Here
and
Now

kuchikomi

Does bringing up baby take sparkle out of hubby's sex drive?

58 Comments

"Ikemen," a Japanese word meaning a good-looking man or more colloquially a hunk, first began appearing around the year 2000. It was coined by combining Japanese "ikeru" (cool, good, exciting) and "men" from English men or its plural possessive men's (pronounced "menzu"), or possibly the Japanese word "men" (face).

Now change the third letter in "ikemen" from an "e" to a "u," and you've got another word -- "ikumen" -- a more recent term that takes "iku," (also read "sodatsu" and meaning to raise or bring up), while retaining the same "men" suffix. With this we have a dedicated dad who pitches in when raising the kids.

Nikkan Gendai (Nov 7) has come up with some interesting data that suggests these "ikumen" are paying a high price for their cooperative spirit.

"Since we're both holding down jobs, I'm made it a rule that he also help with caring for our child," says a 30-year-old woman. "I certainly appreciated his help taking them to day care or picking them up, and putting them to bed. But then when it came to sex, he would beg off, pleading fatigue. So a second child is out of the question."

"Many cases of sexlessness occur soon after a child's birth or while the mother is lactating," Arata Samon, a pediatrician, is quoted as saying. "This is generally a temporary phenomenon caused from fatigue. When males take off time from work to assist in child raising, their sex drive also appears to decline."

Yoshiyuki Kobori, a urologist, has another theory as to why men lose interest. Based on tests of 600 males in the Philippines, the levels of testosterone prior to their partners' pregnancies showed a marked decline after impregnation occurred. And the testosterone levels of men who were involved in child care for three hours or more per day were significantly lower than those who had yet to be blessed by fatherhood.

"In surprising findings from another research project, when men heard the sound of an infant crying, their testosterone levels showed a decrease," says Dr Kobori.

This would point to the possibility that the urge to engage in sex would decline commensurately.

"Male hormones affect men's sexual desire and aggressive instinct," Kobori continues. "In an environment where they take days off from work, or leave the office early to look after children, it can be assumed that the secretion of certain hormones declines. As the old saying goes, 'Once a man steps over the threshold, he already has seven enemies.' (In other words, the real world is fraught with challenges.) Conversely it can be taken to mean that once a man slacks off, he loses his edge, and it becomes harder for his sex drive to make a comeback."

In particular, men who have taken leave from their job to be with their wives seldom tend to go out, and their opportunities for encounters with females become fewer," says Dr Samon. "Men's roles were originally as hunter-gatherers, and even when they weren't philandering, their hormone secretions would go up just by ogling women on the trains and so on.

"But by staying at home for an extended time, their instincts to propagate for posterity are rapidly degraded."

So will attentive fatherhood take the gleam from men's eyes when they watch a cute girl wiggle by, dooming the lives of "ikumen" into something resembling eunuchs?

With population in decline, it's not as if Japan doesn't already have enough problems in this department.

© Japan Today

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

58 Comments
Login to comment

I’m made it a rule that he also help with caring for our child,” says a 30-year-old woman.

If you had to make it a rule, odd's are you shouldn't have married this guy and had a baby with him in the first place!

A man/father would be helping out without needing any rules or anyone to "tell" him what he had to do! When a couple has a baby it's BOTH their responsibility to care for the child and a father knows it!

17 ( +22 / -5 )

Actually, the most commonly discussed problem is not on the male side of the equation but wives disinclined to be as amorous as they were prior to having children. It's like a switch is flipped and they cease to be lovers and become mostly just mommies/housewives.

But of course, this double blind, peer reviewed study is published in a tabloid magazine, so . . .

20 ( +23 / -3 )

I always enjoy reading these type of stories because they inevitably have all sorts of "experts" engaged in an over-analysis of the issue involved.

I mean, seriously, some of the gems in this article are priceless. This: “But by staying at home for an extended time, their instincts to propagate for posterity are rapidly degraded.” Or this: "Conversely it can be taken to mean that once a man slacks off, he loses his edge, and it becomes harder for his sex drive to make a comeback.”

Are these people paid to spout this kind of stuff?!

I could bore the JT readers with my theories on this, but undoubtedly everyone will have their own ideas. And my guess is most of the readers ideas will be closer to the truth than some of the "expert" opinions expressed in the article.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

@Yubaru

Don't you know that it's the new wife's role, goal, and duty to make rules and schedules and allocate pocket change to her husband? I sometimes wonder how people can bear reliving their childhood again in adulthood. Now when the foreign guys come here and end up being told what to eat, wear, and how much money they are allowed to have and they actually go with it....THAT is funny.

5 ( +12 / -7 )

Key words in the article, at least to me, whose 61 year-old libido has never been 'affected' as they claim, are: "In an environment where [men] take days off from work, or leave the office early to look after children, it can be assumed that the secretion of certain hormones declines. 'Assume' and you turn yourself into the first three letters of that word, as the researcher proved.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

....Or it could just be that they are exhausted from doing lots of emotional work such as preventing massive meltdowns and are tired of being clinged to all day. They probably just want a moment to recharge from being needed non-stop.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

let's just call a spade a spade, with internet porn, it is amazing any sex at all is happening in real life,,,

4 ( +8 / -4 )

‘Once a man steps over the threshold, he already has seven enemies.’ (In other words, the real world is fraught with challenges.)

ABENOMICS is one of them. Dare you would think about 2nd or third in this recession.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

ehh. While you could chalk it up to things like working too hard or being busy, a lot of whether a couple has sex or not just boils down to personal preferences and/or libido.

Might take a little convincing one way or the other, but hey, that's what those candles/lotions and sexy underwear are for, right?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

“In an environment where they take days off from work, or leave the office early to look after children, it can be assumed that the secretion of certain hormones declines..."

Translation: "We'd rather not adapt to the work-life balance our employees are demanding and which is accepted as normal in the rest of the world, so we've made up some unsourced, scientific-sounding nonsense in order to tell people that if they don't kill themselves with overwork, they aren't 'real men'."

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Womens sex drive certainly drops but thats understandable, as it drops with age too. A males sex drive doesnt change much at all it just changes direction and he may start o have a wandering eye or a weakness for a sweet scent on summers breeze. Its just a biological thing.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

In my experience, kid/s come along and the headaches start - permanently. Not mine though, someone else in the house.

Go figure!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Jeff Huffman Actually, the most commonly discussed problem is not on the male side of the equation but wives disinclined to be as amorous as they were prior to having children. It's like a switch is flipped and they cease to be lovers and become mostly just mommies/housewives.

Jeff, no switch, just wedding cake.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I’m made it a rule that he also help with caring for our child,” says a 30-year-old woman.

And she should make it a rule to allow him for a "Quicky" whenever he's too tired to do that whole romantic thing.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

and their opportunities for encounters with females become fewer,” says Dr Samon.

What planet does Dr Samon live on? Don't know why Reckless got the thumbs down. Just telling it like it is. Drive cannot be destroyed. It just shifts. If they did some research into the men's internet searches you'd find where the drive had gone (to).

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Here's the really questionable part of the research:

And the testosterone levels of men who were involved in child care for three hours or more per day were significantly lower than those who had yet to be blessed by fatherhood.

What about the men who were involved in child care for less than three hours per day? Strange that wasn't mentioned!

On the general topic, this being Japan, I guess fatigue would be a passion damper if you got off work early, and then either had to make it up at home - or suffer the wrath of your co-workers.

And let's not mention how hard it is to get the quiet time needed for procreation normally in Japan, let alone with a baby in the apartment.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Let's face it, it's hard to get any personal space / alone time in Japan. Plus it's an extremely stressful place to live (too noisy, too crowded etc.). Not an ideal place for procreation OR child-rearing...

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Yeah I dunno... When you spend most of your day with a teething baby chomping holes in your nipples and scrubbing projectile poo off of the carpet it doesn't really put you in the mood for the lovin'. Especially in a country where asking someone to watch your kid for a few hours while you and your spouse have an evening out is akin to temporary abandonment, yeah I get why no one is in the mood.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Geee, does anyone think large cities are not conducive for a well rounded homelife?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

My neighbour was complaining to my mrs that her hubby hasn't touched her since she gave birth and their child is nearly 4 now. He must be a right donkey because, although I wouldn't dump on my own doorstep, 'I most definatey would' if you know what I mean.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

spanki, your thoughts are going to get you into a pile of trouble!! don't be tempted!

1 ( +4 / -3 )

@Reckless - "with internet porn, it is amazing any sex at all is happening in real life"

@Duck70 - "Drive cannot be destroyed. It just shifts"

The sex drive is on the hard drive these days!!... ;-)

2 ( +5 / -3 )

WEAK!! there is no excuse for not being able to please your woman. man has many responsibilities, no excuses. if a woman was raising the kid by herself while he went out, things would be different. she'd be tired but he'd still want her to perform sexually. why the hell does he get to tap out like a weakling? they split half the responsibilities, but she still has a sex drive. he should too.

the real men are rapidly going extinct in this world. now there are only soft pretenders. back in the day, men could hold down jobs, help with the kids, and still have time and energy to make their wives climb the walls. that's how they ended up with many kids. hell, even lesbian couples still get it crackin' after having kids. so what's his sorry excuse now? bring back real men. i bet you, if that were me, i'd tear her up after she gave birth. probably knock her up again. and again.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Let's see biologically a woman's homone level will change from procreation to nurturing, while a male will still want to procreate with as many partners as possible.

Just nature and religion or culture can't trump that.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

One word guys….avocado!

Great on its own or part of a tomato salad.

dry out the stone and grind it up. Add to some milk and blend in a banana. Drink it in one (or two) gulps.

You will be firing on all cylinders with a few weeks if taken daily.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

It is Japanese women that turn the tap off after having kids.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

I don't know many males that own boxing gloves, must be your circle of friends. ;)

No hand cream = bad, mustard is worse. Old joke.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Mary: My observations are similar.

I like studying religions out of interest. Judaism requires men to satisfy their women and the women know that.

I guess some cultures have better aspects than others.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Don't you know that it's the new wife's role, goal, and duty to make rules and schedules and allocate pocket change to her husband? ........................................... Now when the foreign guys come here and end up being told what to eat, wear, and how much money they are allowed to have and they actually go with it....THAT is funny.

Been married 30 years, have three children, and I gave my wife the "keys" to my lock-box by choice! She is great at handling finances and taking care of things like that, and I do not mind admitting that she can do better at managing it than I do.

I do not get "told" what to eat (I do a ton of cooking and love doing it for my family) nor what to wear, and when it comes to money I ask for what I need and thanks to her astute handling of the finances I live in a house that is all paid for, two kids through college, and one more on the way, no mortgage, three cars, beer in the fridge every night, and enough spending money to buy my pack a day and occasional night out with my friends, with NO bitching!

I have a good life, and I never had to be told what the "rules" are, she ain't god and neither am I, we argue sometimes about mundane crap, but hell, so what, she is my wife, some days we dont like each other, for what we may have done or said, but we ALWAYS love each other, and isnt THAT what marriage and raising a family is all about?

3 ( +7 / -4 )

@Yubaru - Well said.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@Yubaru - Well said.

I am not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, neither is she, but hell, life would be seriously weird if either of us were. I guess what I have learned is that while sex or the physical side of marriage is important, it isn't the main thing, it's not the reason why we got married, it's not the reason why we stay married and is not the reason why we love each other and have learned to put up with each others foibles.

I was in the delivery room for the birth of all three of my children, cut the cord on all three, and was the first to hold our children after they were born and passed them along to my wife after delivery. I lived through bloody palms, (because my wife didnt cut her fingernails before she went into labor and literally dug them into my hands when going through the spasms of labor) she cut them before the birth of number two and three children! (lol!)

And any guy that has seen her wife get an episiotomy and then stitched up afterwards with no anesthetic, because the a-hole doc made the comment tha, "t it would be over in a minute " and then wants to indulge himself or relieve himself sexually with his wife before she is fully recovered and both physically and mentally ready for "love" is not a "man" in my opinion.

We "guys" CAN NOT understand, nor know, nor experience the pain that women go through giving birth to a child. Literally tearing themselves apart to bring a new life into the world.

I will always respect and love my wife for that alone, no matter how much we fight or may argue, I am ALWAYS reminded after all these years what she went through to give us our children, and that ALWAYS makes me back down and respect her for who she is and what she did for us.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

@Yubaru

(standing slow clap)

On behalf of the mother's of the world, thanks to you and any other dad (like mine!) who respects women in this way.

One of my friend's had twins several years ago, naturally but with forceps and she had a wicked bad tear... And less than 2 weeks out of the hospital her husband (at the time) started calling her a selfish b***h for not 'putting out', even with specific doctors orders not to do so. Heck one of my friends just had a baby like 6 weeks ago and even shes getting down about sleeping with her husband because she's still in pain and exhausted (shes got a newborn and a 2 year old). I'm never going to understand when (some) men want to pressure their wives/girlfriends into having sex when they don't want to or won't enjoy it - and especially when it will cause them pain! Not conducive to a good relationship, IMO, but all too common of a problem. Props to all couples that offer one another mutual respect and understanding.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

this article is advice for japanese women. but it's a loose-loose situation:

if your husband helps you, then too tired for sex if your husband doesn't help you, then he's a super horny macho-macho, but no sex with you because you're fat and ugly and it's boring, and he goes have sex with other new cuties.

is this really true and general in japanese culture? i think not. people love their kids and family everywhere.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Been married 30 years, have three children, and I gave my wife the "keys" to my lock-box by choice! She is great at handling finances and taking care of things like that, and I do not mind admitting that she can do better at managing it than I do.

Agreed. My wife is much better with money than I am. So she handles our finances. I take a 'salary' every month which give me enough to cover my own personal expenses, and she handles everything else. It works really well for us. It's also low stress for me as I don't need to worry about the bills, because she handles it all. I can also rest well knowing that our finances are in good hands. I tried handling them for a year in the mid 2000s - it didn't turn out too well

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

"So will attentive fatherhood take the gleam from men’s eyes when they watch a cute girl wiggle by, dooming the lives of 'ikumen' into something resembling eunuchs?"

It's GREAT TO BE able to read STRAIGHT through an article and see it for what it is... :-)

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

These two "experts" seem to know nothing about history, Japanese or otherwise. In the past, 150 plus years ago, the majority of people spent their lives working from home as a family unit. Fathers were in or around the house or farm almost all the time. Mobility was severely limited, "totty" was reserved for the well-off. But husbands and wives seem to have got it on well enough - judging from the amount of infanticide that went on.

The idea that men go out to work has been absent for most people in most cultures in history. In Japan, it started in the Meiji period. It does not equate to hunting. And anyway, aren't we being told ad nauseum that the Japanese gave up hunting long ago for their beloved rice, giving rise to the allegedly elongated bowel? Where is the hunter mentality in that?

If the husband isn't putting out, look at his browser history and you'll find out why. Porn - it's what men do when they can't be bothered to make the effort for their partner. My guess is they're not hormone-deprived; just lazy and selfish.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

PlinytheelderNOV. 11, 2015 - 11:06PM JST These two "experts" seem to know nothing about history, Japanese or otherwise. In the past, 150 plus years ago, the majority of people spent their lives working from home as a family unit. Fathers were in or around the house or farm almost all the time. Mobility was severely limited, "totty" was reserved for the well-off. But husbands and wives seem to have got it on well enough - judging from the amount of infanticide that went on.

But... but if I can't just ignore all the parts of history that don't conveniently fit with what I want to be true... that means I'll have to think and do research and work hard to know what human nature really is. Or maybe even shudder have to realize that humans are complex psychological systems that may not have an inherent nature. shudder And that show where the tarento get hit in the balls is on next, so I don't really have the time...

Can't you just give me some easy system for declaring everyone who does anything I'm not comfortable with or that I don't understand to be "unnatural" and leave it at that? I've got a delicate worldview to protect and a schedule to keep!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Katsu78

there seem to be a lot of issues with history here at the moment, and putting one's head in the sand seems to be the default response. Much better to believe that history was just all about barbatian quashing and swoed wielding.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@savethegaijin...

Thank you. When my first child was born, I called my mother to share the happy news, and it was the first time in my life, I was 24 at the time, that my mother ever talked to me about "sex".

She was not direct about it, seeing as how she was born and raised in a totally different era than today, as in just after WW One, she said (paraphrasing here) "Hey be nice to her now that she has just had her baby. You don't want to hurt her. She is pretty sore right now" And I am thinking like WTF is mom talking about, she continues after I give half-hearted assurances that I would be nice, because I honestly had ZERO idea what she was talking about as it came straight out of nowhere, she continued, "Remember you oldest brother? His birthday? (His BIRTHDAY?.....) Do you remember your next brother and his birthday? (Totally confused now...) "Well, (mom continued) just take care of her!" Congratulations! Good night!

I hung up the phone scratching my head, then it dawned on me what she was talking about, my oldest brother's birthday is March 21st, my second oldest brother's birthday is January 22nd of the following year. I did the math, 10 months and one day apart......my first thought was, damn my dad was a real a-hole, then I thought about my wife and what she had just gone through with the a-hole doctor, and then I remembered, like all my brothers (4) we were BIG babies at birth, all close to or a bit over 9lbs, and then I thought my dad was a REAL BIG a-hole!

I love my wife, and there is no way in hell I could have done what my father did with my mom. I thank my mom for sharing her "sex" education advice as she did, even though I know in my heart there is no way I could have done what he did, and can say I never did either.

We "men" have a responsibility to help with our children, we helped create them, and we sure as hell have a responsibility to be around to raise them too!

2 ( +5 / -3 )

@katsu78 - "Can't you just give me some easy system for declaring everyone who does anything I'm not comfortable with... to be [off topic] and leave it at that?"

You can always become a moderator on JT and delete all the painful truths that you don't like... ;-)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Why isn't this a global problem?

All the theories in this article don't make any sense.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

married people love/sex bonding mostly consensual involve that right weeks in that month or as required with tea bags but it always takes two people for any consensual primitive climax and if that's not so the it's abuse or rape;..the out come may results to pregrancy and birth or abortion yet the want to have children warrants serious planning and not feeling/dreaming and the mistakes are a plenty even moreso out of wedlock these days and that has more impact on children and single parent;..yep,..parental sex discussion is a must and it should not be uncomfortable,..never but the technique to tell your kids about the birds and bees take congenial smart know how.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Yubaru - you have my nomination for a nice guy/father/husband of the year award. Respect to you ,sir.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

ohh yes.... no real guy wants to have baby and stay with one women forever.... its against natures law.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

If the house is too crowded, make sex appointments. Be creative. If you have a room where you can privately look at porn, then you can use that room to boink each other.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Yubaru

Hey man don't take it personal. I'm just joking around about the cash and the clothes, but it's still an issue I think as I have heard from scores of people. I've barely been alive 30 years and you've been married for that long so I'll take what you said as some good advice. Have a good one.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Yubaru - I second marcelito's nomination. But maybe you don't need to be so hard on your poor old Dad; if he was from the post-WWI generation, it's not unthinkable that he genuinely had no idea of what childbirth involves. Men in those days were allowed nowhere near the delivery room, and sex education that actually mentioned the opposite sex was the exception, not the norm. When I was working a summer job in a factory as a student many many years ago, I remember one lady reminiscing about the 'old days', which would have been round about the time between the wars - when she was a young married woman, she didn't realise until it was time to give birth to her first baby, exactly what was going to happen! She'd had, she said, some vague idea of the midwife opening up her belly button to let the baby out. If she didn't know, it's almost certain her husband also didn't know, and, she said, there was no way she could talk to him about 'those things'.

So maybe your Dad wasn't such a huge a-hole as you've imagined. Different times.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Does bringing up baby take sparkle out of hubby's sex drive?

What the hell are you talking about? It takes the sex drive out of the woman. They instantly turn into "mama's" and they shut up shop.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

[quote]Actually, the most commonly discussed problem is not on the male side of the equation but wives disinclined to be as amorous as they were prior to having children.[/quote]

Yep, copy that. Men tend to be pretty simple creatures, unlike women.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I can't help thinking that if and when a man shows his woman he loves, appreciates, respects her and proves his genuine willingness to help with the chores, tired or not, she will love him back. But maybe it's just me.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Now when the foreign guys come here and end up being told what to eat, wear, and how much money they are allowed to have and they actually go with it....THAT is funny.

Well said, Yubaru, can't EVER imagine handing my paycheck over to a woman to be "managed." No thank you, but my wife is a Filipina, and they usually know how to deal with a husband. Usually, it never gets dull, but these people can NEVER manage money though. I even married a book-keeper, thinking she knows how to balance the books. She knows how, but not why.

But, really, marriage for men is one sure way of killing off the romance. I think J-gals are only good for dating and as girlfriends. Just my impression though.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Yubaru - I second marcelito's nomination. But maybe you don't need to be so hard on your poor old Dad;

First off thank you. Much appreciated. Oh I am not anymore, however at the time I sure was.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Lots of men on this site would love to clone Presto.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@Presto345, it must just be you. Certainly my experience was not being loved back. As a rule, I don't like stereotypes, but the one of Japanese women losing all interest in the hubby after the wedding, and more or less stopping ALL intimacy after the children come, rings true. It didn't matter how much I did (dishes, vacuuming, children's homework, all repairs and maintenance, all outside work, etc.).

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If only the sex-drive of men was as simple as women would like to believe. It;s often complicated and tangled Essentially our desires revolve around virgins, when we are pubescent and needing the attractions of young girls. Even when we mature those early longings stay with us. But when the mature woman has the attraction for us, and pregnancy arrives, all kinds of emotions flood us, responsibility, love and care for mother and child, protectiveness etc, all balled-up in an emotional swirl. Sexual desires never leave us - that;s our nature. But the new angles brought in by baby;s arrival weaken the importance of sex itself in the relationship. The mother;s new attitude to sex, as though it;s now a lesser part of the union's uniqueness. The physical aspect also plays a part - the birth itself being through the very part of human anatomy which was the private preserve of the husband was 'violated' by the newcomer, however much love and affection is present in the union. If only humans weren't so complicated!!. But then we wouldn't possess all the emotional depths which make our love affairs so deep and enriching!!.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Well, generally speaking, having sex with a woman who has given birth is not as good as with one who has not. Why is this not addressed in the article?

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

@Jaime Lunel

Fair point. If these women really wanted to please and their husbands around, they would all get voluntary C-sections. Selfish feminists, the lot of them, amirite?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I believe the answer is quite simple: raising children is a full time job, in addition your other full time job. That is more than enough responsibility and activity for anyone and you quickly start prioritizing and paring your life down to the essentials of making enough money to take care of the family and meet the almost never ending emergencies and giving the personal attention and love that children need.

Whew! Not many people even have time left for romance after all that!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites