There used to be a hilarious English comic strip in Japanzine magazine, very popular in Japan, about a loser from Canada who comes to Japan to teach English and, by virtue of being un-Japanese, becomes super popular. It was called Charisma Man. This was before my time (I arrived here in 2003) but it remains kind of an icon among expats over here. The idea being that Japanese people, women especially, dote over unworthy foreigners simply because they are different, and in doing so transform these losers, inflate their egos and create superheroes, at least in the Charisma Man’s mind. Man, does that comic strip ring true.
I won’t say I was a Charisma Man but I confess I got more action over here and…better quality is overstating it a bit, but let’s just say the J-Factor unbalances the scale and the mind, and gives Japanese girls an unfair advantage over anything I got back home in NY. And, it was comparatively easier to get and easier to maintain. So, yes, sometimes even I made the mistake of believing that my so-called conquests here had something to do with me personally. Like a fool.
It didn’t take very long to realize that in this land of monotony, I was attractive solely because I was considered exotic. You learn that once you’ve seen enough Japanese hotties holding hands with guys you know have never even seen a pussy back home unless it was strictly a cash transaction. In NY, there’s a lot of everything so, for us, exotic is a tall order. We settle for slightly unusual. Maybe that helped me regain my balance quicker than some others. The bliss I was mainlining was derived from my idea of exotic. Asian women remained in that category simply because in NY they were virtually inaccessible.
But, not here.
The Charisma Man phenomenon can get pretty ugly when you go to a bar, let’s say some Gaijin watering hole like The Hub, and there are about 100 or so of these superheroes, some aware that they are Charisma Men, some completely unaware, bumping heads and dicks over the buffet of Japanese college students and office ladies who came there to be entertained by gaijin hijinks, practice English and satisfy their curiosity. It’s a madhouse. That’s Tokyo on any given night.
The other thing is I’d come to believe that the consummate Charisma Man, to Japanese eyes, looks like that picture above, and I decidedly do not. So, while he is doted over disproportionately (no wonder he loses all perspective), I was relegated to the Hip Hop Hoes who are usually attracted to the images they see of black guys in music videos, which, in their eyes, I do resemble. Rarely did I come across a girl who was interested in anything about me after they established that I wasn’t in Tokyo producing a music video or performing or dancing in one. Unlike that charasmatic hero above, I was never asked was I an Investment Banker or any kind of businessman. Always sports or entertainment…or worse: military.
“You are English teacher? Ah sou nan da. Sugoi! Oshiete kureru no?” (You don’t say. That’s wonderful! Can you teach me?)
“Moshi nihongo oshiete kure nara oshiete ageruyo…” wink-wink. (If you teach me Japanese, sure I’ll teach you.)
Add a bunch of banal questions about Hip Hop and about New York ( I wasn’t above producing my NY Driver’s License as exhibit A either, because, well, NY is a good conversation piece and selling point, not to mention a lot of African cats claim NY as their birthright, as well, so bona fides can help seal the deal) and, basically, that was the extent of the game I had to bring to get the majority of the action I got. The rest was just a matter of setting up the first date, if necessary, which often had a happy ending at a Love Hotel or an Internet Cafe where she can fantasize she’s fellating Snoop-Dog or Nelly and I can notch my belt and have something to write about. No language exchange takes place unless you count my explaining how to talk dirty in English and her hollering “Iku!” (I’m coming) But, everyone goes home happy and none the wiser…
Or, do they?
The ease with which this transaction transpires can have an adverse effect. You come to take it for granted. And, in a society where many of the girls tend to look, dress, act and think the same, you come to expect the same results each time out. Also, you begin to see all Japanese girls as the same, which is far from the truth. You don’t notice cause you’re having the time of your life, but in reality you’re standing at the apex of a veeeery slippery slope. One false move and down you go, and where you’ll stop, nobody knows. Your soul is on the line. Many foreigners here say fuck it and go for a ski.
And, so did I.
I can’t speak for all foreigners over here. Different people have different experiences here. It all depends on how they choose to deal with the challenges they face here. One such challenge I think we all face is saying no to booty. If cuties throw booty at you simply because you’re a foreigner, you could say no. You could ask that booty throwing cutie, do you like me for me, or do you like me because you think I dance like Usher, sing like R. Kelly, pop it like it’s hot like Snoop? Because my skin is dark and chocolatey, and you think my dick is bigger than a liter coke bottle? It’s your choice. And, in doing so, you may retain your self-respect.
But, to me, in Japan, that’s gay! (-: