When it comes to competition swimwear, most of us immediately think of is the kind of gear we see worn by professional swimmers. Trends have shifted over the years as technology improved and demands have changed; swimsuits with racerbacks and varying leg lengths to cater to different needs, preferences and races are most commonly seen on female professional swimmers today.

Last week, Japanese “fetish swimsuit” maker REALISE released a new “competition swimsuit” that changed everyone’s perspective on racing swimwear. Instead of having an open back like many Speedo or TYR suits do, REALISE’s revolutionary design has an open front, allowing its wearers to show off their bosoms, just because. As always, the trend-sensitive Twitter users of Japan were quick to respond to the new fashion statement and… well, just see for yourselves after the break! (Needless to say, some of these illustrations are NSFW.)

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“Underwater Knee-High Girls” goes to Taiwan!  Exhibition including new “Yuri” photos to be held

As we mentioned in our past article, with its ever-increasing popularity the Underwater Knee-High Girls Plus exhibition celebrated its launch on October 24 at PATER’S Shop and Gallery in Harajuku. The underwater knee-high shots have proved hugely popular online both at home and abroad, so we know that many of you will be excited to hear that an overseas exhibition has been announced!

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“Office lady in heels walking on tatami”: The mysterious world of Japanese fetishism

When I left England for Japan in 2011, I received a card from four schoolfriends of mine. “Keep in touch!” the girls had written. “Have a great time!” The one guy in the group had a slightly different message for me: “Enjoy the tentacle rape porn!”

While for many, Japan evokes imagery of ancient temples, plates of sushi, and Shinkansen, it is also known as the land of crazy weird sex stuff.  (Tentacle erotica, by the way, is much older and, I might add, much rarer than you might think). So when we stumbled across (I know, right! I can’t remember what we were looking for in the first place, either!) a Japanese blog post about surprising sexual fetishes, we knew it was worth sharing.

What’s your fetish? An introduction to the fetishes you won’t believe exist” runs the title of the list, compiled by 26-year-old Japanese NEET Nura Hikaru. We bring you our top three, plus a few bonus ideas for good measure.

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Lap pillows being snapped up at Narita Airport faster than the planes can take off

Just when you thought it was safe to delve into the back of your boyfriend’s closet, the hizamakura is back!

Literally translated as “lap pillow,” hizamakura — cushions designed to look like the tender thighs of a woman – were a huge hit about 10 years ago and were splashed all over Western websites and magazines alongside phrases such as “weird Japan”, with many articles asking whether the country’s men were really so lacking in social skills that they were forced to buy such products. In truth, many were purchased as gag items as the trend grew, but as their popularity faded hizamakura soon became associated more with otaku nerd culture and became a much less common sight.

Reports suggest, however, that a new line of lap pillows going on sale at Tokyo’s Narita Airport are bringing the trend back and they’re selling better than ever.

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On sale now: Pan-Pan, stripy panties with spray-on ‘girl scent’

Perhaps in response to the severe lack of used-panty vending machines (declared illegal in 1993), a new and convenient alternative product has been born to cater to those panty fetish needs: soft, stripy and cute panties with a tiny spray bottle full of “girl scent”.

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