Violette Thorngate Exquisite Dominance

Jan 30 2010 The Great Happiness SpaceCategory: General     11:32AM   0

Last night I watched a documentary called The Great Happiness Space about the boys who work in one of the approximately 100 host clubs of Osaka. They all seem to sport a very similar style with wispy bleached flock-of-seagulls J-pop hair and expensive clothes and accessories. They make tens of thousands of dollars a month entertaining women with champagne, karaoke, cuddling, flirtation and conversation. They liken themselves to male geisha. They say that they are in the business of selling dreams to women- the dream that she is the most beautiful, that he desires her, that they could be a couple one day.

While the film itself was novel because of the setting and the gender role reversal, I was getting bored with the repetition of this mythology that prevails around professional companions. The movies and books portray them as tricksters selling a fiction, pulling the wool over someone's eyes and, when they do it well, walking away with a pile of cash. Yawn. It's an insecure pessimist's tale that doesn't reflect my experience or that of my friends in both the escort and Domme community.

The clients are mostly portrayed as naive, rich, hungry for attention. The host boys say these women can't get dates, can't get sex or affection any other way. Same old story that I hear from a lot of men and women who are neither clients nor providers, passing their blanket judgment over something they themselves can only imagine. It's simply not the reality of the situation.

Clients are not pitiful. Companions are not tricksters.

Outsiders tell themselves moralistic tales to pass through the tense space between curiosity and shame.

And then, with one question, the tone of the film shifts.

"What is your job?" asks the documentarian.

Every woman they interview is a sex worker. From cabaret girls to prostitutes, they are all doing essentially the same job as the host boys. Income from other sex workers/service providers makes up eighty percent of the host's revenue. Most of these women don't come to the host boys for sex, which they have in abundance elsewhere. They come to talk about their work life with someone who understands. They come for the flirtation and intimacy that balances them. They come for tender attention and for a particular kind of relationship. The host boys talk about the work they do as "healing" these women. I often hear the same from Dommes and escorts- that the time they spend with someone is a healing. After healing other people all day, these women come to the host club to take a load off and get healed.

In the end, it seems that these connections don't involve anyone pulling the wool over anyone else's eyes. All parties are consenting and aware in this curious little arrangement. Consenting, aware, and getting their needs met in the Great Happiness Space.

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