Every city has swingers’ clubs or sex clubs. Tokyo has “Happening Bars.” Some are strictly for bondage, some are only for couples-swapping. Many foreigners living in Tokyo joke about wanting to go, but never do. I was lucky enough to snag an interview with someone who revealed everything to complete strangers, and now reveals it to you:
Meet “Stan the Viking.”
TDR: What was your first impression as you walked in?
STV: it was a lot of waiting. We had to spend half an hour trying to get the “couples discount” because one of the couples did not have the proper ID. So it wasn’t so sensual. But when we got in, it was a ? it was like my first experience of Japan! It wasn’t a sight or a sound that hit me, it was a smell. The smell of cleanliness. All kinds of artificial scents and cleaners covering up dirty cum stains!
STV: Before the last train it was 95% men. After the last train had left, it went to around 80% men. But every single regular customer I met insisted that normally there were more women than men! Of the ten girls that were there, I only saw six of them so much as kiss, let alone having sex. Four of them were just there for the free drinks. The youngest person I saw was 24, the oldest was around 32.
TDR: This club was in Shibuya. Were the customers Shibuya-lookin’ people?
STV: I was upset! They were all really normal.
TDR: dress code! Mandatory nudity? Check your clothes at the door kind of thing?
STV: Well, our troop was pretty nude, but not because of rules. It was because we were playing Drunk Jenga, where if you lose, you have to remove two articles of clothing and keep them off for the rest of the night. That’s why I hit the cosplay area! But anyway, most people kept clothes on.
TDR: at the most active time, how many people were actually fucking?
STV: at the max, it was maybe 5 couples.
TDR: pricing system! Tell!
STV: Complicated. Counting the membership fee, a single guy will pay $200 the first time. After that, $80. A couple, counting the member’s fee, will pay $130 combined. Single women who are members get in free, I think. You sign up for membership, you have to bring ID, but then you can give them a fake name to put on your member card. I was STAN.
TDR: condom situation!
STV: bowls full. Everywhere.
TDR: did people use’em?
STV: I didn’t get close enough to see.
TDR: you didn’t get right up in there? With your opera glasses.
STV: pass the caviar!
TDR: Layout! Theme rooms! Describe!
STV: You walk in, and there are lockers on the left for you to put your shoes. No shoes indoors, of course. On the right, they got a caged area where people can buy overpriced spaghetti and have dining sex. at the far end, there’s capsule-hotel-style bunkbeds.
B1 floor: on the left is a bar, on the right there is a stage with lights, whips, chains, and a doctor’s examination chair. Also there’s a tiny, dimly-lit room called a “happening room” where people can mess around. Maybe two meters on a side. The room has a semi-transparent curtain separating it from the bar, so the crowd can kind of see what is going on but not really. It’s for the beginner exhibitionists and the not-yet-drunks, they can get warmed up for public sex in there. They got toys and stuff to lighten the mood. Jenga. Cards. And oh, whips. They got a electric penguin slide.
TDR: Is this a euphemism for something?
STV: No. it’s literally a toy. A small box with inch-high penguin figurines in it, and water at the bottom. An electric motor hauls the penguins up the slide, and then they fall down the other side into the water. I was hella playing with it. It had batteries and stuff.
TDR: Did people make a lot of use of the doctor’s chair?
STV: Only one time did I see it being used. By me. Actually two times. That was me too.
TDR: . . . .
STV: Oh, they also got a costume room down there. You can change into a maid, schoolgirl, policewoman, or whatnot. I was a race queen for awhile.
TDR: Moving up to the second floor. . ..
STV: On the left is a s/m room: you bring your drinks up from the basement, and watch the s&m: They got cages, shackles, and various paraphanalia, so you can drink and check that out. Then on the right is a big, dimly lit room with pillows, which is like the “make-out room.” You can only go in with a partner. And beyond the make-out room is the full-on sex room. There’s also some tiny, individual-sized sex rooms, and they all come equipped with peepholes!
TDR: What’s the music situation like? Whenever I walk by one of them brothels they have that trance or music playing, that really jarring, hyper NA-NA-NA-NA-NAAAH, NIT, NIT, NA-NA-NA-NA-NUUUHHHH stuff. Is it the same at the happening bar?
STV: Not at all. They were playing this incredibly cheesy 70s-to-90s love songs. Ballads. Barry Manilow.
TDR: Lord. Well I guess with all the masochists there. . . . Oh shit, were there power ballads perhaps?
STV: Not that I can remember.
TDR: Hookups! How does that happen?
STV: Most people that do manage to do it, they come in couples and then swap. And not even that ? they have to be regulars. Even if you’re a couple, you can’t show up and expect to get laid. People see each other on a few occasions, maybe have some drinks together at the bar, and then the next time they’ll swap partners. A lot of people don’t even want to hook up ? they’re exhibitionists.
TDR: were the exhibitionists performing? Like, visibly playing to the audience? I’m picturing rock musicians who point to the audience, and maybe say the name of the town. “check out this solo!!!!”
STV: Not at all. They weren’t like, “check this out!! We’re debuting a new move tonight, people!!!” It was more like, let’s eat spaghetti very casually, while getting some head.
TDR: So, most people are not fucking the whole time. Just sitting at the bar drinking. I gotta ask, what constitutes small talk in this context? Are you, “So, Mr. Three-Feet-Away-From-A-Titty, how’s the commute to your job?” or are you allowed to . . .
STV: yeah, it’s pretty easy to talk about the guy the next chair over, who’s getting a blowjob. That’s the small talk.
TDR: wow, even in Japan. You’re all, “Say, you see the vein on that guy?”
STV: more like, “Check out that blister!” It’s not like “he’s gonna pop!” more like, “when is that thing going to pop!” naw, it wasn’t that dirty though.
TDR: rules of club! Inform now!
STV: two main ones. No raping and no shoes.
TDR: those were the only. . .?
STV: . . .the only rules that I understood. They have a lady employee on every floor as a sort of chaperone, make sure that everything stays organized. Oh, and there is another rule: no single guys in the make-out room. That’s the one that got us in trouble.
TDR: you guys had hijinks? Was there horse-play in the make-out room?
STV: Well, the chaperone left. She went to the other floor, so one of our guys and some random dude we just met decided to break in, and I kind of followed them. There was some fellatio in progress, and one of our guys asked if he could add some cunnilingus to the mix. The guy getting head said ok. The girl was like, ew gross, but Japanese girls say that about everything. They say that about their own orgasm. So he just went right in and did his thing, and the rest of us watched, but eventually I thought it was kind of awkward, so I took off, and that’s when the chaperone came back! So we got kicked out. The evening ended as it had begun, with yet another 30 minutes of haggling at the door. Because most of us hadn’t broke the rule, so why would they kick all of us out? We were trying to explain, but they were having none of it. They told us that our member cards were null and void anymore, but I don’t believe it. There are other branches in that franchise!!
TDR: would you recommend this club for people who have sex?
STV: what kind of question is that?
TDR: you know, people who are looking for their Dirty Tokyo Adventure.
STV: Sure, if money is no issue, go ahead. I mean, wherever you come from, you got sex clubs in your own city. But it’s worth it to try a Tokyo sex club because number one, it is safer and cleaner . . .
TDR: except when you guys are there!
STV: As I was saying, it’s safer, plus it’s fun to see how they do it in a different country.
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