The entry flap of one booth is labeled with the kanji character pronounced ushiro (behind) and colored pink, the other is yellow and marked oppai (breast). Outside is a line of five men, each of whom is eagerly awaiting his turn to grab (with both hands) the bare buttocks and breasts of two adult video (AV) actresses five times for 1,000 yen – with all the proceeds being used for research to prevent the spread of the HIV virus and AIDS.
“I am so proud to have been selected for such a worthy cause,” says the curvy Aya Natsuki, 25, a veteran of roughly 50 AV films who ceded each of her buns for 100 yen per squeeze. “As well, this is an opportunity for me to communicate much more directly with my fans.”
Each year Paradise TV, a channel which specializes in wacky porn programming, holds its “24-Hour TV: Eroticism Saves the Earth” fund drive to raise money for the prevention of AIDS, a condition that continues to be a worsening problem in Japan.Last year, donations totaled 2 million yen. Paradise expects this year to see a 50% increase in pledges, with one coming from as far away as North Carolina. Satellite provider SKY PerfecTV, which hosts Paradise broadcasts, and the Japan Foundation for AIDS Prevention are supporters.
In February, the Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare reported that the number of new infections of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, reached a record high of 1,048 in 2007. The ministry’s AIDS Surveillance Committee revealed that the number of cases of AIDS over the same period reached 400. The total number of 1,448 represented an increase over the year before for the fifth consecutive year.
This follows a trend in which the number of AIDS cases has slowly increased since 1996, making Japan one of the few industrialized nations in which the disease is on the rise. A reduction in condom use, an increase in the number of sex partners, and a stigma that associates HIV with homosexuals or foreigners, experts believe, are the reasons for the root of the problem.
Paradise president Tsuyoshi Shiba is concerned by the rise in the number of infections. “The adult entertainment business is easily misunderstood in our society,” says Shiba, who is wearing the yellow event t-shirt that features the famous manga character Machiko Sensei dangling a condom from her mouth while standing before a chalkboard. “As a corporate citizen in this business, we must take such a stance towards this problem.”Paradise policy requires actors to wear condoms during regular filming. On this day, subscribers, too, are being given the opportunity to play it safe with a free 24-hour phone-sex service. “Telephone sex is one way,” says actress Nana Aoyama, measuring in with her legendary 99-centimeter cups, “of avoiding stupid intercourse.” She is assisting two other ladies in verbally coaxing orgasmic bliss from callers.
To further help in this regard, masturbation aids are up for auction. Rino Kamiya, whose resume includes school girl and gang bang-victim roles, is assisting in the peddling of a synthetic “hole” and jelly from manufacturer Truth. With the minimum bid established at 500 yen, Kamiya then begins valiantly rubbing some of the lubricant over her bare chest to demonstrate the substance’s viscosity. By the time the hammer has fallen and the valley between her twin peaks sufficiently cleaned with a moist towelette, a winning bid of 2,500 yen has been secured.
Earlier in the day, subscribers were invited to the Paradise rooftop to purchase a small restaurant dish – perhaps cubed tofu or boiled pork – that had been seasoned with the urine of an actress. The channel was hoping to provide a bit of protein as well for the half-dozen customers who arrived but there were challenges that could not be overcome. “We thought we could get both urinating and lactating girls,” explains Kenichiro Suzuki, manager of international sales, of the menu selection. “But the lactation just didn’t work out.”Conspicuous by its absence is the “Tekoki Jinja,” or hand-job shrine, which debuted four years ago and allowed visitors to receive three minutes of intense stroking at the hands of an AV pro for 3,000 yen. In lieu of this form of worship, Suzuki explains, the buttocks squeeze debuted this year instead.
The fund drive’s “Eroticism Saves the Earth” moniker is a stab at major broadcaster Nippon Television’s simultaneous telethon “Love Saves the Earth,” which is transmitted live from Tokyo’s Budokan theater. The three-decade-old event enlists upwards of 10,000 people to raise roughly 1 billion yen for environmental causes. Critics might call Paradise’s parody to be in poor taste but Shiba believes otherwise.
“It is not about whether it is a parody or not,” says the president. “We are proud to provide a forum where questions can be raised and discussions about HIV can take place.”