Cool Japanese Cafés: Vibrator Bar

vibrator bar japan

This is not a joke. I, internet gremlin extraordinaire, have confirmed the existence of at least one (1) vibrator bar in the world. Its location: Japan, of course.

Love Joule is a vibrator-themed bar located in Tokyo’s Shibuya district. Having opened in 2012, it’s a relatively young establishment that caters to women and couples who are looking for a safe space to enjoy a drink while discussing female masturbation and sexuality. Love Joule’s owner, Megumi Nakagawa, describes Love Joule:

Once they take a seat, customers are able to experience a pleasant place in which they can openly discuss masturbation. Since most people view female masturbation as something of a mystery or taboo, it is not a usual topic at typical bars.

Although becoming less taboo in recent years, the stigma around female masturbation in Japan is notable, and patrons enjoy having a haven to talk about female sexuality away from the judgment of society and single men on the hunt. Patrons are encouraged to touch (while wearing gloves) any of the 300+ vibrators on display, but are prohibited from using them. The website clarifies that Love Joules is not a “happening” bar (aka not a sex club). Let’s just say, I know where I’m having my bachelorette party.

vibrator bar japan

It’s pretty ironic that an institution such as a vibrator bar exists in Japan of all countries. Japan boasts some of the strictest media censorship laws in the developed world (actually, even compared to developing countries as well) to the point where genitals are blurred out in pornographic materials–so how can a place like Love Joule, that celebrates female sexuality, exist? Perhaps we can accept its existence as one of the many contradictions in modern Japanese sexuality–like how Japan boasts one of the fewest incidents of rape in the world but is infamous for its perverse pornographic materials. Or, how female sexuality and masturbation is considered taboo in Japan, yet the Japanese AV idol industry is so lucrative and common that many former pop idols go into porn after retirement.

vibrator bar japan

Would you ever sit down for a drink at a vibrator bar? How do you feel that expressions of sexuality in Japan are different than in your country?

Stay tuned next week for another installment of “Cool Cafés,” and leave any suggestions for weird cafés in the comments!


 

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