LOVE & SEX IN A PAY AS YOU GO CULTURE

LOVE & SEX IN A PAY AS YOU GO CULTURE

How Japan gets down and dirty

by KOD Staff

With a rapidly falling birth rate and a market for ‘cuddle cafes’, Japan’s sex industry is fast turning into a sordid trip to Disney land.

If you have ever watched Hentai, then you’ll have a vague idea of Japan’s kinky in-between the sheets culture. Despite a thriving fetish industry and elaborately themed ‘love’ hotels, the country has the lowest population growth in the world. Known as the ‘greying’ nation, it is estimated that around 50% of Japanese women are single. With no time for babies, marriage or even relationships, the Japanese just want to have no-strings attached intimacy. Take a walk down the Yakuza controlled red light district and you’ll find host & hostess bars where hot young Japanese singletons pay hundreds just to have a conversation with a member of the opposite sex. A rigidly conformist culture, demanding work schedule and cramped living arrangements means that it’s become increasingly harder to get intimate. It seems that there is no room for genuine romance in the country that tries to commodify everything, even love.

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Kohei Yoshiyuki: Untitled, 1971 (From the series The Park)

The peeping-tom culture is considered acceptable in Japan. It is not unusual for underwear to completely vanish off washing lines. Photographer Kohei Yoshikuyi captured the seedy underground voyeurism of the 70’s in “The Park”, when strolling late at night he came across couples fornicating in the dark, a handful of silent observers lay crouched in bushes nearby. The series revealed the surreptitious nature of Japan sexuality.

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For privacy, couples can check into elaborately themed ‘Love Hotels’, and can choose from a service menu of sex toys or edible whips. After checking in with a robot, you have the option to stay in a naughty schoolgirl classroom with matching outfits, or you can play king of the jungle in the intensely hot tropical suite.

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Around 60% of Japanese men are single and if they do have girlfriends, there is a chance one of them is virtual. Choosing to spend the night with your PSP or an actual woman is a hard decision for some Japanese men. Confused, many simply choose to hit the shops.

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Japan is cosplay crazy; a widespread phenomena where adults take dress up to the extreme. For just 1500¥, you can go on a date with your favourite anime character, holding hands with a young girl dressed as sailor moon.

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‘Cuddle cafes’ are an actual thing in Japan, as a lonely man you can pay to lie down in an adult nursery and stare a perfect stranger in the eyes for 15 minutes, or get a cute girl to clean the wax out of your ears.

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Nobuyoshi Araki: From the series PaINting, 2010

Japan is big on bondage dressed in fetish and with a dollop of sleaze on the side. BDSM parties like ‘rubber brain’ are the place to go on a Saturday night in Tokyo. Although being restrained isn’t always in a sexual context, for many bondage is just a way to escape the rigid oppression of their everyday lives.

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