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Japan’s commercial sex version of fast food squeezes it out to rake it in

Shimbashi, Tokyo at night
Shimbashi, Tokyo at night

Even with Japan’s economy in the doldrums, salarymen have not necessarily forgone the pleasures of visits to sex shops. They’ve just reduced their outlays.

The sex industry’s current version of fast food for the masses are tekoki-ten (hand job shops), where the going rate for a 5-finger burp job is 5,000 yen.

Nikkan Gendai (May 15) learned of this when the Metropolitan Police Department reported the arrest of 34-year-old Daijiro Nogami, proprietor of Love Search, on violation of a public morals charge.

Nogami’s operation occupied three floors of a rundown building near JR Shimbashi station. The ground floor shop billed itself as a “free guide agency” that ostensibly earned commissions by steering customers to various bars, massage parlors and other establishments in the area.

Most of the steering, however, was apparently straight up to the second and third floors of the same building, where a dozen or so milkmaids were available to dispense a helping hand. The cost for a 20-minute session was 1,000 yen for a “room rental” and an additional 4,000 yen for “service.”

If hand job joints are the pink industry’s version of fast food, it may be fair to describe Nogami as the Ray Kroc of sex. In just 14 months of operation, police allege, he is said to have raked in an astonishing 120 million yen.

“Since the ‘Lehman Shock’ in 2008, discretionary spending by salarymen has plummeted,” explains “pink” reporter Taizo Ebina. “Except for small segment of affluent males in their 40s and 50s, who can afford to spend for deri heru [out-call sex services], nobody else has the money. They can’t even afford oral sex any more, and have been flocking to the cheapest places they can find for hand jobs.

“Some of these places are doing so well, customers wait in line for service,” Ebina adds. “The girls are paid on a time system — around 5,000 yen an hour — and the places operate like an assembly line. Unlike the massage joints where the girl receives 60 percent of the gross, these shops just pay a straight hourly figure. If a customer stays with a girl for an hour and pays 15,000 yen, the house still keeps 10,000 yen. This hourly system has meant a windfall for the operators.”

Apparently competition to dispense budget hand jobs in the Shimbashi district has intensified of late, with more amateurs cutting in on the shops’ revenues.

“Girls will troll for Johns on Internet encounter sites and rendezvous with them at the SL [steam locomotive] Plaza in front of the station,” says Ebina. “They’ll take the guy to a private room in a karaoke shop and give him a wank for 3,000 to 4,000 yen a pop.

“This is one reason why the established hand job shops have had no choice but to reduce their prices.”

Source: “Gekiyasu tekoki-ten, naze mokaru no ka?” Nikkan Gendai (May 15, page 5)