Are you single?
Are you feeling lonely?
Well, you’re not alone, and while you continue swiping away on Tinder or Coffee Meets Bagel, single women in China have another way of feeling less lonely.
That’s right. Those are ‘boyfriends’ you pay so that they’ll shower you with affection or just talk to you and listen to all your problems, just like an actual boyfriend.
The Virtual Boyfriend Market
You might think that this wouldn’t be a thing because of the stigma against having to buy intimacy because you’re that ‘pathetic’, but you’ll be surprised to know that on-demand intimacy is a very big thing in China, and is very well-known amongst middle-income women who are focused on their careers and are not looking to settle down just yet.
Of course, while they have no time to date because they invest all their time in their careers, they still long for some affection and someone to talk to. And so this is where the virtual boyfriends come in.
They’re not paid to do sex-chats, but rather, they’re paid to have friendly and flirty online communication. They may also be expected to give wakeup calls and have long text conversations or video calls.
These virtual friends and partners can be found on the Chinese messaging app WeChat and on an e-commerce site like Taobao.
The prices start from a few dollars for 30 minutes of texting to a few hundred if you want to be able to keep that partner around for phone calls for a month.
A few virtual boyfriends have shared that most of their clients are single women in their twenties with a disposable income.
When asked how they treat their clients, one 22-year-old virtual boyfriend by the name of Zhuansun Xu shared that he tells himself that he is her boyfriend, so he tries to figure out ways to treat her well.
He added that after doing this for the past year, many girls have hired him for various reasons, either for some friendly advice or for romantic requests.
After he is done with each gig, he then stops thinking about them immediately.
A Chance At Love
To many, this may seem quite weird and may even be frowned upon, but to those single women who are willing to pay, it is their chance at love without too much commitment. They know that these men would be offering comfort to them especially since they are paying them for it.
The particular comfort that they yearn for might be hard to get from the people around them, hence they look to these virtual boyfriends who will always be there for them. It’s also considered convenient for them.
If given the chance, would you try this service?
Or would you still prefer a more genuine bonding with another individual that cannot be bought?