When I talk about yellow fever, I’m sure most people know I’m not talking about mosquitoes. And for those with a special attraction to Asian women, Japan certainly seems like a mecca of awesome. Not only is its population homogenous and therefore sufficiently Asian-girl-filled (98.4% Japanese), but Japanese women tend to be perceived as petite, demure, and having higher-than-normal voices. Even Wikipedia has an article on cuteness in Japan, placing Japan in a category of it’s own when it comes to those 可愛い少女.
Not only that, but Japan is also one of the world’s biggest pornography producers, coming in third place behind South Korea and China in terms of revenue. I’m not sure if those statistics include animated pornography, which Japan seems to have monopolized in terms of production (although I could find no hard statistics about this specifically).
HOWEVER, as I continue to read through Lovesick Japan, I came across some interesting numbers:
In a 2005 survey…Japan ranked dead last—forty-first out of forty-one countries—in frequency of sex, with a self-reported frequency of 45 times per year (up from 36 times per year in 2001). The second lowest country, Singapore, was far ahead (73 times per year), and the global average was 103. (source)
The first sexual experience for more than half of men over 30 is a prostitute. (source)
Ouch, Japan! I’m trying to think of a unique reason for why Japan ranks so low compared to all other countries, but I can only come up with a bundle of reasons that don’t seem to be adequate reasons:
- Japanese students spend most of their time studying for entrance exams and don’t become interested in sex until later and not as often.
- As adults, Japanese people work very long hours, so the time in the day to have sex simply does not exist. And when wives or husbands come home, they’re too tired to have sex.
- “It’s too bothersome” — this is actually one of the most common reasons given by couples for why they don’t have sex, although it doesn’t explain anything.
- Japanese people, wanting to avoid confrontation, simply put up with not having sex rather than directly talking to their partner about the problem.
I’ve been able to find a lot of articles describing sexual activity patterns in Japan and how this affects day-to-day, but little on any strong reason why any of this is actually taking place. Perhaps it’s just a combination of all these things that can be found in Japan but not elsewhere that is causing the problem.
Perhaps it’s because Japan has a rather masturbation rate—after all, it has all that porn to go around—with 38% percent of Japanese masturbating weekly (source — but couldn’t find original cited article), compared to 28% in the US (source). Of course, this 10% difference doesn’t seem significantly higher, so again it seems like an insufficient reason.
It’s likely being caused by all of the reasons I’ve listed and more, since I doubt it’s a singular issue that’s causing the problem. It’s more a problem of culture that seems to be the issue, which is derived from a bundle of hard-to-distinguish factors, rather than one significant reason.