No-pan Kissa

No-pan kissa (literally ‘no-panties cafe’) is a Japanese term for cafes where the waitresses wear short skirts with no underwear. The floors, or sections of the floor, are often mirrored. Customers order drinks and snacks and may look at, but not generally touch, the staff. The shops otherwise look like normal coffee shops, rather than sex establishments, although they charge around four times as much for coffee. Previously most sex establishments had been establishments such as soaplands and pink salons with professional prostitutes. No-pan kissa were a popular employment choice amongst some women because they paid well and generally required little sexual contact with the customers. Many employees were college students who were earning extra money. The first one to open was in Osaka in 1980 and then in Higashi-Nagasaki in Tokyo. Initially all of them were in remote areas outside the traditional entertainment districts. Within a year large numbers had opened in many more places, such as major railway stations. In the peak of the boom in these shops in the 1980s, many started to have topless or bottomless waitresses. However, at this point the number of such shops started to decline rapidly.

A later development in certain no-pan kissa was the creation of small private rooms where the staff provided sexual services like oral sex or masturbation. Eventually such coffee shops gave way to ‘fashion health’ clubs (a form of massage parlor which circumvents Japanese anti-prostitution laws by offering a range of services that stop short of sexual intercourse), and few, if any, remain. In addition to no-pan kissa, there have also been no-pan shabu-shabu, and no-pan yakiniku restaurants; and no-pan karaoke.

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