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.

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

  1. sam   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.

    Reply
  2. Flora   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.

    Reply
  3. CJ   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

    Reply
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  7. Kum   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.

    Reply
  8. syarol   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

    Reply
  9. Me   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.

    Reply
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  11. SeiSai   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

    Reply
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  16. melvi   November 22, 2014 at 5:32 am

    “get it up for… don’t desire”… way to sound like a whiny little bitch, wonder if they would trade with working in a coal mine.

    Reply
  17. bullet   January 31, 2015 at 7:14 pm

    how to become male porn star in japan? thanks

    Reply
  18. ravi sharma   May 14, 2015 at 10:10 am

    i am of 31 years in age …could i join the industry as a male actor. kindly tell me. it will be a pleasure for me.

    Reply
  19. anubhav dubey   May 15, 2015 at 6:39 am

    I want to make me a bigest porn star in future so pls give me a chance, i am 25 year old my contact no is +918554044483

    Reply
  20. Nirmal   May 18, 2015 at 6:15 pm

    Hi!!! I also wanted to make a big porn star and I am 35 years old if possible pls give me a chance!!! My contact number 08040086728

    Reply
  21. sakhi   May 24, 2015 at 8:23 pm

    Hi I also want to a porn star. I m 29 year old. Contact me

    Reply
  22. jadhav gopal   May 29, 2015 at 2:48 pm

    hi im also wanted of porn star
    connect me 6.1 height

    Reply
  23. jadhav gopal   May 29, 2015 at 2:50 pm

    hi sir im also wanted of porn star quick rpl me my age just 22 6.1 height good health

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  24. Dushyant parmar   June 9, 2015 at 10:34 am

    I want to porn star. Age – 22 & penis is 9.5inch

    Reply
  25. Haydon   June 26, 2015 at 5:00 am

    Hi there I’m a 33 year old man of skinny build wanting a change in life. I’m a New Zealander European man wanting to make big change with his life and don’t want to go to Australia like other kiwis. Instead I would like to try Japan. I’ve always liked Asian woman right from the start. I’m not sure what I could do in Japan but if someone out there is willing to give me a chance I’d like to try and be a male Japanese porn star. Please if anyone can help or give me a chance contact me haydonjennings@gmail.com

    Reply

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