Translated News, Interviews, Blogs, and More From Japan's Other Side

Former AV Stars and the Discovery of their Past

Wotopi - Original Japanese Date: October 8th, 2014
English Translation Published: October 9th, 2015

Having your face adorned on Japanese AV covers does share its risks when trying to start over in the normal world after retirement.

An industry consultant comments upon issues various former AV stars face when having their past 'performance' histories exposed after they've already started new lives.


It's OK to be an idol, but not an AV star?

When a company found out about her previous career as both an AV star and a brothel worker:

Having a career as an AV star and also being a brothel worker may be a handicap of sorts when finding 'regular' employment, however, it's nothing to retire in shame about. However, her past life in the AV or brothel world may be an issue if she was very well known. It could hurt her company if people quickly associated her for her past career rather than her current non-adult endeavors.

Would this really be a negative thing? Idols have voluntary put down the microphones and faded back into normalcy without much of an issue. Why are AV stars singled out?

Former idols do seem to have some immunity when it comes to the negatives for companies. If anything, joining the ranks of regular folk is often met with much praise. Sadly, the same does not hold true for former AV stars who can be seen as corporate handicaps if word of their past careers is revealed. The hard fact is those who have worked in the adult industry are seen as 'loose'. Rival companies may assume having former adult film stars on staff shows that the company is incompetent as its staff consists of women sleeping their way up the corporate ladder. The sex lives of idols, on the other hand, are rather clandestine so they do not suffer the same kind of prejudices.


Being 'discovered' is not as common as you'd assume.

Well, what can a woman who has worked as an AV star, brothel worker, or both do to keep her past activities secret?

Women who have worked in these industries should try to avoid mannerisms and fashion trends commonly practiced by their peers. There's always a risk of one's past being discovered, but it's not as common as you'd think. This goes double for brothel workers since the actual sex happens in private rooms. On the other hand, AV stars—even ones not that popular—have a higher risk of being discovered. They're the ones whose faces adore box art covers found both in stores and on the internet. Some of the larger stars have done the work on their own by publishing books with their real names in a form of 'coming out' (such as Saori Hara who published a book that purposely included her real name in the title). Those who elect to work in these industries should take necessary precautions to ensure their risk of accidental discovery remains low.

The vanity of being in AV has its risks post-retirement.

Saving money...or not?

There are many women only with high school education finding themselves working as office ladies via temp agencies. Job security is scarce and they frequently experience episodes of unemployment leading them to occasionally dabble in the sex industry.

It's painful for some AV stars and brothel workers to attempt to juggle their finances while making much less money. Brothel workers who earned 500,000 yen a month from only 10 days of work now earn a fraction of that working 5 days a week with a 'regular' job. Those who try to adjust to a lowered pay-scale attempt to save money by making their own lunches, doing their own nails, and avoiding eating out.

You can always better yourself, but it's important to consider hiding elements of your past.


By Yumi Kihara


(Translator's note: Tens of thousands of Japanese women have either done AV or been involved in the adult industry in the past decade alone. The article is right in that the cases of those being 'caught' are indeed low. The sex industry pays great, but the stigma of working for sex is strong even in Japan. Those wishing to take part should definitely ensure all bases are covered with a sound exit strategy. Alternatively, you can pull a 'Saori Hara' and fully embrace it.)

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