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Are young males losing interest in commercial sex?

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According to a survey of 300 males in their 20s conducted by Weekly Playboy (June 2), 59% have never patronized a commercial sex business. Add to these the respondents who replied they had not visited one over the 12 months, and the figure approaches 70%.

This, the magazine asserts, confirms a growing body of evidence that in recent years “fuzoku-banare” (estrangement from the sex industry) by young adult males has been accelerating. Playboy’s extensive “field research,” consisting of interviews with a variety of professionals in the trade, generally supports this hypothesis.

“Our main clientele are men in their 30s through 50s,” the operator of an “image club” -- an establishment where sex is combined with acting out fantasies in the form of role-playing -- tells the magazine. “Most ‘repeaters’ are in their 40s and 50s. I’d say guys in their 20s account for less than 20% of the total.”

“I almost never encounter customers in their 20s,” says Yu, a sex industry worker employed at a famous shop in Chiba, adding that most of her clientele tended to be age 30 and above.

A similar testimonial is provided by Ayumi, who makes outcalls to hotel rooms from an establishment in Tokyo’s Kinshicho district. “During the daytime in particular, my customers are all older guys,” she shrugs. “From about two years ago, I noticed that young guys were getting fewer. And from this year, I’ve hardly seen any young ones at all.”

Has Japan’s younger generation been suddenly beset with celibacy? Hardly. The main reason for declining patronage of sex shops, Weekly Playboy is told, is simply due to a decline in their disposable income. “I think it’s the same reason the automobile business is hurting so badly – everybody’s broke these days,” says a 29-year-old man employed in the computer software industry.

But economic conditions aside, the decline in commercial sex romps as cement for bonding senior-junior work relationships may also be taking a toll.

“In the old days, it was common at companies for a ‘sempai’ (senior) to take a ‘kohai’ (subordinate) under his wing, and introduce him to a sex shop for the first time,” explains psychiatrist Hideki Wada. “But this has come to be regarded as shameful, and I suppose it’s another factor in the decline. Also, sexually uncouth behavior is no longer seen as manly, the way it used to be. Men are more self-conscious now.”

Masaki Kobayashi, editor of Naitai, a long-established publisher of information guides to “pink” businesses, says he's also observed a decline in young males’ opportunities to communicate on the subject of sex.

“Even when they patronize to such places, they aren’t able to boast about it to their peers, the way they used to, because now it’s become a verboten subject,” Kobayashi points out, voicing concerns that once the generation males in their 40s and 50s begins to retire, the nation’s red lights may flicker out for good.

Weekly Playboy’s own “authority” on the sex industry, who goes by the tongue-in-cheek moniker “Namedaruma Oyakata,” is given the last word on the subject. His advice to young guys is to make a beeline for the nearest house of ill repute.

“Young guys will get a chance to see both the good and bad sides of women, and to learn something about life,” he remarks. “You can see which girls are good at what they do and which ones are not. Some girls are so popular they even have a three-month backlog of reservations. With others, no customers ever request them a second time.

“Some young guys may feel that patronizing sex businesses is more trouble than it’s worth, but they shouldn’t let such feelings deter them,” the Oyakata encourages. “Go out and meet lots of good girls -- great lessons about life await!”

Weekly Playboy nods in agreement. We live in difficult times, and since this “culture of pleasure” exists here, what can possibly be wrong about availing ones self of it?

© Japan Today

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

30 Comments
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What's wrong with these guys? Commercial sex rules.

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Never had commercial sex, so I cannot comment on it (I'll bet it doesn't compare to doing sex the way it was intended and created), but I will say that if these 20-somethings don't have a lot of pocklet money to spend, then they must be knocking over banks, because just about every time I ride the train into Tokyo and back home, these 20-somethings with no extra cash seem to have those five-inch-thick sex-filled manga, and they can't be cheap!!!

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Disgusting.

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Well, whatever the reason...but it is good people are getting more careful with themselves... HIV is only one of the hidden dangers not so often spoken about here in Japan (some Japanese even believe they are not able to get the virus as easily as foreigners do). I bet the most aids- patients in this country also keep their secret even from their family members....selfishly.

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They probably aren't losing interest, but demands on (young) people in the workshop are forever rising, so they are losing energy. Many of them revert to virtual sex in the form of comics or the good old internet and take things into their own hands, so to speak. And then inflation may have something to do with it!

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Maybe I'm overly optimistic, but could it be because younger Japanese men have a better awareness about human rights (and STDs as well) than older generations, and don't consider patronizing sex-related businesses such a good and/or healthy thing to do?

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Actually, with womens lib abound and the modern awakening in Japanese Women, I think "free" sex is much easier to come by!

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I blame the internets.

Maybe 'blame' is the wrong word...

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Commercial sex is probably less patronized by the younger crowd, because they are getting it on more often with casual peers. Women's lib japan version, where the girls are just as happy to explore a one night stand or maintain a sex friend relationship, is probably one of the reasons.

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Internet and internet dating. Why pay when you can get it for free.

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Commercial sex is probably less patronized by the younger crowd, because >they are getting it on more often with casual peers. Women's lib japan >version, where the girls are just as happy to explore a one night stand >or maintain a sex friend relationship, is probably one of the reasons.

Agree Magpie! Also the increased video game and "nerd" culture probably plays a part as well...

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The nerds are probably the only 20somethings using the H-Job and B-Job parlours. That and the Host dudes who want to knock one off after a night's work.

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well that applies to sex with females...maybe this is evidence of the gay-ing of japan's male population

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"free" sex is much easier to come by!

This is not something which happened overnight and explains the sudden drop of young patrons to the 'establishment'.

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Positive spin:

They are out having sex with out having to pay for it!

Negative spin:

They are in having sex with those weird dolls from that other article. That, or they're flat broke.

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i'll put my money on your negative spin

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With so much access to porn on the Internet these J-spankers are finally doing it with somebody they love.

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Financial constrains, money barrier...most of young males are part-time workers and such establishments dont offer any discount.

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“culture of pleasure” = male dominated society which views women as sex toys.

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Why does this read like fantasy gossip? Sex for money is illegal in Japan, I hate the double standards here!

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what about hiv, stds, and no money. internet dateing or hookup sites are everywhere. why pay, when you can get something for free.

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geeks rarely get sex for free

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geeks rarely get sex

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"Sex for money is illegal in Japan"?....strange way to put it...are you a hooker or something? we usually trade "money for sex"...and no it is not illegal here if you stick with hj and bj. Why is the 20 something crowd suddenly forgoing this option? my vote is --- bad economy - fewer excess yennies to blow or be blown or whatever

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the article should rephrase commercial to brothel or a whore house. or just plain hooker.

surgeon's general warning: promiscuous sexual activity with multiples partners may increase your risk of contracting HIV, syphilis, gonorrhea, and other sexually transmitted diseases.

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There's an article in this week's Shukan Asahi (June 13), about Hoshijima, that demented freak in Koto Ward, who dismembered that 23-year old woman and flushed her body parts down the toilet, in which, and I quote, "Fuuzoku ni ikezu, yokkyuu fuman ni?" (was he frustrated [because he] didn't go to sex shops?) (page 166). Here is a perfectly serious, respectable weekly magazine asking if a possible CAUSE of the man's extremely bizarre behavior might have been his fascination with computer games, instead of going out and getting laid. Hoshijima is said to suffer from a phobia of dirt and germs. Yes, other human beings carry body lice, ticks and all kinds of noxious bugs. So what should we do, kenji? Enclose ourselves in full body condoms?

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Is there something wrong with not paying for sex?

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Depends on whether or not the girls father owns a shotgun...

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Betting, as Woody Allen once said (and later proved) "the most expensive sex is free sex."

Beelz, it was common knowledge some 100 years ago or so in English / American society that men were animals who needed to avail themselves of prostitutes to keep their "urges" under control. Maybe that's still the attitude in Japan?

I guess I have no idea why the otaku aren't going to the soaplands. Why don't they interview them and ask? Maybe this should be the next JT "on the street" question of the week....

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Very funny ca1ic!! I still don't pay for mine though. And I think the reason for otaku not going to soaplands is because they don't need to. Was there some kind of boom a while ago when getting an otaku boyfriend was all the rage with girl? Didn't they used to go to Akihabara to pick them up?

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