Snapshot of an advertising flyer I got in my mailbox at home a while back. In any given month, maybe 10 or so similar ones show up, usually in batches — and. usually at the beginning or end of the month (probably because that’s when people have the most money to blow).
In case you can’t tell, it’s an advertisement for an outcall “companionship” service. You call the number and they send over a “talent girl” to your home or hotel. You pay according to the number of minutes of companionship you want. It looks like in the case of this one, if you want 60 minutes of companionship, you have a choice between paying 13,000 yen for a ヘルスコース (health course), or 18,000 for… a different course. I would guess that since that “different course” will set you back another 5,000 yen, you get something extra with that one that’s not included in the “health course”…
Speaking of “health”, I am told these services are commonly described as デリヘル (transliteration: deriheru). Which sounds like “Deli Hell” but actually is an abbreviation for “delivery health”.
So, since at this point I figure probably you’re thinking, OK the “delivery” part makes sense, but why “health”?, I guess I should stop and explain that (I think) the “health” is itself shorthand for “health massage”, which, the way it used in Japan, means a massage that:
- instead of being administered by a real masseuse, is instead administered by, say, a woman dressed in schoolgirl uniform
- involves a degree of, um, stimulation that is more than you would get from, well, an actual masseuse
So, returning to the 13,000 yen “health course” that I mentioned at the beginning: I think that name may be designed to created some ambiguity in the minds of prospective customers, to be resolved during a call — an example of which might go something like this:
Ring Ring… Ring Ring
Staff: Hello, this is “Talent Girls”. How can I help you today?
Customer: Hi. I’d like to have a woman dressed in a schoolgirl uniform come over to my place for a while.
Staff: Great, sir. You’ve certainly called the right place. We can have a beautiful girl pay you a special visit very soon. You just need to let me know how much time you’d like to spend with her.
Customer: OK, yeah, about that: I was thinking probably 60 minutes would be OK, but I notice you have both a 60-minute “health course” that costs 13,000 yen and also another 60-minute course that costs 18,000. So I was wondering, if I pay 13,000, do I get, you know, “health” with that, or do I have to pay 18,000 for that? You know what I mean, right?
Staff: Yes sir, I think I understand what you are asking. The 13,000 yen course does not actually come with “health”. If you want “health”, I recommend getting at least the 18,000 yen course. Of course, all of our longer courses also come with “health” and I would very highly recommend one of those. But if you have only 60 minutes, then, yes, I can guarantee that you will enjoy a very nice 60 minutes with the 18,000 yen course.
Customer: I see. OK, then I will take the 18,000 yen course. But I have to say that I think that “health course” name is a little misleading. That name had me a bit confused. I mean, I know it wouldn’t make sense to call it the “non-health course” or “without health course” or something, but I really think it should have some other name. Can you see what I mean?
Staff: Certainly, sir, I can definitely understand that and I can promise you that I will forward your comments about that to our marketing department and ask them to give it some serious thought. …
Author’s note: (because I’ve been asked…) No, I am not the “customer” in the above conversation. It’s purely imaginary. I have never engaged the services of “Talent Girls” or any similar “delivery health” provider. Not that I am morally opposed to it or anything — it’s just that it would take too big of a chunk out of my drinking budget.