The kind of Japanese brothels that used to be known as “Turkish baths” are nowadays called “soaplands”.
Soaplands have a long history in Japan. Originally, they were saunas where prostitutes worked as “companions” who took care of visiting clients. Traces of this history remain today, as many soaplands still have small saunas.
Historically, the purpose of soaplands was to soothe men’s fatigue. In the past and today, they have been a pillar of support for laborers. That is why areas with many soaplands tend to be located close to towns where laborers usually gather.
Broadly speaking, there are three kinds of soaplands: “premium”, “general”, and “mass” soaplands. “Mass” soaplands have always been a favorite of laborers.
Because these soaplands provide services at a low price, they are highly accessible and welcome large numbers of clients.
Let us take a look at mass soaplands, the cheapest of all the various soaplands in Japan. The defining characteristic of mass soaplands is ease of use.
Some basic facts about mass soaplands
Mass soaplands occupy the lowest rung of the soapland hierarchy. That means their prices are very low compared to regular soaplands.
The total price of a session in a mass soapland is around ¥10,000. This really sets mass soaplands apart from premium soaplands, where a session can cost ¥５0,000, or general soaplands, which cost around ¥30,000.
Another characteristic of mass soaplands is the speed at which they serve large numbers of clients. While a session in a general soapland usually takes around 90 minutes, mass soaplands stick to sessions that are between 45 and 60 minutes. Their aim is to turn a profit by serving larger numbers of clients.
While all this makes mass soaplands quite accessible, it also means that the quality of the service will be lower. Many of the prostitutes who work at mass soaplands treat their work as a kind of part-time job, and have little in the way of technique. Mass soaplands also employ women whose looks would preclude them from working at other establishments.
Clients of mass soaplands should not have high expectations with regard to the looks or the skill of the prostitutes who work there.
With some luck, you can hit the jackpot
One thing that makes mass soaplands very appealing is that while quality is low in general, every now and then, clients can hit the jackpot.
For example, a mass soapland may employ a prostitute whose beauty would not be out of place in a premium soapland. Sometimes, women who are not yet ready for employment at a premium soapland will choose to work at a mass soapland in order to get in some practice.
There are also prostitutes who have the looks and the skill to work at a premium establishment, but cannot find work at either premium or general soaplands because they have tattoos. Such women may find themselves working at a mass soapland.
However, it is best to assume that chances of getting this kind of “winning ticket” are rather low.
The appeal of mass soaplands
Mass soaplands compensate for their low quality by tacking on a variety of extras.
In recent years, there has been a remarkable increase in the number of soaplands that specialize in cosplay. “Cosplay” means dressing up in the uniforms of certain professions (such as police officer or nurse), in the costumes of anime characters, and so on. At “cosplay soaplands”, prostitutes service clients while in costume.
There are also soaplands where paying additional fees can get a client extra services. Various establishments offer different things, from the use of vibrators to pantyhose that the client can rip. All these can be combined to broaden the kind of services that are available.
Because prices at these mass soaplands are low to begin with, adding many different options is affordable for clients. These options are another reason why mass soaplands appeal to some clients.
Incidentally, many of the prostitutes who work at mass soaplands have a general air of amateurism about them. The reason for this is something we mentioned before: mass soaplands attract many women who are new to the profession, and feel too nervous to try working for a general or premium soapland right off the bat.
A large part of a premium soapland’s appeal is of course that the women who work there are professionally skilled. However, it is also a fact that there has always been a demand for more amateurish women in the sex industry. A client’s preferences are always his own, of course.
These are only some of the ways in which mass soaplands set themselves apart from other kinds of establishments. Mass soaplands teem with variety, and are well worth a visit.