Japan’s Not Sexy Anymore

To the outside world, Japan is known for being sexy.

The women of Japan are considered the world’s most beautiful, and it’s the home of crazy street fashion, host bars, and Hentai pornography.

However, 25% of Japanese men are still virgins at 30, so many that a new word has emerged for them: yaramiso, which means “30 years old and haven’t done it.”

If there’s anything the Japanese believe in, it’s being on-the-nose with slang.

Even men with prior sexual experience aren’t having much sex- 50% of Japanese men who’ve had sex before haven’t had it in a year or more. Women’s numbers aren’t far behind.

This has deep repercussions throughout society.  The population has dropped by 1 million people since 2008.  There are now concerns about Japan’s ability to support their aging population.

Even stranger are polls reporting that many Japanese people don’t want to have more sex. 1 in 5 men cite extreme dislike for sex, and 46% of Japanese women 16-24 want no sexual contact at all.

It’s worth pointing out that Japan also has the third-highest suicide rate in the world.

So- what’s killing the Japanese sex drive?

1. Money.

In the money-flush 80’s and early 90’s, there was plenty of dating and premarital sex, but the economy took a sharp downturn in 1995. How does that affect getting it on?

When young people can’t afford to live on their own, sharing an apartment with your parents puts a damper on your dating life. In Tokyo, most teens don’t even have cars to make out in! Chew on that, America!

This means that courting couples must visit love hotels, hourly hotels of varying levels of cleanliness and quality, just to have somewhere to be alone.

2. Social Shame.

Men whose careers don’t produce enough money to raise a family are shamed and emasculated.  The Japanese also have a cultural fear of failure, and may prefer not to try to pursue relationships for fear that they won’t work out or they’ll be rejected.

3. Work.

  The Japanese are working harder than ever, with 22% of people putting in more than 50 hours a week, and 200 people per year dying of karōshi, or overwork: dying of strokes or heart attacks on the train to work, or on the job.
  Single people have no time to date.  Married people get home too tired to have sex with their partners, and with personal time at a premium, many single people prefer not to, in their perception, “waste” time on relationships with others when they could be pursuing other interests.

4. Replacement.

Some of the quirky inventions of Japan designed as substitutes for human contact could be contributing to the problem: virtual girlfriend games, pillows with women printed on them, sex dolls, and pornography- all options where one’s sexual and emotional needs are met on your own schedule. Some men have married their pillows and dolls, saying goodbye to human relationships forever.

What can we in the West learn from the East, and how can we do better?

Americans are getting married later (27 for women, up from 21 in 1964) but losing our virginity around 17.  Most of us aren’t worried about having sex before marriage.

We’re having lots of sex, even if we’re not always having lots of relationships, with over 50% of New York single year after year.

Japan’s overworked, solitary citizens make our phone-spawned hookups seem warm, old-fashioned and romantic by comparison.

My advice on not turning Japanese, I really think so:

Stay connected. Stay empathetic. Keep up with friendships, with family, with current and ex-lovers.  

Use technology to get and stay connected- but not to replace connections with people.  What is life for, but connecting and communicating and sharing with other human beings? We may be in a divisive election year, we may have social problems, but please- let’s not start marrying pillows.

– See more at: http://www.lovetv.co/tokyo-death-sexy/2/#sthash.T4pKR6Z6.dpuf

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