Sleeping! Hand holding! Awkward conversation and pent-up sexual frustration!
What you’re about to witness, ladies and gentlemen, is “cuddle cafe” Soineya’s new oshiri makura (lit. butt pillow) service; the latest in awkward things that men can pay to do with young girls who don’t actually like them.
The concept is simple: a pretty girl enters your private booth, lies on her front and lets you rest your head on her bottom. But don’t drift into too deep a sleep, there, sonny- just one minute of oshiri makura action will cost you an incredible 1,000 yen (US$11).
Since opening in last September, Akihabara’s Soineya (lit. “sleep together house/shop”) has become a big hit with the otaku community. For just a few thousand yen, even the most average-looking guy with little-to-no interpersonal skills can cuddle up with the kind of girl he’d only normally be able to steal glances at on the bus and dream of dating. Due to the establishment’s enormous popularity, a second Soineya branch has recently been opened in Shinjuku’s infamous entertainment and red light district Kabikicho, bringing with it the new option of oshiri makura human butt pillows.
The following video follows a masked Japanese reporter as he visits the Akihabara branch of Soineya and tries out a few of the services on offer. The video is all in Japanese, but since awkward is a concept that can be expressed without the need for words we’re sure that everyone will be able to enjoy it regardless.
Yes, that slap was part of the paid service (more on that later), and for those of you who didn’t catch it, the “17” that appeared on your screen halfway through the video is the girl’s age. If only there were a word creepier than “creepy”.
Thankfully, since this video was uploaded Soineya has reportedly changed its policy and now stresses that “our staff aged under 18 years of age are now unable to sleep next to customers, or give hugs or ‘thigh pillow’ services.”
■ The Butt Pillow Service
But it’s the oshiri makura butt pillow service – available only at the new Shinjuku branch – that’s receiving the most media attention right now. The following video sees “Melon”, a Soineya employee, showing the same masked stranger how the costly process works. We hope you’re feeling flush, fellas, because this is going to cost you.
Is it just us, or is there very little love to be found here? It’s like snuggling up with a couple of nice-looking pebbles.
▼Put your head here
▼ Mmmm. Paid-for intimacy.
Despite her smiles, don’t think for a moment that this girl’s enjoying herself anywhere near as much as her customer. This is business as usual for Melon-chan, and if you take a look back at the 03:25 mark in the video you’ll see her start the timer before her guest has even had a chance to nestle his noggin on her sweet cheeks.
In a another video uploaded to NicoNico’s video service, the same masked reporter is introduced to the myriad services that Soineya has to on offer, and we’re even able to sneak a peek at the “menu”.
This time around, “Maria-san” – a girl wearing pyjamas and who is probably not much older than 20 at best – enters the booth carrying a small teddy bear. Music reminiscent of a child’s music box plays softly in the background as Maria explains how the alternative venue works. After customers decide how long they’d like to spend with their girl, they are able to add on “options” such as paying extra to opt for a particular girl they like, or to rotate girls every set number of minutes.
Maria tells her customer to lie back and get comfy. “Is it OK if I actually fall asleep?” he mumbles. Before he drifts off, however, he catches sight of a sheet of A-4 paper taped to the wall. “So what exactly are these ‘options’?” he asks. You won’t believe the prices:
Hugs are available in five, 30 and 60-second bursts, costing 11, 57 and 114 US dollars, respectively. Holding hands for 10 minutes, meanwhile, costs $11. What the masked reporter is more interested in, however, is the three-minute “ton-ton” service, which he admits he’s not familiar with. Thankfully, chirpy Maria is here to give him a quick demonstration.
That’s right, guys. You can pay a girl $11 to gently drum on your back for three minutes. What. A. Bargain.
“So it’s three minutes of massage wherever I like?” the camera-shy reporter asks. “That’s right,” Maria replies, shooting a quick glance at someone off-camera, “… I think.” Good to know that these girls know what they’re signing up for!
Other services available include putting your hand on the girl’s head (3 minutes / $11), staring into her eyes (1 minute / $11) and, as we saw in the above video, slaps across the face, which cost a mere $11 each.
There’s also a costume menu that guests can choose from, with their cuddle companion running off to change right away if a customer prefers. Pretty much all of the standard dress-up fetishes are catered for, with Chinese dress, bathing costume, police outfit, maid, school uniform, school sports wear (as seen in the topmost video) and nurse available.
The entire cuddle cafe experience, from selecting an outfit for your girl to wear to the stilted chit-chat and hugs charged by the second, is enough to send our creep-o-meter flying into red. Maid cafes are nothing new, we’ve experienced companion cooking schools first-hand, and the staggering amount of sexual services available in Japan never fails to amaze us, but paying to receive a half-hearted hug or sleep with your head on a girl’s behind, however tender and warm, just seems a little bit pointless to us. Not that we’re experts on the subject or anything <cough>, but we’re sure that there are plenty of other establishments out there for men where they can pay to spend time with a lady who’ll let you do much more than rest your head on her butt. And, if they did choose to just get a little cheek-snuggling with her, it probably wouldn’t cost anything like 1,000 yen a minute.
Regardless of the cost involved, though, every time we look at these images of men relaxing with their heads on those pretty girls’ butt cheeks, there’s one thought that keeps on running through our tiny little minds and that we just can’t shake: “What if she farts?