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Thursday, April 5, 2018

The Ins And Outs Of Japanese Eroticism

What's the difference between erotic and kinky?

Erotic is tickling someone with a feather.
Kinky is using the whole chicken.

This is NOT a book review… merely a mention of a new book available for purchase. I can’t say if it’s good or bad, suffice to say, “When I’m good, I’m very good, but when I’m bad, I’m better.”

Neither the opening joke or the dialogue are my own (the latter is attributed to American actress (she wasn’t acting!!!!) Mae West, from the 1933 movie, I’m No Angel:

She was a master of sexual tension in her day.

How do you keep a turkey in suspense?

When I arrived in Japan back in late July of 1990, I was a virgin… it was a big deal to me, then again, I had been up until arriving in Japan pretty damned shy. But I saw the vacation, er chance to work in Japan as a junior high school assistant English teacher as a chance to reinvent myself.

The real me was always there… just hidden under the flotsam and jetsam of being the youngest and shortest in whatever grade I had been in as a student, and being told I was useless. It’s funny (not) how such crap can affect a person.

I’m more intrigued nowadays at how I survived it and managed to come out of it with my sanity more or less intact. I’m aware, that few seem to have been as fortunate in their choices (their own, and those made available to them) in allowing a reversal of fortunes, as it were. It’s why I am very supportive and understanding when it comes to bullying.

At least I am now.

The virgin thing is brought up for a reason. Even before my situation had a complete reversal of fortune while in Japan, I wasn’t ignorant of things. I freely admit that I had multiple copies of Playboy and Penthouse adult magazines that I used enough times to alleviate my frustrations, but I realized that sometimes you can use those magazines for two-handed reading, rather than just one.

Yes… I actually read the articles. As such, I learned a lot about the art of pleasuring one’s partner well before the inevitability of reaching one’s own pleasure. Time needn’t be one’s enemy…

Two bulls standing on a hill top.
Young bull: Hey… look at all those beautiful cows down there… let’s run down and screw one!
Older bull: Let’s walk and screw them all.

That joke was in a Penthouse magazine… and since I recall it some 30 years later, I suppose the message stuck with me.

Patience. Making sure everyone is looked after first… it’s like being the host of a party… my technique in such matters when dating in Japan seems to have worked.

One of my girlfriends in Japan was a sexbomb named Junko, a university student who was fascinated enough by me to drop out of school and follow me around like I was a Grateful Dead concert.

I certainly didn’t want her to drop out of school and counseled her, nay begged her to go back, that I would still be here or there on the weekends. It didn’t matter. She took to stalking me.

Her mental health issues aside, she was a sexbomb... and while I knew the ins and outs of “standard” sex, she introduced me to the artform of ropes, as she taught me how to tie her up just “so” so she achieved that level of satisfaction she desired.

I’ll be honest… it’s never been my cup of tea, but I know how to drink at the trough… because you never know when the well is going to run dry.

Even now, writing this blog and writing about the subject of Japanese shibari (rope bondage), I marvel at the sheer intricacies of how a twist of a nylon rope her and tuck of it over there can create such intricate patterns, which in turn create such interesting scenarios for at least two consenting adults.

It’s not for everyone. It wasn’t even for me, despite me being a willing participant. But it was, ultimately, a fun time had by all.

What we have here, is a new book written by glamor model Shin Kou Sabre, a young woman who uses her book of photographs, Amorous, that will take interested readers on a visual journey through eastern and western interpretations of shibari, ero guro (erotic - grotesque), and shunga (sex and pleasure in Japanese art).

Sabre, who is of Japanese and Australian descent, explains that Amorous is an introspective creation designed to explore the intertwining of two cultures and her own sensual imagination.

Representing five years of Sabre’s work as a model, artist, and producer, Amorous documents her journey with highly-skilled and respected photographers and artists in both Australia and Japan in order to reveal what she calls “a hidden part of myself, one that I was afraid of.”

She comments, “Shibari, which is the modern Japanese artistic form of rope bondage, has increasingly garnered more interest in the West, particularly in the last decade. In addition, there is more research into the differences between shibari and hojojutsu, the traditional martial art of restraining captives using rope, which is featured in some ukiyo-e prints.”

Biographies of the artists featured in Amorous are available at, while short videos of behind-the-scenes footage and commentary of the photo shoots may be seen at

Growing up in Australia with a Japanese mother, Shin Kou Sabre was exposed to a wide and varied collection of art, literature, music, and the history of two diverse cultures. Not surprisingly, she developed an appreciation of both Eastern and Western ideologies. With some encouragement, she began modeling in November 2009 and rapidly established herself as a published glamor model within Australia.

Over the years, she was drawn to the erotic aspects of Japan’s traditional arts and went in search of photographers and artists to collaborate on a series of illustrations and a photographic record of her experiences both locally and internationally in Osaka and Tokyo.

As her experiences broadened and her style evolved, she built upon inspiration from the masters of fine art and photography before her, constantly challenging her ideas of intimacy, eroticism, and imagination.

Amorous by Shin Kou Sabre is available via and, in two formats: Hardcover standard edition, AUD $220, boxed; and Hardcover limited edition, AUD $370, clamshell box and silk furoshiki (a traditional Japanese wrapping cloth).

After viewing the photographs, you might need the furoshiki for a secondary use.

For you art lovers out there…

Andrew Art Joseph

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