Friendship Hire Is A Thing That Exists Now, And It’s Coming To Australia

And the quote says “There are big ships and small ships. But the best ship is friendship.” But now, thanks to the imminent arrival of Friends For Hire, you can just rent that ship and sail it wherever you want. 
The nascent Australian web service designed to find and foster friendship for those who can’t themselves, launches March 22 and promises “endless possibilities” for its users, designated as losers members, and the cushiest of income streams for its nationwide network of chums for hire, designated as “friends”.

But how does it work? These so-called friends (of which there are currently 1,500 pre-registered across the country) are paid up to $60 an hour to spend time with “members” who pay those “friends” directly and are also slapped with a $5 weekly membership fee for use of the service. Friends can be hired to go clubbing, play video games, or even attend a wedding. About the only thing they can’t do is give someone they’ve just met a hand job. Sex is strictly off limits.       

“Every member and friend [relationship] is going to be different, depending on what their needs are,”
co-founder Josh Blundell told Business Insider Australia. “It’s definitely not a dating website. It’s for people who are lonely, without the expectation that things will move beyond a platonic friendship…If anyone was found to be outside the terms of service, we would remove them from the site.”

It is a service that seems philosophically opposed to everything we know about friendship, and for that reason, not a particularly sound business decision. The financial compensation part in particular (seriously, how depressing is that?) represents a clear imbalance in relationship dynamics, one which suggests one friend’s traits, personality, connections, time, company is more valuable than the other’s. It’s at odds with the basic definition of friendship – two people who like each other. Who would pay for this service when so many other avenues to friendship, true friendship, online or otherwise, exist already? 

Quite a few people according to Blundell. Particularly those from non-English speaking backgrounds looking to set roots in Australia.

According to the service’s website, the array of functions a Friend For Hire could potentially serve include: sporting events, family or work functions, workout partner, wingman/wingwoman, cooking/helping out, meet friends, hanging out/chilling, dinner, outdoor/4wd/camping, sightseeing, clubbing, nightlife, tutor, learn another language, walking dogs, swimming, running, yoga partner, going to the movies and playing video games.
So literally anything but the freaky stuff.