Sightless hooker keeps old tradition alive

Shukan Jitsuwa Sept. 11
Shukan Jitsuwa Sept. 11

Lance Rancier’s 1998 book “The Sex Chronicles: Strange-But-True Tales from Around the World” contains an account of a bizarre, and expensive, service allegedly offered by Japanese prostitutes who used to operate aboard sampans in Hong Kong harbor.

“The Sampan girl,” he writes, “working in a boat, leaned over the side of the boat and ducked her head into the water. The customer entered her from behind, experiencing exquisite vaginal spasms around his penis as the woman reacted to her near drowning. She pulled herself out of the water just before she lost consciousness, usually after the client had experienced an intense orgasm.”

Our advice to readers is to take this account of bawdy waterboarding with a grain of salt water.

It is certainly no legend, however, that the sampan girls existed. Their nautical trysts usually took place on the Kowloon side of Hong Kong harbor, in a district known as the Yaumati typhoon shelter — a filthy place that some years ago fell victim to land reclamation.

Old Asia hands familiar with the bad old days in Yaumati used to relate a famous tale concerning a blind prostitute aboard a sampan, who would play a flute during intercourse. As some versions of the story went, with her customer’s member serving as a metronome, she would tootle arpeggios on her flute in tandem with the speed and rhythm of the customer’s thrusts, letting off a high-pitched, sustained note at the moment of climax.

Shukan Jitsuwa (Sep. 11) relates a similarly exotic Chinese tradition: a blind prostitute who plies her trade in an old building in a rundown neighborhood in Beijing.

Her professional name is Yang Mei, and she’s 21 years old. Her story is indeed a sad one: Born in Hong Kong, she was intentionally blinded at the age of two. Her future career in the world’s oldest profession was the girl-child’s only hope for an escape from dire poverty.

In China, it seems, the novelty of sex with a beautiful blind woman commands a high price.

Shukan Jitsuwa’s writer does not mention how much he paid for the experience. He does describe in detail Yang Mei’s greeting him, escorting him to an upstairs boudoir, removing her richly embroidered navy blue cheongsam and shedding the dainty silk undergarments beneath it.

Her body, he writes, was exquisite. And her lip service superb. When she arches her back to take him in, her “secret seashell” squeezes his member along its length “like the suckers on an octopus’ tentacles.”

“My job is making you happy,” she tells him. And she resumes her activities, giving him a sensual night of carnal pleasure he’ll remember the rest of his life.

But while Yang Mei’s manners and performance are every bit as good as her voluptuous appearance, the reporter writes with a note of sadness that a session with her, alas, is a once-in-a-lifetime affair — literally. In keeping with the dictates of tradition, she does not give repeat performances. And no amount of pleading, nor offers of lavish gifts, have been sufficient to purchase the exclusive rights to her body. (K.S.)

Source: “Sei no Taikoku Chugoku no SEX Jijo – Momoku no Kokyu Baishunfu,” Shukan Jitsuwa (Sep. 11, pages 39-41)

Note: Brief extracts from Japanese vernacular media in the public domain that appear here were translated and summarized under the principle of “fair use.” Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy of the translations. However, we are not responsible for the veracity of their contents. The activities of individuals described herein should not be construed as “typical” behavior of Japanese people nor reflect the intention to portray the country in a negative manner. Our sole aim is to provide examples of various types of reading matter enjoyed by Japanese.

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