|Shibuya Department H|
click on a picture to see a blowup. whew!On the first Saturday of every month, above an AM/PM convenience store in Tokyo's teenaged Shibuya, near Love Hotel hill, the sex curious and body freaks gather for a show and hoedown called Department H.
I was visiting with Erieza, the leader singer of a girl-rock-sex-punk band Ana-Dorei (Asshole Slave), and her friend Itaka, a 24 year old woman who edits hardcore porno mags. Erieza had a costume - pink spangled nipple covers and pink spangled panties. I was in a boring suit.
We push past the entry curtain into a large darkened room. As my eyes adjusted I could see furry costumes, tall transvestites, ample flesh, and a man entirely trussed up, suspended against himself, anonymous in elaborate thin leather strips. On a stage protruding into the middle of the room, a slight woman with a purple fake feather boa is doing a strip teasing dance.
Headed up stairs to survey our surroundings, we pass two men with their dicks hanging out, one man I will see all the night perched on the same step, watching people walk by, slowly jerking off as he sits with his khaki overcoat open and his briefs at his ankles.
I see a Japanese man in glasses wearing only a tie walk by carrying a briefcase, a midnight salaryman. Erieza points out that plenty of men here are just walking around "pim pom" their dicks wagging free. I enjoy being naked as much as the next guy, and I felt dumb, voiceless without a costume. So I ditched all costume.
Erieza chats with a large American-sounding black man in a Mexican wrestler mask and a t-shirt. His buttocks protruded round and firm, I poked them to be sure they were real. Erieza asked him if he liked receiving anal sex, he responded with an enthusiastic "Yes!"
On stage a skinny Japanese drag queen performed a gyrating Brazilian lip-synch medley, complete with elaborate costume changes. For the immensely teasing finale, he stripped off six different thong underwears, finally cupping his genitals in his hand, backing offstage smiling. The live entertainment over, in its place appeared an exercise video featuring a transgendered bodybuilding giantess.
Ereiza knew some beautiful menladies and introduced me to foreigners and Japanese who probably would have been lively conversation. But confronted by these elaborate permutations of gender and sexuality I was struck silent. I opted to walk around the room. I stopped at two stunning creatures; their naked breasts and proud, liminal sexuality drew me in. I stood naked near them, looking and wondering what possibly I could say, to start conversation. An older man stepped between us, grabbed my cock and began to jerk me off. I was completely shrivelled at this point, as I was for nearly all the night - an entire room full of people is not yet somewhere I can sustain an erection.
"Genki desuka?" he asked. Are you energetic? (a common salutation)
I asked permission to take their photograph and resisted an urge to ask to touch their flesh. I stood by to try to soak up some of their ethereality. One complained to the other about the elastic in their body-binding strings. I didn't have concerns close enough to theirs to share and they were too obvious to put on the spot.
The video stopped and it was information time - Department H shifted from freeform and performance to a collection of advertising skits. One by one, groups ascended to where the stage protruded into the audience and promoted their group, club, event, store or party. Each of these groups was doing something sexual and so they would show off some piece of their business or activity:
X-RATED CATFIGHT SHOW!
You can see costume all over Japan, people state their position with clothes. Many of these people had taken all of human desire as it can be channeled into reproductionless sex and made their flesh testament to sex play participation.
Three young Japanese guys naked but for glasses and maybe shoes ascended the stage to announce something. Erieza pointed them out to me and I thought somehow she meant it was "time for naked guys to ascend the stage" so I went up with them. They stared at me just a moment then they continued ranting in Japanese into the microphones. I was given some flyers and I handed them out. Gogh, the tall thin Japanese promoter wearing a Russ-Meyer scale leather breast encasement handed me a microphone. What did I have to say to a room full of Japanese sex freaks? Nothing yet. Briefly I contemplated singing the Colonel's part from Soldiers of the Queen and handed back the microphone.
The leader of the group got down on all fours and showed the audience his rear pucker, the other men assumed writhing body contortions around him. I put my leg up over my head behind my neck and pantomimed licking my cock; the boy on all-fours jerked my flaccid cock in a performative frenzy.
He grabbed a mike, shouted a bunch of stuff into it and turned to me:
(Thanks to Erieza for those photos).
Shortly thereafter an emcee proudly announced that BBC was filming Department H that night.
The BBC's cameraman scopes a wo/man with a firecracker burning from below.
Erieza, Itaka and I collected flyers and I stuffed them in my bag. It was an hour of glimpses into different fetish scenes. The soundtrack was old jazz, oddly enough. Fats Waller! A 1930s-era Brunswick recording of Mood Indigo by Duke Ellington plays as the lights are lowered so we can watch a woman? stick a sparkler in her lower quarters, as it burns up towards her short hairs. The two trannies I admired announced that they worked at a hostess bar.
Erieza asks me to act as her boyfriend for the night, a "cock block" as its called in English. Too many men, she points out. I'd already had my genitals and buttocks fondled by the hungry sex. So we locked arms, or stood with my arm around her waist. Nice to be skin to skin, but really there wasn't much of a sex vibe - it was a non-stop sex throttling there, and she turned out to be marvellously proper for a woman who created a band called "Asshole Slave" and works as a dominatrix. Men would come up to her asking if they could touch her tits, or see underneath her nipple patches. She would dismiss them, pointing at me "My boyfriend is kibishii" (stern, intensely serious, strict). I looked down at the loose skin hanging off the bottom of my arms and marvelled more at her strength.
The stage was covered in a thin layer of plastic and the music shifted to old Japanese punk for the last performance (some music by Japanese punk band Stalin, for example). A long haired man in a lab coat carried out a plastic wrapped bundle and laid it in a chair. A tall wasted-thin woman wrapped in bandages broke her way out of the plastic and flopped onto the floor to play with a medical kit there. She wrapped turniquits around her neck, poured powder on her face, drank orange liquid from test tubes, wrapped more of her body in bandages. The doctor returned from backstage to present her with a syringe and some needles. She wrapped her arms in turniquits and poked at her veins so she leaked blood down her arms, on to her chest, on to the floor. It was gripping and gross. When she came to my edge of the stage, her arms appeared completely abused; purple puffed up places where blood flows near the elbow. She could bend her arms over backwards and so to great affect were her limps contorted as she tied and untied to work her thin rivulets of blood before the crowd.
The well-dressed girl from the Kyoto fetish store ascended the stage as a volunteer assistant to this. Syringes were filled with thin girl's blood and squirted, dribbled. Never enough blood to seem dangerous except for the wanton pricking and poking she was doing. The soundtrack was compelling hard punk and so sometimes she would be halfway trying to coax a needle into her arm and she'd just stop and start waving her arms in time with the music and bandages and needles would go flying. It was rather alarming.
Blood and bandages finished, she left the stage. And then it was over. We walked back through the thinned crowd as Chako was wrestling someone on the floor, and men stood around jerking off through their zippers.
I had been told about the event initially by Pio, an Italian journalist at the FCCJ. He was too sick to come with. But he said he heard that I had been, and I had participated, and so he says I can pick up my Japanese citizenship next month, same time, same place. Each evening is widly different, he says. He showed me pictures to prove it.
edited down slightly from a longer narrative