Are you sick of the occasional birthday or bachelorette parties where male strippers shove their junk in your face? Me neither. But you should probably still know about ManServants.
Launching September 1, ManServants is a real, SF-only service that provides women with an alternative to the “hand-me-down fantasy” of male strippers. Instead of scantily clad firefighters who slather themselves in oil, this service offers polite, chiseled men to help host classy functions and events. Among the skills-for-hire listed are Champagne Pourer, Charcuterie Server, Selfie Photographer(?), and Personal Assistant. The company video also depicts a ManServant doing pushups, meaning just plain objectification is still an option.
Like many things that appear on the Internet, ManServants is a “creative side project” made by people who work in advertising. Copywriters Josephine Wai Lin and Dahlal Khajah created the business to solve a need for their engaged coworker, a bachelorette who considered flailing banana hammocks to be her own “personal nightmare.”
“When a male stripper shows up, he believes his schlong — not the lady — is the star of the show,” says Wai Lin. “But we hire guys that genuinely love serving women.”
In a city that usually targets its male eye candy at gay men, it’s almost refreshing to see this business focused on women. Although there’s no telling how long that positioning will last — Wai Lin says the company has already received a request for a “bakla-lorette” party (“bakla” means “gay” in Tagalog).
ManServants doesn’t take revenge on traditional gender roles — rather it embraces them, claiming to bring “pool boys to the masses,” even in, well, a city where pools are pretty much nonexistent. And it doesn’t demean women by suggesting a girl can’t barbecue by herself — it simply lends an attractive pair of hands to cover the grill.
But how much will those hands set you back? Rates will be released with the launch in September, though the glossy site leads us to believe they’ll be pretty steep. Perhaps that’s one reason the service is marketed as special occasion-only.
Typically, paying for beautiful people is called using an escort service, but ManServants prefers to identify as providers of a “novelty luxury.” In a city where cafes will have kittens and sensory deprivation costs $75, that business model actually makes sense.
Photo from Manservants