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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

How To Get Laid In Japan

I often wonder just how much information from myself is too much information - but that the heck, I'm just being honest, and in the following case, I'm using it to provide information rather than to brag, though I suppose a bit of that will invariably escape into the blogosphere no matter how I attempt to phrase things. 

So... per the headline, let's discuss how to get laid in Japan.

For the record, this is for the foreign men attempting to sleep with Japanese women in Japan. 

As I get older, I am sure people look at me like there is no way in hell I ever slept with as many as I claim to have done.

Being underestimated is actually part of the key to my success.

Granted, while I was in Japan I was still young and goofy, but I was in Japan, dammit, and I possessed a self-confidence that boosted my ego into the stratosphere.

Now... I don't mean I had an ego that made me think I was better than everyone else - far from it. My parents made sure I was rooted in reality (despite allowing me to grow a healthy imagination).

No... I was just actually brimming with self-confidence by the time I had arrived in Japan in late July of 1990.

I was a university graduated in political science and a college graduate in journalism. I had been fired from my school internship for being a suck about a woman I liked getting hired before I could even apply for the job at a newspaper, but I scratched that annoying itch by discovering I had got into the JET (Japan Exchange & Teaching) Programme to teach English in Japan to junior high school kids in Ohtawara-shi, Tochigi-ken PLUS I also got into the prestigious Toronto Star Summer Internship Programme to work as a reporter.

It would be sour grapes to also mention that the newspaper that fired me went out of business four weeks later after publishing for over 100 years.

I was already paying my way through journalism school by teaching piano and clarinet, was coaching woman's soccer and even got a school award for that, was dating three women at the same time, though in retrospect, since I wasn't sleeping with any of them, they obviously thought of me as just a guy they liked and no more. But the point is... they went out with me... three beautiful women - not gold-diggers, who were a blonde, a redhead and a brunette. A trifecta!

I was quick-witted, if not smart, always had a kind word for others, could see the other person's point of view, was tallish, in shape-ish, had great hair-ish and dressed well. I could drink like a fish and still be just as drunk as the next guy, but still remain funny and not obnoxious.

Just no woman wanted to sleep with me.

After that ape-ish balloon was pricked, I guess I grew more confident. I discovered that women didn't frighten me with the prospect of "no", because, what the heck, I was now apparently sex-worthy. Ish.

I think after screwing three different women in three nights: drunken Japanese gym teacher after a school party; a visiting AET (assistant English teacher) from another prefecture that was nine years my senior; and my ex-girlfriend who wanted to be my former ex-girlfriend... I think I started to get the idea that having a wicked smile and a dirty mouth, or an angelic smile and a wicked sense of humor could get me out of jams and into the sack.

Those three, by the way, were just three months into my stay... in my mind that's a great track record for a guy who spent the previous near 26 years a virgin-ish.

So... when in Rome, do as the Romans do, right? Well, in Japan, do as the Japanese do.

I made it my goal to learn as much about Japan and its culture as humanly possible for a sex-obsessed lazy ass Canadian man. The key word is 'lazy'.

I did learn a lot about Japan from talking to the Japanese people. I did, however, limit my conversations by an inability to speak Japanese.

But, I knew that I had to.

But rather than learn all the Japanese conversation crap such as one would learn in a class room, I made friends with a couple of Japanese dudes that were young like me, and sex-obsessed. Sex obsessed is probably over-stating things... we also like to drink and have a laugh at everything. We just all wanted to get laid.

In fact, in the early days, I would play the silent wing-man for these two guys - guys who didn't know each other, by the way.... they would chat up the women, mention their foreign friend - me - I would come in and would stumble around the Japanese language as the women would stumble around the English language... let's just say that usually every body won.

But after each was posted to another town by their work, I was left on my own... so I had to use the few Japanese phrases I had picked up from these two guys - and, believe it or not from some of my students and fellow junior high school teachers.

So... without much further ado about nothing, let's pick up where we started, just noting that my words are in a more casual manner, as opposed to formal: 

Me: Kirei-na hitomi-dane.
Translation: You have beautiful eyes.

I'm unsure why, but eyes are important to me, and by not playing up how sexy their legs are, blah-blah-blah, I would come across as a different sort of man trying to get into their pants.

Me: Mongen nanji?
Translation: What time is your curfew?

Curfew? Yeah, at least back in the 1990s, Japanese single women often had a 11PM curfew, meaning they would have to leave wherever they were at 10PM... which sucks if you only got to the bar at 9:30PM.

I only ever once bothered with a woman with a curfew... and that was when I was looking to settle down... or rather I fell in love with a woman - Noboko - not her real spelling.... and besides, her curfew was non-existent on Friday and Saturday nights... when she would often tell her parents she was staying with a girlfriend over night...

Back at the bar, small talk would ensue... how much I like Japan, what do I like best about Japan - always answer "the people. especially the women" at which time I would turn to my male friend and apologize with a smile. "Bakayaro" 's (stupid idiot's) would abound, a hand would touch a thigh for a moment...

Nine times out of 10, that hand was never removed by the Japanese woman. Seriously.

Granted they may have been too stunned... or too afraid of upsetting the foreigner, but in face-to-face meetings, I read people like a book... not an e-book, because that would just be a stupid analogy.

Perhaps because I was also having a good time—and important—wasn't hammered off my gourd with alcohol, and was laughing and smiling and having a great time, that hand on the thigh would be met with her hand atop my hand.

In like Flint. You know, someone must have come up with a saying that isn't from the 1960s that means the same thing as the verbal imagery of a 'fist-pump'.

Me: Denai?
Translation: Do you want to leave?

This was always done discretely. Women in Japan might sleep around as much as women in any other culture... but it is done far more discretely in Japan.

One of the keys to getting laid in Japan is to know of 1) a close-by Love Hotel, or 2) have your own place.

Being a foreigner on the JET Programme or working privately, number two was a gimme for looking out for number one.

Being a foreigner working for a Japanese company can have its drawbacks. You can have your own sleeping quarters, but, you may be living in company sponsored living quarters which invariable come with curfew where the gates to the apartment are locked after a certain time... it's not impossible, but once you guys are locked in for the night, you are locked in for the night. Escaping early in the morning - well... everyone will see her, which is no big deal for you, but it is for her. Usually.

Maybe it was just me, but the next morning after another round I'd make us both breakfast—she better like scrambled eggs, bacon and baked beans in tomato sauce.

I'm unsure if that sent the message that I was really into her, but if I was, I would ask for her phone number:

Me: Denwa bangoh oshitekeru?
Translation: May I have your telephone number?

Me: Tanoshikatta

Translation: I had a good time.

Me: Ja ne (pronounced Sczha ne).

Translation: See you later.

I must admit that aside from these and a few other lines, I was essentially illiterate in Japanese. I knew the basic greetings and pleasantries, and could make one word jokes with pantomime... but I suppose I was a jerk and never called.

The smart ones asked for my phone number - or already had it as I bet the damn newspaper published it when I arrived in Japan.

I had no rules about second dates. i would have preferred them, but if I didn't hear back soon enough, out I'd go on the prowl again.

Was I player? No... I didn't pretend to like anyone. I did like them. But why so few second dates?

Personally, I think I was like a badge of honor (or dishonor) amongst the women in my city... it's like they ha to try the ride thy had heard about at Disneyland. It actually did suck, because while I got lots of women to sleep with me, it wasn't what I wanted.

I wanted something more meaningful. A relationship.

Yeah, I said the 'r-word'.

Just as it is tough to form any sort of relationship regardless of the country you are in, it was tougher in Japan - as everyone knew you were not there for a long time, but rather for a good time.

I would have traded a few of the good times for something more meaningful, but like all things, sometimes you have to wait for them... or maybe you have to go out and chase them.

I finally did that with one Japanese woman, and believe you me, it was the best of times.

Andrew Joseph

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