Ladies who perform before the cameras in adult videos, and those who labor in the sex industry, at some point in their lives make the decision to call it quits and raise a family. Spa magazine (June 1), no stranger to controversy, considers the juxtaposition of the institution of marriage and the world's oldest profession.
Except where noted, the names of the women quoted in the story were altered for reasons of privacy.
"My parents think I'm unlikely to find a partner who is affluent, or who comes from a respectable family, so they've given up on me," Maika, a 27-year-old performer in adult videos, tells the magazine.
"In my search for a marriage partner, I tell them I work in a bar," she continues. "That's not entirely a lie, because sometimes I do work there as well. I would prefer to say I perform in movies, but I worry that a suitor would react by wanting to go straight to bed with me. That wouldn't do, because it would ruin any chance of a love relationship. Being forced to hide it puts me under twice the pressure of an ordinary person who seeks to get married."
Concealing her profession at the start, Maika feels, becomes increasingly difficult as the relationship progresses.
"Since there's a chance we'll go steady, I'll break it to him by saying, 'Actually I perform in adult videos. Does that bother you?' If we were to get married, it would be hard for me to keep lying about it."
Maika says the ideal partner would be an extremely "dry" person (i.e., who doesn't dwell a great deal about what other people think) or "one who isn't after my money."
"If he's worked in the same profession, then I suppose he would understand me, but it turns me off that these guys are on friendly terms with lots of other AV actresses they meet through their work."
"Nami," now 37, has appeared in over 200 films. She tied the knot three years ago.
"My husband is a really serious guy who works in finance," she says. "First we were 'sex friends' for about a year. The person who introduced us told him about my work. He holds official certification, so it took time for him to get used to the idea. There were times when some of the things I did in front of the cameras rattled him, and he'd complain, but I've always been erotically inclined and told him, 'I got into films of my own volition and took pride in my work for nearly seven years!' I hadn't considered marriage at the time I started appearing and took pride in my work, so I think we're getting over the rough spots."
Ena, 33, says her former boyfriend figured out she worked in the sex trade from items she kept at home, like lubricants and Isojin gargle. Learning that she was a sex worker was all it took to break off their relationship.
"I used marriage introduction apps for two or three years, listing my job as office worker," she says. "Not being able to work because of the corona pandemic sort of pushed me toward marriage.
"Six months ago I met a company employee and we've been going together. I felt guilty about my past of working in the sex trade for over 10 years, and started a regular day job. But I needed to supplement my income so I'm still employed at a massage parlor. I feel bad about that. If I can get married, I'd like to be a full-time homemaker."
Junko Takeda, who operates an NPO supporting mental hygiene for sex workers, tells Spa, "It's not especially rare for sex workers to marry customers or men involved in the operation of the places where they work, but presently most of them who seek marriage do it via web applications. They can't list their true profession, so quite a few of them claim to be 'therapists' or 'counselors.' But even if they try to conceal it, when going to a love hotel or during sexual encounters, their skills seem too proficient, and as often as not they'll give themselves away."© Japan Today