This is a blog on some race related issues in the sex industry.
In a previous conversation with a fellow Japanese escort, our common racial background naturally became a topic which brought up an interesting question: how do we handle clients’ racial preferences or something people would call: “racial fetish”?
Unfortunately, the answer is complicated as lines have to be drawn around this terminology.
First thing first, there is a group of men out there who are, culturally or sexually, ‘obsessed’ with the idea of Japanese women. Many of them believe that Japanese women are petite, cute, naturally submissive with an innocent look while secretly having an abnormally high sex drive…
These men are very often misled into this obsession by Japanese pornography or erotic manga/anime, which are created for the sole purpose to fulfil a specific type of male sexual fantasy. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of Japanese men who, too, share this obsession. However, when it comes within the context that I work in Sydney and my clients are mostly white, this kind of stereotypical misconception becomes a harmful orientalist/colonialist fantasy, that will most definitely sour the romantic encounter by squeezing the lady into his misguided framework of what she should be, and sometimes it can become a threat to the safety of us Japanese sex workers.
It is this type of men who raised red flags for the sentence “I like Japanese women.” By saying that, what many of them are essentially saying, is that they have a set of expectations as to what a Japanese woman should be, how she should behave, and sometimes, what services she should agree to provide when he pushes ‘hard enough’. Now I believe we all see how this can become dangerous…
Core Issues and Our Responsibility
The core issue with this is not whether a provider should or can offer submissive racial fantasy as a service, I know some ladies who are reputable professional subs as the “Japanese porn girl”; the core issue, however, is a historical misconception of the female “Japanese-ness”, issues with consent/boundary-pushing, and lastly, a mismatch of clients and providers.
When I, and some other independent Japanese escorts, feel alarmed, we will tend to ask more on their opinions as to what define a Japanese woman. If they indeed have this mindset generalising Japanese women into an orientalist frame, we would discourage them from seeking our services (Girl Friend Experience or cultural contents) and recommend the option of seeking advice from fantasy providers or specialised PSE (Porn Star Experience) providers, who are experts in negotiating terms, conditions, play scripts and so on. (They still can choose to entertain or turn away, it all depends on the lady’s boundaries)
I think we, as sex workers of racial minorities, have a duty to clarify to our western enquirers and draw a line between fantasy and reality; harmful and harmless. Orientalist racial fetish distracts the focus from the lady’s service away to a set of hoops westerners expect us to jump because we are Japanese. And that, is a form of racism in its own ways.
Now what I’m going to clarify may be even more important:
Gentlemen, if you are genuinely more attracted to Japanese women because:
– you had a nice Japanese ex, or
– your encounters with Japanese women were lovely experiences, or
– you find our culture fascinating, or
– you love our skin/body/hair/smile/…
Please rest assured, you’re not a harmful client.
The key of chemistry is respect, and a kind, open mind:)
*The image is one of my non-handpainted kimono which I actually can share online without worrying about my privacy, as they’re not made-to-order hence less identifiable*
===== Updates・5 Oct 2016 =====
Thank you for your help/insights. The information below is added on as a bit ‘extra’ for the general audience:
The orientalist mindset is especially common in the United States due to a historical renovation of Japan’s national image after WW2. Japan, more than any other Asian countries, is given a hyper-feminised name/definition – “America’s Geisha Ally”, which implies a series of submissiveness as ‘national characters’. Besides the obvious effect that it wrongfully sexualises Japan as a whole, it also cast a shadow on the nature of being a Geisha – it is not about indulging every whim of the clients (although many documentaries still claim so). In reality, Geisha and Maiko in Kyoto are seen as celebrities and banquets proceed upon a high level of mutual respect… To claim Geisha is inferior/submissive to their clients is a gross misconception: humbleness and manners can look submissive, but these are our culture, and not meant to satisfy anyone’s sexual fantasy.
Another reason I found orientalist mentality extremely toxic is when it puts Asian women down and erases their individuality in the name of ‘exoticism’. Modern Orientalist mindset has more impact on my peer working ladies, many of the Asian girls are expected to charge less because they’re not white, and the words used in their advertisement are often: “sweet”, “petite”, “innocent-looking”… This seemingly harmless marketing/pricing policy perpetuates the Orientalist concept that Asian women are docile, submissive, and, most alarmingly, “cheaper” than our white peers.
I believe if you go onto online review boards, you’ll soon find many reviews of Asian girls, how submissive they are; how agreeable they are… Some even walk on the edge of serious boundary pushing behaviours and physical harm (unnegotiated BDSM, bleeding, etc.)… They’re a gruesome archive of how the Orientalist mindset jeopardises working ladies’ safety. There’re too many points to be covered, hopefully I’ll have enough time to write another blog and elaborate…
Until we meet…♡