Today I was coming home from picking up my business cards and noticed a good looking girl standing in front of the Pizza place near my apartment, I parked in my underground and walked around so I could get a better look… A friend of mine saw me and called out to me, it was Adi the local merchant owns a swarma restaurant and the convince store in my building.
While I was talking with Adi we over heard the girl I originally came to notice was arguing with her boyfriend and proceeded to slap him in the head while standing on the street of a busy intersection in east Vancouver after seeing this we both commented on how wrong and embarrassing it was.It was just at this moment that he saw this pretty Japanese girl come walking out of the hair salon also attached to my building.
He started to tell me this story of how sexless Japanese women are after they get married. I added that I had been recently doing some research on how much the average Japanese couple has sex in a year, what I found was shocking it was as low as 17 times a year and as high as 100 times a year with the average sitting in the high 40′s. He told me that he has several friends that have married Japanese women here in Canada and that after they had a baby they refuse to have sex at all with the men….
This got me thinking more about the issue and I decided to do some more research and talk about my findings on here….feel free to comment and start a discussion.
Marriage in Japan and in the West
One word, two concepts
Written by Maciamo on 15 August 2003
A lot has been written on this subject. Here is a temptative summary of what I’ve learned from my social interactions in Japan. I’ve also talked with some Korean friends and it seems that Korean and Japanese ways of thinking are very similar regarding the following matter. It also appears that Westerners, whatever the country, from Europe to America or Australia have comparable opinions on these issues.
Needless to say that this is a personal (thus subjective) point of view, based on my experience and knowledge only, and concentrate on the most common attitude encountered in the people of each country, and exceptions are numerous.
Reason for marriage
West: Love => people promise to love each other for ever when they get married (even if it’s often a dream). Modern laws make it the same to get children outside marriage, so that if people only want children, marriage is not even necessary. Marriage is usually a proof of love and commitment for life. If love disappears, people tend to divorce easily (except sometimes when there are small children, to avoid perturbing them psychologically).
Japan: Children => with or without love is not very important. Lots of marriage are still arranged (“miai”) and some Japanese think that it’s better than love marriage because loveless arranged marriage rarely end up in divorce as the purpose is to have and raise children, and for the woman often to quit working and care about the household. Japanese men often look down on women at work, but are usually ready to ask them to stay at home and pay for their expenses, even if their salary is tight. As the father of a child born outside marriage is not legally recognised, the marriage rate of parents is close to 100%.
Japanese family relationships
Even in love marriages, once a woman has a baby, her husband regards her as a mother, not a woman anymore, which means their sexual life comes to an end. The new mother is said to lose completely interest in her husband anyway (this may not be true in international couples, from what I have heard). p>In most families, children sleep with both parents or just the mother. The the latter case, the father has his own room. I’ve been told that this way he wouldn’t wake his wife and children up when he comes back late from work.
Sleeping with the child(ren) in the middle of the parents is so common in Japan that Japanese and a special name for it, a comparison it to the kanji (kawa = river). Children might sleep with their parents till the age of 3, 5, 8, 12 or even 16, depending on the family, number of children and space in the house.
Western reaction to children sleeping with parents
Westerners find for the least surprising that children sleep everyday with their parents (especially till age of 12 or later). They should not forget that on top of this it is normal in Japan for a father to have a bath with his children, even 20 year-old girls! I guess that if the average Japanese man loses interest in his wife once she becomes a mother, there is no problem with children either.
I have heard a lot that Westerners would be afraid of crushing their new-born baby by sleeping in the same bed, but I was told that it never happened (of all mammals, only male sealions and pandas sometime crush their babies to death when sleeping with them, but never humans would it seem). The good point of the mother sleeping with the baby is that the baby doesn’t cry because it feels secure near its mother and has a unexhaustible warm-milk bottle at its disposal. I have read that it was better for babies to be breastfed than drink other milk. That system definitely has its advantages.
Another concern is that the parents lose their privacy and cannot have sex anymore – unless doing it in front of the child, which is a kind of taboo in the Judeo-Christian mindset. As Japanese parents stop having sex regularly after their children are born, that is not a problem.
For international couples who do continue, I was told little babies can sleep very well even with the parents doing whatever they please right beside them. But they should have their own room from age 3 or 4 then.
Finally, lots of Westerners think it might cause psychological problems to the children to sleep with their parents. But Japanese do it and seem to be alright with it. The only drawback I can think of is the independence factor. Japanese are very group-minded and usually have difficulty thinking by themselves. It may be related.
Why do Japanese women stop working when they get married or pregnant?
1. It’s in the culture like that. They usually want to. Most Westerners think they are forced to quit, but they often resigned from their own will (or from what society has inculcated them). Japanese men also prefer that their wife stay at home once married. Women almost always want to spend as much time as they can with their babies (remember J-girls like what is “kawaii” ? The connection is evident).
2. Nursery schools are few and very expensive in Japan (I have heard about 200.000 yen/month). It make more sense for the mother to stay at home than work and pay almost all her salary for the nursery. In most Western countries, nurseries and kindergartens are free, which allows lots of mothers to work.
3. Paternity leaves don’t exist in Japan, and (paid) maternity leave are not encouraged.
Japanese relation to sex
There is a kind a tacit understanding between spouse that after 10 years of marriage (loveless anyway) and a few children, the man is free to satisfy his libido somewhere else. That is why the sex industry is so prosperous in Japan.
Male literature in combini (convenience stores) is 90% porn and everyone reads it openly (and shamelessly) anywhere. Even serious newspapers have their “pink pages”. This is just beyond belief for Westerners first visiting Japan.
Japanese men who miss talking to young and cute girls (or not so young and not so cute, depending on the price and place) go to hostess bars or “snack” after work. Nothing much happens there except dirty talk. Those who want to go more carnal have the soaplands and massage parlours, but Asian men’s testosterone level is reputedly lower than Caucasian or African men, so they are often satisfied with just talking, watching – and groping…
There is also the infamous “enjo kosai” or teenage prostitution. I’d like to say that for lots of Japanese (or East Asian) women, this isn’t even considered as prostitution. Many find it normal to have sex with a man that pays them whatever they want. Remember that marriage is not much more than a man giving almost all his salary to a woman to make children and take care of them. It surely sounds utterly shocking to lots of you, but after talking to (female) Japanese and other Asian friends I know quite well, they don’t even see it as abnormal. It’s in the mores, that’s all. That does not mean Japanese women cheat more, but lots of them certainly consider money as more important than love or sex (which I find very saddening).
Behind this, I have realised that cuteness (the kawaii factor) is very powerful in Japanese women’s mentality. They like babies, cute anime characters and cute clothes more than anything else, it seems. Men have an obsessive care about their job and status. My impression is that this stereotype works as well for Korea and China, if not also South-East Asia.
Divorce and charge of the children
In 95% of cases in Japan, the woman gets the exclusive charge of the children. It only seems natural as the father often don’t really care about them. He comes back late from work and rarely take part in their education. After a divorce, it’s not normal for the father to just forget about his offsprings. He doesn’t care very much. That’s the mother’s role to care for them.
That might sound crude again to some Westerners, as in the West parents sometimes fight bitterly over the charge of their children, and in peaceful cases, it’s usual to find arrangement such as the children stay one week with the mother, next week with the father, or, weekdays at the mother’s and weekends at the father’s. Anyway, lots of fathers would feel terrible not to see their children regularly.
I also hi-Jacked this from a web site called Stippy http://www.stippy.com
“Stippy” is an association of foreigners who have lived in Japan for so long that Japan now seems home. Stippy members know Japan more than some Japanese, and they want to tell you about this country from a Gaijins point of view. This homepage will be updated sporadically with semi-insightful explanations on the different, strange, and the down right weird parts of Japan that you stumble across every day while living in this wacky country. Stippy is a page that we hope all gaijin living in Japan will enjoy reading, and maybe learn a thing or two, or more likely just have a few chuckles. People actually residing in Japan (or those that have in the past) will likely find Stippy the most interesting, as we try to tackle those issues (if you can call them issues that is) that baffle even the most hard core gaijins living in Japan.
Sexless Japan Really?
With maid cafes where pretty young girls that ooze submissiveness to their “masters”, and “shuccho health” (出張ヘルス, basically, dial-a-prostitute) and soap-lands (sensual bathing houses with soapy special service) to vending machines for porn, and specialty shops with used high school girl underwear; Japan, at least on the surface appears one of the most sexually proactive nations in the world. Japanese men are as perverted (if not more perverted) than those in other countries, and as for the ladies, on top of being naturally feminine (with petite sexy bodies, skin that doesn’t seem to change complexion from childhood, pretty faces and silky black hair), the women of Japan have no misconceptions about what style – clothes, perfume and make up – makes a man stop in his tracks, and rouse that tingle in his loins.
When interacting with others, sex and everything surrounding it is fair game for a topic of conversation in Japan and, it is certainly not frowned upon by religious groups or society at large as it is in the USA and other countries. When it comes to secreting sexual hormones and sexuality in general, almost nothing is taboo in Japan – until that is, the day one gets married, or so it seems. Indeed in stark sexual contrast, Japan may be suffering from a sexual drought, where being totally open about sex and being sexy in general, doesn’t seem to be converted into the ins-and-outs of baby making when it comes to married couples.
Shown in these statistics, a recent survey by Japan’s health ministry found that as many as one-third of all marriages in Japan are sexless. The problem is now so widespread that the government fears it is a major contributor to the dramatic plunge in Japan’s birthrate (now only 1.28 births per woman). This sexless phenomenon is not only found in those relationships that are plunging down the drain toward divorce, but to the contrary, more and more couples that consider themselves healthily married (and have no intention of separating), have not had sex with each other in the last month or more (the common definition of “sexless” in Japan), with many saying that they have not had sex together in the last 6 months to one year.
According to the most recent survey of 41 nations last October, the average Japanese has intercourse 45 (and according to Bayer Pharmaceuticals as low as 17) times a year, compared with the global average of 103. Japan is repeatedly at the bottom of the list. Last year it trailed Singapore, which was 28 shags a year higher!
The term “sexless”, was first used in Japan in the early 1990s, but now is instantly recognizable to the Japanese as a universally understood concept, and widely discussed in the media. There are books on the subject and thousands websites and heartbreaking blogs discussing sexless Japan, while letters on the subject fill agony columns on “dear doctor”-type sites.
One in five sexless couples say they view sex simply as a nuisance. A small number cite the lack of a private space, because children or elderly parents often sleep just the other side of a paper-thin door, leading many married couples to even sleep in separate rooms. Mitsui Home announced recently in an Asahi Newspaper article, that in 30% of the new houses they build, the couples are asking for 2 “master” bedrooms. This is a shocking statistic, which shows that sexless couples want to continue living their lives together – separately! “We are sort of room-mates rather than a married couple”, one 31-year-old man, who had not had sex with his wife for two years, told the Asahi Shinbun.
There are many other theories about why the Japanese become less inclined to raunchy evenings in the sack together, but likely it is a mixture of some of these:
- Stress of work/life in Japan (maybe the taihen cloud?)
- Lack of understanding, and usage of contraception, especially “the pill” (who wants to use condoms with their wife!?), making sex with your wife viable only when you want to have a baby
- Abundance of 不倫 (furin, or extra-marital) relationships
- More and more Japanese women choosing career over family
- A tendency among Japanese married couples to feel an aversion to sex with their spouse, not because they dislike one another, but rather because they feel that they have more of a sister-brother relationship; the sanctity of which would be destroyed with a repulsive incest-like feeling, by what westerners would consider normal conjugal relations
The last point is an interesting one, as in the past, it has been traditionally Japanese women who complained that they couldn’t see their hubby “as a member of the opposite sex.” But in the last few years, there’s been an exponential increase in men who can’t view their wives as sexual partners either. While it is true that many Japanese married couples seem to be sexless in nature, they key thing to remember is that this certainly does not mean that they lack the desire for sexual fulfillment. While marriage and children may bring on a sex drought in the home, Japanese people who want (and in the case of most men, need) sex do not simply abstain from sex because they cannot see the feminine qualities in their own wife, or the sexual attraction of their hard working husband.
Japanese men love their companies; they live for work, and many don’t even think it is a problem if they don’t have sex with their wives. They have pornography and the sex industry (soap lands, cabaret bars, and dial-a-girl services, and trips to Taiwan) to take care of their needs, but their wives have nowhere to go. They just suffer in silence.. or do they? The divorce rate in Japan has nearly doubled in the past 10 years, with more women blaming their sexually inactive, as opposed to sexually errant, husbands for break-ups. Though they may not be seeking sexual pleasure from their better halves, married Japanese women are seeking intimacy from other sources, leading double lives – being the good mother, while at the same time seeking out “Leroy” the lover, who is always lurking, and ready to fulfill her every desire.
Japan is full of temptation, and it doesn’t matter whether you are a housewife or salary-man, there is plenty of raunchy action waiting out there – if that is what you desire. Furin sites to find a (extra marital) “sex friend” partner are just as rampant in Japan as in other countries, however they are much more widely used by women in Japan to solve their sexless quandaries. For the more conservative ladies, sites like mixi.jp – which are neutrally classed as “social networking” spaces – are abound with profiles (men and women) looking for partners to secretly spruce up their sexless, but otherwise happily married lives.
Many Japanese marriages may be sexless, but this is only a statistic about the state of sex within marriage itself. In fact, there may be a good reason for the sexless condition of marriages here – Are the Japanese getting enough of the good stuff outside their marriages to keep them happy? I certainly think so.
About the author
A little about myself: Hi World, If have found this site you must some inkling of who I am, perhaps you already know me personally and wonder why I the way I am or you just want to know more about me and my passion called music and art? I have been plugging away at music from a very early age and am just plain having a blast discovering all the new ways to manipulate sound through technology, my informal education started with a tape deck and an acoustic guitar and 6 months to burn from a serious grounding I had received from my folks at the age of 13…I had snuck out of a friends house during a sleep over, and rode my bicycle to a girl’s house that I fancied in hopes of… well you know what 13 year old boys have on there mind… we had decided to go for a walk through the high school field looking for a private place to lay down and look at the stars, to our disappointment we walked right into a police investigation. Apparently the high school had been broken into that night and we became the prime suspects. Long story short I was brought home, my parents where woken up by the police and because of the embarrassment I had caused them I sentenced to 6 months in the attic with no phone, no t.v., no Atari, and no contact with the outside world. After a couple years teaching my self to mimic the music of : The Eagles, Van Halen, Iron Maiden, and Huey Lewis & the News, I joined a trendy band called Split Second. The choice of material was much better and the informal education was taken to the next level, I know had get a letter from the LCBO (Liquor Control Board of Ontario) so that I could be present on stage at the countless bar gigs I would do over the next 5 years or so (I was only 15 and the drinking age was 19) I would play Thursday, Friday, and Saturdays almost every weekend. What a blast to be doing such a cool job at that age, I am pretty sure after a year of this lifestyle I had decided that music was going to be what I was going to do for the rest of my life. Like any smart and ambitious young person I had decided if I was going to have any longevity with this chosen career path I might take it seriously and get a formal education. Humber College on the outskirts of Toronto was calling out for me and I had prepared a lovely finger style arrangement of Duke Ellington’s “Prelude To a Kiss” I would be attending that school for 4 years starting fall of 1988 as a Jazz Guitar performance major, I had met many of the people then that I still call colleges and friends and would work with many of them as we wove ourselves through each others lives through fate and good luck. I did take one year off in 1991 to entertain US troops during the first Gulf war, we dropped out around spring break and “griffted” our way through an audition and secured a 6 month contract as “Sister Moon” aboard a Cunard cruise lines ship to be used as a floating hotel in the port of Manama Bahrain. After completing the contract I thumbed my way through the country of Jordan, with side trips to Petra where I rode camels and camped with Bedouin Indians, I traveled across the Suez Canal and into Dahab (meaning Gold in Arabic) a trippy little community of Ethiopian Rastafarians, Israeli hippies, and international thrill seekers would gather under the influence of LSD and form moonlight drum circles. I also during this trip spent a couple months thumbing my way around Holland and Germany, I remember going to Berlin to see the remains of the “wall”…in short what a trip! Back to school this time I had chosen McGill and step up the education yet another notch, I had enjoyed some composition classes I had taken as electives while at Humber, so I thought I would audition as a Jazz Performance major, but take composition as a minor. Montreal was nice but cold and lonely with the language division at that time we where experiencing a national referendum, Quebec had wanted to split off as there own country and if you spoke English there you would have to be for a random shot to the face, this would happen three times in one school year after the third time I was arrested for “theft of electricity” while busking in the Metro with a stand up bass player, I was playing my 1964 Gretch Double Anniversary and needed some amplification to be heard. I decided that perhaps this wasn’t for me and finished up my last term and headed out west to visit my brother who was residing with a mutual friend of ours in Vancouver BC. I quickly fell into the life style of “the Drive” better known as commercial drive in the fall of 1993 (I believe) I had answered an ad in the Georgia Straight and joined a 8 piece world beat band called NGOMA (Dance Drum Party) this band gave me the confidence and understanding of writing and running a full production, we would tour endlessly through the Gulf islands and the interior of BC playing tree planter balls and luminary festivals, we even did an ambitious tour in a van with all the equipment and 8 musicians across Canada to Nova Scotia to attend and perform at the International Buskers Festival in Halifax. Because of the August humidity, cramped traveling conditions and my love for Jack Kerouac, I had once again decided to be “mad” and hit the road, I thumbed my way 6148 km across Canada to make it back just in time for our 10 days playing Batucadas at the Pacific National Exhibition. Around this time I started to feel the itch to step up as bandleader and showcase my many compositions that fell under the marketing terminology as “Acid Jazz”. Shazzam was born out of a hand full tunes and group of committed fellow musicians, we would rehearse for months at a time getting the sound just right, and would be playing some of the trendiest underground shows in Vancouver at that time, we would later have the honor of being the resident band for years at the Chameleon Urban Lounge in the basement of the Georgia Hotel, we would play fashion shows, raves, and after hours clubs. My drummer in Shazzam had introduced me to his room mate who I would become very close with over the next 15 years, he had a studio and I was eager to learn all about electronic music, sampling, and using sequencers to composes music. For the next 4 years I had a key to his apartment and would spend days on end learning new technologies. We still to this day have a studio not more then a block from our first one and continue to write and produce material. I also would start a short lived record label called Cache with my studio partner and a Doctor friend of mine who invest money into our dreams, thanks Bavin! We released one album under the artist name Hide’n’Seek, it did very considering we knew nothing about running a record label, it did get our foot in the door with some distribution deals and some heavy weights giving us a node on our production skills. After Cache seized to exist, I started my own imprint called PFB recordings, I took this name from my production company I used to throw Shazzam parties, we did a run of t-shirts and fitted baseball caps stickers, my brother would “bomb” walls around Vancouver with logos and cartoon characters he envisioned in smoke off the end of spliffs, I released two 12” on this imprint, both Shazzam songs with remix’s. Once again opportunity came knocking and this time it was in South East Asia in the far exotics islands of Thailand, I had been offered a resident dj position and sound tech job setting up a new club called Harmony on Ko Phan Ghan, this would be the fall of 1999. Of course I dropped everything to do with PFB and hoped on a plane with 6 or 7 other friends from Vancouver and got right to work converting an old Thai mansion into a club I would reside up stairs from the club in one of the two bedrooms. We where trying to get the club opened for the coming of the new millennium. What a night that NYE was the island had 35,000. International visitors arriving for the last party of the century, my folks even flew in the night of NYE, they told me of a story how they landed at midnight in Bangkok, jumped into a TUK TUK and while driving through downtown there where 2000 marathon runners parading through the streets, and the rest of the city was going crazy! After returning to Vancouver from the Asian adventure I had a brief stint as a music supervisor for a multi media company out of LA, I had the chance to work with Jazz Singer Nancy Wilson and the Emotions, I also was bought a full 24 channel pro tools rig and started to get a little more serious with my production values. All the while I had been churning out the house music for labels such as Om music, Village, Leaf, Toko, Play Records, and Bombay Records. I was soon asked to come on board with Bombay records as a partner and handle studio duties as well A&R demos that came across my virtual desk. Nav and I would take the trip to south of France and attend the music conference MIDEM, that trip was very exciting I would get a lawyer, and a publishing deal and once again the education would be taken up a notch this time from a business perspective as a label owner and international composer. Currently I am involved with a night club called Fortune Sound Club in Vancouver BC Canada, as a partner and resident DJ, I also have a sound company called Endo Sound and we have the contract to mix all the live acts that come through the club, I have had the pleasure of working with EPMD, Nice & Smooth, Warren G, Lil’ Kim, Pharoahe Monch, Breakestra, Who made Who, Har Mar Superstar, Slaughter House, Donnis, ZionI, Keys N Krates, Chin Injeti, Camp Lo, Beatnuts, to name a few. I am also extending my writing abilities and studio to exciting new singer David Morin, we are currently putting together a new R&B album much like D’Angelo’s Voodoo. That is all for now, I will be updating my site like a blog with new projects and stories.