Tokyo Travels Part 22: The Prostitutes

This post is part of a series describing a trip I took in May, 2010.

Note: This post does deal with prostitutes (whom I did not hire -- let’s be clear on that) and some readers may prefer to avoid it. It does discuss sex in a roundabout manner, but there is no actual sex in this post. Nor are there any roundabouts. Now you may consider yourself appropriatly warned. Ironically, this disclaimer is also the most explicit part of this post; I don’t know if that means you’ll skip this post or bookmark it.

As a business traveller who frequents hotels in various cities, it’s not uncommon for me to encounter call girls offering their services. Vegas is where this happens most, but I’ve also encountered the saleswomen in Denver and in a hotel hallway in Anaheim (a rather entrepreneurial young woman who chose to go door-to-door).

I was coming back to the hotel in Tokyo one evening by myself. I got off the train Shinbashi and went out a different the Hibiya exit instead of head toward Shiodome and the hotel like I normally did. I was on my way to this McDonalds .

Now, I know what you’re thing, “You’re in Japan and you’re eating at McDonalds?! What are you thinking?!?!” It’s not like that. We heard they have a Fillet-O-Shrimp. How could we pass that up? Okay, I picked up some burgers and fries, too, but really, it was all about the exotic shrimp at McDonalds. That’s my story.

That exit from the station took me to a hopping area, and I decided to explore a little.

There were small noodle shops and and restaurants and bars with music.It looked like any other entertainment district. There are small side streets closed to traffic to accommodate the revelers. They were too small for much traffic anyway. I had stumbled into some party zone just outside of Ginza. It started to rain slightly.

Now, I know I looked like a tourist. Big white guy with a camera bag on his back doesn’t exactly scream “Local!”

I pass in front of building that I think has a narrow canopy. A young woman standing near the curb (so I pass between her and the building) stepped toward me and said, “Massage?” gestures to the building which apparently offers those services on a higher floor. In my confusion it took me a moment to realize what she was saying. I declined and she said something else that seemed to be related to her services and I kept walking.

Now I realize there are non-sex industry versions of the “Thai Massage” she was offering, but I’m guessing that this was not a therapeutic variant.

I rounded another corner on my way to the McDonalds and another attractive woman walked up to me with her umbrella, and put it over us. She was dressed conservatively and yet frillily and said some sort of greeting in Japanese and then, “Sexto?” I declined and kept walking. She said something else, again finishing with, “Sexto?” Again I declined. She tried a couple more times and then finally closed her umbrella and walked off.

There are few things to note here. To begin with, I am assuming they are prostitutes because otherwise these scenarios just don’t present themselves to me.

Besides that, these were probably the two most attractive prostitutes to proposition me. Well dressed, made up to blend in -- nothing that screams “Sexual Services for Sale!” (excpets of course their lips when they spoke).

I was curious about their rates and how they charge (by the hour or piece work) But I didnt’ ask. Since I did not intend to complete a business transaction, it seemed silly to open a negotiation.

This may be an inappropriate reaction but I am flattered by these encounters. Sure, the reason they were willing to supply their goods was for money, but still. At least I was desirable as a customer. Anyone who has worked retail or food service knows that there are definitely some cutomers you don’t want to deal with. For these two business women, I did not fall into that category.

There are three possible reason they might approach me.

1) I look like the kind of guy they might enjoy providing services to.
2) I look like the kind of guy who can afford their services.
3) I look like the kind of guy in need of their services.

I prefer to think it’s number 1.Yes, that may be delusional, but it’s my delusion, and I’m sticking to it.

After those little adventrues, I continued my assigned tasks for the night. I hope the evening was productive for my potential suppliers. I did learn something valuable that evening, though.

The Filet-O-Shrimp is a mighty fine sandwich.

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