In a special article on illicit activities undertaken during the day by married women (or hitozuma), weekly tabloid Shukan Post (Aug. 15-22) says that an increasing number of such women are seeking employment in the adult video (AV) industry to make ends meet.
For some hard facts, the magazine turns to the president of a big-name AV production company.
“At least half of the applicants nowadays are for roles in the jukujo genre,” the president says in referring to a type of film starring “mature” women. “The majority will make inquiries by telephone after visiting an Internet site or seeing an ad in a magazine. We field around 30 such requests each month.”
If a suitable applicant resides in the Kanto area, a conventional interview will be arranged. For more remote locations, technology comes into play.
“She’ll send in a photo snapped with her mobile phone, and we’ll decide whether to proceed after we talk on the phone,” says the president.
According to Takehiko Sawaki, a writer who covers the AV trade, 2,000 films are released in Japan each month.
“In those films, the number featuring amateur actresses is about half,” says the writer. “Amateurs are popular. About 90 percent of them do it for the money. For the rest, well, they reach a time when they want to be viewed as desirable. It is more about fulfilment.”
Secrecy is a concern. Sure, the production company can obscure the face of the actress, but there is still the risk that a husband .
“After I came home, I saw a DVD box for one of my films on the kitchen table,” says a 38-year-old housewife who resigned from the AV industry last year. “At that moment, my heart stopped.”
After her pride-wounded husband confronted her and learned she did it to supplement the household balance sheet, she quit.
For many prospective performers, it can be a matter of premature expectation as the industry at present is over capacity.
“Only around 1-in-30 can become a popular actress,” says the aforementioned president, “and rate at which we refuse applicants after interviews is large. The deciding factors are her looks, schedule and eagerness to perform.”
For those who do not make the cut, there is the option of night work in the fuzoku trade, or adult-entertainment industry.
“About 10 to 20 percent will find an AV job,” says non-fiction writer Ayumi Sakai. “But there is no shortage of women who flow into the fuzoku industry to earn an income as a last resort.”
Source: “Otto no inu aidani karado wo uru ‘AV’ ‘fuuzoku’ ‘hirugao’ hirusagari no joji, ” Shukan Post (Aug. 15-22, pages 162-165)