From Lolita to Brolita: Getting Your Girly Kink On with Otaku
by Madeline Iva
It’s our week of Kink at LadySmut.com. This theme week was brought to you by the letter K.
No, just kidding. We’re celebrating the release of THE BIG BOOK OF SUBMISSION (Our very own C. Margery Kempe has a short story included in the anthology.)
But first, a word about Kink & LadySmut.com. We walk a fine line with sexy here at the blog. When considering kink with a capital “K” some LadySmut bloggers get rather flustered. Would I ever??? they say and gulp. (Unless you’re Alexa. She’s sitting at the bar saying Bring it.)
Me, I don’t have this kind of problem. Would I ever? Not no, but hell no.
Experiment with a kinky life style? No. Er. Well, depends on what you mean by kinky?
With people besides my DH? No.
Doing things that involve an investment of significant money, time, travel, interactions with strangers, first aid training, and ads on Craigslist? Nope. Never. Nagada.
However, enjoying Kink as a fantasy? Now that’s fun.
The more unexpected and fantastical the better. Bring on the alternative worlds–futuristic, historic, or over the top cray-cray–even a mix of all three. (I’m talking to you, OUTLANDER fans.) Especially if it also involves a sorta-still-innocent kind of feel. (Jamie!)
Okay, now back to our regularly sponsored blog.
You know who also wears these same kind of vivid fantasy spectacles? The Japanese. At one point I was watching two different Japanese TV shows. One was called MOYASIMON, about a young man going to college who, oh, happens to see and hear the microbes and bacterium that exist all around us. (Only in Japan, people.)
The other show was called MARIA HOLIC. It’s all about Kanako, a high school student suffering from latent masochism and lesbianism who tortures herself by transferring to an all girl’s boarding school. Kanako immediately finds ‘the one’ for her–Mariya Shidō. Sweet and blonde, Mariya shares a room with Kanako and also has a secret. It turns out that Mariya is really a sadistic cross-dressing boy! Mariya, and his sidekick Matsurika, delight in tormenting Kanako. Kanako, masochist that she is, gets off on it, gouting with nose-bleeds for Mariya a lot, but also the other girls at school. (Nosebleeds are an expression of LUST in Japanese culture. Like I said folks, only in Japan.)
At any rate, there amongst the rest of the normal (?) people in each cast you may notice something rather odd. Go ahead, look at these pictures from both shows and see if you can spot what I’m talking about. (I’ll hum a little song while I’m waiting….do-do-do….One of these people is not like the other people…do-de-do…)
Did you notice the maid? Weird, right? Having a person dressed like a maid–and not just a modern one but a victorian-girly-sexy-maid amongst every one else is so frickin’ odd. The first time I was like: WTH??? What’s is this? The second time I dived into Wikipedia trying to figure it all out.
Okay, so it turns out that Japan has it’s own version of “trekkies” i.e. those who dress-up in fantasy costumes in homage to their favorite fictionalized characters. This culture in Japan is called Otaku. Women who engage in otaku have one aim and that is to be moe.
Being moe means to be heart-wrenchingly adorable. Not just cute, but cute to the point of someone wanting to just squeeze you to death because they can’t stand how cute you are. One kind of way to achieve moe is to dive into Lolita fashion. There are many variations of Lolita — which is all about a girly-cute kind of historical dress and is not actually regarded as sexual. (In the same way that trekkies aren’t normally regarded as sexual — though if you give me a really fit looking Spock, I’d–well never mind.)
There’s Goth Lolita, punk lolita, etc.
And then there’s maid culture — a whole other thing in Japanese otaku. Also multi-layered, not always sexual, the maid thing still definitely signals submissive. At the maid cafes in Japan, customers are treated like masters & mistresses instead of…well, customers.
Everyone in American culture over the age of twenty-five is long familiar with the whole maid-costume-as-kinky fantasy thing. Our “French maid” wink-wink, nudge-nudge thing is also understood in Japan and yes, there is a kind of French maid’s costume there that signals sexual fetish.
Then there are Lolita Maids. The Lolita maid is a combination of the maid motif and of the Lolita motif. While the whole Lolita culture is about an historic appeal to modesty and moe–and the non-sexy maid thing seems to be about submissive moe, when you put them together some people in Japan don’t like it — because…it’s just wrong and confusing is why.
And then, there’s Lolicon. While the Japanese don’t automatically sexualize grown women dressing up as adorable girl-children, well, sometimes they do. And that lust for barely adolescent is called lolicon and it’s not okay — except when it is.
In MARIA HOLIC, the maid is a girl named Matsurika who serves Mariya, and subverts the submissive ideal of a maid by speaking rudely to Mariya and criticizing his sadism, although she does follow his commands, shadow him around the campus in general, and let her clothes get ripped up from time to time. Mostly, though, she doesn’t take sh** from anybody. So she’s wearing a transgressive confusing moe outfit in which she acts transgressively anti-moe. I tell you, with Matsurika, it’s paradise for some lucky woman’s studies major out there.
BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE!
In MOYASIMON the Lolita maid turns out to be a Brolita — a guy dressed up in a Lolita Maid outfit. Thus conjoining three different strains of kink: Lolita, maid costume play, and transgender um, sissification. (Don’t know what sissification is? Look it up here.) It’s even more kinky, in a show that has all these cute bacteria bouncing around the screen.
Wait–my head is spinning you say. Well, I guess they’re just used to it in Japan.
At the time, watching the shows I just thought it was freaky and interesting, even if i didn’t get all the nuances. Which I probably still don’t quite understand, and have probably mis-represented to you.
Is it wrong to combine cuteness with sexy kinkiness? Hugh Hefner revolutionized porn when he gave men the image of a nice-girl-next-door all nude and aroused. Or are we normalizing sex and making it more women friendly by taking our feelings of desire out of the super-gritty realm and adding in fun and fantasy? Tell us what you think.
And follow Lady Smut you moe people.