Film documents the troubled lives of Japan’s male porn stars

Being a porn star is a dream job for a lot of men. Yet, according to Nikkan Gendai (Feb. 15), Japan has only 70 such positions in its immense adult video (AV) industry.

For those left to contemplate what might have been, there is this month’s release of “The Other Side Of The Sex,” a documentary in which 20 male actors, including veterans Taka Kato, Tatsuro Hibino (@tatsurohibino), Ryuji Yamamoto, discuss women, sex, and more — but implore that it’s hard work, so to speak.

“They’ll often boast about having 100 women,” says co-director Hidekazu Takahara (@takaharahdkz). “But they will also have to be able to get it up in front of an actress they don’t desire.”

The job transcends gender and sexuality, he continues: “It is here where one can discover what is authentic and artificial about fantasies with women.”

The 86-minute film comes three decades after the birth of AV films, whose presence in the 1980s encroached upon the market for pinku eiga,” or pink films, and Nikkatsu “roman porno” pictures. At present, the industry reportedly employs 10,000 actresses, releases 4,500 titles monthly, and generates 55 billion yen in annual sales.

Takahara, however, looks back further to the release of “In the Realm of the Senses,” the 1976 erotic drama directed by Nagisa Oshima, for the real origin of AV. Oshima, who passed away in January, insisted that non-simulated sex take place in the film, which is a fictionalized view of the 1936 incident whereby a former prostitute severed her lover’s penis and testicles.

“That film caused an uproar,” says Takahara, who got his start in pink films. “Now, real sex is normal.”

'The Other Side Of The Sex'

‘The Other Side Of The Sex’

Today’s actors, however, can become easily overworked through “real sex.”

“We have gone from three shoots in two days in the past to four or five shoots in one day,” says the film’s other director, Yujiro Enoki, a 20-year industry stalwart, who has more than 2,000 titles to his credit. “An actor has got to rise to the occasion seven times (in one day), and for each of those times it is with a different actress.”

Furthermore, nudity on camera mandates that one stays in shape.

“If an actor’s body goes flabby, it doesn’t work,” says Enoki. “Popular guys train at the gym.”

That’s not all, says Takahara.

“Actors need to have their fingernails trimmed and be aware of bad breath,” the director says. “You also hear about quite a few guys taking zinc supplements to make their ejaculate seem more white.”

For actresses, too, times have changed. Fans are posting their opinions on the Internet, whereby they demand more performances by “mature” (or jukujo) actresses and gentle presentations of sensitive subjects, such as teenage prostitution.

Takahara looks back fondly on the good old days.

“It used to be a matter of working for one month, spending two months overseas, and returning to Japan with no money,” the director says. “But nowadays there has been an upswing in competition and a drop in sales. That dream-like period doesn’t exist any longer.”

Yet Takahara continues working in the biz, saying that the process always starts with nudity, and he likes that “raw feeling.”

“When I shoot and I don’t know what’s going to happen,” he says, “that’s the reason I work as a director.”

“The Other Side Of The Sex” will open on February 23 at Uplink in Shibuya. (K.N.)

Source: “AV danyu no kuro wo utsushita ‘Sekkusu Mukougawa’ ga kokai,” Nikkan Gendai (Feb. 15)

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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Posted by on February 18, 2013. Filed under Adult Video,Japan Smut Portal. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

14 Responses to Film documents the troubled lives of Japan’s male porn stars

  1. sam Reply

    February 19, 2013 at 3:00 am

    this is great. while it is easy to connect the names to the faces of the ladies. the guys that make the AV’s possible don’t get the credit due them (onani doesn’t do anything for me), some of them are such studs and have their particular style. yeah, i’m jealous of them.

  2. Flora Reply

    February 20, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    While I’m not really a big JAV watcher – actually, I have yet to see one – I’m always up for an interesting doc (no pun intended).

    If it’s anything like “The Great Happiness Space”, I’m definately going to give it a peek.

  3. CJ Reply

    February 20, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    The talk shows held at the screenings should be interesting http://www.uplink.co.jp/movie/2012/5015

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  7. Kum Reply

    March 2, 2013 at 8:25 am

    It’s no different than articles that reveal how Western Male AV actors are worked.

    The guys can stay had many times but when they can’t shoot at the end, you know they probably overdid it and should take a few days off to reload.

  8. syarol Reply

    April 22, 2013 at 10:13 am

    can someone tell me the name of the actor (1:06-1:08)? he’s cute & he’s always my favorite

  9. Me Reply

    May 9, 2013 at 7:31 pm

    Dear if I want to be a male porn star.what I have to do.do you know any one who can help me…and I not a Japanese but have good sex power.

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  11. SeiSai Reply

    July 5, 2013 at 11:53 pm

    I am not really sure, but according to what I have read on other website. most of Japanese porn actors are yakuza,

    Am I wrong ? Please confirm my answer, Thanks

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