the world of jen keidleir

{May 21, 2007}   On the Selling of Dreams

“The Great Happiness Space” (2006)
Documentary, 1hr 16min
Official website:

A film by Jake Clennel about a host club in Osaka. Host clubs are clubs or bars for women to drink at and be amused by male servers, called hosts. Winner of the Best Documentary Feature Award at the Edinburgh International Film Festival 2006. Japanese with English subtitles.

[ Link to Google Video ]

It seems that most of the women who visit the club work in the sex industry as well. Something one of the hosts said during the interviews leads me to believe that some of the women do not begin as such, but start doing it to afford their visits. When I was growing up, I would often hear that in a relationship, “men trade love for sex, women trade sex for love.” This seems to ring true here in a strange fashion.

I also wonder if host clubs as a phenomenon are restricted to Japan. Where do sex workers elsewhere in the world turn to for their emotional and psychological needs? Where do rich women go when they want to buy the attention of and ogle at cute guys? I know of male strip clubs, but sex alone doesn’t satisfy women. Why isn’t human interaction available for sale then? The flippant part of me wants to say that maybe it’s because respect and emotional availability isn’t one of the things women can expect from men in Japan (see previous entry), so they have to buy it — but I guess there is no simple answer.

[ via Japan Probe ]


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