According to Steve Levenstein, Japanese Innovations Writer, "a pinata-like 'body' is carefully crafted, then stuffed with edible goodies in a red sauce. More 'sauce' is somehow embedded into the outside covering - 'skin'... - of the body so that it will appear to bleed when cut into..." The restaurant patrons cut into the dough body, eating their incisions as if they were cannibal surgeons.
Weird. I tried searching for more on this odd ... party favor, and ended up discovering something a lot more fun, a bit less gruesome, and a much more feasible DIY.
Introducing, the art of Nyotaimori:
Nyotaimori, aka body sushi, is the practice of consuming sushi or sashimi from the naked body of a woman. Reports are varied regarding its tradition and authenticity. Eatertainment reports that Nyotaimori is considered a true art form, dating back hundreds of years as a Geisha practice.
Other sources claim that Nyotaimori is in fact not a Japanese tradition, but a cultural myth that has been bastardized by Western countries, such as America and Germany. China deemed the practice unhygienic, and consequently illegalized it. Hollywood portrayed it in the first Sex and the City movie, when Samantha covers herself in sushi as an act of sexual fetishism.
Whether Japanese tradition, Western bastardization or sensational Hollywood scene, naked sushi is widely considered a sensual and decadent act. In a bonafide Nyotaimori establishment, this service runs $1000 a plate and upwards. If you're not in the position to drop a grand or more on dinner, here's how to DIY your own food porn party.
Step 1 PLAN A PARTY, INVITE GUESTS
I'm not going to go too deeply into this step. I'm going to give you a little credit, and avoid ending up on a list like this one. Most of us know how to throw a party. Draft up a guest list, send out formal invitations, make a couple calls or just shoot out some informal emails. Stock up on alcohol if you and your guests are drinkers, stock up on a variety of non-alcoholic drinks if you fall into the latter. Consider music, dancing, a DJ, party favors... all these are just details, particular to your personal taste or lifestyle.
Step 2 CHOOSE YOUR PLATTER
Nyotaimori literally translates to "female body plate". Selecting your plate is likely the most difficult step in hosting a Nyotaimori party. You need to find someone willing, free, and (hopefully) attractive.
A.) First off, you need to find a willing platter. To do this on the cheap, your platter should probably have motivations other than money. Hint: these motivations will most likely align with exhibitionism or fetishism. Or maybe she's just an outgoing, adventurous personality type, ready for her next experience. Whatever her motivations are, use a friend or acquaintance... anyone you can get for free or cheap. Hiring a model is expensive and defeats the purpose of throwing your own Nyotaimori party. No willing friends? Try posting an ad on Craigslist, if you dare. "Wanted: free and wiling participant in naked sushi party. Looking for female model willing to lie naked as sushi platter, at no cost." There are all sorts of people out there, you might be surprised at the willingness of kinky strangers. Just be careful & safe when screening your responses.
Check out this 2007 wanted ad for a platter girl from the now taken down website, Nyotaimori Amerika:
"Qualifications: Busty, vivacious caucasians between the ages of 18-35 willing to serve as talent for pleasure and fun for male audience. Interested applicants should forward a full-body nude file to the email address to the right, along with a resume explaining past relevant job experiences."
Note, Nyotaimori Amerika promises (albeit back in 2007) to open a "drive-through outlet for the hungry man on the go." This restaurant concept aims to deliver fare other than sushi ("on nubile white flesh"), such as hamburgers, baby back ribs, and spaghetti. "Poodle skirts and hamburgers on naked American bodies in a convenient drive-thru environment coming to an area near you! "
B.) Your platter should probably be attractive. However, that's completely up to you. You can make it work with truly any body type: curvy, flat, short, tall, skinny or fat. This is purely an aesthetic choice. Rolls and hills of curve might result in certain limitations when arranging the sushi, but it is certainly doable. Whatever gets you...
Step 3 PREPARE YOUR PLATTER
There's a bit more to being a female body plate than a sexy bod. Here's a little advice for prepping your human platter.
A.) Warn your model she may have some training ahead of her. According to Wikipedia, a professional naked platter must hold still for hours without any movement. The platter must also have the self discipline to withstand the cold temperature of the food. Advise your model that a practice run may be necessary. Sushi is expensive. When practicing, try emulating the texture, weight, temperature and shape of the sushi with cut up cold fruit instead.
B.) Remove all body hair. I don't know about you, but a stray pube on my California Roll is not appetizing. Advise your model to shave or wax, whichever her hair removal preference may be. A smooth, hairless body is preferable. For videos on hair removal, check out this collection of videos on WonderHowTo.
C.) Clean your platter. You and your guests will be consuming actual food, after all, so you should keep it sanitary. Advise your model to bathe using fragrance free soap (a waft of flowery perfume won't mesh well with your sushi). Rinse the body with cool water immediately before arranging the sushi. The cold water will lower the body temperature; you want to avoid heating the sushi as much as possible.
Step 4 PREPARE YOUR SUSHI
Make your sushi ahead of time. Select your recipes based on the taste, and most importantly, the presentation. Use recipes that will create a visually stunning rainbow of contrasting colors, textures and shapes. There's a whole world of sushi how-to's out there. You can go with text recipes or video demonstrations.
A.) Sushi videos. There are many instructional sushi videos on the web. WonderHowTo has a subcategory dedicated to sushi, ranked by grade. Here are a selection of my favorite sushi videos:
B.) Sushi recipes. There are tons of sushi recipes online. My favorite site is Sushi Day. Be sure to check out their helpful sushi glossary and their archive of recipes. This informative guide breaks down the art of rolling sushi with video, text and images. Some other great recipe sites include: DIY Sushi Recipes, Sushi Roll Recipe, and URecipes.
Step 5 ARRANGE SUSHI ON YOUR PLATTER
The design arrangements are endless, here is some room for creativity. Just make sure everything is hygienic!
A.) Consider covering your platter with plastic wrap. Some parts of the world require plastic or some material in between the body and the sushi. However, this is totally up to you... it's your party, not a fine dining establishment with a health code! If you are super hygienic and squeamish about the thought of the sushi near the skin, you can think of the plastic wrap as a form of fetishism. Inject some artfulness into your wrapping if you are going to go that route.
B.) For a more natural, beautiful approach, ditch the plastic wrap and use tea leaves or banana leaves. This adds to the design, and provides a hygienic buffer between the sushi and your platter's skin.
C.) Invoke the inner Picasso in you. Go to town. The possibilities are endless. Place sushi in sensually strategic areas (the nipples, the vagina, the belly button). Consider the pace in the "unveiling"...what it will look like as each piece is removed, and what is then revealed.
Step 6 SET UP BOUNDARIES & ENJOY!
Although not set in stone, there is generally recognized etiquette at nyotaimori gatherings. These rules are provided by Eatertainment:
- Do not speak to the model
- Treat the model with respect
- Do not touch the model's body
- Only use chopsticks to pick up sushi from the body
- Lewd or inappropriate comments, gestures etc. are not tolerated
If your model is a friend, this obviously changes things. If your model is a willing participate in mutual sexual fetishism, this definitely changes things. Regardless, whatever your situation may be, setting up some boundaries is wise.