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Ladies first: AV actor Ittetsu Suzuki talks intimacy, emotion and healthy relationships

Ittetsu Suzuki
Ittetsu Suzuki: “More and more men are starting to turn to for-women videos after growing weary of the extreme content often seen in for-men titles”

TOKYO (TR) – One factor that could be stopping many men and women from having a harmonious sexual relationship is the presumption that women are consumable objects, a concept enshrined in adult video (AV) productions produced for male audiences.

What then makes productions for women so different, and how can those differences serve as lessons to help bring couples closer through sex?

It boils down to titles for men aiming for arousal while those for women target the heart, meaning a disparity exists, says Ittetsu Suzuki — a storied AV actor who has made his name as a sweet-faced heartthrob with over 100 productions geared for women under his belt.

In an interview with the Asahi Shimbun (Oct. 24), Suzuki, 38, said videos produced for men tend to unnaturally portray the bodies of women in an effort to make the film visually appealing.

“So, videos for men satisfy that feeling of conquest, of domination, that you are able to make the woman all yours,” Suzuki said. “There’s a plot, yeah, but I feel like 80 percent of the audience just skips those parts.”

“Desire to be loved”

Productions for women center more on “fulfilling that desire to be treated preciously or loved more so than the act itself,” according to Suzuki.

As an example, he presents a woman a successful business woman who comes home from work all worn out after a rough day. “Then, her man would greet her by saying, ‘Welcome home, you worked hard today, huh,’” Suzuki told the Asahi. “And though they’d see each other throughout the week, she would be all, ‘You know, it’s been a while since we did that…’ and they would bond again, and then the stuff that happens leading up to the sex — that process is what really matters for these titles.

“What we’re doing there is illustrating the relationship between the two. The camera is introduced to the pair and films their relationship, from the touching through to their embrace,” Suzuki said. “The man isn’t shown in videos for men. Because men are just in the way.

Photo collection "Meguru"
The photo collection “Meguru,” released in September, shows Suzuki while he is not working

“These days, more and more men are starting to turn to for-women videos after growing weary of the extreme content often seen in for-men titles. The sexual acts themselves might be more useful as a reference than the latter, too,” Suzuki said. “It’s more a problem of getting those titles to be accepted by the kind of men who take it personally when they get corrected [by their partner].”

Married with children

Suzuki, who is married with two children, entered the AV industry at the age of 24 like most do: starring in productions targeting men. Before then, his experience with women totaled two, a figure that has since swelled to well over 3,000.

Suzuki says that he found his niche in catering to the then-untapped market targeting women after he was called on to take part in such a production early in his career. His debut film for women was “Love Body 1st” in 2008.

However, Suzuki continued appearing in for-men productions, starring in hundreds through 2012. That same year, the actor entered into an exclusive agreement with label Silk Labo, which specializes in AV productions for women.

The productions with the label have resulted in female fans letting Suzuki know how his work has impacted their lives. “I never had the chance to hear from my fans before, so it really makes me happy when women would tell me at events that their sexless lives were no more,” he said. “I’m really grateful for that.

“What surprised me the most was that women would use my DVDs as healing music or something like that, not for masturbation,” Suzuki said. “Like I heard some would just play one of my DVDs while they’re doing the morning dishes after seeing their husbands off, which is pretty unimaginable for men.”

The actor has also received letters from fans requesting scenes centered on love, hugs and kissing. Some even asked for advice, he says.

“I’ve had some people come to me about being sexless or being stuck in a rut, while others would mention becoming born-again virgins. Then there were those that would say they can’t tell their partner that the rough sex they have is hurting them,” Suzuki said. “Things are slowly changing, but it still seems like some women struggle to talk about their sexual experiences. They can’t seem to shake the thought that it’s unbecoming to talk about that. Lots of people still feel like, oh, but my man is trying so hard.”

“Not about assigning blame”

Suzuki feels that men and women need to openly share their feelings to bridge that sexual divide.

“For us men, all we can do is hope that women will teach us the way forward, so I want them to have courage and communicate, since sex is something done by two people,” Suzuki said.  It’s not about assigning blame, and women should say so when there’s something they don’t like. Imagine being married and having painful sex for 30 years — doesn’t that send a chill down your spine? It’s definitely better to say it out loud. But even then, some people won’t say a word their whole lives.

“Lots of men out there would be thinking they’re doing the right thing, but it’s not like they’re out to cause pain — they simply don’t notice.” Suzuki said. “Men don’t understand that physical ecstasy and emotional satisfaction aren’t separate things for women — and that women especially value the latter. I think will stop doing unreasonable things if women would just tell them that they don’t always have to zero in on physical ecstasy all the time.

“It’s tricky, though, since talks like that could be taken the wrong way by people who view sex as part of who they are as a person. So women might want to phrase it like, ‘Hey, please be gentle since I’m delicate,’ instead of being all, ‘Hey that hurts you idiot,’” Suzuki said. “I also think it’s clever using for-women porn to tell partners that ‘this stuff seems to be all the rage,’ as opposed to offering an instruction like, ‘Do exactly what they’re doing.’”

Harmful behavior taught by AV

Men and women alike have long pointed out the often harmful behaviors and myths taught by pornography for men, resulting in a painful disconnect with bedroom intimacy.

"Source of Light"
Suzuki’s nude photo collection “Source of Light” was released in November of last year

“Some made-for-men titles feature excessive performances, and I think we’re living in times where that needs to be reviewed. But I don’t like men and women confronting each other and ending up divided, so I don’t like saying men are in the wrong,” Suzuki said. “Titles for men and titles for women are completely different, and I would want people to be sensible and understand that both types are ultimately fantasy. In reality, it’s totally necessary to work together on the differences in sexual intentions between one another.

“In the end, it’s all subjective and personal — as long as the two involved are satisfied. So for women, that courage to speak out, and, although it might be a bit troublesome, putting a soft touch on those words. And for men, humbly taking that in and learning from it,” Suzuki said. “If those kinds of discussions are upsetting, then maybe it’s more a matter of how they are as a couple.”

“Razor’s edge of balance”

In a similar vein, the acting process is also personal for Suzuki, who says he focuses on how his audience would enjoy the material as well as the feelings of his fellow female performers.

“I leave stuff like the script and direction to others, but I do propose and discuss expressions on the set. As an example, for a salacious plot based on jealousy in which things led to sex a little forcefully it took a lot of trial and error for me to ensure my expressions and eyes weren’t too scary, or how far I could go before the audience might have felt revolted,” the actor said. “Even a line like, ‘Don’t be friendly with any other man but me’ could come off as possessive depending on how you deliver it. It’s truly a matter of trying to feel for that razor’s edge of balance. You won’t melt a woman’s heart if you don’t convey to her that you’re jealous because you like her.”

Suzuki’s advice for men and women alike is to have honest communication.

“Are you letting your partner know that you’re thinking of them? That’s what I’d want people to tell each other. This is a concept that matters in real life, too,” Suzuki said.