Erotica and Roleplay

In Japan, where cosplay is seen as the embodiment of a character and acting out specific roles, it is not uncommon for its practice to be explored in most adult relationships. Considered a sexual fetish, many embrace the ideals of either cross dressing – where the males take on the roles of females and vice versa – or seeing their partners in maid, nurses or high-school girls’ uniforms. The latter two roles seem to be the most popular as the fantasy of having subservient or helpless females at their bidding, gives the male a sense of authority and power during sex. The adult industry, in Japan, do not shy away from exploring such ‘taboo’ situations and cater to specialized hotels or facilities that provide cosplay options for their visitors.

The term hentai, which refers to sexually explicit or pornographic material, is a genre all of its own in the sex industry. Explicit adult video games, or Japanese eroge, typically have themes that reflect the weak female (maids, nurses or school girls) at the mercy of their male torturers. These are quite popular among the male population and earn millions of yen annually.

Another genre that’s all the rage in Japan is the role of the AV (adult video) girl. Unlike the Western culture where porn stars are not treated with much respect, the same could not be said for their counterparts in the East. Some famous actresses (many in dramatic movie or TV roles) today got their starts as AV girls, or some end up becoming AV girls when they can no longer find work in mainstream television. With these girls earning as much as four million yen a year – in a market that makes up almost 30% of all Japan video rentals – the industry is definitely one that’s taking its place as a staple in society today.

The use of toys, in addition to cosplay roles, adds to the excitement of the relationship. If the female takes on the role of a student, the most common used toys are whips or bondage-related props; the ultimate idea of subservience between partners. Another theme is the doctor-nurse relationship, where the use of some actual medical devices like the speculum is used during the act. Some even find pleasure with more traditional themes, choosing to role play feudal lords and mistresses of the court with more elaborate costumes. For creativity breeds more entertainment.

Hannibal Missouri – A Ghost Town?

It’s not a ghost town yet but it’s getting there. I spent a day in Hannibal, Missouri. I’m a high school English teacher and just couldn’t pass up the chance to visit the home of the American author, Samuel Clemens, better known as Mark Twain. Mid-July I expected the streets of Hannibal to be teeming with sightseers anxious to catch a glimpse of the spot on the Mississippi River where Twain’s hero Huck Finn set sail on his raft . I thought folks would be lined up in droves to tour the Clemens homestead and visit the caves where Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn had so many adventures. But on a steamy summer afternoon I browsed in solitary pleasure through shops replete with Twain novels, biographies and souvenirs. A Japanese tourist and a father and son from England were the only other people visiting Becky Thatcher’s cottage with me. A boy and girl dressed up like Tom Sawyer and his girlfriend Becky looked bored as they waited for tourists to show up and pay $7 to have their picture taken with the famous literary couple. Horse drawn carriages toured the city carting only a few passengers each. I attended an excellent one-man show put on by actor Richard Garey. Standing on a stage crammed with Twain memorabilia, Garey did a lively and educational re-creation of one of Twain’s lectures and story telling presentations. Mark Twain traveled across the United States entertaining crowds of people in the late 1800’s Unfortunately only eight of us were in attendance at the show Garey staged in Hannibal on a July night.

Don’t get me wrong. Hannibal, Missouri is charming. It’s just that the whole place appears to be a little ‘down on its luck.’ We stopped at two bed and breakfast establishments that looked lovely and appealing in the brochures we’d picked up. The doors were locked, the paint peeling and the yards overgrown. The high school English teacher who supplemented his income by running the book store at the Mark Twain museum had plenty of time to ‘talk shop’ with me since I was his only customer. We wanted to try a local Hannibal restaurant for supper, but by seven o’clock many were closed, and others I have to admit looked just a little on the seedy side. We finally settled on Lula Belles, a former bordello turned now into a respectable eatery. It was founded by an enterprising madam from Chicago at the turn of the century. The food was hardly gourmet, but the portions were plentiful and the service friendly. You couldn’t help remembering however that it used to be a centre for gambling and prostitution and was frequently raided by the police. Did the ‘ladies of the evening’ who made their living there a hundred years ago still haunt the place one wondered?

Literary tourism appears to be flourishing. People are flocking to the sites mentioned in the popular book the Da Vinci Code. The Prince Edward Island tourist industry thrives on the Anne of Green Gables books authored by Lucy Maud Montgomery. So what’s the problem in Hannibal, Missouri, the setting for Twain’s novels? I checked some traveler review web sites which mentioned several reasons for Hannibal’s decline including lack of advertising, limited hours of operation and an almost cynical attitude amongst residents about their famous home town author.

I enjoyed Hannibal, Missouri and was glad I had visited. Hopefully the town will be able to make the necessary changes to attract more tourists. Otherwise it might become a place inhabited only by the ghosts of Mark Twain and the interesting cast of characters he created in his memorable novels.

Kids’ Japanese High Fashion – How to Make it More Affordable

Japanese high fashion is known for being audacious, loud, and bold. But it is also creative and awe-inspiring. These descriptions are not exactly the ones you’d aspire for in kid’s clothing. A look at the popular Japanese or Japanese-inspired kid’s clothing pieces, however, would reveal that it works. The playful and colorful spirit of Japanese high fashion suits the aesthetics of kid’s clothing fashion quite well. For instance, the popular school girl uniform fashion of the Japanese is perfect for little girls because it becomes surprisingly conservative and expectedly cute when worn by a toddler.

There is one catch, however: Japanese kid’s clothing is deemed to be expensive. This is true especially if you aim to buy authentic fashion pieces from Japan, as the country has the high cost of living (which means items from the country are pricey). Still, there are ways to achieve that Japanese look without spending too much.

Instead of buying kid’s clothing pieces from Japan, consider buying Japanese-inspired clothing from various brick and mortar and online stores. You do not need to buy clothes from Shibuya or Harajuku (two major fashion and shopping destinations in Japan) to achieve that oriental look. Concentrate on the look, not the product.

Ironically, most of the Japanese fashion concepts people imitate now was influenced from American fashion. The street fashion popular in Harajuku, for instance, stemmed from the Japanese youth’s attempts to emulate American fashion. This is why you can still create a kid’s clothing fashion ensemble from pieces you can buy in the country, whether online or offline.

You can also create an affordable Japanese-inspired kid’s clothing ensemble by using just one piece of Japanese clothing. Use this piece as the centerpiece of your kid’s apparel. This way, the Japanese inspiration remains and you wouldn’t have to spend tons of money.

For instance, Japanese high fashion is marked by a put-together elegance, a distinct combination of high fashion and homemade ensemble. Use a Japanese trench coat (in colors such as grey or beige) to cover a more basic shirt and jeans apparel.

Avoid expensive designer brands when putting together a kid’s clothing Japanese high fashion look. A look at the Japanese children’s clothes for girls would reveal that while most Japanese-inspired dresses are colorful and unique (such as the Lolita-inspired dresses, complete with the white frilly collar and the attached apron for effect), they are also deceptively simple. Choose moderately priced brands over designer ones; no one would see the difference.

Of course, you can also find stores that sell affordable Japanese kid’s clothing to help you put together that amazing oriental look. Online stores usually offer the most comprehensive kid’s clothing catalog; take advantage of it. And since online clothing stores offer discounts and low prices, they are the most practical option for creating a look that could be expensive if assembled elsewhere.

Japanese kid’s clothing looks expensive and elegant, but that doesn’t mean it has to be pricey. Focusing on select pieces and knowing where to buy these clothing items can make that amazing Japanese look affordable.