The Japan Times features a wonderful Christmas Eve story about the growing popularity of male maid cafes. What I love is that this trend of men assuming the maid costume is presented as having nothing to do with sexuality or gender identity.
1. Men like dressing as women, and it’s becoming more acceptable.
Behind this nascent trend, observers say, is that more men are beginning to enjoy dressing as a woman from a fashion viewpoint, and society is becoming more tolerant of the practice.
2. There are not enough women workers.
It started when one of the regular waitresses quit.
3. Male customers feel more comfortable being served by men.
“Men who are not used to being served by women can feel relaxed and talk to the ‘maids’ easily because they are male,” said Chaan Sarin, who heads the cafe’s waitstaff.
4. For the maids, cross-dressing provides stress-relief from work. It’s only temporary, the girlfriend does not know, and this personal therapy will be ended with marriage.
“I become a totally different person to release my stress from work. I have the feelings of a man and I will quit once I get married,” he said.
5. Manga makes them do it.
More male fans are also dressing like their favorite female characters in “anime’ animation and computer games.
6. Publishing houses are helping men look better in drag.
Cashing in on this trend, Osaka-based Yu-time Publishing released the book “Otokonoko no Tameno Henshin Gaido” (“Guide for Boys to Transform Themselves”) in October 2008.
7. Tolerance is related to looking pretty, and new media sources allow men to be prettier women today.
“People began to accept men dressed as women, saying it is OK as long as they are beautiful. At the same time, as there is more information nowadays on how to dress like women, men have gotten dramatically better at it.”
Japan has the most awesome combination of extreme kinkiness and feigned innocence.