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The always-inventive Japanese have found yet another new way to ease their sad and lonely lives—by paying for an actual sleeping-but-not-leading-to-sex partner, as an alternative for those who really just want someone to cuddle or snuggle with for a little TLC, and who aren't terribly keen about shagging.
Operating from the Tokyo district of Akihabara, soine-ya—which literally means "shop for sleeping together"—is making waves in the community, especially in the otaku circle. Otakus are those with an obsessive-compulsive interest in a hobby and will stay at home almost all of their time to indulge themselves.
>Link Info : General Issues - Soine-Ya
According to The Japan Daily Press, charges at soine-ya establishments and for home-delivered services don't come cheap.
First there's the 3,000 yen (RM120) admission fee, for which you get a randomly selected woman to sleep by your side. For an additional 1,000 yen, you get to choose your own lady.
Charges differ according to the length of the service, naturally, although you spend less money when you spend more time with your bedtime story. Customers pay 3,000 yen for a 20-minute snooze, 6,000 yen for an hour-long nap, 20,000 yen for a four-hour sleep, and 50,000 yen for a 10-hour sleepover.
There are also separate costs for resting your head on her lap, sleeping in her arms and getting a foot massage, which comes to about RM40 for every three minutes of each service. Ironically, you pay double if you want her to sleep in your lap or if you want to give her a foot massage.
While it's understandable that every soine-ya service comes at a price, the most outrageous fee is the RM40 bill for slapping—and that's just for one tight smack across your face. (No, you can't pay double to slap her back.)
Soine-ya operators say they provide a service that helps the emotional side of a man's body, mind and soul, but not so much his carnal desires. Not every Japanese woman is buying that story, however, and those ladies have expressed their frustration over the continuing use of women as objects.
Mayumi Yugata, a feminist who believes in equality and empowerment—just not the soine-ya way —says this is just another gratuitous sexual fantasy by horny Japanese men. "It is wrong in today's modern Japanese society that we are now being used to lay next to," she said.
She added: "No matter how you put it, this idea will be about sex. What are the women to be wearing and how do we know when the cut off will be? Maybe a customer offers so much money that illicit things like this is happening. It is just wrong."