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An Introduction to Japanese Adult Video Idols

The video revolution brought enjoyable viewing experiences to all walks of life on all shores, and the country of Japan is no exception. While other countries have gone their own way with the variations of adult entertainment on various media, Japanese culture put its own distinctive stamp on it. Japan, already home to anime, manga, hentai, and cosplay, gave us the Adult Video Idol.

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What is an AV Idol?

The AV stands for "Adult Video". Simply put, Japanese AV Idols are what the West would refer to simply as "porn stars". While the idea is very similar, the vastly different cultures of the far East and West result in a wildly different way of looking at it.

Some of the chief differences between Japanese Adult Video Idols and Western porn stars are:

  • Japanese culture prefers women to be in a very submissive role.
  • Young models are highly prized. Japanese culture sees a woman as being more sexy if they act child-like, even if they are in fact mature. Thus we have many schoolgirl outfits and women posing in adult-sized 'footsie' pajamas. A specific genre of girlish erotic theme is the "Lolicon", short for "Lolita complex", the attraction to very young girls.
  • While the majority of Japanese erotica is considered "mainstream" or "vanilla", there's a strong undercurrent of sado-masochism. Erotic situations often depict girls in bondage, receiving discipline, or being forcibly raped. "Hentai" is a genre of manga comics, which revolve around a sado-masochistic theme. In addition, the Japanese have another word, "shibari", which is the art of erotic bondage.
  • In spite of the above differences, the Japanese tend to be far more respectful in their attitude towards AV Idols. It is recognized that they are providing a fantasy separate from their actual lives, and they are treated with much more esteem and public acceptance than their Western counterparts.

Some of these ideas are considered offensive in the West. It should be noted that Japan is generally more liberal than the Western world in regards to sexuality, and the kinds of things that are considered shocking in the United States would be a matter of no controversy in Japan. For instance, the legal Japanese age of consent is 13. For another instance, Japan's anti-prostitution laws only prohibit actual sexual intercourse; one may legally give lap dances, massages, and engage in all kinds of fantasy and fetish play in exchange for money as long as no genital-to-genital contact occurs.

Likewise, there are ideas in the West which wouldn't go over big in Japan. Some examples are aggressive and domineering women, and the showing of pubic hair, which was illegal for a long time in Japan.

A related concept is the Japanese Gravure Idol. "Gravure" roughly translates to "bikini"; so these models specialize in posing in revealing photo shoots for use in magazines. An AV Idol's performance might be clothed or not, but is mostly of the hardcore pornography variety.

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