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Poll on number of male virgins in Japan not all bad news

32 Comments

It seems incredible. Maybe it is. Is a Weekly Playboy poll scientific? With that caveat, here is the conclusion the magazine draws (April 7) from an online survey of 600 men aged 25-39: 159 of them, 26.5%, are virgins.

There’s more: 303, 50.5%, have had no sex within the past year; 91, 15.2%, have had none within five years. If this is at all representative of the sex life of the nation as a whole, the national demographic crisis, usually described in terms of a declining birth rate, is perhaps more dire than is generally appreciated.

Or maybe not. Weekly Playboy does its level best to be upbeat. “Don’t give up!” is its underlying message. It introduces five men who didn’t, and whose patience was ultimately rewarded. Space permits a description of two.

It’s not income or employment instability that barred “Mr. O” from a social life for so long. He’s a radiation engineer, earning 7.5 million yen a year. What was the problem, then?

Young love gone wrong, as he tells it. High school love can scar you for life. He fell in love with a classmate, then learned she had a boyfriend. He retreated into his shell. Studying came easily to him and he did well in college, but his social life was all beer and fast food with the guys. By the time he graduated, he weighed 120 kilograms.

Social networking was another snare. It’s so easy, so anxiety-free – why bother with the face-to-face stuff? The odd time Mr. O did meet someone offline, he gave her, if she didn’t give him, short shrift. However nice she may have been, she couldn’t measure up to his image, idealized and etherealized no doubt, of his high school love.

He was brought up short one day by a cousin who asked him point-blank: “Why don’t you have a girlfriend?” Mr. O told him of the sort of girl he was looking for. The cousin laughed. “Such high standards! And what kind of a bargain are you?”

Well, true, Mr. O had to concede. Who did he think he was? He went on a diet, lost 40 kg, arranged to meet one of his SNS “friends,” found he liked her – and soon all the pieces fell into place. When he married her a year later, he was 32. He’s 33 now, still wondering how he allowed himself to lose so much time when happiness was within reach all along, if only he’d known it.

“Mr. K” is also 33 and also, contrary to the “languishing single” stereotype, doing very well career-wise – a researcher earning 6 million yen a year. His problem, says Weekly Playboy, was a classic “mother complex.” Mom was his companion, his best friend. They enjoyed hobbies together, took trips together. Life was complete. Who needed a love life?

When he finally acquired one, it was mom who pushed him into it. She was worried, as mothers tend to be about their unmarried children. She urged him to attend organized "gokon" parties where singles can meet. “I went, but had no idea what to talk about.”

Some "gokon" parties are specifically tailored for men and women with scientific interests. That made conversation easier but presented another problem: “Girls in science are coldly rational, emotionally dry,” he complains.

Other "gokon" are designed for people who enjoy traveling. On a sightseeing trip to Kamakura he made friends with a woman five years older. She was worried about the age difference; she wanted a child, she said. “Me too,” he said, not sure whether he meant it or not.

Six months later the two of them and his mother went on a trip together. Now the couple is engaged, looking forward to marriage and parenthood. Which just goes to show: nothing, not even virginity, is forever.

© Japan Today

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

32 Comments
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I guess the ones who learn social skills and chivalry earliest maybe can get a lady fastest. Those who come to realizations in their 40s...well they learned what most others did in grade school.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Why make "having sex" seem like a life goal? When it happens it happens.

21 ( +26 / -5 )

If the poll was done in Akihabara, they would have found that 26.5% would have touched a real woman...

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Mr O's is a heartwarming tale about how weight loss leads to love.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Most of these guys seem more content to play video games, watch AKB and hang off other guys instead of trying to meet women. Strange as it gets.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

I'm no dating guru but from experience I've noticed that to make yourself more attractive to the opposite sex is try to maintain a balanced lifestyle as best as possible.

Internet and technology are great ways to meet and connect with a wide range of people, but if you're an internet / cell phone fiend, for the love of God please put it down. Likewise, having a good relation with your mother is important, but having a mother complex does nothing for your sexual appeal. And if you're overweight, incorporate a daily walk / jog in your life. Balance is key.

Also, go as many Gokon as possible until you meet someone you really like. They are set up specifically to meet people of the opposite sex. It's genius. That's my advice to men wanting to break out of their "dry spell".

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Nice heartwarming stories of normal males in Japan. Is this why Charisma Man is such a hit in Japan?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I think it would be virtually impossible to not meet a decent woman if these guys went to the local public gym one day a week and joined any activity women are also doing such as volleyball, badminton, ping pong; or joined any type of learning activity at the local civic group such as English, cooking, yoga. That is my advice. Thanks and good luck to all the 40 yo virgins.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Go outside. Wash your hair. Don't be a full on otaku. Don't buy into the cynical crap about becoming a wizard if you manage to maintain your (male) virginity til the age of 30. Being awkward socially is sad, try to fix it if you can. It's not cool. Your 2D waifu is not a real wife.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

I guess the ones who learn social skills and chivalry earliest maybe can get a lady fastest. Those who come to realizations in their 40s...well they learned what most others did in grade school.

The kids going to the woods behind the school for a bit of fun were all douchebags. Chivalry never entered their heads. With adults, it's more or less the same thing - hence the saying, nice guys finish last.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

What are the young men doing, masturbating? You would think that the young adults are having sex just about every night; I was at that age.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

50.5%, have had no sex within the past year; 91, 15.2%, have had none within five years

Sometimes when I read these stories I wonder if their intent is to pacify the poor salaryman types in LTRs or marriages who have sex at most once or twice a year. Instead of feeling deprived, as they would in most other societies, they're thinking, "can't complain, compared to a lot of other people".

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@Reckless speaking as an almost 25 year old virgin who goes to the gym AND does yoga, I can 100% assure you that just because you ATTEND something regularly doesn't mean you'll ever get to know people. Some people attract attention naturally and other people keep to themselves naturally. We have the ability to be invisible. It's clear you have to risk being viewed as the creep at the gym who hits on girls if you want to even have a chance to get any, and I'm not prepared for the risk >.>

6 ( +8 / -2 )

"Mr O's is a heartwarming tale about how weight loss leads to love."

Or more precisely, he need time to get over his heartbreak. Note that he got over it before he start excercises.

Matter of heart is mysterious~

0 ( +0 / -0 )

" Mom was his companion, his best friend. They enjoyed hobbies together, took trips together. Life was complete. Who needed a love life?"

I think I need someone to explain this to me. Just can't relate at all. What happened to the raging, irrepressible, undying, daily, impossible to ignore, constant urge to ....be with a woman?

Maybe I need anti-viagra or something.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

This^^ You are seriously right. That quote from the article is downright SCARY!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

what, you think you can force this happiness between two people? no. nature has its own way and time. I couldn't get a date when I was a teenage. Now, I have to refuse women. Why? because I don't have the time to invest right now. If the right one shows up then I'll give it a go. Hey, we're talking people here, not a game show..

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I was quite active in dating in my late teens and early twentys and got married at 29 and divorced at 33. After that I never went on a date until now at 44. At first I thought I was disillusioned with love but actually maybe I am just contented that I have done all that there is to do. So, perhaps guys or gals who stay single because they are already satisfied with what they already have or had?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

sensei258Apr. 03, 2014 - 07:29AM JST

Why make "having sex" seem like a life goal? When it happens it happens

I absolutely agree! This article doesn't seem to be differentiating sex from dating/relationships... which, IMHO are two completely different things. The headline and the poll refers to adult virgins, yet they focus on 2 specific fellas who found true love, thus losing their virginity??? You don't have to lose your virginity to the person you're going to marry!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

@jumpultimatestars: "as an almost 25 year old virgin who goes to the gym AND does yoga, I can 100% assure you that just because you ATTEND something regularly doesn't mean you'll ever get to know people. Some people attract attention naturally and other people keep to themselves naturally. We have the ability to be invisible. It's clear you have to risk being viewed as the creep at the gym who hits on girls if you want to even have a chance to get any, and I'm not prepared for the risk".

I think herein lies the problem. In many societies, especially in Japan's, men are considered "creeps" for doing what is supposed to be natural to them. Why is it wrong for a man to hit on a woman--with tact, respect, and class, of course? The gender dynamics now days are so screwed up. Men: it is NOT a crime to try to score. Men are not creeps, or perverts, or deviants for trying to get with women. This is an example of a serious mis-education. People, men and women, who think that men who pursue women aggressively are animals are absolutely right. But not in the sense that they think they are. It's time to be a lion and not a pussy. And don't dare apologise for it.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Why make "having sex" seem like a life goal? When it happens it happens.

That derives from the idea that men need to stop putting the fruit on a pedestal.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@jumpultimatestars " It's clear you have to risk being viewed as the creep at the gym who hits on girls if you want to even have a chance to get any, and I'm not prepared for the risk >.>"

I absolutely agree with you, but I think saying hello, being friendly, making eye contact where appropriate, and joining some kind of coed group are tried and true ways to meet women or men and not be a creep. However, if you are happy being alone (and many are) then that is great. I was just throwing out ideas for some guys who may not be satisfied being alone and/or a virgin. ATB.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Like most males and females in Japan, if you habitually spend your days off without having a meaningful relationships, by the time you’re into your 50s and 60s you could find yourself on the road to depression, to which under the best of circumstances we tend to grow more vulnerable as we age.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Swoon, Amor fati, "love of one's fate" I am a firm believer in fate, we are all destined to find love from the people fate finds us to love, and ultimately be with the person fate selects for us. I scorn the "Mr Right" scenario, I'm for just waiting patiently until he turns up. Don't trust on-line love, dating agencies or social networking, like panning for gold, embark upon love without initial physical contact, and I will end on a date with Captain Hook. Let fate decide, cupids arrow will find its mark.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

seriously if your so stressed about being a virgin there are plenty of lovely experienced ladies whose job it is satisfy men. after some paid practical lessons youll have all the skills needed to satisfy the Miss Wright when she comes along. well physically anyways, the social side of it youll have to learn somewhere else.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@sensei258

Why make "having sex" seem like a life goal? When it happens it happens.

I think you should read the article that makes it pretty clear that it in fact is not happening!

I can tell you that sex never just fell from the sky and hit me upside the head. Each and every time required some effort on my part, even if it was simply recognizing a golden opportunity and rolling with it.

Now, a great load of women and a few very lucky men can sit back and say "When it happens it happens". But most men need to work at it. Especially if they want it to happen not just once, but twice or more! Things are expected of us men that are not required for women. And the later a man starts learning, the harder it is. (no pun intended!).

And I just have to say this, but it does seem that Japanese women are far more appreciative of the effort men put into making things happen where western women seem to range from dismissive to the verge of pressing harassment charges.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Six months later the two of them and his mother went on a trip together.

AND HIS MOTHER!? Talk about a third wheel!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

But most men need to work at it. Especially if they want it to happen not just once, but twice or more! Things are expected of us men that are not required for women.

This is the problem. After struggling with social anxiety for a decade, I have found that the best solution is to just pay for what you need directly. Men have to take back what has been ceded to women through biology or rotten culture. Society would like you to believe this love bullsh*t but they also want you to be taking care of a spawnling instead of having fun.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

on line poll for playboy japan finds men who fill out online polls and/or read playboy aren't having any sex with actual women....shocking

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The poll was done in Akihabara?! What a joke! How about some REAL journalism and REAL stats on this topic?!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I'm a 185cm 73kg white foreigner living in Japan awhile. Been a virgin even now at 28. Why's that so weird? Some of us just have incredibly high standards and don't drink or go out to bars or clubs.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Simple reminder: sex is essential to life...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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