Episode 7: PayPal or Venmo
Feeling lonely? Don't have anyone to go for a stroll with? Or, could you use a cuddle? A feel-good, platonic hug? Well, then a friend rental website or a cuddling service could be just the things you need. They could also be the very resources we need to help with loneliness, even if only temporarily.
But what's it like to spend an hour with someone you've paid to be in your company? Hosts, Jeremy and Judy, decided to find out first-hand when they booked a couple of services through Rent-a-Friend and the Cuddlist, respectively. Both companies seem to be mining the commercial potential of loneliness and claim to be growing in reach and popularity.
You'll meet Maggie, Jeremy's rented friend, and Melody, Judy's hired cuddler. And you'll also hear the hosts' honest assessments on what each of their transactions felt like. They will also ponder broader, societal implications of why in an age when dating apps help strangers meet for meaningless sex and websites secure spouses from all over the world, paying for platonic companionship sill comes with moral burdens.