Single This Valentine's Day? Get a Rental Boyfriend

Illustration for article titled Single This Valentine's Day? Get a Rental Boyfriend

If you're in the market for a boyfriend but are wary about making a big investment in love, perhaps you should consider renting instead of buying. "Rental boyfriends" are the latest booming business in China.


You can actually rent a boyfriend or a girlfriend in China, but the rental boyfriends are much more popular, apparently because of societal pressure in the country for women to get married by the time they're 27, lest they be labeled "leftover women." The idea behind the business is so that women—usually around 25 years old—can bring a date to dinner parties, company events, or holiday celebrations to make themselves appear "stable and settled" or datable or so that their parents' don't "lose face" because their "older" single daughters are unlovable. And here I thought the idea behind escorts was to get laid.

But sex is not part of the deal. The rental contracts feature a "no sex clause" for female customers. If the rental boyfriend makes "unwelcome advances," the woman is eligible for a refund and can call the cops. Rental boyfriends are trained gentlemen, though:

They must be reasonably good looking, at least 5-feet-6, well-behaved and willing to wear glasses, which some parents consider a sign of erudition. They had to have decent social skills and be able to get along with all sorts of could-be in-laws and relatives.

The rates seem really reasonable, depending on what you want from a boyfriend. Going to the movies will run you about $8 an hour (and probably the cost of the tickets and concessions). It's about $6.42 an hour for shopping trips. You pay more for parties, dinners, or getting wasted. There's an "all-inclusive package" for $128, with "handshakes, hugs, and goodbye kisses on the cheeks or forehead" free of charge.

Image via Zelfit/Shutterstock

Boyfriend Rentals Boom During Chinese New Year and Valentine's Day [ABC News]



With all the articles about how China doesn't have enough women, and how that's detrimental to society, and how that's only increasing the sex trade/ the trafficking in of foreign women as wives, etc, you would think women over 27 wouldn't be considered leftovers so much anymore (even if the pressure to get married would probably increase). I wonder how long it really takes for attitudes to change even after reality makes them kind of untenable.