Japanese cyberspace is a-buzz about “erogs” — erotic blogs where women post naked pictures of themselves along with spicy narrative text. The “experts” quoted in this story seem to believe that “there are a lot of eroggers who want people to look at them as ‘real women,'” but a quick glance at the top erogs (courtesy of erog.jp) instantly raises some serious doubts about the “authenticity” of the bloggers.
These sites’ homogeneity of structure, high-quality pictures, and highly voluptuous authors question the premise that these are just “everyday” women uploading pictures of themselves for sexual ego-boosting. To start, most of the camera angles would require a photographer, and most of the shots appear to have been done at one session. I asked around about the erogs, and a friend of a friend apparently belongs to a temp agency that finds girls willing to expose their bodies, but not their faces. I don’t quite understand the profit-making ability of this particular scam (hit-related advertising revenues?), but I would guess that the sex industry is behind the entire thing.
Like most media in Japan, everything sold on the premise of “reality” is planned and artificial, and as long as there’s money to be made, no one has the slightest interest in questions of veracity. We automatically lower our standards for nonfiction, and as long as no one’s fact-checking, cultural producers can easily make their fiction more interesting by creating an air of reality. These erogs’ sole appeal is the illusion of amateurism. Uncovering the assembly line production would clearly destroy the entire phenomenon.