If there is one culture in the world that seems bizarre to non-local sensibilities, it’s Japan. Look, we’re all a little weird and strange and I’m sure any Japanese person that visited Europe, and the U.S. would find us equally bizarre. Have you ever considered how ridiculous Oktoberfest, Carnival, The Running of the Bulls and Christmas must seem to non westerners? But for the sake of this article let’s take a look at some Japanese services that seem erotic but really aren’t. These are Japan’s most popular non sexual services.
There are few circumstances where you would fall asleep next to a complete stranger. The most likely scenario would be that you went out on a bender with Keith Richards and he said: “I’m out your too hardcore” resulting in you making out with a randomer (that’s a random person) and sharing a taxi to get your goof on (drunken sex is never elegant, thus the “goof”). After only managing to lose the bottom part of your attire you sloppily get into bed, but before any of the good stuff starts to happen you pass out and your potential mate for the night follows suit.
Well, co-sleepers offer you that experience without the alcohol, the sloppy almost sex or the awkward morning for the bargain price of $60-$80. Actually the only thing they offer is a beautiful girl you get to sleep with, as in literally slumber with no “sleep” with in the seedier sense. Sure you can sleep on their lap, hold hands or stare awkwardly into their eyes, but that’s as much human contact as you’re going to get buster! This just seems like paying to get friend zoned.
What’s the best part of sex? The rubbing together of your naughty bits with another willing participant? Or the physical exertion and potential for jolly horses while in the throes of passion. Well, some would argue that it’s the warm, intimate embrace in the afterglow of lovemaking. Now take away the love making and just leave the embracing. With a complete stranger. That doesn’t seem awkward now does it?
Well, in Japan you can pay to awkwardly embrace a stranger, try to figure out where to put your arm so it doesn’t fall asleep and avoid the other persons lava hot breath on the nape of your neck. This service has the honor to have jumped the Pacific, and there are now professional cuddlers in New York, Massachusets and Pensylvania. If you want to lay in bed with a stranger and do nothing go to their website Snuggle Buddies, bleh.
Due to a combination of progressive attitudes towards employment, traditionalist perceptions of family and relationships, and the availability of alternatives to human intimacy (online porn). Japan’s birth rates have plummeted. According to a guardian interview, many young Japanese men and women have no interest in dating and even less interest in having sex.
The problem is sometime you just need a boyfriend/girlfriend. What do you do? Well, there are services in Japan that will hook up a lonely person with a completely non-physical boyfriend/girlfriend for a fee. If you like the service can include going on a romantic date or just helping to throw your parents off the trail that you are a 30 year old virgin shut in (which is so prevalent it’s actually called a hikikomori) that would much prefer to play with a video game controller than play with a nude consenting full grown adult.
Known as Sakuras in Japan (not to be confused with Sakura the cherry blossoms) these individuals are basically human mannequins, or stand-ins. So you work ceaselessly and have an extremely tight circle of friends and acquaintances because of it. You decide to through a party, but unfortunately your guest list is less than lean, its practical skeletal. Well, fear not my fare gaijin (trans. Literally “outside person” foreigner). Just go online and browse a healthy catalogue of healthy young adults that will happily fill out even the largest of venues, for a fee of course.
Sakuras can be found at weddings, funerals and even arcades to feign popularity of the establishment. You thought going to weddings was a chore? Try doing it as a living, combining the suckiness of work with the suckiness of awkwardly and forcibly interacting with strangers while mellow Kenny G or the Japanese equivalent plays in the background.
Before you go all dirty mind on me, I’d like to let you know that Lift Girls only touch buttons. No not your buttons, the buttons in an elevator to be exact. So there, although you thought with your dirty western mind that they would help you with lifting something…well unsavory, they will only help you get to the floor of your choice in one of the now world famous Love Hotels, after that their job is done. This is a hold-out from the days of manually selected floors where the operator would have to flip a lever to regulate the speed and the starting/stopping of elevators on specific floors. Sorry to burst your bubble, perv.
OK, so this isn’t really a fair entry per se, but it has to do with fairness as in complexion (I know that’s a horrible joke that’s borderline racist, but you’ve gotten so far, why give up on me now?). If you are a western-looking fellow, with light skin, then you might actually be a sought-after, boyfriend for rent. I know that sounds horrible but there is a certain unspoken appeal for the exotic, non-dependent on the gender or race. For example an American accent is considered appealing yet isn’t a big deal in the States. OK, maybe that example was a little obtuse but you get the point.
See Also: The 5 Most Influential People from Japan
Do you know about any other weird Japanese service that I didn’t include in my list? Let me know in the comment section below.