Chronicling the decline of the porn magazine vending machine in Japan

We stumbled upon this great Twitter feed detailing a report by Shinbunka, the publishing industry trade journal in Japan, about the decline of the much-loved porn magazine vending machine. It also cites from an interview with the photographer Tetsuya Kurosawa, who has documented the vending machines (visiting some 500 locations along the way!).

It’s true, we haven’t seen one for many a moon. Here’s why.

At the peak of the adult vending machine boom, there were some 50,000 machines nationwide in the 1970s. That lofty number has been reduced to a mere fraction now.

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What are left are often contained in shed-like structures in the countryside. One up side of the vending machines remaining almost entirely only in rural areas is that they can exist beyond the long arm of the law to some extent. And so you will find black market (like uncensored) porn on sale at such vending machines, which you certainly can’t get from DMM.

Revised Fuheiho legislation in 1985 cracked down on peep shows but also led to a crackdown on vending machines. Once common even in residential areas, it all started to change from around this period, though selling videotapes ensured sales remain strong as the AV industry began to enjoy the fruits of this new technology (even as, paradoxically, it contributed to decline in other aspects of the adult industry — pink films and specialist porn movie theaters).

A further boost was provided by the arrival of DVDs, which could likewise be easily sold from vending machines.

But all these were blips along a declining curve as consumer tastes and choices inevitably evolved.

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The ones that are lingering on often exist, it seems, in administrative gray zones near municipal borders. You can also find a healthy proportion of jukujo mature women fetish content among their wares, catering to the preferences of the generally older rural population.

Something the thread (and presumably, its sources) does not explicitly mention is the spread of convenience stores in Japan in the 1990s, which mades porn magazines and other adult content widely available, as well as the growth of video rental chains like Tsutaya, whose outlets usually have an adult section. All this had an impact on specialist stores and services.

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Finally, the Internet has also made viewing and buying adult material only a click away, and even more discreet. It’s not hard to see why the vending machines are dying out. Since older consumers in the countryside may not shop online as much, it means there are still people who need such mini porn havens inside roadside sheds.

But as rural populations further decline, whither the humble porn mag vending machine?

And will we see something happen with convenience stores happy to offer porn? After all, the pre-2020 Olympics crackdown has already started…

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What happened with Amazon, and decoding “tasteful”

Just so there’s a public record of my recent experience with Amazon Associates, I’m putting it all on one place below. The short version: Amazon terminated my Associates account with vague language about unsuitable content on one of my websites (this one). After reaching out to tell me it was a mistake, but asking me to change a few images, and then going unresponsive, Amazon eventually reinstated my account just over a week later. I discovered that Amazon is doing random, somewhat automated reviews on Associates accounts, but they are fine with nudity on partner website — as long as it is “tasteful.”

Now, the long and more detailed version.

On Tuesday, March 26th, I got an email from Amazon saying my Associates account was terminated “because the content [on this website, tinynibbles.com] promotes unsuitable activity.” The email also said the company would not pay the outstanding fees owed to me. My account was reinstated eight days later on Wednesday, April 3rd. What happened in the middle of that, in today’s environment of unprecedented sex-negativity by internet companies, is worth an examination. Especially because Amazon was mature, accountable, and sex-positive about the situation.

I’ve been an Associate since 2003, linking from many websites, and have a lot of author-related business with the company in general. My first feelings were confusion (what changed?), panic (this is writer income), and hopelessness (we’re in a dark time for sexual freedom and expression). Amazon Associates is a huge part of my author income; it makes the time and effort put into my book review posts worth it. Associates is also how I make up for the many titles I got swindled out of royalty income for when a major erotic publisher sold its catalog of books without telling any of us authors. Plus, after 17 years my Associates links are everywhere, like other sites I run such as Digita Publications.

I tweeted about the account termination and seizure of my funds. I listed a number of very common, very necessary online business tools that everyone takes for granted, and noted that I was not allowed to use them because of their regressive, discriminatory sex rules (some new under FOSTA, some not).

On Twitter I found lots of sympathy and support; I also got attacked by right-wingers who thought I deserved it for articles I’ve written saying that Facebook should stop defending and disseminating the provably dangerous speech of neo-fascist conservatives. I’m well aware that the war on sex is nothing more than malfeasant security theater, and refuse to be silent about it. The right-wingers’ assumptions that this might be my first experience with sex censorship proved to me just how ‘amateur hour’ the whole conservative-censorship charade really is.


My tweet (and thread) was widely-shared. On April 1st I was surprised by an email and phone message from Amazon Executive Customer Relations. I initially suspected that I was going to get what I call “a PR massage” — when tech companies dislike factual but negative coverage in reporting, they often try to talk journalists like me into changing words in an article to be more favorable to the company (or the company’s lawyers). I’ve had a number of company reps try this over the years. Facebook is the worst; in my experience they’ve tried to get me to change my reporting to something less problematic for them, but also less true. It never works (on me, anyway). I just figured Amazon wanted to tell me bad news in a different way and I anticipated a waste of everyone’s time. Still, I wanted to try and get some answers about their sex content policy.

The rep called me again. She chatted me up for a few buttery minutes then said that Amazon has millions of Associates accounts, which get randomly flagged for review. In this instance, their review system had failed, and they were sorry. They also said they wanted to acknowledge that Amazon does sell “sexual wellness products and smut,” and were fine with nudity, like what was on my website.

I wasn’t expecting to hear that. But then the rep told me that there were a few specific images that had caused their review team to mark my account as violating the operating agreement. Images that were what the team thought were over the edge, not as “tasteful” as everything else, which they said was not a problem. The rep said that before the call, she had tried to find a technical solution — she didn’t know how to code, she said, but had tried to find a way I could just blur a few of the images. I said this was very thoughtful, but that hey, this is an easy fix. I speak code. “If you’re comfortable with looking at my site,” I said, “if it’s within your comfort zone, can you tell me which images to change?” I said I could do it in the next twenty minutes. She said that was great; after the call she’d send me a wrap-up email, and I could respond when the changes were made, and my account could be reinstated that evening.

(I told her I was writing down what she was saying on the call. She told me the call was being recorded. I said, “Oh in that case, please tell Amazon I said thank you for saving The Expanse.”)

There were only three specific images I was asked to change. Two were 300×300 sidebar link images, and one was a lead image for an Eye Candy post. The first was for Abby Winters: this image (not very explicit). Next was for Nubile Films: this image (not graphic). The other image was in a post about indie and “fair trade” porn, this photo (okay, fairly explicit but not in-your-face — certainly not like anything you’d see on the front page of a porn tube site).

As you might expect, I’ve been through situations like this before. It has unfortunately been my experience that what is “tasteful” with one team is not “tasteful” with another company’s team a year later. After Flickr sold to Yahoo, my account got hit in 2007 with the banhammer for having nudes in it; when I got public support, the Flickr’s founder Stewart Butterfield contacted me and I was reinstated with his okay on tasteful nudes. A year later I was banned again by a different team, and was lucky I had the founder’s emails to prove that I wasn’t afoul of the rules. It happened *a third time* in 2013, and again I referenced Stewart’s email to get out of user jail.

That said, I went ahead and changed more images than Amazon requested. I know that “tasteful” is subjective, but there are guidelines I’ve sussed out based on my experiences — it helps to use sex-positivity as a rule, to employ the female gaze, and to avoid anything you’d see as thumbnails on PornHub. My assessment of “tasteful” in this case, based on the three specific images, was that (apart from the obvious, no penetration, close-ups, or graphic nudity) it seemed like clear depiction of sex positions was generally off Amazon’s menu. Not difficult changes.

I got Amazon’s as-promised email confirming our conversation (screencap above). I emailed back within the hour saying changes were made, then … nothing. I emailed again that night to check in, and got an “out of office” response from a different rep. In the morning I emailed again — only to get another ‘she’s not in the office and I can’t help you’ response from yet a different rep. It appeared I was either being flaked on, or lied to.

I was despondent and didn’t know what to do. Imagine being an author, and Amazon doesn’t like you, won’t do business with you, or has put a mark on your record somewhere.

You can’t imagine it because it’s not really possible if you want to survive as an author, let alone be successful.

That same morning I was simultaneously sent a link to Techdirt’s superlative writeup on the whole mess. I was glad I waited to say anything publicly about Amazon telling me it would get fixed; maybe I did get that PR massage after all. I wrote a twitter update, at a total loss as to what I was going to do about anything.

The next day, Amazon Executive Customer Relations appeared in my inbox (and voicemail) again — a new representative. They reinstated my account — and apologized for the delay, and thanked me for “escalating the situation.” I was genuinely surprised, and … happy? Yes, happy. To get my account back, but also to know that Amazon isn’t following companies like Facebook, YouTube, or Apple in goose-stepping off the cliff of humanity, diversity, and sex-positivity by demonizing human sexual expression. Amazon wasn’t being added to the list of major service providers and business channels that are discriminating sexuality writers, artists, workers, and business people into a terrifying oblivion.

Right after my account was reinstated, Open Culture tweeted that they’d just had their Associates account suddenly terminated. Trust me: I looked EVERYWHERE on their website for porn, but I found nary a boob. So I’m inclined to believe the automated review screwup story that first rep told me. And I sure hope Open Culture gets it worked out.


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Yuki Kashiwagi designs and models sexy lingerie for Ravijour

Yuki Kashiwagi, the former AKB48 idol who inspired her own fan-made robot, is following in the footsteps of her ex-colleague Haruna Kojima and establishing herself as a lingerie model. Or at least, she’s making her first major steps in that direction.

She is now the latest model for Japanese lingerie brand Ravijour (the rival of Peach John, which was paying for Kojiharu’s services until recently), having been announced as an ambassador back in the spring.

In fact, though, Yuki Kashiwagi is apparently doing more than just stepping in front of the camera with barely any clothes on. If you believe the marketing, she is also “collaborating” on the lingerie collection Sweet Black Glamor Up, which went on sale from October 12th.

Though we can’t speak to Yuki’s abilities to design apparel, so who knows if she is really involved in the planning and creation of these skimpy pieces of underwear, no doubt fans will be pleased with how she looks when demonstrating their merits for the general public.

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On the other hand, Peach John’s current muse is the stunning (and sporty) model Anne Nakamura. Some images from her recent shoots for Peach John are included below. Which do you prefer? The mature, athletic, and party-girl look of svelte Anne Nakamura? Or Yuki Kashiwagi’s more demure and petite look?

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If we were lucky enough to get to choose, we would go for Anne any day of the week, but perhaps we’re out of touch…

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Porn debut from Shion Yumi shows off her tiny body and massive I-cup bust

Regular readers will know we are always on the lookout for strong adult video debuts, for the ladies who might be the future stars of the industry. We think we may have found another one.

Released on October 7th, Shion Yumi made her debut in a 156-minute release (SSNI00321) on the label S1 No.1 Style. (Her family name might look like a first name, but it’s actually pronounced long as “Yuumi.”)

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Shion Yumi’s main selling point, as far as we see it, is her “miracle” body that balances a small frame of just 149cm (4.9 feet) in height with huge I-cup breasts. All right, Japanese cup sizes are slightly different to those in other countries and porn promotion is not known for its factual veracity, but even so — those knockers are big.

Her 19-year-old youth and “pure” looks mean Shion Yumi is appealing to the “rori” (Lolita) fetish market, but we reckon she could grow and mature into a real natural star.

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Her debut has a clear summer theme and was shot some time ago, we presume. Her next release, featuring a threesome, is already scheduled for November.

Keep them coming, Ms. Yumi!

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Married stunner Sayuri Miyazono makes adult video debut at 32 years old

Sometimes a bit of experience makes a big different.

Sayuri Miyazono is the latest Japanese porn debutant to catch our eye and she’s in a different kind of league to the hundreds of other new adult video stars.

Miyazono is 32 years old, putting her loosely in the jukujo “mature woman” category that is increasingly popular in the mainstream, thanks to the seductive likes of Mitsu Dan and Manami Hashimoto.

Sayuri’s slender and pale Asian body is coupled with an E-cup bust and pretty face of the kind that can be seen almost any day around Tokyo. And that’s the point. She’s meant to be an ordinary woman who has made the jump into adult video. According to the marketing, at any rate, she has been married for five years and is keeping her new career secret from her unsuspecting hubby. How long can that last?

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Given the publicity splash produced by SOD, the truth of this should be treated with a pinch of salt but it’s certainly a nice fantasy.

Directed by R40, Sayuri Miyazono’s first AV is a mammoth 164 minutes long and released on the SOD Create label.

Here are some preview images.

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Japanese teenager gets wet in the bath, fingers herself in nude selfies

If what is said online is to be believed, this kinky lady is 18 years old and a recently graduated high school student.

Her body seems delightfully mature and so we reckon she’s possibly a few years old, but that’s not a bad thing.

She has posted a ravishing series of nude selfies for all the world to see as well as a couple of videos (be sure to scroll down) where she rubs her breasts to show off their paizuri potential.

She spends some of the selfies in the bath and her wet hair looks very sexy against her beautifully pale white skin.

She certainly has a great bust — at least, by Japanese standards — but she also seems to know what she’s doing with her pussy. In several shots she is spreading her pussy lips wide open or fingering herself.

She only gives a few hints about her face, including a heavily pixellated shot, but her lips are probably our favorite thing about her.

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Voice actress Marika Matsumoto has sex scene in new TV drama Holiday Love

Voice actress (seiyu) and actress Marika Matsumoto (33) has done a sex scene in the current Asahi TV drama series Holiday Love.

This is mainstream Japanese television, so don’t expect any actual nudity, but it’s still pretty sexy to see Matsumoto — best known for her voice work on anime and video games — like this, especially now she’s a mature woman in her thirties. And regular readers will know that we can’t resist a jukujo.

She gives her male partner a good smooch after he tenderly kisses her slender stomach, and then wraps her arms around him as plunges into her body. It’s not as energetic as Mariya Nagao’s efforts or even Norika Fujiawara’s, but it’s certainly not bad for an Asahi drama.

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The latest in a series of recent dramas about adultery, Holiday Love is based on a manga by Yukari Koyama, and stars Riisa Naka and Mitsu Dan.

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