So, there's this LOHAS (Lifestyles Of Health And Sustainability) magazine called Sotokoto aimed at people who want to lead lifestyles OHAS. It has recipes, restaurant reviews, articles about NGOs and ecological activist groups, etc. etc. And this month it is publishing a companion issue called Erokoto: a magazine which bills itself as "Erotic but Lohas".

Page 9 features the "Erokoto manifesto" (エロコト宣言), by chief editor SAKAMOTO "Yellow Magic Orchestra" Ryūichi (!). "The very existence of eroi [erotic] women is eko [ecology-consciousness/positivity; 'greenness']," it begins, over a pink-tinted picture of a female posterior which, it seems only fair to point out, is indeed not drilling oil wells or carelessly introducing any fast-breeding alien predators into fragile wetland environments. I find myself not unconvinced, and continue.

"It has been 3.8 billion years since life was born on this planet," Sakamoto says, "and it has continued uninterrupted ever since, right up to the present day." He attributes this to two things: Food (食) and Sex (性). (Pity the life that had to survive on food alone for the first 2 billion years or so, before sexual reproduction evolved.) "Or, to put it another way, 個体維持 [individual maintenance/sustenance] and 種の保存 [preservation of seed]," he clarifies.

"These days, in Japanese society, too, eco seems to have become entirely equated with 'environmental awareness'. This is a laudable thing. The bookstores overflow with eko magazines, and they are full of information about Food. But stop. Wait a moment. The other essence of life, Sex, isn't being addressed at all." He decries this as an injustice, and explains that Erokoto is meant to meet that need. "Eroi women are eko," he repeats, in large, bold type, and thus ends the manifesto.

To put this in perspective, it comes right after a photo spread of R-rated model Honoka (NSFW!) shot by writer Lily Franky (who is male, by the way), and is followed by an article about a bondage salon. Elsewhere in the magazine, porn star Amami Rei gets photographed with healthy, healthy fruit smeared on her ("I love Erokoto's way of thinking!" she gushes in the accompanying text). There is an article entitled "Can Porn Save the Planet?" and a rather racy travel piece (Iwate) illustrated by a picture of a naked woman standing with her arms spread and head thrown back under a gigantic red torii. Sex workers are introduced with effusive praise for their "Jōmon faces" (thick eyebrows, big eyes, full lips), and (PG-rated) idol KOIKE Eiko is introduced as the "Jōmon Venus". There's even a feature about love dolls, suggesting that Erokoto's ecological stance is a moderate one, able to accept some uses of plastics if not all.

The interesting part, of course, is what is missing: men. Or, more accurately, men as participants in all this ero rather than consumers of it. Because if men are consumers, women can only be products. Sure, much of the text celebrates Woman with the usual earth-goddess stuff, but actual women are more likely to find themselves inserted into whimsical forest collages among the trees and bunny rabbits, as if to say "Okay, if you aren't moved so much by loss of biodiversity, imagine if biodiversity were a hot babe. Then you sure wouldn't want to lose it, eh? Recycle!"

I'm sure there were good intentions all round, and there are a few pages where women appear without the objectifying treatment, and just under half of the editorial staff is female &c. &c., but it is depressing to see so much of the same old male-centric approach to sex positivity, where women are expected to just sort of come along for the ride.

Popularity factor: 4

Gaijin Biker:

You gotta admit, Eiko actually does have really big... eyes.


Eroi men are eko too! It's time to take back the world of ecological pornography. Let No-Sword be the spark!


Sure, GB, but who is the Jomon Apollo? This is my point!

Morgan: I thought that's what I was doing! Juggling notation doesn't get you going?


Mmm, now that you mention it... I'll lose myself in thinking about "4-handed siteswap" and never write this 作文 if I'm not careful.

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