For Real, For Rent: Human Snuggle Buddies

Man and Woman Snuggling

Are you a lonely man or woman living in Japan? At night, do you wish upon the brightest star you had a warm body to snuggle up to while you sleep? Well, just like Bobbleheads in the US, this creepy concept is thriving in Tokyo.

If you are at all like me (a Mama born in the eighties with a fairly innocent mind) your concept of paying a woman to sleep with a man means a beautiful prostitute named Vivian is wined and dined by a wealthy and powerful man named Edward only to find herself “not wearing any pantyhose” in an elevator and defying the hooker creed of kissing a suitor on the mouth, then subsequently falling in love with him. Gosh, I hope you’ve seen Pretty Woman…

A Costly Catnap or a Satisfying Slumber?

At Soine-ya in Tokyo, not only is it legal, but paying a woman to sleep with you is a highly successful business. The catch is that you literally just sleep with the woman. Actually, her services can include wrapping you up in her arms, letting you pet her head, and giving her a foot massage, but that’s where the canoodling ends. Absolutely no sexual contact is allowed – at least that’s what they advertise. What isn’t discussed quite so loudly at the water cooler is that before woman-renting was ever an option, lonesome ladies were already getting their cuddle fix by renting out men to keep them company while they get some zzzzz’s.

At Soine-ya Prime, for 30,000 yen (around $365), you can have a rented male companion lay beside you for seven hours while you sleep. If you wish to cover additional costs, he can also go on a date, cook, or clean for you. He can be your rented sweet-ums for a longer amount of time for a fee. The tricky part is that like the aforementioned, absolutely no sexual contact is allowed. Therefore, when you peruse the catalog of available boos, you have to choose someone you find attractive enough to spend time with, but not attractive enough to…umm….tickle your fancy too much.

Both Sides of the Pillow

I’m what you call a “don’t sleeper”- don’t touch me, don’t spoon me, don’t wake me. I, personally, can’t imagine spending one single penny on making a man do any of those to me no matter how many Nicholas Sparks novels I’ve read. I am not opposed to paying someone to cook or clean for me, though. But let’s be real, I’d rather hire a woman to do either of those.

On the flip side, however, when you work the numbers, a girl could make a killing  at Soine-ya Prime being a cuddle buddy to a glum guy just looking for a little nuzzle-wuzzle. That is, of course, if your husband agrees with it, you have no issues being in an intimate setting with a complete stranger, and you’ve taken up the fine art of self-defense; all of which are a no-go for me, so it looks like I’ll be keeping my day job as a writer for Rent It Today.

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