What Happens to Japanese Porn Stars After They Retire?

Perhaps the reason that so much fuss is made over the Japanese sex industry is that, in almost every other aspect of its society and culture, Japan is considered to be such an immensely safe, polite and altogether nice place to be.

The country whose tourists are often reputed to be among the most polite and agreeable, and where your lost mobile phone or wallet usually finds its way back to you, Japan would not be anyone’s first guess when asked “Which country has a booming, recession-defying porn industry?”
av-article-title
Be that as it may, the Japanese AV (adult video) industry, whose revenue comprised more than 20% of worldwide sales according to a 2006 survey, continues to grow every year. And with that growth comes an increasing number of young women who aspire to work in the industry, as reported here on RocketNews24 just a couple of weeks ago.

But with so many girls taking a shot at being AV stars and entering into this seemingly glamorous but equally shady profession, how do they go about their daily lives unnoticed? And what becomes of AV stars who leave the industry?
18-plus

In an interview with Atsuhiko Nakamura, author of books such as “The Nameless Women” and interviewer of literally hundreds of AV actresses, Shuplay News uncovered some startling facts about the sex industry in Japan, in particular the life of the women who become involved in making adult movies.

“Many girls enter the AV industry each year, but not necessarily all for the same reasons;” Nakamura comments, “some do it entirely for the money, while others are just comfortable with the idea of having sex in front of people and see it as any easy job. It just works for them.”

The Japanese AV industry reportedly sees an astounding 6,000 newcomers each year. But surely the risk of being seen on a video would be enough to dissuade any self-respecting young woman from doing such a thing?

“With the huge number of girls working in the industry, cases of AV actresses being recognised while going about their daily lives are quite rare,” says Nakamura, adding “there are plenty of cases of former AV girls who are now happily married and enjoying normal lives.”

In many cases, girls do a short spell making XXX videos, and then, perhaps having earned enough to support themselves financially, or simply deciding that they have had enough, choose to leave and pursue a more orthodox lifestyle. After all, few people actively working in the porn industry are seen out shopping with their kids or taking part in PTA meetings without those around them raising a few eyebrows…

But it is here that many retired AV models hit a wall, says Nakamura, describing what he calls the “AV-nō” (lit. Adult Video brain”); the “AV Mindset” that many girls find themselves unable to shake off.

“A lot of girls find themselves unable to return to regular jobs after working as an AV model;” explains Nakamura, “they have worked in an often lucrative business, some for many years, so to go back to a standard job for a much smaller salary is not easy”, he tells. “Around two thirds of retired AV models end up in the sex industry, working in hostess bars or even working as prostitutes in ‘soap-land’ bath houses.”
kabuki-cho
It would seem that, of those thousands of girls initially seeking an easy, well-paid life as a porn-star, literally thousands of them become trapped in the sex industry afterwards.

The “AV Mindset” that Nakamura speaks of has two distinct sides to it; while there are some retired AV models who lack the skills required to work in regular jobs, and who find themselves in the strange position of feeling more comfortable in environments like hostess bars, there are also women who, despite wanting to stop making sex tapes, are unwilling to return to an everyday lifestyle and lose all the trappings and relative glamour that came from their wealthy AV lifestyle.

Nakamura compares this way of thinking to writers who, at the peak of their game being paid hundreds of dollars for articles, suddenly have the rug pulled out from under them and are forced to work for just 20 or 30 dollars per piece.

“Some writers refuse to do it out of pride or shock. Some, on the other hand, simply can’t afford to go back to that and look for more lucrative work elsewhere.”

Just over two years ago, former AKB48 idol Rina Nakanishi was reported to have become an AV model (link Not Safe For Work) after her sudden departure from the popular group. While some suggested that, with such a huge existing fan-base, she would see incredible success, others- perhaps more reasonably- argued that, once the novelty of seeing a former pop star perform sexual acts had worn off, Nakanishi would be left out in the cold, disgraced and jobless.

The Japanese sex industry may well be one of the biggest in the world, but it’s clearly very dangerous ground to play in.

Stay in school, boys and girls.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>