The Body and Food as Art – Nyotaimori

Growing up I had a very limited view of the world and had never even heard the word Nyotaimori. Very limited indeed. Books were my first window into the world of kink and what a rabbit hole into Wonderland that was. I remember after a life changing event I showed up at my first Kink Art exhibition and came across Forniphilia for the first time in real life. And it was beautiful. As both an expression of art as well as an expression of submission.

FORNIPHILIA

Forniphilia is the concept of human furniture. Using the human body as a piece of furniture. It can be used as an act of degradation, as an act of servitude, or as it was being utilised here- as a form and part of an art installation. The photo portrayed a gorgeous figure bent over on all fours, dressed in leather wear, a glass sheet laid across their back and a dinner setting complete with wine resting atop the clear and steady surface. I found it entrancing.

A little while later, while with a play partner, he was asking me about a potential outing. I was relatively new to things like the kink scene, not having known that they had existed which he found fascinating about me, but refreshing given my take on everything. He had a friend, and a group of friends who were going to a Body Sushi Party.

There would be six or so of us and the main event, who would be our table. She would lie down and her body would be decorated with sushi for us to eat off.

Nyaotaimori

While talking to her later I was once again enthralled with the beautiful world of art that it actually was. Nyotaimori loosely translated in Japanese for “to serve on a woman’s body” while Nantaimori is “to serve on a man’s body”

It originated during the Samurai Edo era; is one theory, as a post battle celebration Geisha would be adorned with sushi for the samurai. Another possibility is that Onsen’s used them as a way to promote business, an idea that members of the Yakuza brought with them. Whether the Yakuza learnt these ideas from post battles could also be true. Either way, they were still born as a celebration of the body and of art and food. For Geisha’s as I am sure we are aware, were not paid for their body, but their art, their culture and their company.

Even food when prepared is part of the art, added to the body on leaves to keep it fresh and hygienic. The woman is adorned before the guests arrive in flowers, leaves or shells in part for modesty but also to add to the aesthetic of the art.

And remember what I said about Geisha? This was not a seedy affair, there was etiquette involved, there still are. The Nyotaimori and Nantaimori models remain absolutely still during the whole event, some will choose to have their eyes closed, others may keep their eyes open, but they do not look, speak or interact with the dinner party.

Most events, if they have a more traditional vibe, will allow the use only of chopsticks to touch the food, this is out of respect for the food, for the hygiene of other’s food, for the chef and for the models/art. Some events will allow the use of fingers to pick at the sushi pieces.

Common practices for models prior to the events need to have a cold shower that lowers the body temperature so that their bodies will not overheat the sushi. Sushi is replenished frequently so food is fresh and is never sitting on the body for long periods of time. Models cannot wear any perfumes or bathes with scented soaps. Most shave prior to events. Once at events they adorn a skin coloured thong, or covering for the pubic region before lying down on the table set out for the event. Organisers will then cover them with flowers, leaves, pasties, or any decorations that the event requires.

Nantaimori Parties

Of course there has been some controversy surrounding the recent rise of popularity surrounding Nyotaimori and Nantaimori parties. People labelling them as derogatory, sexist – objectifying women (and men).

Growing popularity of these events and parties have risen in the states not just for bucks and bachelorette parties but also for corporate events. Here in Australia, a few establishments offer them for buck’s events with a strip show included and usually entry into the rooms after the meal.

All opinions are of course welcome, however, I was first attracted to Nyotaimori and Nantaimori as an art form and expression. What isn’t beautiful about the human body on display, and to couple that with food and flowers? If anything I would suggest that the expression of Nyotaimori and Nantaimori is very respectful and not very seedy at all. I don’t deny that you could quite easily make any Nyotaimori party into a kinky sex act or sex, involving food (or sushi in this case). But for me Nyotaimori will definitely be the art form of presenting and serving food on the body, to be respected, to be idealised like you would a beautiful sculpture or painting.

Would you try Nyotaimori or Nantaimori? Would you be the model or the diner? 

At your Service,

Tiffany

OhZone Sales Consultant, Educator and Sushi Fiend

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