“Sex until death.” Sounds pretty good – but is it? Men seem to think so. Women are not so sure.
Weekly magazines have taken up the topic lately with a vengeance – male-oriented magazines in particular. Shukan Post, Shukan Gendai and Friday, to name just three, have lately run articles assuring men that aging need not be fatal to a full sex life.
To the women’s magazine Josei Seven (July 18), it all rings a little false. The steady rise of the sexless marriage, for one thing, seems to belie the myth of the deathless libido. Might the insatiable, unappeasable sex drive be no more than a self-flattering image, or a media creation?
Surveys of sexless couples produce many causes for the condition, the most frequently cited being “It’s too much trouble,” which trumps even fatigue due to work. “Too much trouble” suggests indifference pure and simple. Maybe sex isn’t all it’s cracked up to be – in which case, why prolong the agony?
Secondly, men and women seem to have differing and irreconcilable viewpoints. The magazine cites a survey that asks men and women if they want more sex than they get. Yes, say 75.2% of men – versus 35.8% of women.
Josei Seven presents three women – A-ko, B-ko and C-ko, aged 48, 48 and 46 – discussing the issue after afternoon tennis. The three have been friends since high school. A-ko and B-ko are married but have been sexless for years; C-ko, a nurse, is divorced and has a boyfriend. At A-ko’s house they happen to notice an issue of Shukan Post lying around, featuring an ongoing series on “sex until death.” The talk takes off from there.
“Men can actually read this stuff and not get tired of it!” says A-ko, shaking her head.
“Yes, it seems to mean a lot to men,” smiles C-ko. “There’s a patient at my hospital in his 70s who is always patting my ass.”
“Once upon a time,” muses A-ko wistfully, “most men of a certain age had had enough of sex. Not any more, it seems.”
She and her husband have been “almost sexless” since the birth of their second child 15 years ago. B-ko has been married 18 years, 10 of them sexless. Neither seems to feel anything of much importance is missing from her life.
They flip through the article. “Women’s magazines have features on sex too,” B-ko says, “but usually it’s in connection with anti-aging.”
“I remember,” says C-ko, “the first time I saw an article about sex in a women’s magazine. I was 22. The magazine was An-An. The gist of it was, ‘Have sex in order to be beautiful.’”
“Right,” says B-ko. “For men, sex is an end in itself. For women, it’s just one thing among many. I said as much to a guy I work with at my part-time job, a guy in his 30s. He was astonished. He said, ‘Why do women work so hard, then, at being beautiful? Isn’t it for sex?’”
The genders talk past each other to that degree.© Japan Today