So, why do women go to host clubs anyway? That’s the million dollar question, isn’t it? What do women really want?
Ask any host and he’ll tell you: women want to be wanted. But you have to be able to tell how a woman wants to be wanted.
A woman isn’t always jonesing for a man to be slobbering all over her. Sometimes the way a woman wants to be wanted is to have someone just sit and listen with rapt attention as she goes on and on about mean her boss is. A guy who says, “She really said that? She’s just jealous!” at just the right time. A guy who notices that she’s wearing a new color of lipstick that it took her hours to pick out. Or lets her take care of him, and pretends he really loves the lopsided homemade cupcake with wiggly hearts on top, even though chocolate makes his mouth itch.
And how do they remember that time she made those great cupcakes for him on his “birthday”? Hosts take notes. They keep notebooks with every woman’s special dates in it. And not just birthdays either. Imagine how excited your girlfriend would be if you showed up with flowers on some random day and said, “Don’t you remember? This is the anniversary of the day I first set eyes on you!”
But…how can being complimented and listened to be at all satisfying if you’re paying (and paying handsomely) for someone to act like they care?
The truth is, fantasy is a powerful thing. Being at a host club is like playing a video game. You know you’re not really commanding a platoon of die-hard soldiers—you’re sitting in the comfort of your man-cave!—but that sniper you just spotted on the roof over there is going to kill you if you don’t get him first, and that burst of adrenaline that just surged to your trigger finger isn’t all in your head.
Women just have different fantasies. And the fact that they’re paying for a handsome guy to gaze into their eyes and whisper sweet nothings into their ears makes it all safe. Not to mention convenient. For two or three hours, they can indulge in the fantasy that they have a super hot boyfriend who obviously adores them, but never pressures them to do anything they don’t want to do. He’s always there when she wants to see him, ready to give her his undivided attention. And when she leaves, she leaves all obligation to him behind. No dirty socks to pick up off the floor, no agonizing about whether she ought to keep going out with him or dump him for the dull but stable guy in accounting. And no lonely Saturday nights sitting at home because he has to work late again.
Sounds simple, right? But it’s more work than it looks like, and as long as women aren’t being wanted quite enough by the men they know, host clubs (and, to be fair, hostess clubs on the flip side) will continue to cha-ching it up.
Fallen Angel readers often ask me what it’s really like to go to a host club. If you’re curious too, here are answers to the TOP TEN QUESTIONS ABOUT HOST CLUBS:
Why do women go to host clubs?
What kind of women go to host clubs?
What’s it like to visit a host club?
How expensive is it to go to a host club?
What is a host club “champagne call”?
Can foreigners get into a host club?
How do I find a good host club?
Why do hosts dress like that? Everything you always wanted to know about host fashion.
A Day In The Life: What’s it like to be a host?
Photo courtesy of Men’s Spider magazine, ad for Group Billion Jap Gen’s.
The Last Tea Bowl Thief was chosen as an Editor’s Pick for
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“A fascinating mix of history and mystery.” —Booklist
Jonelle Patrick writes novels set in Japan, produces the monthly e-magazine Japanagram, and blogs at Only In Japan and The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had
4 thoughts on “What Do Women Want?”
Jonelle, are there clubs where the hosts are older men? These hosts are all so young!
Haha, they’re probably older then they look, because I’ve noticed that hosts could teach women a thing or two about not managing to turn older on their info pages while still celebrating like crazy on their birthdays!
But that’s actually quite a good question, and I don’t exactly know the answer to it. The rule is that when hosts “age out” of the hosting part of the business in their late 20s, they’re either moved into management (the smart ones who have no ambitions to go into another business), become “producers” of their own clubs (the super successful hosts who can take their clients with them), or take their savings and go start the thing they really want to do with their lives (ramen shop, pet store, website design business etc.)
One of the reasons you don’t see many older hosts is that middle-aged patrons here love receiving the attentions of guys half their age, and have little interest in older guys. (You should see the audiences for Japanese idol groups like Arashi! Half of them are “mature” women!) Another reason most guys quit the business before they’re in their late 30s is that it’s really hard on them, physically. Every night they have to drink a lot more than is good for them, even if they’re good at pacing themselves. And working nights is wearing for anybody. But I’ll keep my eyes open and see if there are any host clubs that cater to a special audience that likes older guys! Thanks for asking this interesting question!
I wanna be a host!!! Who should I contact?
If you already live in Tokyo and have a working visa, go to the host X host website (http://www.host2.jp/index.html) and click on any club. In the right hand column, there will be a box labeled “Recruit.” Click on that, and it’ll take you to a page with details about employment and how to apply. It’s all in Japanese, but I’m assuming you already speak/read, right? (One cautionary note: if you’re in Japan on a student visa, your visa can be revoked if they catch you working as a host/hostess. Just a data point.) Good luck!