In Japan, You Can Hire a Handsome Boy To Wipe Your Tears Away

Ikemeso / Ikemeso

Generally speaking, it’s inadvisable to schedule a cry while at the office, but a new service in Tokyo is banking on the idea that the presence of a handsome boy might change that.

It’s all part of Hiroki Terai’s rui-katsu (or “tear-seeking”) empire. Terai began his public crying events in 2013, inviting people to view sad movie clips and cry together for free. He also published a book with photos of male models crying.

The latest venture is called Ikemeso Danshi, and it allows you to click through an online catalog of gorgeous gents before choosing one to pay you an office visit. There, he’ll wipe away your already-flowing tears or—if you need some help opening the floodgates—will kick things off with some sad, waterworks-inducing videos. The catharsis cleanup costs 7,900 yen (roughly $65).

While most emotionally stable people believe in the power of a good cry, the monetization of public emotional experiences is a growing trend in Japan. As Quartz notes, the “Ikemeso boys” are the latest in a series of—shall we say, unconventional—services involving buyable interpersonal relations including “cuddling, watching television, or cleaning up your apartment after you die alone in it.”

Japan's population is expected to drop by one-third in the next 45 years, and a 2011 survey revealed that about half of 18 to 34 year olds there were not involved in a romantic relationship. Additionally, about one-third of Japan’s residents live alone and that number is only on the rise. Divorce rates are up and marriage rates are down, which all told, makes an on-call comfort source seem like a pretty sane idea.

[h/t Death and Taxes]