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Friday, January 19, 2018

Japanese AV Star: Aoi Sora

Her name is pronounced Ow-wee… and while the diminutive Japanese woman named Aoi Sora (surname first) recently announced her engagement to be married this past January 1, 2018, her message on Chinese social medial platform Weibo garnered 830,000 Likes, and 170,000 Comments, or about 166,973 more than this blog has ever reached, in total, and that’s with me pretty much responding to every one…

How about that… I’m just not as popular as a Japanese porn star. I must be getting old.

The fact that Aoi’s engagement set the Chinese social media world afire is no small coincidence, considering she is considered to be the woman who taught the Chinese people all about sex.

Now, I’m sure that having a population of 1-billion plus probably means that the Chinese are already quite aware about sex… but in this case, I’m talking about that fun kind of sex that tries to avoid procreation.

getting her start in the Japanese AV (adult video) scene in the early 2000s, by 2003 through 2005 she was being published in a new flick every month, starring in over 90 films in her career. 

It’s a strange phenomenon considering that China considers pornography to be illegal, and yet there we be.

Aoi’s movies were being produced at a time when the Chinese Internet was growing, and because it’s the Internet, much of what was searched for was porn, though I don’t know anything about that. Ahem. 

Soon enough, Chinese consumers were able to find and share MP4 files containing her AV movies, much the same way I, as a teenager, was able to find hundreds of VCR copies of American (usually from Van Nuys, Californication) and Swedish Erotica flicks back in the late 1970s.

Someone had purchased a movie, and everyone copied it. It beats me how the heck the AV industry actually made any money. Ever. One sucker to pay for it, and everyone else to copy it. To me, back in the day, the real money would have been made in the sale of recordable VCR tapes.

While I would never state that pornography is the best or only way that fun sex should be performed, it is quite obvious that many men (and women) have taken their lessons in the activity from the porn industry.

Then again, I’m of the opinion that sex between two (or more) consenting adults - regardless of how it is enacted - is just dandy. Though it is good to note that not every act some deem sexual is deemed the same way by others.

One woman called me a freak. But then added: “But I’m your freak.”

In China, pornography was a way for the once staid culture to learn new things, as even the most basic concepts of sex are not discussed within Chinese culture.

A news article I read, more or less condemned Chinese families because they don’t talk about sex within their own family. Do people do that still?

Aside from a “be careful” or “wear a condom” or “make sure you want to”, do parents talk a lot about sex? I have no idea. I have a 12-year-old son.

I was never given “the talk”. We had sex ed classes in Phys Ed., but to be honest, that was all about reproduction rather than plain old fornication.

I learned a lot from watching AV, as well as from reading the articles in Penthouse, Playboy and other adult magazines of the day such as High Society (my favorite).

Yes… sometimes you do read the articles… with both hands.

I actually learned a lot from reading the Penthouse column Call Me Madam by Xavier Hollander, who had penned the marvelous book, The Happy Hooker.

Madam Hollander
While male readers would try and impress her with their stories of sex “A door-to-door Girl Scout tied me up and forced me to eat her cookies”, Ms. Hollander would politely describe in detail ways in which a man could please a woman, rather than how he got off in 47 seconds.

Personally, the news that China learned something about sex from watching porno movies isn’t that big a deal. Ya gotta learn it from someone or something or somewhere.

Peking University had conducted a study in 2009, sent  to some 22,000 people in China aged 15-24.

The study contained a total of three questions on reproductive health.

The researchers found that 4.4% of the respondents were able to correctly answer all three of the questions.

In China’s case, for many people, the sexual exploits of Aoi served as a catalyst for hopefully hours upon hours of satisfying sex for all parties involved.

Hey… as long as they weren’t learning everything from BDSM or scat movies and only that, though whatever yanks your crank, I suppose.

But is it good to get all your information from the world of Adult Video?

The smart answer says “no”.

Just as women everywhere who read beauty magazines, or see images of so-called beautiful women in advertisements or movies or TV, there is a chance that they begin to compare their own view of beauty to those so-called models or actresses.

Should all women have to look like a Victoria Secret’s model?

The non-smartass answer is “no”.

The same holds true in comparing one’s self to the “actors” in AV. Not everyone is blessed with a missile, and not every women needs to have a D-cup.

AV could distort the social norms… and in fact may already have done so.

Perhaps the best way of looking at AV, is merely to consider it as one of many (no pun intended) tools one can use in learning about sex and sexuality.

But look… I’m not even going to pretend to stand upon an Ivory Snow soapbox and preach to anyone.

That comment in the sentence above is in relation to the fact that the woman who was on the cover of the old Ivory Snow boxes was American porn star Marilyn Chambers.

Back to Aoi… when first opened her Twitter account on April 11, 2010, the news quickly spread to China… where Twitter is banned because it’s a good way to prevent its people from learning too much about the world.

World be damned, the Chinese folk who knew and loved Aoi began to penetrate the great firewall of China by using VPNs to follow her… the night is known as "the night of Sora Aoi" by Chinese fans.

In respect to her Chinese fans, Aoi opened up her own Weibo account (China’s answer to Twitter), which now accounts for 18 million followers, which is about 1.8% of the population of China - so well done!

After retiring in 2011, Aoi is trying to make it as a singer/actress.

Her ability to cash in on the large Chinese audience - and perhaps her genuine skill and looks - and helped her gain roles in on-line videos and movies, but nothing mainstream yet. 

She appears to have put a lot of effort into familiarizing herself with Chinese culture. Every post on her Weibo site is written in Chinese by herself.

Apart from the language, she also started learning Chinese calligraphy. In 2013, a piece of her calligraphy was said to have been sold at 600,000 yuan (US$92,000), which is more than she would have made doing a porno movie, by far.

Lastly, it is important to note that Aoi, a Japanese woman, is much adored in China… a country with whom Japan has had increasing political tensions with over the past several decades.

Whether it was about Japan pounding on China without consent in the pre WWII and WWII days, or China declaring so-and-so islands are theirs, while Japan says its theirs (He said-she said), or China continuing to wave its private parts in the face of Japan who just wants to be left alone without someone trying to break with international custom, the fact remains that when it comes to something both nations can agree on, Aoi certainly has the nicest smile I’ve ever come across.

Andrew Joseph

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