August 21st, 2006


Museum of Spring

The Museum of Sex, on New York's 5th Avenue, is currently hosting an exhibition called Peeping, Probing, and Porn: Four Centuries of Graphic Sex in Japan. Robert Schuster, reviewing the show in the Village Voice, describes "a bashful, wide-eyed octopus" in a woodblock print by Hokusai. "You'd never guess that the innocent creature leads a secret life of debauchery. But... there he is... his bulbous head pushed between the legs of a young woman, delivering a rather well-received session of cunnilingus."

"The exhibit's prints," continues Shuster, "most of which date from the mid 1800s, display all the familiar possibilities—positions and penetrations, threesomes, masturbation, voyeurs, dildos—and typically involve Edo's high-priced prostitutes known as oiran. But to please other tastes, the artists ranged across wider territory. Among several domestic fantasies, one attributed to Kikugawa Eizan (another stylish craftsman) shows a baby boy suckling the breasts of his mother as she engages a man at the other end. There are also medically detailed close-ups (sometimes from brothel guidebooks), obligatory scenes of rape and bondage, and plenty of satire. A spirited work from the normally utilitarian Utagawa School places an embarrassed couple copulating en plein air opposite three snickering dogs, whose jaunty postures and sly expressions suggest the artist's bemused regard of shunga."

Shunga literally means "things of the spring", but an exhibition like this reminds us that spring wasn't born yesterday. So how does Japanese culture today deal with "things of the spring"? To answer this question (and a request yesterday from reader Yuki Tsukishiro, who said "I've lately had a craving for a new Momus post about Japanese pornography"), I turned to the free movie sections of two of my favourite Japanese pink sites, BabyPink and S-Camera.

Rather than woodblock prints, BabyPink's movie of the day offers an instructional video featuring two fresh-faced girls called Miss Kitajima and Miss Tazima:

File 1: In the first RealPlayer segment the girls present, rather in the manner of a consumer report, a rubber penis strapped to a plastic office chair. The chair is transparent, so we can see from below what happens when first Miss Kitajima then Miss Tazima straddles the long, solid rubber prong. While one rides, the other milks. It's quite realistic. Afterwards, the girls tell us the experience has been fun but strange.

File 2: The girls, now dressed as maids, kneel at the feet of a man (made of flesh this time) and tell him he's going to feel really good in a moment. There's extensive kissing, fingering and oral-genital contact. The flesh man then penetrates one of the "maids" from behind while the other licks his man-nipples.

Some kind of glitch (a "503 error") prevents me from telling you what happened in the next three files, but it seems likely that the girls got it on with various partners in an increasing frenzy.

Over on S-Camera, meanwhile, the movie of the day is Sex High School. (To see clips you'll probably have to enter through the site's main page, run a text search on "Sex High School", then click the link.)

File 1: A high school student -- played by an actress machine translation renders as Fragrance Hill Lily -- in a locker room lifts her skirt, exclaiming friskily "Mo, etchi!" ("Stop that, pervert!"). She kneads her own breasts, then asks if we want to see her pantsu. Protracted self-stimulation follows, with occasional running commentary from the girl, who begins gouging into her sex with pointed pink fingernails. Apparently it isn't too painful.

File 2: Fragrance Hill Lily is now sporting a lab coat and stethoscope. She's a "doctor who accepts health insurance patients in the hygienic room", says the blurb. The rapid change in role establishes this as a cosplay movie. Sensei, sitting on her desk, begins to apply friction to the area of "our penis" with her bare feet, which are rather beautiful. "Does the rubbing feel good?" she asks. Soon she's grasping our erect manhood between the soles of her feet and, to our surprise, we're telling her in fluent Japanese that we're about to come. There's a distant sound of barking dogs as we discharge a small dollop of "milk" onto her right foot. "Ah, sugoy!" she exclaims, maternally.

File 3: A high school student once more, Fragrance Lily is receiving private tuition from a long-haired teacher (he looks more like a rock star, though). When she grabs him he seems rather shocked, but, as his bronzed, undressed torso gets extensively kissed, he seems not to object too strenuously. "It felt good," he concedes gruffly as Fragrance takes his penis in her mouth. His long hair and buffed body make the ensuing sex scene, which happens (by municipal ordinance 2958) on a classroom desktop, seem somewhat lesbian. "Oh, teacher!" cries Fragrance, but we can't help suspecting that this is her boyfriend in real life. There's a surprise ending: not the three spurts of milk Fragrance welcomes into her mouth, but the suddenly discovery by teacher that there's a voyeur hiding behind the classroom door. It's us. We'd better go.