Weekly Playboy: Say No to "Deai-kei" Sites

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Weekly Playboy> — Japan’s number one magazine for angry, angry, breast-obsessed men — has a banner-article in the new issue advising their readers not to use “deai-kei” websites to meet women. In the enormous deai-kei industry, men pay exorbitant fees to send emails to various “girls,” whom they hope to meet in person. Turns out: companies hire young women and men (“net-okama”) to write emails as “sakura” set characters and find new and innovative ways to evade talk of actual meeting the clients. I have a half-dozen friends who’ve worked this job, and they all claim that these men are all frightfully sad and pathetic — especially since it’s a huge open secret that the “girls” don’t exist and the sites are a sham.

Weekly Playboy, in its infinite mission to get their readers laid (usually through glorifying the culture of paid transactions), suggests in its headline: “If you’re gonna do it, definitely go with “non-Deai-kei” sites” (「ヤルなら、断然”非出会い系”サイト」). This particular magazine is always happy to fill the pockets of the underworld sex industry, so I would guess that they’ve gotten the OK to move readers away from these fake sites.

Earlier this year, there was news of police raiding a deai-kei office and busting up the yakuza-nerd network running it, after several of the highly frustrated patrons filed massive complaints. Japanese men, evidently, do not like the fantasy of paying money to talk to women who do not really exist.

Marxy wrote a lot of essays back on his old site Néomarxisme. This is one of them.

22 Responses

  1. r. Says:

    i know a semi-famous guy who runs a small japanese indie record label who pays for it and also generates his livelihood from working as a “net-okama”. he and i had a long conversatoin about it, and it seems that he is very good at what he does. so fine then, indie culture “by any means necessary”

  2. r. Says:

    but then again, i suppose the desire to cover-up the colossal blunders of the modernist project in its ongoing and botched attempt to deal with the nuances of postcolonial (non-Western) feminism do make for interesting blogging in some spheres…

  3. odot Says:

    when are we gonna get a true, undercover informed, story, of the sex media in japan? this is nothing but enlightening, david.
    i’d also like to know how taboo actually is porn in japan, as far as i understood that, for instance, porno manga, are basically read by everyone from your uncle to your little sister.

  4. marxy Says:

    when are we gonna get a true, undercover informed, story, of the sex media in japan?

    I actually am not very knowledgable. I pick up pieces here and there, but I don’t actually read adult magazines nor articles about the adult industry. But it’s safe to say that the guys running the porn and prostitution businesses are the same creepy guys running the entertainment racket.

    I’d also like to know how taboo actually is porn in japan, as far as i understood that, for instance, porno manga, are basically read by everyone from your uncle to your little sister.

    Robert can jump in here too, but I would go as far as to say that there could not possibly be a society more open to porn than Japan. In America, it’s a huge business, but generally stays behind closed doors. In Japan, subway ads for mainstream magazines have headlines screaming, “Save our beloved Prostitution!” Most political journals have naked pictures of women because, of course, politics is for men, silly.

    No one also wants to talk about where AV actresses come from – and I get a sense that it’s a way to create the aura of “the girl next door.” I forgot who said this but American porn is all breast-enhanced superbeings at play while Japanese porn is normal-looking girls looking like they’re hating it. Puritan Americans love the hypocrisy of buying porn and then making documentaries about how all the actresses were abused as children. That’s not a trope in Japan, and if you believed the media, it seems like well-to-do kids from good families join the Adult Video world for fun! No one talks about class issues or sexual abuse or coercion. Those are all bullshit feminist issues, right?

  5. r. Says:

    i guess there is my cue, so i’ll jump in here…

    english reportage on porn and the sex industry in japan is a very complex subject, and sorry to say, this reportage usually suffers from two main problems:

    1. lack of direct experience with that world

    http://www.livejournal.com/users/imomus/84311.html

    2. focus only on neo-colonial side (i.e. european/american sex tourism industry, which, like all service-based, tourist industries, is basically a watered-down version of the ‘real thing’…these pages are legion)

    a while back, i wrote this as a rough rebuttle to some of the objectionable trends i was seeing in the media.

    http://glitchslaptko.blogspot.com/2005/02/let-your-conscious-be-your-guide.html

    this URL, linked in that blog that i did, is dated, but in english, and very factual and frank about the industry. of course no points for sounding ‘cool’ or anything…these guys aren’t worried about it.

    now it seems to me some of the main issues to consider in the japanese porn industry are:

    * mosaic/blurring out of the ‘naughty bits’ in most non-ura-video/non-ura-bon (book) media. actually brian eno, one of the world’s biggest porn collectors, has a lot to say on this topic…not much of it print sadly.

    * ‘gymnastic’ asian sex as opposed to ‘athletic’ western sex

    * hyper exact ultra-fetish genres (i.e. things get very interesting here: i was even given a video by this guy, and the video was specializing on girls with squeaky-cute sex voices and lots of close-ups on their lips repeating phrases like “reiko is a naughty spunk kitten” or “i wanna stink like your love juice” over and over in a hypnotic way, sort of like steve reich’s “come out to show them”). there is a related issue of japanese girls being ‘squeaky’ and frequently ‘screaming in bed’…depending upon what kind of stick you are using to beat them off with, of course.

    * ubiquitous availability and lack of “IDing” customers (not that i’m opposed to underage porn consumption, but this is related to other things like drinking and smoking going ‘unchecked’ in japan. again, i have no specific beef with this, i’m just stating the situation)

    * syntactic issues: the language and ‘set phrases’ of japanese porn/AV are, as in other countries, colorful to say the least, but they are rather partitioned away from the language as it is spoken on a daily basis. this takes some getting used to. i did a rought 6 month study of vocabulary in japanese porn/AV last year producing some interesting results. the ‘menu’ of set ‘plays’ is very specific, and also rich in variety. this is directly related to an almost ‘gastronomic’ treatments of sex in the ‘fuzoku’ (japanese sex industry)

    * ‘straight’ porn and ‘gay’ porn are almost NEVER to be found in the same building. hyper seperation. lots of female bisexuality, not much male bisexuality…if two men are fucking each other, they MUST ONLY be gay. but this is a worldwide phenomenon

    * also (as david mentions) there is the question of demographics. of course, in MANGA, the demographic is controlled by the writer/author…but here is an interesting thing…in MANGA, child porn (i mean CHILDREN, pre-puberty) is everywhere. i’m not sure what the law is no this…issues of consensual sex aside. i don’t care to much for reading the ‘i was raped by a space alien’ type of tentacle-sex stuff, but when a 7 year old girl is raped in a two page MANGA spread…of course, these are things that some people, in their vast and heavily-biased reportage on the ‘world’ of manga, will and in fact CAN never address on his ‘safe’ website.
    for a good expose’ on this kind of manga, you can always visit

    http://www.AkachanReipuNow.net

    the girls who are getting paid for doing movies and pics…that is another very complex story…

    i have three friends who are porn actors: two japanese girls and one black man from NYC. their stories are of course, very different, so speaking to them, it is difficult to extrapolate any kind of general theory about the demographics and social situations of the porn industry and the actors at large.

    >for instance, porno manga, are basically read by >everyone from your uncle to your little sister.

    well, i guess this all hinges on what you define as ‘porno’ right?

    >there could not possibly be a society more open >to porn than Japan.

    i think here this is a little off. the MALE part of japanese society is very open to porn, but i’m not so sure about the female part. there are a few ‘females only’ porn shoppes in tokyo, but since i’m a male, i’ve been denied access…

    >Most political journals have naked pictures of
    >women because, of course, politics is for men,
    >silly.

    yeah, fuck that femmebot stuff!

    >No one also wants to talk about where AV
    >actresses come from

    well, i agree with this one. since they represent a group that officially don’t ‘exist’ in the eyes of the japanese government, it is difficult to address these issues in any kind of official framework

  6. Momus Says:

    No one also wants to talk about where AV actresses come from

    It’s always possible they’re brought by yakuza storks, but I’m more inclined to take the view that they’re fairly normal young women, created by sexual intercourse and raised in families. Although Robert disdains the article I wrote for Vice on this subject (and Robert, as you know I tried to set you up with Vice to write this article yourself, because you do have a lot more experience of this stuff than me, but you somehow failed to impress the editor), I don’t see anyone either matching or disputing the figures I crammed into the piece:

    “One in 16… young women has worked in the sex industry… about a quarter of [high school girls] have already taken part in telephone chat clubs, dating older men for paid sex in one of Japan’s 40,000 love hotels. One source has estimated that soon up to 50% of Japanese people living in urban areas will be working in jobs related to the sex industry, which in Japan soaks up 1% of GNP.”

  7. farley Says:

    r.:
    I’ll totally buy your book when it comes out…

  8. marxy Says:

    One source has estimated that soon up to 50% of Japanese people living in urban areas will be working in jobs related to the sex industry

    50%?! Let me get this straight – fifty, five-oh, percent?

    One in 16… young women has worked in the sex industry

    Why do you automatically assume that these 1/16 girls aren’t from lower socioeconomic classes and non-urban hometowns?

  9. Momus Says:

    I did rather mis-state that 50% by making it sound like they’d all be sex workers. In fact, that number will participate in the sex industry, either as producers or consumers. Japan Today reports the Spa magazine estimate that’s based on:

    “Given the convergence of so many encouraging trends (yet another factor is the growing percentage of single males in their 30s), the latent number of buyers and sellers of sex in Japan’s major cities, Spa! projects, may eventually reach as much as half their entire populations.”

    http://www.japantoday.com/e/?content=kuchikomi&id=89

  10. r. Says:

    nick be say: …because you do have a lot more experience of this stuff than me, but you somehow failed to impress the editor

    and i be say: well, i DO appreciate you trying, but i’m not bothered one bit by vice’s reaction to my writing. i think it says more about THEM than about ME.

    that and the fact that they are kind of roped into a strage corner of reportage where they can’t write about anything outside of the intersection of the sets of accurate FACT and COOLNESS. naturally, by not going with me, they aren’t missing much, as your writing proves!

    of course, there IS an alternate version of that article that i sent them that i was SURE they’d accept, but i wasn’t sure about the clincher line. let me know what you think:

    “The fuckproud Tokyo hookers are too busy knocking boots to talk to VICE Magazine!”

  11. Brad Says:

    Hoooo, writing a “factual” article using JapanToday and Spa! as your primary sources. That takes some balls…or at least a loose interpretation of the word “facts”.

  12. Momus Says:

    Well, it was either that or visit every one of Japan’s alleged 40,000 love hotels myself. One, two, three, four, five…

  13. r. Says:

    if you are doing some teenage high school girl action, love hotels are probably the best bet. if you are gunning for the ‘professional experience’ then you’ve got to visit the brothels/soaplands/etc. nishi-shinjuku is a good, seedy place to start, although i hear there is a very high-priced brothel somewhere in sarugaku-cho (that’s the best part of daikanyama), so that might be a start.

  14. Chris_B Says:

    brad: momus has never been one to be disturbed by facts or sources. Its all about the art. In any case, “statistics” in Japan are only a wee bit more reliable than Chinese official statistics.

    r: I recently helped out a friend from the US who wanted some very specific Japanese porn but couldnt navigate the maker’s website. This company specializes in movies of girls in “hero” costumes. Usually not having intercourse, but rather being punched, punching men, or the general scat menu. It came to me as no surprise that this company’s retail outlet was in Akihabara… The only place I’ve seen more detailed genre categorization of porn was Germany. As far as gymnastic goes, ever seen “helicopter man”?

    The only self admitted AV acress I know seemed like a “regular” person until we talked about her work doing oshibari and hitozuma films. That and the fact that she got a full back tattoo from Horiyoshi the 3rd. There has been a book published about the tattoing process for that piece, its very nice.

  15. marxy Says:

    The only self admitted AV acress I know seemed like a “regular” person

    I’m sure most AV actresses aren’t noticeably insane in the first fifteen minutes of conversation.

    My point is that the sex industry (and all the apologists/profiteers in the mainstream media) need to obscure the backgrounds of the girls in order to create the illusion of willful participation and normality. (Well, nix on the willful part in the case of coercion-based sexual fantasies,) In Marx’s theory of “fetishizing the product of labor,” goods have an illusion of being unrelated to their production process. You rock the Nikes, but you’d rather not know about the 13 year-old Chinese girls making them in labor camp conditions; nor does Nike want to advertise what goes into a pair of Air Jordans.

    How sexy would Adult Videos be if the woman gave a monologue about being sexually abused or in massive debt before the sex and then the video showed her crying at the end of the scene?

    I very much doubt that girls from upper middle-class families or young women with university degrees are working in the Japanese sex industry, so it’s not a perfect cross-section of Japanese society. Clearly, the main motive of entry into the industry is an economic one. I very much doubt that everyday girls somehow venture into it for some kind of kinky program of self-actualization and esteem-building, but that’s exactly what the industry wants us to believe.

  16. Chris_B Says:

    marxy: EVERY entertainment biz obscures the backgrounds of their talent. Why should AV be any different? As for third world labor making my nice shiny consumer goods, I think we are in completely different camps on that issue.

    And why do you assume that all AV actresses were abused? I’ve met alot of college educated, middle class women here who have worked in some part of the water trade. Should I assume that they all cary some deep dark secret lingering abuse trauma? Of course the industry is economically motivated. So are all other industries by definition. The fact is that the water trade sells fantasy just like any other entertainment industry and to believe anything else is just foolish. You are really sounding like one of those anti-porn puritains here.

    BTW, there probably would be customers here for the genre of the actress giving ” a monologue about being sexually abused or in massive debt before the sex and then the video showed her crying at the end of the scene.” I’d suggest you capitalize on the opportunity immediately before they steal your idea.

  17. marxy Says:

    I’ve met alot of college educated, middle class women here who have worked in some part of the water trade.

    There are a lot of “parts” to the mizu shoubai industry. I can understand a college-educated woman becoming a hostess (although all the hostesses I’ve met were out-of-towners with low education levels), but I very much doubt that well-to-do females are just as likely to become a full-out prostitute or adult video star as girls from a lower-class background in massive debt.

    There are great social pressures from various industries and gov’t agencies to create a homogenized image of the Japanese woman (and admittedly, some demand from women for their own homogenization), but that doesn’t mean we should fall for this idea that basically all women in Japan hold the same values, aspirations, and background – even those in the sex industry.

  18. Chris_B Says:

    /obvious.

    so how about the stand you took two posts ago?

  19. marxy Says:

    which part do you mean?

  20. Chris_B Says:

    at the end you seemed to be writing that it is some kind of revelation that the reality and marketing image of the sex industry are not the same. This seems perfectly obvious to me and didnt need to really be said. So where do you stand?

  21. marxy Says:

    Yes, that illusion is obvious: so why are many of the commenters repeating the myth that sex industry workers are just “normal young women”?

  22. Chris_B Says:

    because some of them are. your assertion went further: I very much doubt that everyday girls somehow venture into it for some kind of kinky program of self-actualization and esteem-building, but that’s exactly what the industry wants us to believe. which is a hell of a long way from saying “some regular women work in the sex business.”