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Sex salons to see surge from swine flu

Evening tabloid Yukan Fuji (May 2) predicts a boost in demand for the fuzoku (sex-related) industry over the Golden Week holiday as a result of the recent influenza scare.

Dubbing the additional business as “pandemic visits,” the article believes that single salarymen with excessive time on their hands over the holiday, which ends this week, and nothing to fulfill their lower body will be flocking to Japan’s entertainment areas in lieu of taking overseas trips, now a risky bet given the increasing concern over swine flu.

The 44-year-old editor-in-chief of a famous adult magazine says that the fuzoku industry is traditionally in the off-season in February, May and November, with the two months that bookend December being reserved for recovering and preparing for the New Year’s holidays. “May is when both time and money are spent on traveling with family and friends,” he says. “However, with this new flu, things could have a different outlook this year.”

The editor conveys the fact that he knows of a deri heru (out-call) shop in which many of the girls have been asked to be prepared on an as-needed basis in order to accommodate the possible surge.

“Usually during Golden Week, shops compete by offering discounts, but the scene is not the same this year,” the editor says. “Instead of being in a tourist spot and at risk of being infected, many guys will want to be in intimate contact with a healthy female in private.”

The working girls, too, have high expectations. “Last year at this time we had so much free time,” explains one deri heru employee. “Not many girls came to the shop and I was so bored. But if customers are going to come due to the flu this will be a great opportunity to make a lot of money.”

Zakzak says that regulars at this time of year are playing around because spouses and children will be visiting their hometowns. “Maybe it is about trying to sneak out when the old lady is not around,” explains a former soapland girl. “The guys who don’t usually come to fuzoku places might turn up for a visit. Yet some lack the proper mannerisms because they have not had enough experience at these kinds of shops.”

The article adds that a customer at one shop supposedly received stamps on his point card only on May 3 over four consecutive years.

Therefore, Zakzak concludes, the typical customer base coupled with the possible flu injection could make for a nice combination. Yet, the site warns, at this stage even the girls supplying the services could possibly be infected. Caveat emptor. (C.J.)