A Very Bizarre Thing Is Happening In Japan… And It Has To Do With Virgins.
Japan is the world's third largest economy, at least in terms of nominal GDP, but you might have heard that this nation is facing some serious trouble in the sex department. This leads to low birth rates which poses problems such as generational imbalances, a declining population, and long term effects on the economy.
Some articles claim that Japanese aren't having sex at all. Others say that this is only slightly true and that many people are having sex, just outside of marriage, hence the prevalence of love hotels (places that rent rooms to people to bang for an hour or two, or all night if needed), which isn't usually surveyed because of traditional values. Now, news sites are honing in on the country's virgins.
Not only do the facts bring the comedy 40-Year-Old Virgin to life, there is also a large number of millennials, those aged 18 to 34, that have never had sex. According to a government survey, about 42% of these millennial men remain virgins while the number for women is slightly higher at 44.2%.
One second. Isn't it strange for a country that produces such, er, some of the world's most creative content, adult entertainment included, to remain so chaste? The reasons for this are varied. No, religion isn't one of them.
Many Japanese people are career focused, or perhaps even obsessed, and put off relationships - dating and marriage alike - until they've reached certain milestones at work. Others have stated that they are simply not interested in sex. We must also consider whether or not it is more titillating for some to dwell in sexual fantasy than it is to live out reality.
Continue reading for more on Japan's virgins.
Sexuality in Japan
You don't even have to visit to Japan to know that the nation is home to some of the greatest artwork. You'll find quality and craft in Japanese made items, whether it be a tea cup or an animation film. But if you ever do have a chance to visit, you'll notice that the nation is also very interested in sex, at least commercially.
There are adult magazines openly available at any convenience store and there are plenty of sex shops, including M's in Akihabara (pictured here), which has a whopping seven floors to explore.
Looking Back: Sex Wasn't Always a Problem
Yoko Wakatsuki of CNN wrote: 'When I was a young, single woman in Japan in the 1980s, the economy was red hot and so was the dating scene.'
'Cool girls weren't ashamed of losing their virginity before marriage,' she continued. 'Of course for me personally, losing my virginity was a big deal. But socially, it was no biggie. It was the 80s, Japan was alive, and life was good.'
Today's Facts: An Alarming Number of Virgins
According to a report by the Japan Family Planning Association, nearly half of the survey responders reported that they did not have sex in the past month. Their reasons? They were too tired, felt as if it would be too much work, or just didn't feel like it.
And we've learned from a report by the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research that over 40% of both men and women between the ages of 18 and 34 are still virgins.
Yoshikazu Tsuno / AFP / Getty Images
As aforementioned, some of the reasons for the lack of sex include apathy and a focus on the career.
Also, Shingo Sakatsume, a 'sex helper' at White Hand, a company that helps disabled patients with sexual stimulation, told CNN that Japanese society has plenty of entertainment beyond love and sex.
'We have animation, celebrities, comics, game and sports,' he explained.
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