Want a relaxing night away from the office, your college, or your stupid boyfriend? If you're female, 18+, and you live in Japan, maybe you could go to a Host Club.

A host club is an establishment with a roster of all types of attractive men who will offer flirting, flattery, pampering, and companionship in a congenial environment and at an exorbitant rate. A typical host will wear a suit and pointed toe boots, along with heavy eye make-up, circle lenses, and [[AnimeHair wild, improbable]] ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' [[AnimeHair hairstyles]] that are usually dyed. Besides service, most of the commission a host gets comes from expensive alcohol ordered by their customers, so expect hosts to try to get you to throw down thousands of yen for a bottle of champagne. [[PlatonicProstitution Hosts do not offer actual sex]], though it's pretty common for them to sleep with their clients after hours. Customers at host clubs are eventually expected to pick a favorite, known as a "tantou", who will eventually become their main entertainer.

The SpearCounterpart of a host club is a hostess club. While the main market for hostess clubs are {{White Collar Worker}}s, frequent patrons of host clubs mostly consist of women who work in hostess clubs and other parts of the entertainment industry, looking to relax after a long hard night of being nice to inebriated, sexually-harassing [[{{Salaryman}} Salarymen]]. Since host clubs are mostly owned by the same people who own hostess clubs, this has the net effect of recouping some of the hostess' income, and thus hostesses are encouraged to partake of this form of entertainment.

Standard host clubs discourage male customers, and there are separate "host bars" aimed at gay men. Many host clubs also bar foreigners from entering due to language, cultural, and economic issues. They don't welcome customers who only want to enter for the experience and don't intend to become regular paying clients.

The majority of host clubs are located in the RedLightDistrict and are closely affiliated with the {{Yakuza}}. If you ordered that bottle of expensive wine but didn't want to pay? Expect them to beat you up, force you into prostitution to pay it off, or straight up murder you. Host clubs also generally have a very sleazy reputation and it is heavily frowned upon to even go to one.

For the younger set, {{Butler Cafe}}s have a similar premise, only with afternoon tea rather than late-night booze.

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!!Examples:

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[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]

* ''Manga/OuranHighSchoolHostClub'' - A PG version.
* ''Anime/WelcomeToTheNHK'' - In the manga [[spoiler: Yamazaki]] ends up working at one.
* In the manga series ''B.O.D.Y'', the boy the protagonist has a crush on works at one because he enjoys being paid to flirt.
* Keith Goodman from ''Anime/TigerAndBunny'' regularly visits one, because he [[VirginityMakesYouStupid thinks it's a normal cafe]].
* Several of the supporting characters from ''Manga/{{Gintama}}'' work at host/hostess clubs. A few of the mini-arcs take place in the host clubs as well.
* ''Manga/SweetGuiltyLoveBites'' has at least one partner of three pairs working in same one.
* Kagari from ''Manga/{{Sekirei}}'' works as a Host, and is mentioned to hold the #1 ranking. [[GenderBender Certain issues]] result in him taking long periods of time off from his job, with the excuse of a "serious illness". He's shown going on a [[CompensatedDating compensated date]] and taking calls from his many female clients.
* In ''Manga/{{Bokurano}}'', Miko Nakarai is an ex-prostitute who works now in a hostess club. [[SonOfAWhore Her daughter]] Mako alias Nakama is bullied because of this.
* In ''Manga/SuperLovers'', Haru used to work as a host, and Natsuo still does.
* Masamune Matsuoka of ''Manga/AoharuXMachinegun'' works at one.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Film ]]

* ''Film/TheGreatHappinessSpace'' - A documentary about host clubs.
* ''Seoul After Dark'' (aka ''Beastie Boys'') - A movie about the host/hostess club lifestyle in Korea.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Light Novels ]]

* Ryuuji's mother in ''LightNovel/{{Toradora}}'' works at a hostess club.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* One episode of ''Series/{{CSI}}'' centered around a host club, located above a strip club.
* ''Series/CabasukaGakuen'' is about a group of female [[JapaneseDelinquents yankees]] who open a hostess club to [[SavingTheOrphanage save their school]] from bankruptcy.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Music ]]

* With no relation to ''Manga/SuperLovers'', the lyrics and music video for Music/{{Winds}}'s "Super Lover ~I need you tonight~" hints that it takes place at a host club.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games / Visual Novels ]]

* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyThe4HeroesOfLight'' have these as a character class. They give party members the "Psych Up" that increases their strength and allows for combo attacks.
* Ryusei Mitarashi in ''VisualNovel/SweetFuseAtYourSide'' introduces himself as the number one host at the Ulysses host club in the Ginza district. It's a source of constant humor on his route, particularly since he initially just comes across as a dumb meathead.
* One is an important place in ''VideoGame/Yakuza1'', having a lot of plot-related events happening either in it or involving it. There are also a number of hostess clubs across the series that can be visited, though they aren't as important to the plot, provided they're even related to it at all.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Video ]]

* In the third ''WebVideo/WhereTheHellIsMatt'' video, Matt dances with the waitresses at a {{Meido}}-themed hostess club when he goes to Tokyo.
[[/folder]]
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