Yes, Japanese women get lonely too, but luckily for them, there’s Soine-ya Prime, a dispatch service where women can hire a handsome young man to lay with her in bed for a night. Believe it or not there’s nothing sexual about it.
Two months ago, we posted about Tokyo’s popular Cuddle Cafe, where everyone could lay down next to a pretty girl for as little as $40. The joint had just opened in September, but it had such success that a second venue was recently inaugurated. But what about lonely women looking for attractive guys to cuddle up to? Sometimes you just want to crawl into bed and feel someone’s arms around you, without any other implications. But when you’re single that can be tough. Well, for some women, the need of a warm body next to them at night is so bad they’re willing to pay a total stranger. Created in 2011, Soine-ya Prime caters to the needs of Japanese lonely women by dispatching attractive men to sleep in their beds, without engaging in any kind of sexual activities. Clients are not allowed to kiss the men, touch them in any inappropriate ways or contact them without permission from the company. They’re to be used as pleasant company and nothing more.
The Soine-ya Prime business was inspired by a Shimshima, a television drama about a woman who had trouble sleeping after divorcing her husband. She finds that just laying next to a man helps her sleep better and ends up opening her own soine-ya (lit: “sleep together shop”) for lonely women who shared the same problem. The company’s website acknowledges the film as its main inspiration, and clarifies that just like the business in the movie, it does not offer any sexual services. There’s also a list of things you can do with “rental” boyfriends, which includes sleeping in his arms, going out for a date at the client’s expense, having the guy clean the house or prepare a meal. All sleeping must be done at the client’s home or at a hotel.
The Standard Plan, which covers the above services, starts at 30,000 yen (US $364) for 7 hours. 8 hours with a rented boyfriend will set you back 33,000 yen ($400), and a full 12 hours 48,000 yen ($580).
This cuddling thing is turning out to be a pretty profitable business idea. Professional cuddler Jacqueline Samuel, from New York’s Rochester area, made the news for her services, charging $60 for an hour of cuddling and snuggling.