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Published: February 17th 2016
Let's start this new year 2016 with an interesting topic - as sex always sells: Naked Asian dudes. While naked Asian women are what most guys find an attractive idea to consider, a trip to certain parts of Asia will give you - on the contrary - an instant overdose of penises and naked sweaty men in different contexts of daily life. I have had the questionable pleasure to live in a Hong Kong student hall for almost 3 years, 1 of which I have shared a bathroom with 2 Chinese students. It would not take me long to notice some differences among my Canadian room mate and my Chinese suit mates.
One happy morning I would open the bathroom there and there he was, a naked Chinese guy sitting on the toilet, doing his morning business - with the door open. While I was rushing back and stumbling "sorry sorry", for him this was like a random "hello" on a normal morning. As a matter of fact, he seemed totally fine with other guys brushing their teeth in front of him while he was doing his stuff with the door open. I thought that the dude was particularly weird,
until most of my western friends told me similar stories about their Chinese room mates. One of my Korean female friends told me that her female Chinese flatmate had the habit of wearing t-shirts - but no underwear. In other words, she would sit butt-naked on a (common) chair and talk to my friend.
Since I go to the gym lately, I also get another wave of free Asian body culture. Guys totally naked, calling on their mobile phones for 15 minutes in the locker rooms (without thinking about getting dressed), naked guys accidentally bumping into you due to the Hong Kong space restrictions, and (worst case) I had a dude dropping his mobile phone and picking it up naked in front of me. Now, don't get me wrong, i am not a stuck up prude - if you really want to see me naked and it makes you happy, go ahead. Do I want to see you bending down naked in front of me, having your naked ass brushing against me, see you sitting butt-naked on the toilet? No, thank you very much.
Why I am bringing this topic up now? It is strongly related to my
Samurais doing samurai things
most recent city trip to the Japanese metropolis of Osaka. Osaka is an industrial city in Eastern Japan, counting for 13 million people in the urban area, second only to the capital Tokyo. Famous for a big harbor and counter-culture, Osaka is pretty much a typical Japanese metropolis - Shopping arcades, bicycles rushing through the streets, pachinko pinball parlors, neon-lit crazy ads, video game halls, and delicious food wherever you look. There was also a decent sized medieval castle and all things nice and Japanese. We did even find the Maid Cafe after the last (burned down) surprise.
Back to the genitals, back to the point. As Japan is not necessary a cheap place for a visit and traditional websites showed me quite high accommodation prices, I decided for Agoda - the Asian version of Booking.com to look for a hotel. I had always been curious about Japans (in)famous capsula hotels - basically a morgue for alive people, where you spend your night tucked in what looks like a giant microwave. And there it was - two in one! A capsula-spa hotel! A dream come true, curiosity killed the cat. And so the tale of 1001 penises began.
Once we arrived at the hotel we already made the first common Western mistake when visiting Japan. We forgot to take our shoes off before entering the reception, which got an immediate (but very polite) reaction from the guys behind the counter. Once the shoes were off and we checked in, we immediately got some tools which would be useful for our survival during the next days. First, a key on a plastic bracelet - which was a key for a locker as, so we were told, the capsulas had no locks on them. Second, a transparent plastic bag with what looked liked a dark-blue pajamas. Third, a tiny towel. Now, the instructions for us were as follows.
(1) Before you enter the reception you lock you shoes into a locker outside and keep the locker key, (2) enter the reception, get your daily dose of new blue pajamas, (3) take the elevator -for males- on the right up to the 4th floor, (4) on the 4th floor you will find a locker with the number of the key which you kept on your bracelet - not the shoe locker key, (5) in that locker will be a light
Kauf and the tube
blue robe - which you can use for the spa and shower, (6) leave all your normal clothes in the locker, change to your dark blue pajamas - if you wanna take a shower or go to the spa change to the light blue robe instead, (7) option 1 - you got for the pajamas, take another elevator - for males- up to the 7th floor, the male capsula floor, (8) the capsula floor has a capsula with the same number as the key on your locker and a toilets with sinks, but no showers - showers are on the 4th floor in the spa and need the light-blue robe, (9) if you wanna use the toilet on the capsula floor wear the plastic slippers provided in the bathroom before entering, (10) back to option 2 - you want to go to the spa or the shower - wear the light blue robe on floor 4, walk up to floor 5, take off the robe, be buttnaked and enter a huge room with several steam baths, tons of naked Asian dudes, sit on a small chair near the wall buttnaked and flush yourself with a bucket. If you opt for
this option, after the shower take your robe back on, walk to floor 4, change to the blue pajamas, and go up to the capsules. Also, there was a welcome drink in floor 4 (which was to be consumed in your dark blue pajamas). Confused? So were we.
As a matter of fact, Japanese people tend to be quite stuck to their culture, and once we tried to sneak in our capsule wearing our normal clothes - only for a random guest to tell us we should wear our pajamas. And back to the core - the butt naked shower in a huge spa. It was not just awkward enough that people with tattoos were technically not allowed to take a shower (yakuzas shouldn't shower), it was sufficiently weird that I tried at least to walk to the shower with my robe on - only for having a fat, naked dude to tell me that the robe needs to be taken off before entering the pool area. No undies allowed. Now, here we are - me and one of my best friends, knowing each other for 15 years without ever having to see each other naked - and I
was really fond on things staying that way. So, in hard times, I let him go for the shower by himself while I was trying to mind my own business as much as possible. Luckily the temperatures were icy outside, and my reluctance to join the sausage party did not instantly transform into a smelly disaster.
Long story short - or better short story long - culture is a b#tch. Where I am from your naked body is reserved for your woman (women) or for your doctors. Standing side by side with random, sweaty, naked strangers brushing against you is not the norm. It did also not help that, one night in the capsula, I turned on the little interior TV and the first thing was Japanese porn starting on a high volume - in room full of men with no women in sight. I have been in Asia for quite some years now, but certain things I can't and don't want to get used to. Japan, you are a great and fun place - I enjoy your food, history, art, and transgression. I would however appreciate not to see too many of you naked wherever I go. The
same goes for China - although in a very different context. Maybe I am a prude, maybe I am just getting old. Whatever it is - too much sausage is bad for the stomach 😊
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