You guys — take a moment today to think about all Asian and Pacific Islanders living with or who have died of HIV/AIDS. In addition to the physical effects of the disease, our communities deal with a lot of stigma, which often includes the inability to even mention it to our closest friends and family. Of course, that is counterproductive to the fight against the issue.
This post is a shout out to the A&PI Wellness Center, an amazing Bay area organization dedicated to this cause, and its Banyan Tree Project. The above video is part of Taking Root, a national digital storytelling advocacy initiative.
I found these finger condoms at the 100 yen store last night. I’m not sure what they’re useful for, but the packaging promises that they will safely protect your fingers during household chores, office work, and other activities.
This is one of those pervy inventions that is at once brilliant and disturbing — it’s an iPhone app that lets you look up the skirts of pretty Japanese women by blowing on or rubbing the screen. Does this encourage train perverts, or does it provide them an outlet that distracts them from doing this in real life? I don’t know the answer.
This is a clip from a porn horror film called Blind Beast v. Killer Dwarf, based on a novel by Edogawa Ranpo (he’s kinda like the Japanese version of Edgar Allan Poe). It stars Mieko Kikuchi, aka Mieko Tanaka, a Democratic Party of Japan member. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with politicians having a porn past, but an article in the Global Post raises an interesting question of whether the contingency of female politicians in the DPJ are truly qualified to hold official positions, or if it’s just a PR stunt.
Meet the masturbating champion of the world, Mr. Masanobu Sato. He came to San Francisco this past weekend to defend his title of Longest Time Masturbating at the Center for Sex and Culture’s annual event—and won yet again. Actually, Sato works for Tenga, the company that makes those canned vaginas that they sell at Donki. He and two other guys showed up with their products, proving that it either isn’t so great or is really great, depending on how you look at it, I guess.
This Saturday is the annual Masturbate-a-thon in San Francisco—it’s a group masturbation event-slash-competition-slash-fundraiser for the Center for Sex and Culture. The world record holder for “longest time spent masturbating/male” is Masanobu Sato of Tokyo. He masturbated for 9 hours and 33 minutes in 2008, and is back this year to defend his record. Every year, at least a couple guys come from Japan to compete. Anyway… the event is this Saturday, and it should be a lot of fun if anyone wants to check it out!
The Onion comedically sums up Japan’s unique fetishes in this fake quote in an article about “porn that makes people puke”:
“We honestly had no idea people did not enjoy this stuff,” said Cultural Affairs Minister Kazuhiro Nakai, expressing regret for the thousands of hours of bondage porn, rape porn, utensil-rape porn, food-rape porn, frozen-food-rape porn, vomit-enema porn, elder-care-coma-patient-rape porn, and the kind of a porn in which a nubile youth is kidnapped, stripped, tied down in a wading pool and raped. “We are deeply ashamed for whatever it is about these films that has made people around the world vomit so vigorously. Please know that the content was only intended to entertain and arouse.”
Nikkan Gendai recently wrote about what they call “love hotel refugees,” a subset of jobless, homeless women who sleep in love hotel rooms.This trend comes after Internet and manga cafe refugees made headlines around the world over the last few years. I met an Internet cafe refugee once. Apparently there are even “Makku” refugees—people who sleep in McDonalds.
Love hotel refugees are women and girls who hang out near love hotels looking for guys to bunk up with for the night, securing a good night’s rest on the bed they paid for. (The idea is that the guys will leave after sex, and let the women use the room until checkout.)
If you ever wondered about cheesy Japanese porn plots, here’s a pretty good one about a guy who falls in love with his Electone teacher. The video clip cuts off as she tells him to use his fingers the same way that he would touch a woman.
This looks like it could be on the drink rack at any convenience store, but it’s actually bottles of lube that parody popular bottled tea brands in Japan. The green is parodied after Ooi Ocha, but instead of Ocha it says Lotion. Ooi Lotion = Lots of Lotion. The red one, instead of Afternoon Tea, is called Afternoon Lotion. I did not actually buy any lube that day so I can’t tell you whether they smell or taste like the original tea product.
Major web portals OCN and @Nifty got into trouble recently for selling ad space to Imouto Club, a web site portraying photos of girls under 15 posing in bikinis.
An article in this month’s issue of Cyzo magazine discusses how common the depiction of children in sexual or semi-sexual situations is, and how most often it’s the parents who push their kids to get famous this way.
"They’re just after the money," says one talent agency executive. "They come here selling their kids to us because they want $1000-2000." Another source claims it’s not uncommon for ordinary child actors to have had photos of them at even younger ages eating bananas in bikinis or showering with their legs wide open.
The man on the left is Shigeo Tokuda. No, he’s not a retiree or a businessman. He’s a porn star. The 74-year old husband and father has turned his old age and knowledge of sex and gentleman-like nature and wrinkly body into a highly marketable commodity. Today, he’s one of the most well-known actors in Japan’s billion-dollar porn industry. He stars in movies with titles like Forbidden Elderly Care and Maniac Training of Lolitas.
Tokuda thinks he’ll be starting in porn until age 80. In an interview with Time Magazine, he says:
"People of my age generally have shame, so they are very hesitant to show
their private parts. But I am proud of myself doing something they cannot."
When CC Land, Japan’s first soapland for women, opened in Fukuoka in February, the ladies flew in from across the country to get their taste of paid, institutionalized sexual services from its male employees. Soaplands had been around for ages, but until then it was a men only affair. Clients would pay 30,000 yen for 90 minutes in a private room with a bed, a bathtub, and a woman who performed sexual services. Now, finally, women could do the same.
Most of CC Land’s clients were thirty-somethings. There were some in their early twenties; others were well into their fifties. They came from Tokyo and Nagoya, even though Fukuoka’s in the southernmost island of Kyushu. And the club’s web site was getting tens of thousands of hits a day. Women were able to select their "host" for their visit on the site—though the ones in highest demand could only be booked on the spot. The employees were plucked from extant host clubs in the area. (If you don’t know what a host club is, watch this documentary.) Drinks and food were provided free of charge.
CC Land was generating revenue of about 6 million yen a month, but its popularity tapered as the number of clients dropped. Unlike the men, who came week after week after week, the women seemed to just want to experience it once.
On September 28th, the owners announced that they would be closing the joint in a month. They offered a 10,000 yen discount to their customers, and made plans to reopen by year end as an escort service for men. The employees got their old jobs back as hosts at regular host clubs.
Why doesn’t the soapland model work for women? Some speculate that it was because women seek a more emotional experience than men do, even from paid sexual services, and they weren’t getting that here. (By contrast, the clientele at regular host clubs is booming—even though sex is in no way guaranteed at these expensive teaser joints.)
When you think of wise investments, you probably don’t think of shady hotels where illegitimate couples go to have sex. Reuters is reporting otherwise. Japan Leisure Hotels, a company that owns five love hotels across the country, is going public. Its current holdings are worth $43.68 million—it plans to expand post-IPO by luring in European investors and expanding its business 14 fold, adding about 1000 for-sex-only rooms in the next two years.
Besides the fact that love hotels are kind of gross, one has to admit that it’s a thriving business. Have you ever walked around Shibuya’s 100 Hotel City after 1am? It’s real busy, and there are a lot more neon "Full" signs than "Vacancy" signs.
For more on some of the coolest love hotels ever, click here.
One of Japan’s most downloaded cell phone apps is "Anti-Groping Appli," a program that subtly sends messages telling off train perverts via the cell phone screen. Since CHIKAN (gropers) are still prevalent—despite the recent crackdown and institution of women-only trains—more and more women are turning to their own defenses. By the push of the "anger" button on the screen, women can send messages like "Are you groping me?" and "Shall we go to the police?" to offenders, who are no doubt breathing down their neck while their hands wander under their skirts.