So far my big Japan Sex Adventure has been a highly entertaining failure. There have been antics, hijinks, and misadventures, but no successful encounters with anything really sex-y. Perhaps I should have done research before hand, but the blind exploration is usually half the fun. We make our way to the main street and look for a bar, figuring a drink or two might help somehow. I spot the couple from the Zero hotel and begin to think the universe just wants them to be uncomfortable. Matt and I duck into a building with six floors of tiny drinking establishments and choose the one called 1987.
1987 is a small navy blue room with a bar on one wall and a giant television on the other. It's darkly lit, and the bartender understands English. I can tell she understands English by the way she blushes every time I say something mildly vulgar. From what I've experienced Japanese people are quiet and reserved compared to Americans. Also, they seem to embarrass easily. I have almost no conscious volume control and spend much of my life in environments where loud discussions of sex and a general lack of clothing are encouraged. Celebrated, even. When you put these two facts together, you end up with me wandering Tokyo making a two week long inappropriate scene and trying not to tell people I'm from the USA so I don't make the rest of you look bad.
Matt is trying to convince me that we should go to a bar in Roppongi that he frequents. I want to stay at the bar we're in long enough to figure out why it's called 1987. As I begin noticing that the television only plays music videos from the 80s, I remember that there are strip clubs in Roppongi. How could a strip club possibly go wrong? The remainder of my nihonshu goes down the hatch, and we're off to see some exotic dancers.
When we exit the train station, the streets are filled with large Nigerian men trying to hustle people into various clubs. After a quick stop at Matt's usual watering hole for another drink, I drag him back outside. In the interests of efficiency, I walk up to the largest man in sight and ask him where the best strip club is. As he's leading us to whichever one he works for, I ask if there are Japanese women working there. He says yes. When we enter the club I ask where the Japanese women are because I don't see any. He tells me they're inside.
There is also no pole, but the Ukrainian woman who comes over to sit with us explains that there is some legal vagary that requires the removal of the pole when not in use. Upon further inspection of the ceiling there is a bracket above the stage so I start badgering the manager to put the pole up. I'm already aware that the good clubs in Tokyo are not for gaijin (meaning foreigners, usually referring to caucasians) and the fact that I'm a women further narrows our options. I also really want to see someone twirl around that pole before I'm willing to call it a night. I run through the range of facial expressions from big-eyes-and-a-smile to medium-grumpy until I find one that works, and the floor manager disappears in the back to find the pole. Once the pole has been installed, a pretty blonde girl with an intricate back tattoo twirls around it and flips her hair. She then proceeds to taking her top off (stoked!), and continues dancing until the end of the song. Now I get to tip her, which is my favorite part. I'm hoping that putting paper money folded lengthwise between my teeth will cause her to grab it with her breasts, thus earning me a face full of cleavage. It does! Extra stoked!
As her nipples brush my cheeks, an economic epiphany occurs to me: In the US, we have this stereotype of strippers and dollar bills. We've had that pattern since the seventies. A dollar now buys what $0.17 did in 1970. Things like food, rent, and shoes have gotten more expensive, while the standard tip for a stripper has stayed the same for over thirty years. The next time you visit a strip club and think the girls are lackadaisical, remember that you get what you pay for and they're no longer being paid enough. In Japan, however, the smallest denomination of paper money is the 1000 yen bill, which equals slightly less than thirteen USD… and I'm pretty sure it's still considered a dick move to give a stripper coins. Geniuses. Beautiful, nude geniuses, all of them.
A slow sad song comes on and Matt looks bored. I did get to put my face in a pair of strange breasts, it's late, and I'm ready to head home.
Tomorrow: The Trip Home
[This post is a part of Fleshbot's Stoya Week.]