Nyotaimori is the Japanese practice of serving food, mostly sushi and sashimi, on a naked woman’s body.
It is referred to as nantaimori when a male body is used instead of a female one. The practice is not very popular in Japan though it originated there. Instead, it has gained some popularity in the west as a pricey and kinky form of dining out.
The idea of eating on a naked woman’s body originated during the Samurai period in Japan. As celebrations would take place in a geisha house after victories in battle, it became a subculture to the geishas.
While the idea of eating food off a naked body might be erotic, it is in reality unhygienic. The raw fish served on the bodies needs to stay cold, so these ‘human plates’ have to splash cold water on themselves before being served on.
Nyotaimori was perhaps most popular with the organized crime section of the Japanese population. However, recent interviews with Yakuza members reveal that the younger lot of criminals finds the practice a bit much.
The model must be able to keep absolutely still and stand exposure to cold food for hours. She bathes with fragrance-free soap and splashes cold water on herself before taking place on the table. During the event, the model has to usually lie absolutely still. She usually does not talk with guests.
In a Reddit AMA, a nyotaimori model – SashimiMimi – talked about what she experienced as a human plate:
I usually don’t feel too uncomfortable. It is normal that some people might get a bit aroused by the situation, so as long as they’re polite about it, it’s okay. Occasionally a guest will make a tasteless or vulgar comment. For most people, it’s their first time experiencing body sushi, so they are sometimes nervous and not sure how to act.
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Depending on the event, I sometimes mingle with the guests after I’m done modeling, and in that case it’s common for them to hit on me. But they’re usually not too creepy about it. Usually the clientele is wealthy businessmen who know how to behave with taste and class.
Preparation (laying out the flowers/display, and first round of food) takes about an hour, and the party will last 2-4 hours. So the longest I am on the table is 5 hours.
I guess in some ways I am used as a sexual object. But I deal with being objectified A LOT in my daily life and it has been difficult for me. So why shouldn’t I also be able to use it to my advantage?
Sometimes people do talk to me. If I close my eyes they don’t. Sometimes they talk about me as though I can’t hear them, which can be funny.
There are many people who feel that nyotaimori is demeaning and objectifies women. China has even outlawed the practice due to moral and health reasons. It is hard to find nyotaimori places in Japan, where it mostly remains on the fringes of the sex industry. Your best bet, if you want to try eating off a naked body or be a nyotaimori model, are some places in the west, most notably, the US.