Tired of meeting people the traditional way (even if your idea of “tradition” is buying women “lady drinks” in hostess bars)? Now there’s an app where you can simply browse Thai ladies (and gents) from a catalog and book a date, starting at THB2,500 (US$77.) Not shady at all!
Application YouEx was launched about a year ago but was operating under the radar until a surge of internet interest recently when a Facebook page shared a snap of its advertising billboard, which features a middle-aged, sugar daddy-type dude with three ladies on a couch.
The questionable message reads: “Rent a friend. YouEx.”
We have a few questions. 1) Why YouEx? That sounds way too much like “YourEx,” a person you’d generally want to avoid at all cost. 2) Is “Ex” a Thinglish reference to sex?
We know what you’re thinking, but there’s no prostitution going on here. Really! It says right there in the terms of service that “YouEx does not encourage prostitution,” though we have a sneaking suspicion you can interpret that how you like. That said, your “rented friend” can ostensibly report you and get you banned from the app if you try to sleep with them.
No, YouEx merely offers an opportunity for lonely people to meet someone. Y’know, like Tinder, but for US$77.
Of course what we found when we browsed the catalog ourselves today (hey, it’s our job!) is that most of the rentable “friends” on offer are promotional models who charge anywhere from THB3,000 to THB4,500 (US$93 to US$140) for a five-hour date. After you’ve picked a model, you can select what you’d like to do with them: from grabbing food, to going to a movie, to going shopping. You can even hire them for a modeling job. *ahem*
Some models also ask for travel fee of THB200 (US$7). What? Did you expect them to take a bus, you cheapskate?
Just like ordering pizza, you can select the location, date, and time of delivery. There are currently three time slots available for meetups: 11am-4pm, 4pm-9pm, and 9pm-2am.
There are about 30 girls and 10 guys currently available for “renting” on the app. But on its Facebook page, YouEx says it is recruiting more “good-looking people” to join its system, promising a fee of THB2,500 to THB8,000 (US$77 to $248) per date. Again, this is not prostitution, emphasizes the job ad.
In case, unlike most people, you still have hopes of succeeding in Thailand’s dating pool via more traditional routes, check out our rundown of the 13 types of girls and 14 types of guys you’ll find in Bangkok here.
In other news, now you can get a blind date from a vending machine for US$2.5 in Hong Kong, though a bit more human interaction — like talking to them — is required.