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All photos from Joan Sinclair’s book Pink Box: Inside Japan’s Sex Clubs.

Polite, sleek, respectful Japan has an amazing sex industry replete with a surprising and creative blend of perversions.

Prostitution is illegal in Japan, which may be one of the reasons for so many creative “alternatives.” Whatever the reasons, the commercial sex industry in Japan is bold, ubiquitous, and incredibly diverse – a magical hall of mirrors for the die-hard pervert.

Consider this: Japan’s largest red-light district, Kabukicho, is a convenient two minute walk from Shinjuku, the largest train station in the world, teeming with over 3.64 million daily commuters.

Here is a short list of a few of the more interesting club themes and services available to the paying public.

Image Clubs

Stewardesses from a flight themed club whisper to one another. All photos from Joan Sinclair’s book Pink Box: Inside Japan’s Sex Clubs.

Themed clubs or Image Clubs are establishments offering a variety of sexual services in a specifically themed setting. For example, chikan densha, or pervert trains are places where the john enters a look-alike subway car, gropes a number of girls for about ten minutes or so and then chooses one with whom to proceed to a private room.

Other popular themes include nurse’s offices, high school classrooms, and bored housewives. A variety of services are available, running the gamut of vanilla sex acts.

Soaplands

Soapland in an off hour.

Soaplands are some of the most common brothel-type establishments in Japan. Because prostitution is technically illegal, the businesses advertise as being private bathhouses (aka soaplands) much in the same way certain massage parlors are operated in the U.S.

The client undresses and is bathed soup to nuts, generally by one or two hostesses. An array of lotions, bubble baths, and lubricants are used, and in certain scenarios the women strip down and lube themselves up before rubbing their bodies on the customer, using their own skin as a soapy sponge to “wash” them. This generally culminates in a garden variety sex act, the type of which is determined by the client’s budget.

Touch Pubs

Sometimes called Peeping Rooms or even Pink Salons, Touch Pubs are hostess clubs where customers go to engage in sexual touching. Each client gets his own cubicle, sometimes with a view of a live peep show, sometimes with just a TV and a selection of pornography.

A hostess then comes around and takes his order and service is generally delivered on the spot. Average prices range from about $30 to $40 for manual stimulation and $50 to $60 for oral sex. Some clubs offer a “lucky hole” in which the sex worker performs the sexual acts through a hole in a one-way mirror and never sees the customer’s face.

Breast Molestation

Breast Molestation is a specialty of many clubs. Patrons pay for access to a private room and a girl of their choice. Once the girl enters the room the groping begins, the grabbing and fondling continue for a limited amount of time.

There is a general understanding that no other sexual acts will take place, and the customer is to abide by strict rules, only touching the breasts. Very rarely do measures have to be taken to deal with customers who have broken the rules.

Remote Control Vibrator Play

One interesting game is tobikko play, in which the girl wears specialized panties with a built in vibrator that is remote controlled. The game is often times played in public while the couple walks from the front desk of the sex club to a nearby love hotel. The client controls the remote and can hit the switch at anytime, teasing the escort to his liking.

Doll Clubs

One of the more unusual club concepts is the Doll club, in which one can pay by the hour for a room and a personal session with a Real Doll Patrons can choose the face, hair and clothing. Even interchangeable vaginas can be inserted into each doll per customer specifications.

The dolls are incredibly life-like, and weigh about the same as a real woman. Moreover, the price for “alone time” is almost the same as with a living prostitute. What goes on once the door closes is at the client’s discretion – his desires so private they needn’t even be shared with a hooker. The maintainer of the doll may have a pretty good idea, though.

Left: Doll from a Doll Club, right:the spoils of a panty auction

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Panty Service

The Japanese obsession with used women’s panties is reflected in some of the services available to those who are willing to fork over enough cash.

Certain clubs offer a special service where the client pays extra for the urine soaked underwear of his date as a souvenir.

Other clubs offer panty auctions, where prospective buyers place bids while the undies are shown in action by models who wear nothing else. Once the bidding ends the women take them off and the keepsakes go into individual plastic bags for the soon-to-be happy customers.

For more on Japan’s sex industry check out the book Pink Box by Joan Sinclair.

Photos taken by Abram Sinclair from his copy of the book.

Community Connection

Want to learn more about Japan? Turner Wright gives you 10 Customs You Must Know Before a Trip to Japan.

And for a big laugh, check out Abram’s classic post on how Teaching English in Japan is Awesome and Sometimes Hilarious.

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About The Author

Abram Plaut

Abram Plaut is an English teacher in Japan and he frequently posts his student's work on his blog Yo! Japan, along with tons of other cool stuff about life in Tokyo, such as fashion, music and interesting eats.

  • http://www.matadorabroad.com Tim Patterson

    I hear there are some clubs decked out like the teacher’s room at a high-school – nothing like fondling a “school-girl” on the principal’s desk.

  • joshywashington

    sooo, how much is a flight to Japan?

  • http://matadortravel.com/travel-community/vagabonderz Carlo Alcos

    Call me a prude, but it all just seems so wrong. And I definitely don’t understand the doll thing…isn’t that kind of the point of the doll? To just have one at home?

  • http://matadortravel.com/travel-community/k-crimini Kate Sedgwick

    If you can’t afford the ten large, you can get one by the hour. Better to try before you buy, right? It’s not like they let you try one out before you shell out thousands.

  • http://matadortravel.com/travel-community/vagabonderz Carlo Alcos

    You’ll have to excuse my ignorance…I had no idea that’s how much those things cost! I’ve heard melons are…nah…won’t go there…

  • http://matadortravel.com/travel-community/k-crimini Kate Sedgwick

    It’s nuts! I’m not sure what the average is. All I found was a site that marked the base price at about $7,000 – and that was before shipping went up another $50. Could be more now.

    I wonder if the base model has hair. What are the markups? Interchangeable orifices? Eyelashes?

    I saw a documentary on them once. They are a crazy amount of maintenance and have to be thoroughly cleaned after use and powdered and stuff to prevent denigration of the rubber. I’ve met a few guy who were definitely fit for inanimate company, though, so I guess it’s good they exist.

  • Tom Gates

    This is one of the most enlightening articles I’ve read in the past decade.

  • john_cabbage

    I CAME BAGELS

  • http://www.valcaulin.com Valerie Caulin

    This is very true..When I was still teaching in Japan, I learned how perverted Japanese can be..maybe due to their suppression of their sexuality? Men casually reading a porn magazine in a crowded train? lol

    And these young prostitutes whatever you call them do this kind of services not for survival but for vanity ( to have the latest Louis Vuitton bag, Chanel jewelries, etc)…

  • Alexander

    something worth checking out are the japanese male gigolos who get paid copious amounts of money to do special “performances” for women instead of sexual encounters.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=upymOJCm030

  • Pingback: World Hum and Brave New Traveler Compared | Two Go Round-The-World

  • http://www.zshire.com zarcher

    Wow, I never saw that kind of things in China. Japan is really well developed but a little bit freak.

  • HuggyMuggy

    What people fail to understand (and therefore makes them look moronish) is, that this is only taking place in a small part of Tokyo and maybe Osaka (in a toned-down style). Yet, Western morons are stupid enough to always claim “all Japanese are sex freaks”.

    You can teach English in Tokyo for a 100 years and still not “get” even a glimpse of how Japanese people live or think.

    Sad.

    • Cat

      You have no idea how freaky they can be and really are… you just aren’t playing the game the way the Japanese do.

  • http://asianwebcams1.sexbiro.com/ crow

    Well this has sealed the deal on where Im going for my next holiday!

  • PantySniffer

    I dont know. Theres nothing more boring than a typical american style porn movie. I think sexuality should be creative and exciting. Whats exciting about perfect barbie doing it with perfect Ken? All kinds of little perversions add so much spice to the soup. I like spicy soups.. heck maybe im just pervert.

  • Matt

    Just when you thought the sex industry couldn’t get any weirder.

  • jeandeux

    I’m going to Japan!  Somebody book me a flight. 

  • http://OneHotNight.com MitchTheBitch

    i agree Japn has all the Sex Toys !!

  • Mad at Matador

    Seriously?! How you condone something like this? You do realise that men are more likely to go exploit these women when they go on vacation now?
    My boycott of matador network has begun.

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