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Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Japanese Water Trade - Sex

Call it what you will... pretty it up with metaphorical ambiance... but Japan's Mizu-shōbai (水商売), translated into English as the "water trade", is the name given to Japan's night-time entertainment business.

This night-time entertainment business includes hostess bars (Japanese woman will come and chat you up, and you pay a bit extra for the female attention - no sex), regular drinking bars (you drink) and cabarets (sit at a table and watch an adult themed show - comedy, play, maybe even sex... but you don't get to participate), but also includes the more dark elements of Japanese sleaze to include Soaplands, health bars, image clubs and pink salons.

In fact... at one time, the water trade also included the kabuki theater... but that's 70 years removed.

So... dark elements? Sure... these elements are known as fūzoku (風俗) and are more directly related to the sex trade.

So... how is a health bar related to the sex trade in Japan? Read on.

Poster for the Pussycat Fashion-health (fasshon herusu) massage parlor, Japan.

Health bar is short for Fashion Health (ファッションヘルス fasshon herusu) which has women provide a massage... you know... the type with a happy ending? Topless, bottomless, in a shower, oiled up and sliding, nude reverse, and perhaps even those with special services that might still fall short of sexual intercourse... but depending on the place and the size of your yen, you can always find women willing to provide a little something-something extra that might be more to your liking.
Soapland.. all that is missing is you.

Soaplands (Read THIS)... I just wrote about it yesterday.... but essentially, women will soap you up and wash your naughty bits before providing the customer with a handjon, oral sex or, though completely illegal, possibly, intercourse. 
High school girl's uniform for Image Clubs.

Image Clubs (イメージクラブ imējikurabu or also known as imekura (イメクラ)... it's not quite 'image' but 'imagination', that is the key, as these types of clubs cater to fantasy fulfillment. While limited to oral sex (at the maximum), customers can engage in fantasy fulfillment ranging from having young women (I assume, but I could be wrong) dress up in costumes and role-playing sexual fantasies in such environments including, but not limited to: the doctor's office; classroom; train station; the office... I find this one... most... fascinating.   
Signage for a Pink Salon - only ¥2000 ($20).

Pink Salon (ピンクサロン pinkusaron or pinsaro (ピンサロ) is a facility that is more than just a place to get off...  it offers (sells) food and limits things to just oral sex from its female workers to customers. Now... here's the rub, so to speak...before you all rush down to a pinsaro to get your rocks off, consider that there are no private rooms and no showers... that means your server may not be the freshest daisy in the field. 
"Waitress! There's a fly in my soup... I mean zipper!"
Now... from what I saw on a couple of sites, there are a couple of other services the Pink Salon offers: fingering and sumata. 

Fingering... that might be the male customer getting a chance to get the stink finger... because you know they are clean... fingering your the yoo-hoo of your waitress.

Of course, the waitress might also give you the finger with a bit of anal stimulation. Hint. Don't order the soup.

Sumata: I checked with my friend Mister Manfred Mann, and even he didn't know about this one. Sumata involves the stimulation of the penile organ by the waitress using her thighs wrapped around the unit, moving up and down to get you off. As well... if you have heard of a 'dry hump', the technique used by the waitress involvs her using her outer labia pressed atop one's weenis to allow ejaculation. No penetration. Ergo, all on the up and up. 

Anyhow... make sure you leave a tip much bigger than a quarter. 

So... what's up with the whole mizu-shōbai (water trade) thing?

Well... history says it might have arisen during the Edo-jidai (1603-1868) when the shogun was in power - not the Emperor.

Travel between cities via walking highways was becoming more common, and so shops and services would spring up along the route offering weary travelers such fares as food, drink, lodging, bathing and eventually sex.

Bathing could be a real bath to wash the grime off you, but it could also be more, with a woman offering similar services as to what a Soapland offers.

For sex... there were the geisha... who in the earlier days may have been more about sexual comfort than about artistic style and grace as they are now in 2013.

Hey... remember I mentioned kabuki? Well... sexual services could be procurred from the kabuki actors if the price was right... it was why ukiyo-e featuring kabuki actors was so popular. I'm just going form memory and may have it wrong though...

Anyway... ukiyo-e - wood block prints... advertisements of courtesans and geisha and kabuki stars who could provide a service for a fee... were well-known subjects of ukiyo-e. Ooh.. she's famous enough to have her own advertisement... it does wonders for business.

Ukiyo-e means... 'the floating world'... which essentially means that things move along the water... floats... it drifts... it lacks permanence.

It's like you can wade across a stream, and while you can do it again the next day, you'll never walk through the same water again - it's long gone down the stream.

Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream. Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream.

Even in English, the floating... the water trade exists... buy a dream for a while.

Water... it's not just for drinking and bathing, is it?

Dream a little dream of...

Andrew Joseph
The print at the very top is a woodblock print of Yodogawa created by master ukiyo-e artist Utagawa Hiroshige in about 1834.

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