It’s getting incrementally more acceptable among people with no self-respect or shame to publicly admit they use dating websites on the reg. It might be a sign of the times, but it’s mainly a sign of the lames.

Because I “work” in the “media”, most of the dorks I know who have done this stuff go on the Guardian Soulmates site, and let me tell you, they are almost all either a scatty, bookish females who have never held down a relationship despite being 26, or males who also play online poker. The result is always the same, one preys on the other, no one finds love and the sex is fucking terrible. Even at the Guardian.

Put simply, gregarious, fun people with social skills (those are the criteria for a person you should want to date, fyi) will never need an online dating site because they’ve got enough connects in the real world and the correct work/life balance to facilitate hooking up at house parties and in clubs at least once every few months.

If you live in the middle of nowhere or you’re old and you want to have kids in a hurry then you get a free pass on this stuff, but if you’re in a city and you’re in some way connected to your own generation you’ve got no excuse. I know it’s on the cusp of acceptability these days, but it’s the same with dating an 18 year old when you’re 28, you can make it seem OK when you sell it to your friends, but doing it still denotes some sort of inadequacy.

But, if online dating screeches “I’m no good at being a real person so I had to turn to an agency to sort out the problems I have with women!” from the rooftops like a howling wolverine, then what does renting friends online say? Probably not anything good.

There’s not really much else you can say about this, I’m just ashamed I didn’t hear about it earlier. I could have guessed they’d have it in Japan, but it’s been going on in the UK for a few months and nobody told me. You’d have had to have hit a real low point to call one of these buddyhookers (a term that you could use to describe them maybe?) and ask them to be the 2 to your 1 on Orange Wednesday.

Bill Hicks had that bit about how you had to have the right sort of friends to become homeless, as in, to completely fall through the cracks of society because nobody cares about you. I suppose the people who use must be in the same situation, but can at least hold down jobs.

Browsing for potential by-the-hour pals has cost me most of the working day today. Turns out it’s mainly jobless Australians and raver douche bags that are ‘up for anything’ who are prepared to be paid to be your friend in London. It’s basically the same work force that provides us with charity muggers and cycle rickshaw drivers in Central London – stoopid lazy dummies who think you can get paid to do nothing, I really don’t want to be friends with those sort of guys at all.

This isn’t The London Paper so I’m not going to try this shit out, but can someone else do it and then tell me about it at length? I’ll accept testimonies from both the rentee or the renter. If I fuck up really badly and lose all my pals I think I’ll try this guy out for size, as he can also arrange group activities with other friends of his, so it’s better value for money. Which of these activities will you swallow your pride to try with a perfect stranger?

A comedy club followed by a pottery sounds like a great day out to me.