Welcome to the era of the millennials where dating has lost it’s touch, no more romantic handholding, long walks on the moonlit street, flirty lines that make you blush when did life get so complicated ?
If you’re one of girls who wants to go back to the era where courting was the way to go ? Well we have something that gets pretty close to this. Can’t believe your eyes ? No this isn’t a dream a Mumbai based app let’s you “RENT” a BOYFRIEND just to date.
The brainchild of 29-year-old Kaushal Prakash, Rent A Boy Friend (RABF) app aims to help lonely people with depression to overcome it by having a parter for a whole day. You can rent a boy friend for a movie, dinner or lunch date this rented boy friend is also eligible to give you a bit of emotional advice and support.
The founder of this app focuses on the space between “boy” and “friend” to put away the idea of a platonic relationship.
Are you wondering what type of boy friends will you find here ? Already have those horrible tinder experiences floating around in your head. You’ve gotta know how different this is.
SOME AMAZING FACTS ABOUT RABF
When it says “rent” a boyfriend it means “rent” a boyfriend.
You can rent a celebrity for Rs 3,000, or a model for up to Rs 2,000, or an aam aadmi (commoner) for just Rs 300-400 per hour. With a corpus of 65 belonging to the age group of 20-25 years, RABF also has a couple of 55-year-old boy friends in the mix. And if you’re wondering where this money goes ? The website works strictly on a commission basis, giving 70 per cent of the earning to the boy friends.
Apart from just renting boy friends RABF also has a toll free number which let’s you interact with a consulting psychiatrist for a period of 15 to 20 mins for 500 rupees. The founder believes that this feature will help more people connect and talk out their depression than the usual cliche way of the psychiatric couch conversations.
He says “It will be easier to speak about these issues over the phone as in India as visiting a psychiatrist elicits the same kind of “log kya kahege (what will people say?)” response as a girl who wears short clothes in public.”
Though stated as a positive initiative this app brings with itself a lot of obvious apprehensions one of the major question raised is that even though the app discourages sexual or platonic relationships, one look at this application reveals options’ of prospective ‘boyfriends’ as shirtless men with chiseled torsos and airbrushed faces, eager to be picked. Co-founder Dr Sonali Prakash, replies to it saying “bad” looks can often be a “big barrier” in this field of work.
While giving an insight about the app, a hired model Suraj Dahiya stresses on the fact that the hired companions were firmly told that any personal relationship with clients, romantic or otherwise, was not possible. In fact, according to the internal policies of RABF, a personal relationship between a companion and a client is completely out of bounds. And there was no question of physical intimacy. Such an act would cost a ‘boyfriend’ their job.
“We are not being hired to give a woman or man a romantic date. Our job is only to talk to the client, understand their problems and to steer them toward getting medical help or therapy if they so need,” said the model.
While stating it’s benefits to fight depression they mention that it was not therapy that the companions were providing but rather a gateway to therapy if the circumstance so demands. Prakash was aware that providing therapy or giving psychiatric advice without a holding proper accreditation as a medical representative is an illegal and punishable offence.
As these answers and explaination are given by the founders Mental and legal expert may not be as enthused by the idea of a gimmicky ‘boyfriend’ renting site providing borderline mental health services.
Practicing psychiatrist and psychotherapist Achal Bhagat opined that such initiatives could end up causing harm and exploitation of the mentally ill if conducted in an unregulated manner.
“Initiatives that try to help people with mental illness are noble but could end up causing harm. There are various things to take care of while dealing with those with mental illness such as patient confidentiality, trust and expert understanding of mental issues. Non-professionals dealing with possible patients in an unregulated manner can lay bare a landmine of dangerous possibilities,” Bhagat said.
He explained that patients could end up being wrongly advised or feeling hurt, cheated or duped with this form of interaction. “They may develop dependence on the ‘boyfriends’ or developing unnatural relationships with them,” he said.
With so much said we will leave you to form an opinion about this app all by yourself and leave you to try it out