The Price of “Rental Girlfriend” in Japan
① The Rising Trend of Rental Services in Japan
In Japan, services that allow you to rent people have been appearing for several years now.
Following the popularity of friend-for-hire services, even services that let you rent a girlfriend are gaining traction.
Although the rental services come at a high price, a significant number of people are willing to pay for them.
In particular, the girlfriend rental service garnered a lot of attention immediately upon its launch.
Upon paying for the service, you can spend time with a rented girlfriend as if you were on a real date.
The client can specify the preferences of their rented girlfriend, but any physical contact between the two is strictly prohibited.
A company in Tokyo that operates friend dispatch services said, “People who want to enjoy something with someone are using our services.”
The fee is about 50,000 to 60,000 KRW (approximately $42 to $50) per hour with an additional 30,000 KRW (approximately $25) added for each subsequent hour. Travel expenses are separate.
The fees for rental services are relatively high, and additional charges may also apply.
② The Cost of Girlfriend Rental Services
The price of the girlfriend rental service varies depending on its popularity.
Additional charges may apply depending on the frequency of conversation and the concept.
A Japanese broadcast featured the experience of using a girlfriend rental service.
The rented girlfriend prepared a lunch box for the client.
They enjoyed the lunch box together in a park and had a good time.
However, as soon as the rental period ended, the woman’s attitude turned professional.
She told the client, “The girlfriend rental service has ended. Since we dated for 6 hours, the fee is 33,000 yen (about $300).”
This has surprised many netizens in Korea.
They responded with comments like, “Won’t we introduce the same thing in 10 years?”, “There are many agency jobs in our country, starting with wedding guest agencies”, and “Would you want to pay a stranger to do that?”
A Japanese man attracted attention by posting a review of his experience using the girlfriend rental service on social media.
He said he had a good time visiting an amusement park with the woman.
At the time, the woman confessed, “I had so much fun that I didn’t think of it as work. Let’s meet again.”
The man also said he felt like he was on a date with a real girlfriend.
However, the woman presented him with a receipt for about 800,000 KRW (approximately $680) asking for the service fee.
Upon seeing the receipt, the man said “I woke up from my fantasy,” expressing his disappointment.
Clients who used the girlfriend rental service responded with comments like “I had so much fun during the 8-hour date”, “I wasn’t used to dating, but I was grateful for her active response”, and “I felt fresh throughout the date.”
③ Rising Social Controversies
A woman who worked in the girlfriend rental service shared her experiences in an interview.
She started the job when she was a college student and has been rented by more than 1,000 people of all ages and genders.
She said that most of her clients were men in their 30s and 40s who wanted to go on dates or seek advice on their problems.
She revealed that there is an increasing number of clients who are not interested in dating but seek advice on their problems.
Although she maintains a professional relationship with her clients, she often receives confessions.
The tasks she performs with her clients include eating together, watching movies, cleaning, walking, and taking care of dogs.
She emphasized that the girlfriend rental service does not have a sexual purpose.
She added that she quit the job when she got a job at a company.
The rental service is a job where you get paid to act as someone’s girlfriend.
Since its trend started in 2012, it has established itself as a culture in Japan.
Most women working as rented girlfriends are aspiring entertainers, models, etc.
The rental companies have rules such as no physical contact, no dates at lodging facilities, and no invitations to homes.
Even asking for personal contact information is not allowed.
However, the service is problematic as it can easily expose women to crime.
There have been controversies where some companies have lured rented girlfriends into prostitution.
Although the companies prohibit any sexual activities, the clients can break the rules.
By. Min Jae Kim