Charity dating is a process of raising money for charity by being taken on a date by someone who will donate money to charity for the privilege. It is common for celebrities to help charitable causes by auctioning off a date with themselves to an audience.
Charity dating has its roots in the controversial practice of enjo-kōsai or 'compensated dating' which originates in Japan where older men give money or gifts to attractive women for their companionship.
With the rise of celebrity culture many people are willing to pay large sums to meet their favorite celebrity. For example, Scarlett Johansson auctioned a pair of tickets to attend her premier, raising $40,100 dollars for Oxfam.
The most common form of celebrity date auctions is through a charity fundraising event. These events are organized by charities or other parties and usually include dinner, speakers and other entertainment.
More recently, the online auction site eBay has been used to allow a wider audience to bid for a date with a celebrity. One common auction is for the chance to attend a film premier with the celebrity. Examples include Scarlett Johansson, Kristin Davis, and Colin Firth.
In May 2009, GiveAndDate.com launched in New York City. In September 2009, The Chronicle of Philanthropy profiled how the for-profit dating site accepts donations to partnered charities when one user wants to send a message to another user.
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