STD Risk in Pillow Business: Teenage Hosts Struggle sans Alcohol | FRIDAY DIGITAL

STD Risk in Pillow Business: Teenage Hosts Struggle sans Alcohol

The reality of Reiwa 6 years later, Kabukicho is now ...... the 88th issue of Piena by a writer who is currently a student at Keio University.

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Teenagers cannot rely on the power of alcohol. That is why their sense and competence as a host are being questioned.

This year, major host clubs have implemented voluntary restrictions on sales, and the number of clubs prohibiting entry for those under 20 has increased.

While this should reduce instances of young women under 20 accidentally entering host clubs, there are no restrictions on working hosts aged 18 and above. Therefore, it’s expected that many teenage hosts will still enter the industry this year.

Teenage hosts face the challenge of not being able to drink during service, giving them a significant disadvantage compared to other hosts. However, those who manage to increase sales despite this are often dubbed Teenage Millionaire Players and treated as famous hosts.

“Because I can’t drink, helping out at senior tables is tough. Prices don’t go up, and customers end up ordering non-alcoholic drinks for me. Few want to pay thousands for a quiet, unfriendly teen, so lacking conversation skills is tough. You can’t just rely on drinking to get by.”

Arata (pseudonym, 21), a former teenage host who claimed the top spot at 20, shares his experience. 

“Honestly, I drink at after-parties or bars, but drinking at host clubs, especially at top ones, is strict for both clients and hosts. Despite that, I persisted with non-alcoholic drinks. Celebrating my 20th birthday with clients and seniors was memorable, even if I got smashed from their generosity. COVID made adulthood ceremonies less exciting, so it’s a cherished memory for me.

Back then, my belly was bloated from daily cola intake, which was tough. Maybe it’s better than being soaked in tequila now. But being tipsy sometimes leads to closer customer interactions. Both have their perks.”

“It was tough back then with a stomach full of Coke every day, but it was probably better than now when I’m covered in tequila. But I can serve my customers more closely when I’m drunk. There are advantages to both.”

Many teenage hosts struggle because they can’t get help from alcohol. Some of them are strong enough to serve their customers by secretly drinking.

One of the most outrageous teenage hosts I met put tequila in a perfume atomizer and sprayed it up his anus in the restroom to absorb the alcohol through his mucous membranes. He said, “I haven’t been drinking, so it’s not illegal,” but I have no idea whether he came up with the idea from drunkenness or soberness.

“I started working as a host while still a virgin, but I always felt like all the customers were targeting my virginity, which made me scared every time,” 

Minato (pseudonym, 19 years old) chuckled bitterly. He attended an all-boys school. After entering university, he wanted to change his unpopularity, so he started working as a host.

“Being a newcomer and a virgin, I was often looked down upon. At first, when I honestly talked about myself, older female customers would nominate me and invite me to a hotel, saying, ‘Let’s go.’ It was awful when I contracted an STD after sleeping with a girl who spent money on me.

Seniors also told me, ‘If you’re young and lack customer service skills, you can attract customers through sexual services.’ So, for me, being a newcomer in the host industry was almost like sex work. It might be slightly more enjoyable than masturbating, but it still left an impression of labor for gain. Now, I’ve switched to a café where I don’t have to work so hard.

It’s a mixed feeling to see my male classmates from the all-boys school, who were also virgins, let loose and become womanizers in college,” Minato said with a bitter smile.

In April, young people from all over the country step foot into this city, dreaming of a new beginning.

From the April 5 and 12 issue of “FRIDAY

  • PHOTO Sasaki Chihuahua

    Born in Tokyo in 2000. After attending an integrated school in Tokyo from elementary school to high school, he went on to Keio University, where he has been living in Kabukicho since he was 15 years old and has a wide range of personal connections. At university, he studied the sociology of the downtown area. His new book, "Host! Tachinbo! To Yoko! Overdose na Hito-tachi" (Kodansha) is now on sale!

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