Man worked as 'boyfriend for hire' to stop men and women being hassled on nights out
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In what sounds like it could be the plot for our next romcom obsession, a man created a business as a 'boyfriend for hire'.
Niuhi Von Nida, 33, started his money-earning venture after being asked by a pal if he'd pretend to be her boyfriend when she was being harassed on a night out.
He then decided to continue his 'business' by posing as a plus one to stop men and women being hassled on nights out.
Word soon spread and Niuhi started charging a flat rate of $30 (£26.61) for two hours, with overtime priced at $10 an hour (£8.87).
He's now shared exactly what being a 'boyfriend for hire' involved and his three key rules for anyone looking to take up the job themselves.
Niuhi, who is originally from Hawaii but now lives in Edwardsville, Illinois, ran his business for three years while at college when he was between 23 and 26 years old.
He would meet up with clients before going to a bar of their choice and went as far as making business cards to advertise his unique business.
Niuhi, who describes himself as queer, said he saw himself as more of a 'bodyguard' due to the fact there was no romance involved.
His duties involved looking after drinks, making sure his clients weren’t hassled and walking them to their taxis.
"What they were paying for was safety, and the ability to have a fun night out without being harassed," he said.
"I viewed myself more as a bodyguard.
"Usually I would have to butch up my voice, and if anyone would approach them I’d interject.
"Sometimes guys would hit on them and I’d step in and say 'hey babe, you okay?' and she’d say 'this is my boyfriend' and the guy would walk away."
He was single at the time but now has a partner.
In one potentially awkward situation, a client he was with met someone on a night out who she wanted to go home with.
Niuhi's top notch duty of care remained in place as he checked in with the woman the next day to make sure everything was OK.
Altercations were rare, Niuhi said, but he would always step in if needed.
"It was a job that I never should have had but people needed it," he said.
"I think it’s still necessary, which is sad to me.
"I think it’s disgusting that people think they have a right to tramp on people’s boundaries, just because they think they’re attractive."
Now working as a court clerk, Niuhi has three key rules for anyone planning to give the 'rent-a-boyfriend' job a go.
"Respect for clients, be professional and remember you're there to protect them, not go on a real date," he said.
Topics: Life, Real Life, Sex and Relationships