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Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Souped-up vibrators get dog lovers yelping

Trench coats, greasy hair and items packed in brown paper bags once typified the average adult shop in Japan, but establishments are now cleaning up their act thanks to a rising number of female clients looking for frills with their thrills, according to Shukan Jitsuwa (6/3).

"It's probably a sign of the times. Not so long ago, over 90 percent of customers were guys, but recently women on their own have made up about 30 percent of our clientele," a writer on the adult entertainment industry tells Shukan Jitsuwa. "Adult toy shops have started to clean up their act and use brighter decorations to attract women customers. They're in the process of becoming like convenience stores. That is, places where women can drop by without a second thought."

Indeed, dropping by they are, it seems.

"We have a lot of married women customers. I'd say their most obvious characteristic is a tendency to buy vibrators. Younger women seem to prefer (smaller) rotors, but older women appear to enjoy feeling pleased on the inside," the boss of the Akihabara branch of ms, a major chain of sex aid retailers, says.

Ms operators say regular vibrators shaped like the male appendage continue to dominate sales among female clientele, but other types promising to stimulate the G-spot and other intimate areas also have their niche markets.

"Of the women's masturbation products, Action Manzuri is pretty popular. It's got a vibrating pearl built in to its end and moves like a piston. We've got lots of messages on our web site from women saying that it gives them a pleasure their husbands have not been able to provide," the ms boss says.

Oriental Shokai, an adult aid outlet in Tokyo's Asakusa tourist district, also reports a growing number of women customers.

"Most of them tend to be of at least middle-age rather than young, married women. We also get loads of women in their late 30s who seem to drop in while they're touring the area," the owner of Oriental Shokai tells Shukan Jitsuwa. "Something really interesting that I've noticed is that once older women have used an adult toy, they tend to upgrade to something bigger or more thrilling the next time they buy one."

Moving well at the moment are the Butter Dogs, a mini-vibrator that simulates a dog lapping.

"At the tip of the tool are two tongues that interchange and stimulate the same way a dog would if it was licking something up," the owner says. "We get some tourists come in here to buy these in bulk."

Another top seller is the IC-7, a phallus equipped with an IC card that allows the aid to be programmed to perform particular functions.

"If you set your own preferred level of stimulation, you can keep it at that same pace for as long as you'd like," a 34-year-old IC-7 user tells Shukan Jitsuwa. "I like to start off with three turns clockwise, three turns counter-clockwise before moving on to seven to eight turns in each direction as things get more exciting. It's just like being with a man. And the sizes are enormous. To be honest, it's probably enough to make you wonder whether you really need your husband's anymore."

The Tachikawa branch of ms has something for women looking to make themselves a little more comfortable. The Magic Bondage is a skimpy suit made up of strips of Velcro and sells for a paltry 1,900 yen apiece.

"Whenever I give myself a workover, I use the Magic Bondage to blindfold myself and bind my own hands," Shukan Jitsuwa quotes a 36-year-old housewife's post on an ms website as saying. "I've never taken part in S&M, but when I'm tied up and being violated by the adult toy, the thrill becomes twice as intense."

May 26, 2004


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