Sushi-photo-by-Carolina-L.-Llano-on-Flickr

Photo by Carolina L. Llano on Flickr used under a Creative Commons License

Hey Montrealers: You’ll be pleased to know that, for only $1,500 you, too, can participate in the dehumanizing practice of eating sushi off a naked lady!

That’s right — Nyotaimori, the Japanese tradition of eating sushi off a woman’s naked body — has arrived to your city.

A company called Body Sushi — “the only providers of Montreal body sushi” — is offering the experience on “a limited and selective basis,” and promises to source “the finest models available.”

According to Body Sushi, eating sashimi that’s been dangerously close to someone’s labia pairs perfectly with the following events: guys’ night out, bachelor parties, business meetings (I’m guessing the Tony Soprano variety), holiday parties, birthday parties and divorce parties (“Hey Mike, sorry your marriage tanked — LET’S GO PROD A NAKED LADY WITH CHOPSTIX”).

While sushi can be served on naked men in this practice,  those helpful hints — coupled with the fact that all the photos on the website feature only women with suggestively parted red lips — suggest that Body Sushi is for dudes with cash to burn.

THIS GIVES ME THE ICKS.

If eating food off of a human being who is not only required to stay silent and perfectly still but also to have her skin chilled so as not to spoil the fish isn’t an act of objectification/sexual exploitation, then I don’t know what is.

It’s worth noting that this practice is not very common in Japan. In fact, it’s highly stigmatized and pretty much only exists on the fringes of that country’s sex industry.

“Nyotaimori is far more of a thing outside Japan than in it,” writes Brian Ashcroft in this 2012 column. “In the West, nyotaimori is promoted as ‘traditional Japanese culture.’ However in Japan, there isn’t much info on the practice in the National Diet Library — putting that ‘traditional’ spin into question.”

Put another way: BECAUSE TRADITION isn’t an excuse for dehumanizing women. Neither is BECAUSE ART.

The Guardian‘s Julie Bindel — herself a feminist — wrote about her experience participating in nyotaimori a couple years back, and it sounds FUCKING UPSETTING.

Save for two other women, her fellow diners were white businessmen. Bindel’s ‘model’ had goosebumps, and the dinner was two and a half hours long. (Montreal’s Body Sushi offers three-hour experiences.)

Our human plate was olive skinned, with (as far as I could gather) no body hair and naked except for a few strategically placed banana leaves and rose petals. Her eyes were shut. If it was not for the fact you could see her breathing — and the odd flutter of her eyelid — she could indeed have been a body in a ­mortuary. There was nothing remotely erotic about the sight.

Gross. I’ll be over here, enjoying my spicy tuna roll off a plate that doesn’t have feelings/hopes/dreams/a pulse.