Everybody on the planet knows about VoyeurDorm (www.voyeurdorm.com), right? The coed-stocked house in a sleepy residential neighborhood in Tampa, Florida that's received more negative publicity in recent months than Dennis Rodman and Tommy Lee combined. Most of it's been of the publicity-of-outrage variety, with local politicians and minor law enforcement officials "aghast at the prurient nerve," sprinkled with a spicy dash of intrigue and late-night talk show jokes. But shame and compulsion are a happily married couple in the heart of the voyeur, as well as in the heart of all true porn enthusiasts. And the axiom that there's no such thing as bad publicity was never truer than in the case of VoyeurDorm. Far from having been tarred, feathered and run out of town on a rail, they have at least another two years before the heavy hand of the law again attempts to swipe them into another suburb. A bloody fortune can and will be made in that time.
But they aren't the only game in cyber-town, by a long shot.
Now there's Geisha House, and the guys who came up with the idea tout it as something that has never been seen or done before, voyeurism "taken to the next level." They may be on to something. First of all, it isn't anywhere near Japan; a site like this would run seriously afoul of Japanese law. Like VoyeurDorm, it resides on a sleepy unsuspecting street of single-family homes with small, well-tended yards, but is located right here in sunny Southern California. (That's as location specific as we can get. The proprietors of the establishment have zero tolerance for attracting any on-site attention, more for safety and security reasons than zoning or legal. In fact, visitors are required to don a blindfold when going to or from the house, one notable exception being the AVN Online writer who covered the story, and he's not telling.)
Geisha House, as you may have surmised, is an all-Asian site. The girls who live there are either Japanese/American or ethnic Japanese just off the plane. At least four girls will live full-time in the house during the week and on the weekends as many as eight more will descend upon the three-bedroom mini-manse for days and nights filled with frolicking and fornication. (Significant others are allowed to visit.) But that doesn't begin to explain the hijinks that'll be going on in Geisha House. Besides being the first and only all-Asian voyeur house anywhere, the brains behind the scheme are determined to have no dead "air time," no staring at a tiny screen showing an unmade bed that doesn't move for hours at a time (and why should it?). In their considerable research of other voyeur sites, they found that most of the air time was in fact "down time." They hit upon a scheme, a rather obvious one once you stop to think about it.
Activities. Scheduled activities.
Of course! Why didn't the rest of us think of it? Well, some of us have. There are a number of cam-sites, mostly amateur, that have scheduled times when they will be home doing particular things, but not on this scale and certainly not with this many "activities." For example, as of late November, the schedule provided for naked Twister seven days a week at 3 p.m. sharp; a "daily BJ" at 4 p.m.; "Naked English class" every Wednesday and Friday at noon; and scantily clad dinner every evening at 7 p.m. These are just a few activities. There's also scheduled pool time, personal hygiene classes, scheduled toilet time (how do they manage that one?), and many others that fill up every day of the week from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
A comprehensive weekly schedule is just a click away on the Geisha House homepage, which is very simply designed, not encumbered with unnecessary features, and easily navigable.
Behind the Bluster
Okay, enough with the hype. Time to talk about the nuts and bolts of Geisha House and the people behind it. First, the umbrella company that runs and owns Geisha Houses LTD Internet Incorporated out of Las Vegas, Nevada. LTD stands for Lucy's Tiger Den, their flagship site (www.lucystigerden.com). The company under LTD is Direct Sex (www.directsex.com), which is the entity Web masters should contact if they're interested in purchasing any of their products. The four co-founders of Direct Sex are Dan Winston, Guido Ganolli, Dave Grieshaber and Rick Jenkins, four guys in their 20s (and maybe 30s) who obviously love Asian women and know a niche when they see one.
"Direct Sex came about because we really wanted to incorporate a live Asian video feed into our flagship site," explains Winston, an engaging and upbeat spokesperson. "So we combed the Internet in search of the best live Asian feed providers and were surprised to learn that there were only one or two options available, but the services that these companies were offering were far from what we had in mind. Picture quality was poor, frame rates were slow and the girls? well, let's just say we had a more glamorous image in mind. We figured the only was to get what we were after was to try and make it ourselves, and, like idiots, we went after it and Direct Sex is the end result."
The guts of Direct Sex is live Asian feed, with live chat and the ability to concurrently talk to the girls through 900 number telephone connections as upsells. In addition to Geisha House, there are five other products offered by Direct Sex: Asia Direct and Hollywood Asians, both with Asian girls with English chat, Hawaii Live O, Hawaiian Island girls with English chat, and Geisha Girls, Japanese girls with Japanese chat, apparently the only service of its kind available anywhere. One of the things that bothered Winston about the other live sex feeds that are out there is that much of the time they aren't live.
"We knew our customers would be pissed off if [the feed] was partially recorded. A lot of people do recording and pre-recording, but we wanted to make it so that when you came in within the first minute there was no doubt in your mind that it was live. That's been the secret behind our success."
The live philosophy lead inexorably to Geisha House, an idea that had been percolating in their heads since spring of '99. Geisha House can be subscribed to individually through the Direct Sex site, but for the most part it is another product for Web masters to purchase (to the tune of $1000 per month) and offer to their members. There will also be live chat provided on location from Geisha House. As of late November, of the 200 or so companies that use Direct Sex products (accounting for about 700 sites) about 50 had ordered Geisha House, and Winston said he expects the rest to follow suit.
The Geisha House
Geisha House will have been up and running for about two months by the time you read this, but when I visited, it was just coming online and the bugs were still being worked out... It's a short drive from the offices where we're interviewing to the house itself, just to check out the layout of the place and the? um, girls. We hop into Dave's old Mercedes and off we go up into the hills of never you mind. We arrive and pull into the driveway of a very unassuming two-story house. We pile out and enter the front door of what these guys surely hope will become a kingdom of untold riches. Do we have to remove our shoes? Oh, yes. This is, for all intents and purposes, Japan.
Everything's being pulled together for the Grand Opening (or Onlining). The last minute tweaking of computers, setting of camera angles, positioning of furniture. The place isn't that large, really. The three bedrooms are upstairs, and downstairs are a living room, the kitchen, a small room for chat sessions, a bathroom and a dining room that may double as a classroom or whatever room. Furnishings will be pretty much kept to a minimum, but small details don't really read over the Internet anyway, so the few choice decorations will easily depict an Asian ambiance. So will the girls.
As we sit in the classroom-to-be, Mika comes in, very pretty and very unabashed. "Would you like to see a girl-girl or a girl-guy?" she thoughtfully offers. Um, no thanks. A raincheck? She calls the beautifully shaped Chyna into the room and they kind of titter and giggle, not sure what the hell we're supposed to be doing. "Hey, how about some pictures?" says Dan. Good idea. They go and get Sally (?), who has just arrived from Japan and doesn't speak a word of English. We head out to the pool and before you can blink an eye all three girls are topless and posing. But despite its subject matter, AVN Online is a non-nudity publication, so we have to find some discreet but enticing poses for them. It's a challenge but well worth the effort. Then back into the kitchen, where we take some more challenging photos. Before you know it it's time to leave, but not before the effervescent Mika gives everyone a warm hug.
As we drive away, passing innocent families out for a walk, the late-afternoon sun is almost gone, leaving us and approaching the Land of the Rising Sun, from where it feels we have just departed. It's odd. In cyberspace, everything is real and nothing is real, all at the same time.