I hadn't heard of maid cafes before I saw these morally dubious flyer girls on every street corner in Akihabara, but as someone who was brought up with the controversial world view of gender equality, and having seen enough preachy Star Trek allegories to know that servitude isn't generally something to be encouraged, things didn't look promising.
When I later found out what sort of stuff goes on behind that cheery facade it wasn't quite as bad as I feared, but was still pretty sickening. Which basically means the girls are paid to find all of their customers' conversations fascinating and their personal quirks endearing rather then creepy, but that any excitement the customer may get from this endorsed superiority has to remain a secret. He has to keep his hands to himself, and not in that way.
I'm using the third person because I decided not to cross the moral line and visit a maid cafe myself, but once I'd come up with the blog title I had to mention it some time. Plus, it was pretty expensive and I wanted to save my yen for the cat cafe, which isn't an outrageous Are You Being Served? style euphemism for pussy. They're cafes where you hang out with some cats. It's ridiculous, but at least they don't make the cats wear debasing French maid outfits. Actually, what am I talking about - they definitely do.
Even forsaking the maid cafes, there were other perverted prospects to keep my trip to Akihabara from being a waste. Like this seven-storey sex shop, which I thought would be a funny place to visit right up to the second I stepped inside, saw the mobile vaginas and remembered these places really aren't aimed at someone with my level of Victorian reserve.
The Manga sex dolls are just the tip of the iceberg. You should be grateful that the staff caught me taking naughty photos and told me off as early as the second floor, so you don't have to see some of the other exotic items for sale, some of which are apparently pre-owned. If you 'under'-stand. If you see 'Y' I said that. Or was I too 'brief?'
For god's sake, it's used panties! Now look what you made me do, the pervy search hits are flooding in. I didn't actually see those, so I can still comfort myself with the almost certainly false hope that they're just a satirical exaggeration of Japan's extreme fetishing. They're not, are they? Oh dear.
I can put the wearable breasts and tentacle porn down to idiosyncratic taste, but when it comes to displaying convincing high school uniforms in your window that basically look indistinguishable from the real thing (maybe they're bought wholesale from the same place the schools use), that's just bloody weird. I wonder how it feels to be a Japanese high school girl walking past this every morning and accepting that you're a legitimate object of lust for what must be a sizable portion of m's clientele for it to form an entire window feature.
I still like Japan a lot, but I liked it a little less today. I prefer it when these things go unseen over my embarrassingly naive head. I was more comfortable when I hung out with funny robots, that was nice.