Female college students are a very popular type of prostitute in Japan. Many men believe that women are at their most youthful and beautiful in their early twenties, which is precisely the age bracket most college students are in. They have a specific tightness to their skin that makes them pleasing to men’s eyes, and pleasing as sex partners as well.
There is quite a bit of history about the ways in which female college students came to work in Japanese brothels. Their numbers began to increase little by little in the 1980s. According to an investigation by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, women in 1985 still had a relatively low college enrollment rate. Only 13.7 percent of college-age women entered a university or college. This percentage slowly increased between then and now.
Let us take a look at how female college students became a popular type of prostitute in Japan.
In the 1980s, female college students and “no-panty coffee shops” exploded in popularity
As mentioned above, there were not many female college students in the 1980s. Still, this is the time around which the concept of “female college student” evolved into a kind of brand.
Japan was becoming a rich country thanks to a period of rapid economic growth after World War II. As a result, more families were considering sending their high school-age daughters on to college. Japanese society slowly became used to the idea of female students attending college. Many men found some form of sexual excitement in the idea of women who were not intelligent (as evidenced by their college student status), but also in their early twenties, a time seen as the flower of womanhood.
All Night Fuji, a late-night television program broadcast by Fuji TV, lit the fuse of what was later called a “female college student boom.” In the sex industry, establishments like “no-panties cafés” and sexually themed massage parlors (called “fashion health” in Japan) became extremely popular because female college students worked there.
However, many young women who worked in these places were not actually college students. In the 1980s, the number of female college students had only just begun to rise. Female college students were still rather rare, and few of that small number decided to work in the sex industry. It is therefore likely that many of the women who worked in these establishments resembled college students, but were not actually in college themselves.
The 1990s: brand-name goods and flamboyant college students
In the 1990s, luxury brands became more and more popular among young women. College-age women are particularly susceptible to fashion trends. Many women wanted to be able to buy luxury brands, and there were many college students who began working in the sex industry in order to earn money.
Compared to the 1980s, the 1990s also saw many more women attending college. As a result of these combined trends, the number of actual college students working in the sex industry went up. Female college students who did this kind of work had a much higher disposable income than their peers, and they were soon walking the streets showing off brand-name bags and purses.
The 2000s: many female college students end up in the sex industry because of the recession
After 2000, Japan’s economic growth came to a definite end, and the country fell into a period of recession. The number of families with financial difficulties increased. Even so, many families did whatever they could to scrape together money for the tuition fees of children who wanted to go on to college.
However, the young women who entered college at this time were far more likely than their predecessors to end up in the sex industry. The reason is that they had to pay for their own tuition. For many female college students, the allowance and other financial support they received from their parents was not enough to get by; they had to make some money of their own. More and more of these young women turned to work in the sex industry.
In the 1990s, female college students did sex work because they wanted more money to enjoy themselves. In the 2000s, they did it out of sheer necessity.
However, young women who do sex work for economic reasons do not necessarily find their own circumstances terribly tragic. More and more young women today claim that they see sex work as a job like any other, and they have no particular prejudice against it.
In short, the relationship between female college students and sex work in Japan has changed with the times. The history of this relationship reflects broader trends in recent Japanese history. Female college students are still very popular among male clients of the sex industry, and they are likely to remain so in the future.