At 40 years old, Zheng says she’s tired of searching for the perfect man. So she’s decided to hire one instead.
Whenever she feels like some male company, the divorcée heads to a café in central Shanghai named The Promised Land. There, she spends hours being pampered by a handsome young server, who fetches her drinks, watches movies with her, and listens attentively to her anecdotes.
The sessions cost over 400 yuan ($60) each time, but Zheng says they’re worth every cent.
“The butlers respect me and care about my feelings,” she tells Sixth Tone. “Even if you have a boyfriend, he might not be this sweet, right?”
…The outlets have found success by tapping into the frustrations of Chinese women, many of whom feel society remains far too patriarchal…
Wang Qian, a 24-year-old student, is a regular visitor to the café. She tells Sixth Tone she enjoys the feeling of