“When we first opened the shop, we were getting about 20 customers a month. Now, six months later, it’s up to 150 a month. We’ve franchised our system to 40 shops nationwide, and their monthly turnovers average between 300,000 yen and 3 million yen. We expected most of the clients to be “otaku” (geeky) types, but as it turned out, most of them are ordinary salarymen in their 30s and 40s.”
Speaking to Nikkan Gendai (April 16) is Hajime Kimura, manager of Doll no Mori (Forest of Dolls), a business that opened last August in Tokyo’s Ota Ward. It specializes in deliveries of “Dutch Wives” to homes and hotels. For those unfamiliar with this term, Dutch Wives are life-size latex mannequins used by men as a sex substitute.
The most popular “gal” in Doll no Mori’s stable of four silicone hookers is a realistic-looking adolescent female that, if purchased at retail, would cost 600,000 yen. Rental rates range from 13,000 yen for one hour to 45,000 yen for 24 hours, with an additional charge of up to 6,000 yen for pick-up and delivery. For customers who wish to dress up their dollies in suitable costumes, options (charged at 1,000 yen each) supplied include wigs and items of apparel, such as French maid, nurse and school uniforms, negligees and bathing suits.
“Although they have realistic skin texture, they’re cold to the touch,” Kimura continues. “So many men will first warm them up in the bath or with an electric blanket before they start playing.”
According to a writer who covers the sex trade, the dolls are typically used to provide company while men view steamy adult videos.
“Some use them to snap photos,” he says. “I’ve heard others say that they prefer them because they don’t want to risk contracting a disease by patronizing sex shops. Others have told me they wanted to practice on them as a sort of trial run before giving up their virginity.”
“People have been saying for a long time that men have lost their desire for real women,” sex therapist Kim Myung Gun explains to Nikkan Gendai. “Rather than have sex with a woman who doesn’t fulfill their expectations, they would rather play with something that corresponds to their fantasy, even if she’s not real.”
The Doll no Mori website can be viewed (in Japanese only) at http://www.dollnomori.com/main.html