Can Cerumen Removal Be An EROTIC Experience?

In Japan many things are erotic that would not be considered such in our culture.  The eating of certain eels, raw fish, and other cultural foods, the Japanese have taken to erotic heights.  In Japanese culture, ear cleaning is a uniquely intimate procedure that demonstrates a huge amount of trust when someone else is allowed to introduce fairly sharp instruments into your ear canals (that’s trust in any culture).  As we all know, you are completely at the mercy of the other person while they are cleaning your ears and, apparently, Japanese women are experts at the wax removal process.  Just when we thought we knew what we were doing in private practice Audiology clinics after many years of learning and experience, there is a story about clinics (called “salons” in Japan) where you can simply have your wax removed for price.  Komori (2006) describes these salons as places to go if you want to get the wax removed but there are special prices for various types of services.    The salon staff use an ear-pick equipped with a tiny camera to show the insides of clients’ ears. Inaba said she gets a good reaction with the device because people can see the wax buildup in their ears on the monitor. (Hmmmmm…..a video otoscope?).   Komori further indicates that a number of other services “bundled” in or the “customer” can settle for a simple the wax removal.  For 500 Yen (a little over $4.00 you can have the simple wax removal described as a 5 minute job. If you want to get the real treatment it’s the 10 minute, 1000 Yen (about $9.00), “take your time” approach.  If you really want to give yourself a real trip to the Spa, then you should try the “top of the menu” and bundle a massage into the deal for a 2,000 Yen price tag (about $16.75).  Who knows …..maybe Medicare would pay audiologists in the US of we bundled a massage into the deal?

Geisha Houses

If you have full ears and are up for a pricier, higher action scenario….probably the best way to (if you are male anyway)  is to check out the Geishas as they now offer Erotic remove wax (economies are tough all over the world). The Geisha, who, contrary to previously popular American views, is never in a position of prostitution. Instead the Geisha’s job was to make her paramour forget his worldly cares through special ceremonies, non-romantic poetry, and other art forms.  In this tradition, the newest fad in Japan is erotic ear cleaning. This trend appears to have begun in Tokyo, where there are currently more than a hundred of these ear cleaning salons. These salons cropped up when the Japanese economy collapsed a few years ago (theirs was the first large economy to collapse in modern times).  The basic premise is the gentleman will get to lay his head on a beautiful young Geisha girl’s lap while she gently cleanses and massages his ears. The girls are generally dressed in traditional Japanese maid uniforms.  They have a variety of tools to use for the actual ear cleaning, including bamboo picks, ear syringes, and flushes. They will usually also have a variety of massage oils and ointments.  The sessions tend to last for about thirty minutes at a cost of about 270 Yen(a little over $4.00, probably plus tip of course). There is no sex involved in any form, such as erotic talk (probably after the removal, since you can hear). The gentlemen sometimes talk about their work, lives, etc. and sometimes they simply use this brief period just to relax.

I have been searching for a CPT code for this one…….Any idea where I can find this one?

Genes (2006) discovered that there is special gadget used for wax removal by lovers in Japan.   It is well known that East Asians have a dry earwax (See the HI posting of 4-14-2011).  Because dry earwax is relatively easy to clean from the ear,  Japanese lovers have developed a ritualistic cleaning process featuring fancy instruments. Usually made from Bamboo and the instrument used is called a “mimikaki” (sometimes translated as “earpick”). In Japan, a mimikaki, sometimes translated as “ear pick”, is a type of curette made traditionally from bamboo used to clean the ear canal. Since the majority of the populace have the dry-type ear wax, as do most Asians, it is easier for them to remove the crusty flakes with an ear pick rather than a Q-tip. The person having their ears cleaned would lie down with their head in the lap of the person doing the cleaning. It is generally considered a pleasant feeling for Japanese, like having one’s back scratched. The cleaning of ears is thus considered an act of intimacy, often performed by a mother to a child or, among adults, by one’s lover. Komori (2006) also indicates that many Japanese women want to learn how to remove earwax to please men, and these salons may begin to classes to teach women ear cleaning and massage as part of their bridal training. (Hmmmmm…a new profit center for Audiology Clinics?)

References, Erotic earcleansing: a new fad?, Retrieved from the World Wide WebSeptember 13, 2010:   cleaning.html

Genes, N. (2006). Mimikaki: Ritualized Ear Wax Removal.  Retrieved from the World Wide Web August 7, 2011:

Komori, H., New type of Tokyo salon offers to unplug ears, The Japan Times,  Retrieved
from the World Wide Web September 13, 2010:

About Robert Traynor

Robert M. Traynor is a board certified audiologist with 45 years of clinical practice in audiology. He is a hearing industry consultant, trainer, professor, conference speaker, practice manager, and author. He has 45 years experience teaching courses and training clinicians within the field of audiology with specific emphasis in hearing and tinnitus rehabilitation. Currently, he is an adjunct professor in various university audiology programs.