Memoirs of a Jewish Geisha

Working in Midtown to give businessmen the girlfriend experience

"My daughter, she's eight," he confided. "We sleep in the same bed. And she tosses and turns all night. But my wife, she's lucky. She's in the bed with my son, and he doesn't move."

One time, I asked an American customer what brought him to Kaoru.

"It's better than dating," he said. "You already know the rules. I can talk to a girl and buy her a drink without being thought of as a pervert. By the way, you ever had seaweed sake?"

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iStock Jason_V

"Don't think so," I said. "What's that?"

"It's very expensive," he said. "They only do it in Japan. It's when a girl pours sake in her crotch, and you drink it. It'll run you $400, $500."

"Nope," I said. "Can't say I've ever had that."

Another American, the only black customer I'd seen there, said he likes that they store his liquor at Kaoru. The man, who said his firm manages New York's pension funds, enjoys Kaoru because he spends less than at other, conventional bars.

"I'm a Renaissance man," the man explained one night. "I do everything. I ski. I snowboard. I used to do triathlons. I've got motorcycles and sports cars. I hunt. I volunteer—I'm on the board of Juilliard."

He really took a fancy to one hostess in particular, a ballroom-dance instructor with coppery highlights and sculpted calves.

But I noticed that she and the other girls kept finding ways to avoid sitting with him—sometimes he sat alone at his table, until a bartender or Mama-san told a girl to go over and chat with him. One night, I overheard him complain to Mama-san about getting the cold shoulder from the dance instructor. He said he was also afraid that he'd been overcharged.

"Don't worry," she told him. "Sometimes the girls, when they're new, they don't know what they're doing with the bills. I'll look it over and make sure it's fine. The girls, they don't know any better."

One customer, an aging Japanese rocker, spent his nights at the mic, endlessly crooning classic love ballads. The man, who always had an edgy, mod accessory—like pointy ankle boots or excess silver rings—was fascinated by manatees and dolphins.

"One time, I went snorkeling, in Florida, and they came right up to me," he said. "I even adopted a manatee, you know, made a donation to a group down there."

The girl who was sitting with him at the bar listened politely, sipping her cranberry juice.

"Well, you know," he said to her. "You've been to my house—you've seen all the little figurines I have."

"Yes," she said, nodding.

Another man, a Macallan drinker with a nervous laugh, told me about his two kids—a teenage boy and girl. He talked a lot about his daughter's flat chest.

"She wants to buy thong underwear, because all the girls her age have it. And she also wants a bikini bathing suit. So my wife took her to get a bikini, and the top was too big on her, because she doesn't have boobs, you know. She's built like a boy," he said, shaping her body with his hands. "And so my wife started laughing, so I think she's going to have to sew some padding in there. The girl's just shaped like a boy, and all of her friends have figures, like women. By the way, would you like to go to dinner this week. Sushi?"

Sure, I said. We exchanged phone numbers—the norm at Kaoru. I also gave him a business card, which was provided by the club. It would be my first dohan, or paid dinner date.

The man sent me a text a few days later, telling me to meet him at 7:45, near the 45th Street exit of Grand Central station. He said to find him near the Italian restaurant, and that we'd go from there.

And go from there we did.

"I want to talk to you more about your hometown, Tampa," he said, wiping his face and hands with a hot towel.

We were seated at the upstairs bar at Hatsuhana, an upscale sushi restaurant on the East Side. "It's so strange that you come from there. You know, I used to work there in the '80s. I was CFO at a phosphate company. It is so strange, so coincidental. Do you want something to drink? It is customary to drink beer, then switch to sake," he said.

The man kept asking about Tampa. Was his favorite hibachi place still on the corner? Was the sushi restaurant, the one on the main highway, open?

At first, he seemed normal enough. And the dohan seemed OK—sure, it was an escorting arrangement—but a purely platonic one, it appeared.  

"Get whatever you want," he said. The man, who knew the chef, said something in Japanese. Slices of raw tuna, scallop, squid appeared. Then came some mystery fish, which tasted so richly of the ocean, they were undoubtedly endangered. They were followed by littleneck clams in dark miso broth, then by eel and a bowl of sea urchin. Last was a red fruit and bean pudding, with fresh strawberry slices on top.

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27 comments
Swtmst
Swtmst

It is like a strip club with none of the stripping. I thought about hostessing in Japan, but it becomes very taxing on your body and mind. You consistently have to text customers ect. I also find it very sad, because in big clubs, rich men (and women!) will spend 10,000 or more a night, and really think the host/ess is going to marry them one day...bizarre.

Cdaniels56
Cdaniels56

Page me when Lauren Ezersky writes hers..............hehe

Angela Garcia as NeonMosfet
Angela Garcia as NeonMosfet

This is almost Victorian in tone. There's some thing sweet and a little sad about these men living out the weird fantasy of High School Musical, on the rocks and 80 proof. However as Bekiempis should have known, she was supposed to carry a fan. When her customer went for the hooter shot demanding a return favor, she is supposed to take the fan, and whack him on the shoulder blade for getting out of line

Angela Garcia as NeonMosfet.

Cassidy
Cassidy

By Jewish girls? I love Jewish girls the most.

Isaiah
Isaiah

This was THE most self-indulgent article published by the Voice in a long time. It was a waste of time to go out of my way, (as I usually do) to read the paper this week. I am personally insulted by this masturbatory piece...

Erika
Erika

The article basically read like "those Japanese people are so weird and exotic" (accentuated by the Orientalist photos). Which is pretty much every article written by non-Japanese folk, ever. Honestly as a Japanese-American, it depresses me. Did you know that we're actually pretty normal people? And yes, we're *individuals* with independent thoughts and feelings.

mg
mg

What an inane article. I especially like the line "Then came some mystery fish, which tasted so richly of the ocean, they were undoubtedly endangered." How would you know? Is there anything about life in general that you enjoy, or are you simply the "PC Police" for everyone else's existence. Sad. Sad. Woman.

ET
ET

The Voice is no longer relevant.

Sad demise

zqxz
zqxz

Finally (48 hours) time limit to buy.

LV Muffler $ 5.99LV Bags $ 19.9 LV Wallet $ 6.55Armani Glasses $ 5.99LV Belt $ 6.9

Buy addresses---- tntn.usTips (48 hours after the special product is invalid)

zqxz
zqxz

Finally (48 hours) time limit to buy.

LV Muffler $ 5.99LV Bags $ 19.9 LV Wallet $ 6.55Armani Glasses $ 5.99LV Belt $ 6.9

Buy addresses---- tntn.usTips (48 hours after the special product is invalid)

Bbradley
Bbradley

BORING. This was very West-meets-East and offered nothing but a one-dimensional report of the job, which is a very common form of entertainment in Asia. And like any customer service job, it has your good and bad customers. Hooters waitresses are far more demeaned than hostesses.

Theplaceforjunk
Theplaceforjunk

I learned that there is a bar where women are paid to increase drink orders. And everyone there was dumb or weird (expect the writer and maybe some of the other workers). And that is it.

NightOwl
NightOwl

Sad and funny illustration of Human Condition, Arigato Victoria-san.

elcalato
elcalato

I read this story expecting to be titillated or at least get a cheap thrill from reading about the sexual escapades of a working girl in the escort business. Girlfriend experience? Please, this is more like...I dont even know how I would even describe this. Im sure there is more that goes on in here then the writer lets on. This is more like an advertisement for this establishment....I think Im actually going to check it out. The writer didnt even mention if the the girls working there are pretty or not.

Qwitzach
Qwitzach

korea is not in southeast asia. it is in east asia.

Sakara
Sakara

soon to be a cable tv movie, no doubt.

Without Pie
Without Pie

Who Else Wants To Get A $829 iPad.2 3G For $121.37. Or a $1799.00 Macbook-Pro For Under $217.81? Forget Retail Stores With Their Jacked Up Prices. I Already Sold A Bunch Of Stuff For Half Of What People Would Have Paid At Retail Stores, But I Am Getting Stuff For Much Cheaper Than That. I Use Two Sites, Both Are Good, BidsGo.cömAnd BidsWave.cöm

Clint
Clint

I was in Naganno Japan and for fifty bucks extra they give you a blow job at the end. For real

Cassidy
Cassidy

It was a real tease of an article! I guess the only reason the title mentioned a Jewish geisha was due to the author's self-indulgence. I was half expecting Daphne Rosen or somebody! Instead, it was just another broke whitegirl making money off of some easy Asian marks.

Cassidy
Cassidy

Kept waiting for the "Jewish stuff," given the title of the article, but aside from hairy legs (and no one every commented on her nose??) I don't see what was the point of calling herself a Jewish geisha.

Kept thinking there was going to be a Russian connection somehow, since "Jewesses" in czarist Russia staffed the brothels.

elcalato
elcalato

Im not a professional writer or for that matter any type of writer. I think whoever wrote this article was using the reference to the endangered fish to give a sense of the forbidden....like something sort of dangerous. I mean to be going out with a stranger under her circumstances could have all sorts of outcomes....

Cassidy
Cassidy

Well, I did rather enjoy this article, even though I was hoping for more (like those lonely losers profiled?), but I agree with you in general: the Voice is no longer relevant.

Msue
Msue

There is no "sexual thing" whatsoever you idiot.Girls are prretier than your sister. And please don't come if you don't have enough money to buy a bottle + cover charge.We don't have coors light.-ex geisha

Cassidy
Cassidy

By Jewish girls? I like Jewish girls the most.

Cassidy
Cassidy

Yeah, I thought it was rather fine writing on her part.

elcalato
elcalato

I think you didnt get what I was trying to say. The article itself was presented in a way to make it seem like it was about someone working in the escort business.

 
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