a time. And to make sure it's not too far in the gutter there are optional clauses such as a “no sex” clause aka “the no fun clause.” Apparently the operator of the site that rents out these single serving boyfriend/girlfriends from taobao.com. “Rentals” according to the ABC story have surged during the particularly romantic and heavily marketed “holiday” Valentine's Day. No word on figures for Girlfriend Rentals during the week of March 14th or my favorite holiday ‘Steak and a Blowjob” Day. Somehow I think that pesky “no BJs” clause would skew the numbers…
It's interesting because my initial thought is: “Oh, sorta like prostitution, right?” But it's not. Sometimes people just want someone to spend time with. Sometimes you just need someone there who will listen to your bullshit and tell you that everything will be okay; or sometimes you just need a hug that's more than “friendly,” the sort you get from a special someone that makes you forget everything. No, not a dick-in-the-box people.
I wrote, musingly and somewhat bitterly, recently, about how relationships should last less than two years. A “disposable” relationship if you will. It sounds shitty, but is it really? I think this is the “lean startup” version of dating and mating as opposed to the traditional manner in which we get to know and grow with someone over several years only to find it isn't going to work. Which would you rather do? Honestly.
It's an interesting concept and one that I'd be surprised to see catch on here, in the States. I'll keep an eye on this story as it develops.