Sick and tired of lonely Valentine’s Days, or spending Chinese New Year constantly bugged by your relatives about your BF/GF-plans?
Well, it is now possible to rent a temporary boyfriend/girlfriend online.
And, guess what – Singaporeans are increasingly willing to do so.
In recent years, there has been an emergence of BF/GF-for hire agencies locally, such as Rent-a-Gent and Singapore Men for boyfriends, and Pally Singapore for girlfriends.
On paper, agencies such as Rent-a-Gent and Singapore Men provide male escorts for hire, though they are also able to double-up as your ‘boyfriend’.
Pally, on the other hand, calls itself a ‘social experience platform’ that allows users to ‘rent-a-friend’.
Agency managers of such escort services companies have reported seeing spikes in bookings during Chinese New Year, according to an article by the New Paper.
Rent-a-Gent reportedly sees “three times more interest” in hiring their male escorts during Chinese New Year.
The boyfriends/girlfriends for hire are Singaporeans, who are paid up to hundreds an hour for gigs.
These social escorts, who see their jobs as “acting”, often have to put in effort into research and come to a compromise with the other party to make the relationship appear genuine.
Visiting a stranger’s home for Chinese New Year celebrations as their partner is often one of the trickiest endeavours for these escorts.
They would have to discuss their ‘backstory’ – how they met, how long they have been dating, etc., as well as their future plans, to pull off convincing the naggy relatives.
Inappropriate touching is off-limits, but ‘sufficient bodily contact to keep up appearances’ is permitted.
Agencies also tend to raise their prices during CNY and other festive periods due to the high demand.
While single Singaporeans may be able to pull off convincing their relatives of their relationship status, some of the rented girlfriends and boyfriends have reported feeling a deep sense of guilt.
It comes from raising false hopes in the families of perfectly nice people that they, and the ones who hired them, were a genuine couple.
When in fact, it would be the last time the family ever sees them together.
Thinking of renting a BF/GF to tide over sneering aunties this CNY? Make sure you consider the long-term implications too!