Japan’s “rent-a-fling” service.

There will be no sex with the male escort. Or so they say at Precious a “rent -a-fling” service employing 1,500 male escorts.

“Our customers are mainly women working in the adult entertainment business, but following them are housewives and office ladies in their 30s. Recently, we’ve also noticed an increase in housewives in their 40s and 50s,” Haruki Kamisato, the head of Precious, tells Shukan Post.
Women pay a basic fee of 10,000 yen for a two-hour session, but some women will also pay more to have the escort give them a sensuous massage.

Um, yeah I am SURE they are only getting massages. But what is more interesting than this? The claim that women do this for more philosophical reasons.

Unlike men who use paid escorts primarily because they want to relieve sexual frustration, women into the rent-a-fling caper are seeking something a little more philosophical.
“Just seeing the faces of people who notice you walking around with a gorgeous guy on your arms is enough. My husband treats me like little more than a maid, so the attention I get when being with a cute young guy makes up for that,” another housewife, this one a 40-something woman, says. “I might get the occasional sensual massage, but we never have sex.”

That is so profound. Although, some women may be using this service for the attention they get from the men, I am sure there are other reasons as well. And maybe not as often as men, but please believe, women do pay men to have sex as well.
Still thought it was an interesting story.
Thoughts?

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26 Comments

  1. Amit Joshi
    Posted January 30, 2007 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    but please believe, women do pay men to have sex as well.

    Really? I just finished reading Matt Ridley’s Red Queen, and somewhere in there he claims that women almost never use male prostitutes…
    Now I’m confused.

  2. Xana
    Posted January 30, 2007 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    In a country where marriage is still mostly a business arrangement, these services are becoming very popular. Some places do not allow sex, but many of them do.
    I wouldn’t call it “profound” as much as practical…these women want affection and attention they aren’t getting from their husbands, and most likely never will. I say more power to them to get what they want.

  3. Daniel Lee
    Posted January 30, 2007 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    Is there a link to the original story?

  4. SammyJP
    Posted January 30, 2007 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    I work in the adult entertainment business myself, and when my married male clients come in, I find myself hoping that their wives have something comparable to turn to. So, good for them, I say, for getting their needs met, regardless of if those needs are something as simple as attention or something as risque as
    “sensual massage.”
    I also can’t help but think that a rise in male escort services would help de-stigmatize the sex industry. A pity that it takes men getting involved to make this happen, but respect is respect, and we’ll take what we can get.

  5. katie
    Posted January 30, 2007 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    Xana is right. I took a class on Japan and they actually have a female only theater (like kabuki which is only male) and women play both male and female roles. It’s mostly women who go to these performances and they actually get obsessed with the females who play the male leads. and I mean in a sexual, crush sort of way. The reason being, or so they say, is that these male leads are romantic, tender, thoughtful and dashing, all things that japanese women dont get AT ALL from japanese men. The women who play men act in a much more western male way, as opposed to the way asian men generally are, which are cold, aloof, and like that women said, treating their wives like maids.
    on the other hand, what is so interesting, is that japanese men visit hostess places so they can talk to intelligent women. they dont feel they can talk to their wives at all, so they simply dont and get it in other places.
    personally, i think japan has major social issues when it comes to male/female relations, and my belief was only compounded by this class i took. there is different, and then there is unhealthy, and they have ventured into the unhealthy realm. communication simply isnt a part of male female relations in general over there, and frankly i think its kind of sad.

  6. UltraMagnus
    Posted January 30, 2007 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    Women do have sex with male prostitutes, just not as much as men have sex with female prostitutes. Usually it was the wealthlier women, i.e. Midnght Cowboy or My Own Private Idaho, where wealthy women had sex with young male johns.
    Orignally I think that mentality played into that women didn’t “enjoy” sex so they did without while men needed sex all the time. That was one of the reasons the Catholic Church sanctioned brothels in the 18th century as a “necessary” evil for married/single men where as women had to lie back and think of England.
    Even when you had the question of an affair it was always “men have affairs for sex, women have affairs for affection” and now women’s infidelity is on the rise, reaching roughly that of men (there was an article about this in TIME a while back) which may be what we’re seeing here.

  7. Xana
    Posted January 30, 2007 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    Katie, you’re talking about the Takarazuka! I’m a big fan of it myself. There are also some all-women Noh theatre groups that have a very large female following as well.
    I lived in Japan for a few years and damn do I miss it. :)

  8. C. Diane
    Posted January 30, 2007 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    Takarazuka is wonderful, and it’s true that the male players (the otokoyaku) are the most popular.
    Host clubs are recent forays into the formerly male-only world of hostess clubs. There are also host clubs where the hosts are women in drag, as portrayed in the (excellent) docu Shinjuku Boys.

  9. EG
    Posted January 30, 2007 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    “My husband treats me like little more than a maid, so the attention I get when being with a cute young guy makes up for that,” another housewife”
    I’m not sure how this is philosophical. It just sounds sad, as though the woman in question has accepted the fact that her husband treats her like crap, and she doesn’t have the option of leaving, for whatever reason–and I don’t know enough about Japanese family law or culture to speculate on why. But it doesn’t sound hopeful to me.
    Xana wrote that “these women want affection and attention they aren’t getting from their husbands, and most likely never will. I say more power to them to get what they want.”
    But if that’s what they want, they won’t get it this way–not if it’s affection they’re seeking. Escorts and prostitutes are doing a job, and it’s a job that’s contingent on getting paid. It’s not a mutual relationship, and I doubt there’s much genuine affection.

  10. Posted January 30, 2007 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    I wonder whether this is degrading to the men. Have any of these women been falsely accused of having raped any of these escorts? If so, were their male defenders accused of being complicit in their own subjection by bloggers, and did those bloggers thereafter apologize when it came to light that the escort(s) was/were lying?
    Just wondering.

  11. katie
    Posted January 30, 2007 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    YES xana i couldnt think of the name for the LIFE of me. We saw some very interesting movies on it and read some great books. Thank god you thought of the name:)!

  12. Fenriswolf
    Posted January 30, 2007 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

    First comment here. Was recommended this blog by a woman off a completely non-political forum, and I’m loving it :D
    I find the statements about the different reasons men and women use escorts laughable. And for a reason not yet mentioned here: I have known a few women who are prostitutes, and they’ve all said that it’s like being a counsellor + sex.
    I wish people would just get over searching for differences between sexes

  13. Posted January 30, 2007 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

    One of my greatest aspirations is to open up a “stud farm”. Mainly because, as far as I have seen, women have so much trouble actually getting what they want, sexually. Would it be a greater cause to create a society where all women could let their male lovers in on their actual desires without remorse? Ah… the impossible dream.

  14. cycles
    Posted January 30, 2007 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

    In my experience, the combo of sexual titillation + fake love is all over the place. For men. For pay. I bring up the example of Hooters. The waitresses are pornified to the max, yes, but they’re also told to smile brightly, be friendly, and be completely accessible to their male customers – almost, as in the posts above, geisha-like, minus the intelligent conversation. You’re not just paying for some chicken wings and a gawk at jigglin’ cleavage. You’re paying for a short vacation to the sweet married-the-girl-next-door fantasy.
    Which is why, in some parts of the country, places like Hooters are perversely billed as family establishments. Everyone’s just so gosh-darn friendly there!

  15. Posted January 30, 2007 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, cycles. But what do you make of people who vilified the Duke Women’s Lacrosse Team for having defended the Men’s Team after Nifong and the Duke Arts and Sciences faculty denounced them in the wake of the false charges brought against them? Do you figure those people ought publicly apologize, at least to the women’s team?

  16. pisaquari
    Posted January 30, 2007 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

    “Just seeing the faces of people who notice you walking around with a gorgeous guy on your arms is enough.”
    -And what if the faces of others didnt reveal a certain awe? This “gorgeous” guy’s worth is measured by the look on others’ faces? Debasing, dehumanizing, disturbing.
    “My husband treats me like little more than a maid, so the attention I get when being with a cute young guy makes up for that,”
    -Because a man who treats you so poorly can be made up for by one who wouldn’t be with you were you not paying him??
    What a warped human value system!
    *note: Female variables in a patriarchal equation is NOT forward movement.

  17. Posted January 30, 2007 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

    Croolworld, I agree with you (to some extent), but if I were a more established member of this community I would label you a troll. What in god’s name does the Duke case have to do with anything in this topic?

  18. Posted January 31, 2007 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Oops, sorry, Bearcat. It was meant to go into the post above, the link being the issues of defamation and misattribution.

  19. Xana
    Posted January 31, 2007 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    What is ironic about the situation of marriage in Japan, is that women, in many respects, have more freedom than their husbands. For women in the generation most likely frequenting these establishments, they are middle-aged and are in control of the family purse strings. While these women can join clubs and do hobbies as well as spend time with their children, their husbands often commute more than 4 hours a day and work from 8-10 p.m. This is just the reality of what is expected of you as an employee in Japan. Even as a foreigner while living and working there I could feel this unspoken pressure.
    Everyone should note that things are changing in Japan. The younger generation is much more inclined to find a person who really makes them happy or opt to not get married at all. I saw lots of young married couples where the husband appeared to be taking a much more active role in raising his children. But, I still feel for my students who would write in their English essays, “I never get to see my father. He works a lot.”
    Things change very slowly….but they are surely changing.

  20. Jim
    Posted January 31, 2007 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    Sex? Male prostitution?
    Yes, no and maybe.
    This strikes me as more of a media beat up than anything. These places have sprung up over the last five or six years and are starting to get play in the media – particularly the western media which sees them as tittallating.
    However, I can quite well believe that chaste or semi-chaste relationships “flings” grow out of these encounters. Let me contrast with the market for men.
    Firstly, if we’re talking about men as customers this is “geisha” which now exists as “hostessing”. The only difference between geisha and hostessing is that “real” geisha are “trained” – ie. elegant in a traditional cultural sense whereas hostessess are simply women prepared to talk to men (for money) and have the men buy them drinks (again for a slice of the cost of the drink). Sex is not part of the equation.
    [If you're wondering why men would pay and not expect sex, it actually makes economic sense. If you're out drinking with your workmates you're probably going to pay for about 2-3 drinks per hour at approx $10/drink in Tokyo, while you waste your time one-upping 'da boys' on how much of a honcho you are rather than engaging women in conversation. You aren't going to expect more because you have to go home and get up in 6 hours to go back to work.
    If you double that to $50-60 hour in a hostess bar you get the drinks and the company - chat guaranteed.]
    That’s the way it is in Japan, talk but no sex, so I can quite believe that business’s catering to women have the same approach.
    Secondly, any sex that does occur, occurs in the context of a closer-to-normal relationship.
    Japan has a fairly loose approach to such establishments and doesn’t treat them as fronts for prostitution (which is very illegal in Japan), so exchange of telephone numbers is allowed by the operators and outside relationships can and do occur. The operators also tolerate discrete relationships because if a hostess has her boyfriend in the place for the evening it allows the owner to parade the happy couple in front of others, and it makes his place look more enticing. [Apart from the Yakuza, but that’s another story}
    Money can be involved in those extra-establishment relationships but no more than a normal relationship. If the man is single then there’s no difference between that and any normal relationship. If not, then it’s closer to fling than straight-up prostitution.
    Many of the women who work there are foreign (largely western, but also some SE asian) and working on short term visas and are alone. These relationships can work for both sides (but I’m not defending the taking of mistresses here.)
    The women in this situation – like all workers in nighttime industries – often find relationships with “civilians” are generally difficult either because they only ever meet men at work, or the men they meet are jealous and cannot tolerate “their girl” being with other men.
    In other words, sex in these situations only develops when the relationship has some reasonable foundation – money on the table and “you can piss off now” is not how it works.
    So you end up with relationships that while not a perfect meeting of equals can still work and are not nearly as exploitive as a doctrinaire analysis might suggest.
    Thirdly (and this is the sad bit) we need to consider the state of relationships between salary men and their spouses in Japan – which is often not good. A man on the corporate ladder is only in a hostess bar because of the social demands placed on him by the corporation – work 10-12 hours a day, commute etc – and he never sees his family. Drinking with the boys after work is a necessary part of carreer advancement, and that entails hostess bars. Family breakdown on retirement (or when the kids leave home) is quite common. So the men are coerced into this behavior, the women are abandoned.
    What do you really expect?
    Now if the women’s situation is anything like this I’d expect that that it has a similar setup. Relationships may develop outside the bar itself but they are freely entered into by the parties.
    Everything I’ve heard from the women at work is that they approach this in exactly the same way as the men do – out for a night on the tiles and have some fun, but go home at the evening’s end.
    Japan can be weird, get over it.

  21. katie
    Posted January 31, 2007 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    Xana yes, I always found it very interesting how the women were in charge of family finances in Japan. There are such interesting dichotomies in that country.

  22. cabst90
    Posted January 31, 2007 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    Japanese society “worked� just fine for a long, long time. (I am not justifying the rampant sexism but saying that it wasn’t much of a problem there before.) Foreign influences are changing expectations of communication, of relationships, of opportunities, of employer/employee relationships, etc.
    From what I have seen and the women that I know, women are looking to fulfill these different expectations in many different ways; not many of them are what we would consider “healthy.� Renting an escort is just one of them. A young, attractive, male Japanese friend of mine plays djmbe. When he is in Japan, he gives lessons. The majority of his students are middle-aged, married women who have extra money and enjoy the attention of a young man. Essentially, he’s an escort, but in the form of a music teacher. Other women specifically look for foreign men to date believing that all “American men� are like the leads in Hollywood love stories, until they or a friend has a bad experience. Women are chosing not to get married. Young women and men are also changing their traditional roles within a marriage, a little bit at time, and young people are studying, traveling and immigrating abroad.

  23. Posted January 31, 2007 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    I have heard that there is a substantial, though discreet, male prostitute/escort industry in some of Florida, servicing women of a “certain age” and of substantial means.

  24. Joanne
    Posted February 2, 2007 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    Would someone just put this comment page through regender.com? Prostitution is exploitation, no matter what the gender is. Depending on the social climate, it may be worse for one side than the other, but just because the roles are reversed doesn’t make it a good thing.

  25. Brad
    Posted October 22, 2009 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

    Hi I am a Canadian male escort and would like express another point of view. Like many men that visit female escorts to fullfil in most cases sexual desires many woman in all countries have the same desires they either are not getting from home, or are not in a relationship. The human body requires much stimiliation to function at its best. I have been in this business for a long time and have seen many things, I have female friends that are escorts and the stories I hear from them sometimes make me be ashamed of being a man for men sometimes have some very far fetched fantasies. But woman in almost all cases are looking for someoen to cater to what ever there needs are. In many cultures the man is considered to be the alpha so what he feels is right in relationship, bedroom and everywhere else is usually carried out leaving a woman alot of times being unsatisfied. Even in countries where woman are equal in many relationships the excitement dissappears after a year or so, and sadly most couples do not communicate enough in the early stages of these issues to save there sexual attraction to one another, so rather than leave someone they love, they choice to arrange someone else to fullfil these needs. If a woman or a man decides to have a relationship with a none pro, they chance that this person in time will change what started of as a relationship of needs and desires rather than of love. So by going to a professional that is there to just please the persons fantasies they do not risk losing their marriage, life, and family. For single people which i haev alot of clients in this group also, it is really knowing what they are going to get when they want. The do not want to meet a stranger and maybe have a great time or maybe end up with someone that is a basket case
    Brad

  26. Brad
    Posted October 22, 2009 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

    I just commented on this issue and I forgot to ask one question. I have never worked in Japan in this, does anyone here know where one advertises in Tokyo

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