It seems an idea whose time has come. Long tilted toward men, the sex industry has turned a corner, says Spa! (May 18), and women lately are “buying men” as never before – perhaps enjoying them as never before, too.
A leading website tracking women-oriented fuzoku (erotic entertainment) lists 185 establishments nationwide that cater to female clientele. Add 100-odd that aren’t listed for a more realistic idea of the extent of the trade, says Momoko Taguchi, a writer on the subject and an entrepreneur in the field. The women come for drinks, conversation, massages, flirtation, seduction, “counseling” – whatever takes their fancy, and at a cost of 20,000 to 30,000 yen, two golden hours are theirs to command.
It’s not new; the concept has been around for a while, but Spa! detects a “quiet surge” in the industry and wonders, “Why now?”
COVID-19 is part of the answer, as it is of almost every question arising over the past 14 months. With travel curtailed by the virus, time and money that would normally be spent on trips are channeled elsewhere – here, for instance. (That the virus might check eros no less than wanderlust is a point not dealt with, oddly enough.)
More generally, of course, women today are freer to express their sexuality than ever before, and more women work than ever before, which means they have less free time. Which means they seek sexual encounters they can fit into their crowded schedules – a major attraction.
“Tomomi” is a 28-year-old designer whose first experience as a fuzoku customer was in the winter of 2019. The occasion was a fight with her boyfriend. It shook her, opening her to new experience. This one proved a turning-point in her life. She’s now “hooked on hosts.” She’s spent more than a million yen on host clubs. Her day job alone, with its 400,000-yen-a-month salary, can’t finance a hobby like this. She took a night job – hostessing. She has no regrets. A host is better than a boyfriend. Hosts don’t fight.
“Yui,” 31, is stuck in a sexless marriage. So she found a “sex friend.” Who stood her up one evening. What was she to do, poised as she was for an erotic encounter – go home to her husband? She was in Shibuya, in the vicinity of its concentration of love hotels. Clicking here and there on her smartphone, she found a fuzoku place in the neighborhood and said, “Just set me up with the tallest host on call.”
The host who materialized was more than tall. He was handsome, personable, a good conversationalist, an instinctive “therapist,” and he gave his client, she feels, more than her money’s worth. She’ll be back, she says.
A woman needn’t be young. “Tomomi” at 48 seems as amorous ever. It was only this past January that she first heard of host clubs. Since then she’s been 10 times, dropping 300,000 yen for what she claims is the best sex of her life. Hosts aim to please and know what pleases. What more can a client ask? Does it matter that the host is young enough to be her son? Not to Tomomi.© Japan Today