How Kyabakura Works

 It’s not a sex job precisely, but I’m going to write about kyabakura here.

 Simply put, it’s a place to drink and chat with women in exchange for money. You don’t have to ask someone out nor pick them out on the streets. “Kyaba-jo,” girls who work for the clubs, always welcome you in beautiful dresses. They’re not amateurs. They’re professionals who entertain you with joyful conversations or others.

 It’s one of the most popular ways to have fun with women in Japan. The job has similarities to sex ones, since the body itself is the only one condition to start, and men are pleased for money.

 When I was younger, I thought if I use money, that I’d rather go to sex clubs than just drink and chat. As I grew older, however, it dawned on me that it’s not bad to get drunk with cute girls who are good at talking.

kyaba Many sex workers used to work for one. Also, “makura eigyo” or “pillow approach” tend to go unmentioned. It’s to sleep with clients to increase sales. I have no job experience here, but my acquaintances who do say more than half of kyaba-jo do it. A sex worker told me, “If I couldn’t avoid it, I preferred to become naked from the very beginning. That’s why I do what I do.” I loved what she thought.

 I went to a kyabakura a few weeks ago. Here’s what happened.

 I finished a job in an area I’d never been. I had eaten a local specialty and had nothing to do from then on. It was at about 20:00. I decided to go to one nearby. It was on the 5th floor of a small building.

 I stepped out of the elevator. The entrance was wide open. A male staff member in a black suit caught my eye, and he talked to me, “Welcome. Are you here alone?” I told him I was, and he led me inside. The interior looked like a bar without a counter with dim lightings. It’s a place sit and drink with women, so counters are unnecessary.

 He gave me explanation: a basic session runs on the basis of 5000 yen per hour, during which whisky is free of charge. If you buy women a drink, it’ll be 1000 yen. You can choose who will sit next to you. Also, you can leave the choice up to the staff. If you do so, different women come and go every 20 to 30 minutes. The longer you stay, the more money you need. Female workers can feel better and enjoy further if they’re with alcohol. The concept is to have fun together by making them drunk at the same time. I was new there, so I chose to get just one session.

 I was sitting on a big sofa with a small table, and a girl in a long red dress walked up to me. She was in her early twenties, slender and cute. She introduced herself, “Hello. I’m Alice.” She looked totally Japanese.

 Almost all the kyaba-joes use fake names. That’s true of sex establishments. I assumed she was doing the same. I mentioned so, and she responded, “It’s my real one.” Mixing a cup of whisky, she told me both of her parents were of pure Japanese descent, and that her elderly brother and sister also had a name like foreigners. It’s been trendy among Japanese to give a baby an unconventional name for the last 20 years or so. Maybe she was one of the children.

 I felt a bit awkward drinking alone, so I bought her a glass of whisky.

 As I thought, she excelled in giving comfortable conversation. A minute of boring talks would make amateur girls want to get up and walk away, but she was a professional. It doesn’t mean I’m boring to be with, by the way. After about 30 minutes, she left by saying, “See ya!”

 The next girl was in her early twenties as well, with a white dress on. Her name was “Riko.” She’d dyed her hair brown and looked like she was from somewhere in the Eastern Asia. She was also of Japanese descent, and people often mistakenly recognize her as a Philippina.

 I let her drink, and she began to blab about a lot of things, like she used to work for a different kyabakura, she’d been doing a day job until just days ago, and she was a college student, and so on.

 She gave me a card with her name, e-mail address and phone number. “Drop me a line when you feel like it.”

 Kyaba-joes play a role of temporary girlfriends. The relationships sometimes develop into real ones. Many boyfriends of them are ex-customers. It’s not just about drinking, but also about love games.

 Incidentally, I haven’t contacted Riko.

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