Although perhaps most famous in the mainstream thanks to that Sex and the City scene, nyotaimori is the Japanese art of serving sushi on a naked body — it's a real thing, not just a Samantha Jones sexploit. The tradition dates back to Geisha houses, specifically of Japan's Ishikawa prefecture, as a "treat" for Samurai soldiers returning from battle. These days though, replace "Samurai soldiers" with "bachelor party bros" for the most part and yeah, it's perhaps a little less chivalrous of an experience.
To that end, The Debrief spoke with a naked sushi model who works with "the number one body sushi party provider in the U.S. serving raw fish on raw human" about what it's like as a job, and it's a fascinating read. On the surface, it's exactly what it looks like — a nude person covered in sashimi, but the model clarifies there's actually a "half thong" down there (which is covered by a leaf); nipple coverage is provided only by flowers or orange slices. Some providers also use Saran wrap, but that's not the purist approach. "In [a chef's] perspective it's mainly about the sushi. Sushi is his passion and nyotaimori is one of the ways he creates art with his sushi and sets himself apart," she continues. "For the guests, I believe it's more about the naked body. "
Of these guests, the model says she's never experienced anything inappropriate/uncomfortable, and that her worst interactions with diners come thanks to "the occasional jealous wife." "I'm an only child so I thrive off of the attention ... I honestly enjoy watching people's reactions," she continues, noting that she's allowed to make polite conversation, though hopefully nobody replies with their mouth full of nigiri, because that's just bad manners. That said, yes it gets cold and yes, it's difficult to lie still for hours on end (sometimes she'll have to signal for a sous chef to come scratch an itch, she says). Still though, it's apparently a well-paid gig, and surely one that comes with free sashimi also?!
Click through to The Debrief to read the interview in full; how about a spicy salmon avocado crunch roll for dinner now?