Look, everyone’s lonely.
No, I don’t mean, ‘everyone gets lonely sometimes.’ I mean exactly what I say when I say ‘everyone is lonely.’ Anyone who attests otherwise is a liar, and I’ll be the first to admit that I’m lonely. Human existence and the human experience is loneliness. We can never truly know anyone but the self, and feel a part of something but our own lives — if we even have that luxury in the first place. Life is loneliness, and sure, maybe the meaning of life is to find someone to be lonely with, so you don’t feel all that lonely in the vast, empty accident that is existence.
We called it love, but we made that up when we got arrogant enough to become self-aware (I’m very aware that considerable language developments had to happen between our becoming self-aware and calling this idea of mutual loneliness ‘love’). Perhaps me moralised putting our seed in anything that would take it, or taking seeds from anyone who’d leave them and popping out fruit left right and centre. I’m talking about shagging and making babies.
Maybe when we started thinking outside of instinct and started thinking for ourselves, thus becoming aware of our self, we realised just how solitary that self is, because despite a universe outside of it, that self only exists inside those thoughts and it is intangible and alone. So alone.
When it’s dead, it’s gone and only you ever knew it.
â˜› There’s Not Just Darkness In Your Lonely Soul : The Sick Chirpse Half Arsed Guide To Dark Matter
Of course that could be a load of quickly strewn together bullshit to create an unnecessarily dramatic introduction by a young writer who’s scared, alone, bitter and lashing out. Or, ya know, it could be because I’ve been listening to The Knife’s new album on repeat all day and that shit is as harrowing as it is sprawling. It’s awesome.
Anyway, people are lonely, it’s just somehow intrinsically linked to human nature and it’s getting worse as time goes by and life speeds up and society and technology expands and more of the universe’s answers come to us and more questions are posed and answered and posed and answered. Now, more than ever, except tomorrow and the next day, is it hard not to feel insignificant in the face of literally everything around you and it’s lonely.
Don’t get me wrong, you are insignificant, but then again so are the rest of us so get over it. Combat the loneliness, no matter how in vain it might be. Everyone has a method, whether it love, relationships, family, friends, work, experience, travel, creativity or numbing yourself until you can’t feel that loneliness or you don’t care that you do.
The Japanese have some interesting ‘alternative’ methods.
â˜› For Example : You Won’t Need Shawty For Hugs Anymore Now You Have The Girlfriend Coat
One such method, as the title suggested, is the ‘Cuddle Cafe’ or ‘Co-Sleeping Speciality Shop’ — I’m opting with cuddle cafe out of laziness.
Japan’s first cuddle cafe opened in autumn of last year in Akihabara — Tokyo’s electronics district, already known for quirky establishments with niche markets such as the ‘maid cafe’. This particular first is called Soineya, which translates as ‘sleep together shop’.
Now, I know what you’re thinking but this is no brothel — it is literally for paying to sleep with someone. You see, in the face of today’s all encompassing loneliness there’s no place for sex; all that mess and anxiety that’ll leave you feeling more hollow than you already were — if you’re having to pay for it at least. No, today’s Japanese gent on the go who’s struggling with the strife that is life just wants someone to hold them, someone to spoon, maybe someone to pat them on the head, or something else off the ‘menu’ —
Admission fee: 3,000 yen
20 min – 3,000 yen
40 min – 5,000 yen (only 3,000 yen for first time visitors)
60 min – 6,000 yen
2 hrs – 11,000 yen
3 hrs – 16,000 yen
4 hrs – 20,000 yen
5 hrs – 25,000 yen
6 hrs – 30,000 yen
10 hrs – 50,000 yen
“Shimei-ryo” (fee to pick the girl you want to sleep with) – 1,000 yen + 500 yen per hour
Customer sleeps in girl’s arm (3 min) – 1,000 yen
Girl pats customer on the back (3 min) – 1,000 yen
Customer pets girl on the head (3 min) – 1,000 yen
Customer and girl stare at each other (1 min) – 1,000 yen
Girl changes clothes (1 time) – 1,000 yen
Girl gives customer foot massage (3 min) – 1,000 yen
Customer gives girl foot massage (3 min) – 2,000 yen
Customer sleeps with head on girl’s lap (3 min) – 1,000 yen
Girl sleeps with head on customer’s lap (3 min) – 2,000 yen
For any potential customers reading this, the current exchange rate is roughly £1 to 151 yen. For any lady readers out there interested in the job prospects of such a place, they are currently recruiting for in-store and ‘delivery’ girls. The job specification is as follows:
Location : Akihabara (3 min walk from station)
Qualifications: High school age to 30s
Compensation: 3,500 yen/hour
Hours: Weekdays 15:00-22:00, Weekend/holidays 12:00-22:00