Men's Bras A HIT In Japan!

I stumbled upon this interesting piece of news hours ago. A major Japanese online shopping mall, known as Wishroom shop, has reportedly sold over three hundred men's bras for 2,800 yen (S$44.50) each. The shop also sells men's panties and lingerie for women.

"I like this tight feeling. It feels good," Wishroom representative Masayuki Tsuchiya told Reuters as he modeled the bra, which can be worn discreetly under men's clothing.

I believe the rising interest in men with bras means two things. Firstly, more Japanese men are turning to fetishes to satisfy their sexually desires. A quick research by me showed that Japanese men are well-known to be too shy to make the first move in dating. This further proves that more Japanese men are opting for bras and panties to keep their sexual desire at bay.

They have a desire but at the same time a conflict around it. The conflict is that they are painfully shy and probably conservative. The desire keeps trying to get expressed, so it comes out in a disguised form. That would be a symptom or behaviour (cross-dressing), which would help hold the desire at bay.

Secondly, the new trend could mean more Japanese men are cultivating a homosexual identity. However, this particular connection is rather sensitive as the act of cross-dressing itself does not apply any motives.

Share with us what you think of this topic.


hanjie said...

jus like y some ppl like to wear tight fit shirts?

Anonymous said...

Another one-dimensional analysis that is essentialist and ultimately hollow. It is such essentialism that often leads to unfair stereotypes.

While relations certainly exist between men and women's lingerie, the very act of recontextualisation across genders alters its source character, functions, connotations and social meanings. Unless there is more rigorous evidence, the claim that the act of turning to male lingerie equates to men turning to fetishes to satisfy their sexual desires is tenuous.

And even if it is true that Japanese men are shy in making the first move, there is no natural link to them opting for lingerie to keep their sexuality at bay. Even if there is an attempt at keeping a lid on their sexuality (assuming this is even possible), turning to men's (and not women's) lingerie seems counter-intuitive, unless the original male identity was never stable to begin with.

Most absurd is the suggestion drawn from the use of men's lingerie that Japanese men are cultivating a homosexual identity. To begin with, notions of homosexuality, transsexuality, transgender identity, cross-dressing and transvestism range from having some overlaps to being vastly different. I cannot even begin to fathom how you have drawn your conclusion.

Terrible leaps of logic coupled with ignorance!

azhar said...

Oh, I got it from Mr Scott Twentyman, M.D., who is a psychoanalyst in private practice.

And he explains why people develop unusual habits. And why they do it over and over again.

Another example:
Someone has a sexual desire. However, he was raised up in a very conservative and religious background and therefore has feelings of guilt about that sexual desire. Eventually, the behaviour (the symptom) to deal with the conflict may be anything anything from overeating or even alcohol abuse.

There is a lot of evidence suggesting that this is true as agreed by many psychoanalysts. Many agreed that the conflict is cultivated since the person is a child.

Just like the Japanese men. They are brought up in a very conservative background etc. They feel guilty to engage in a relationship and hence develop the shyness towards women. Therefore, they turn to fetishes to keep their sexual desires at bay.

Regarding the homosexual identity part, psychoanalytic literature tended to explain cross-dressing as either a form of homosexuality or an escape from homosexuality resulting from castration anxiety.

Anonymous said...


First up, when you use or refer to the views of others, it is only right to acknowledge them. You may (dis)agree with them (to varying degrees), but you do not take them to be your own, as you have done. That is plagiarism.

Second, the example you raised above is more nuanced than what you originally mentioned in your article, which need to be contested.

These were your original arguments:

(1) That the Japanese men are increasingly turning to men's bras signals that more of them are turning to fetishes to satisfy their sexual desires.

(2) That Japanese men are shy to make the first move proves that they are opting for men's lingerie as an outlet for their sexual desires.

With (1), you base your argument on the premise that men's turning to female lingerie is a fetish. As I've mentioned, however, recontextualisation is accompanied by an alteration of, inter alia, source character, functions, connotations and social meanings. For example, the quality of decisiveness can have connotations of confidence, brashness, spunk and/or a domineering spirit, depending on the social contexts that are constitutive of its meaning. Hence, a particular trait can be construed to be constitutional of a confident man, a domineering woman, or even a spunky girl, depending on its contextual matrix. Consequently, you need to show convincingly that men's bras are the same, or are at least, similar to women's lingerie (and I'm not talking about physical appearance) in order for your postulation to hold any water.

The tenuousness of (2) is even more apparent. It is quite reasonable, I think, to assert that the Japanese men have sexual desires. But the fact that they are shy to make the first move does not presuppose that they have sexual desires that require an alternative outlet other than the normative mechanisms. And even if an alternative outlet is required, the fact of them being shy does not predetermine their utilisation of men's lingerie as an alternative outlet or even as the alternative outlet. I think it is fair to say that there are plenty of shy men around who deal with their sexual desires through avenues other than fetishes, even if the normative outlets are unavailable. Even if my earlier point on recontextualisation is discounted, there is still nothing deterministic about the relationship between shyness, men's lingerie and (outlets for) sexual desires. In fact, you acknowledge this with your latest example highlighting overeating and alcohol abuse as possible outlets/manifestations (which is at odds with your earlier claim).

And by the way, I'm not sure if I would appeal to psychoanalysis as authority to help make such claims, since the field as a whole has not convincingly exonerated itself against the charge of pseudoscientificity.

Anonymous2 said...

came here from reddit.

'That is plagiarism' LOL. Then millions of bloggers out there are also plagiarizing wadeva man.

i think he read the book or sth. u cant plagiarize a theory, can you? its a theory. and its called the repetition compulsion azhar. u got the concept right.

its a theory used by many psychoanalysts. it was coined by Sigmund Freud. its like how some economists used the theory of comparative advant. etc.

its not plagiarism. plagiarism is direct copy paste the whole chunk. if you study the repetition compulsion theory, what he wrote is an absolute simplified version of it.

the most important thing is this version is correct.

You should read books by other psychiatrists. They have their own versions on how they interpreted the original theory.

its a huge theory. he got it from scott in one of his books i supposed and simplified it.

chill. 4 years ago, i didnt write who wrote the economic theories in my essay too. and i got a B.

Anonymous2 said...

and one more thing. dun go out of point, anonymous1.

he is talking abt why the hell, in his opinion, japanese men love bras suddenly.

he got the basic concept right and his argument his valid.

u are pretty critical towards the author. fuhh...

overall, good article.

superjunior said...

its called applying a theory.

since when everything becomes so CHIM here sia. lmao.

Anonymous said...


The leaps of logic in Azhar's arguments are actually pretty obvious. I'm not really sure if it's a matter of linguistic expression or logical gaps, though I suspect it's got to do with the former. You'll notice that there're no major issues with his clarification of Twentyman's argument in his earlier comment posting. That explanation, however, is not the same as his exposition in the main article, which suggests that it may not have been a case of cognitive (il)logic(ality) or misunderstanding of Twentyman, but a loss of explanatory logic in his translation/simplification of Twentyman's postulation. In any case, as readers, we have to assume that what he says is what he actually means. The onus is on the writer to make clear and cogent his explanation, and the reader is not expected to construct bridges on behalf of the author.

As for plagiarism, it's not merely a direct copying of actual text extracts. That, of course, would be the most blatant, but also the most basic, form. Plagiarism in its operationalisation usually entails greater sophistication. Anything that involves the imitation and/or use of (a part of) the language, thoughts, ideas (which include theories) of another author and the representation of them as one's own is tantamount to plagiarism. Note that the representation does not even have to be explicit; utilisation and/or invocation without proper attribution to the original author, and without necessarily claiming explicit ownership, is sufficient. Hence, when Azhar simplifies/ recontextualises/ explicates Twentyman or Freud without even referencing them, it is a clear case of plagiarism, whether he claims it to be his idea overtly or otherwise. In fact, you notice that Azhar uses "I believe the rising interest in men..." to preface his argument. In academic discourse, such linguistic patterning is used to signal one's opinion. What Azhar could have done was to explicitly reference Twentyman and/or Freud, explain what they say (which could include simplification), before giving his own interpretation and evaluation, through, for example, expressing (partial) (dis)agreement and the like, and justifying his response and/or exegesis.

You may be right to say that I was perhaps too harsh in raising the charge of plagiarism in a blog like this (but that's not because this is not tantamount to plagiarism; it clearly is). But this is no ordinary blog where the blogger rants about the weather and food or engages in gratuitous camwhoring. And because Azhar does deal with more 'serious' sociopolitical issues and pseudo-academic subjects like language and grammar, among others, I hold him to a higher standard than is expected of the typical personal-private blog, and I think he expects that much more of himself as well (or at least he should), if I read his ambitions and aspirations correctly.

Your point about hordes of bloggers engaged in plagiarism is probably correct. But a million wrongs do not a right make; just because everyone is doing it does not make it the right thing to do. In any case, we hardly give the time of day to pre-pubescent blog rants, do we? We don't hold them to high standards because we don't expect that of them. Yet, the intense criticism surrounding Dawn Yang's plagiarism on her blog suggests such standards may be applied intermittently. You might say it's because her plagiarism belongs to the wholesale cut-paste variety, but as I've explained, that's merely the most blatant and unsophisticated form.

I'm not sure if you are referring to your B obtained at A-Level or degree-level Economics, and I'm not going to quibble over why you got your B or if you deserved it. If it's at A-Level, non-attribution of theories and ideas will not cost you your grade, even though attribution certainly signals higher-level meta-knowledge, so to speak. If it's at degree level, then I can only say that due justice was not served. In any case, rightful attribution is really not about abiding by rules and requirements per se; that's merely following the letter of the law. What's at issue is really respect for people and their ideas, which is just basic human decency, and the enterprise of knowledge advancement.

Finally, my stand on Freud and psychoanalysis remains. While Freud may have been influential with his work on the unconscious mind and other psychoanalytical theories, he remains highly controversial. Much of what he posits, especially the theoretical, has no way of being proven or falsified. Of course, many social scientific theories are like that too. However, Freud works within a clinical field were praxis is important. Many psychotherapists who work to some degree within his approaches and paradigms, have serious qualms about the theoretical foundations and claims. It is now generally acknowledged that he unethically manipulated and fraudulently misrepresented some of his earlier casework. As a philosopher, he is obviously fascinating, but I wouldn't stake anything of significance on the basis of his theoretical work as a physician.

Turtle said...

wtf, since when this become so chim here, with block of text.

doinkk said...

it was on tv for god's sake. everyone knows about it. -___-"

anonymous act cheeeeem only, hahhaa but actually didn't make any sense.

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