'Rent-a-Girlfriend' service offers simulated romance
There are many young Japanese men who, even if they want to go on a date, have little confidence in their ability to carry out an engaging conversation with the opposite sex. Maybe they’ve been so caught up in work that they’ve forgotten what constitutes interesting table talk, or maybe they’ve never even been on a date before. Maybe they’ve never even spoken with a woman before.
Whatever the case, there are guys out there who feel lost when it comes to showing a lady a good time. To those men, we recommend “Moe Date”, a new Japanese dating service where you can rent a girlfriend for a day of real simulated romance. What better way to get back in the game than with a little warm up, right fellas?
That said, we sent one of our own dried-up correspondents, Daiichiro Tashiro, on a three hour Moe Date to find out if the service could reignite the flame of passion that once burned in his heart.
Moe Date offers three different date “courses”: a one hour date for 4,500 yen, a three-hour date for 13,550 yen, and a five-hour date for 19,500 yen. Each course differs in length alone; how you spend your time is up to you, though Moe Date does offer sample date itineraries for reference. Naturally, you are expected to pick up the tab for all activities.
Using the reservation page on the Moe Date website, you can specify which girl you would like to take out and, after the reservation is made, you are even given the girl’s employee e-mail address so you can contact her directly to make arrangements for where to meet and what to do. It might be a good idea to make a reservation far in advance if you want to spend more time getting to know your date before the big day.
While some people may be put off by the added responsibility of having to plan for a date they’re already paying good money for, Moe Date explains that this freedom is a crucial element in recreating the feelings of excitement experience in a real romance.
As there is pressure on both parties to show each other a good time, those moments leading up to and right after you first meet are nerve-wrecking for both you and your date. Even after you exchange greetings, the two of you must decide where to go next. These feelings of uncertainty make for an organic experience that becomes even more rewarding when you see your date enjoying herself.
Our correspondent, Daiichiro, chose 18-year-old Ruka Ichikawa for his partner and, since young Ruka still isn’t old enough to drink, he decided to start the date off with a visit to a cafe — after all, nothing melts the ice like a cup of coffee — followed by a round of karaoke.
After his date with Ruka, Daiichiro admitted: “Spending time getting to know a girl I had just met had my heart pounding more than I thought it would. I think I might have remembered what it feels like to love again.” It looks like the date was a success.
Moe Date launched on Nov 1 and is already seeing a gradual increase in clients. While the service may helpful for testing your dating skills without risk, the bill does add up if you use it more than one time, especially considering there’s an extra 2,000 yen charge for dating the same girl twice.
Finally, to answer the question that’s probably at the forefront of many of your minds, Moe Date makes it clear that it is not an escort service and employees are forbidden from entering hotels or private rooms with clients…unless they ask they take their “relationship” a step further.
In fine print, Moe Date explains that, on some occasions, girls may “confess their love” to repeater clients, in which case the client may hire them for another date without having to pay the extra fee. Receiving a confession also gives the client the right to request a special “room delivery course”, which is priced at 10,000 yen per hour and only available with staff aged 18 and above.
While the site maintains that sexual acts are forbidden while on dates, we know Japan well enough to see the red light shining through this shade of gray.
And wait: “aged 18 and above”…? Does that mean Moe Date lets you “date” underage girls as well?