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kuchikomi

Young people losing interest in sex, but why?

59 Comments

This guy’s got it all – brains, looks, income. His sex life should be a breeze. In fact it is. It’s non-existent – just the way he wants it.

That’s less unusual than you might think, says Spa! (Aug 25). Sex, once a major preoccupation among young people – often an exclusive one – no longer is. At least, those among whom it is not are not exceptional, the magazine finds. It polls 500 men aged 20-34 who have been sexless for a year or more. It asks them, “Do you want sex?” Not at all, say 22.4 percent. Not particularly, say 21.2 percent. Well, kind of, say 35.2 percent – leaving a mere 21.2 percent who say yes, they do.

 It is actually possible to write this story – as is the case with very few nowadays – without mentioning the coronavirus pandemic. Fear of COVID-19 has very little to do with it. The well-favored young man referred to above is a 30-year-old systems engineer whom Spa! calls, pseudonymously, Masato Kudo. As a child he attended a boys’ school and grew up with little contact with girls. In college he became smitten with “idols” – female starlets who radiate cuteness. What ordinary woman could offer what they did?

True, ordinary women did have one thing going for them. As an ordinary man, you could have a real relationship with them – soul to soul, body to body. But if you don’t want to, that’s no asset. And Kudo, evidently, doesn’t want to.

It’s a question of “risk management,” says “Fumiaki Komatsu,” a 31-year-old freeter. Sex, he explains, leads – when it doesn’t lead to pregnancy – to either marriage or break-up. It’s too strained. Why bother? “You can love someone without sex,” he says. To him, the ideal relationship is dating. A quiet coffee shop, good coffee and lively, flowing conversation – who can ask for more than that?

“Once,” he says, “when I was in college, an older friend took me, more or less by force, to a ‘health’ club” – “health” being a euphemism for commercial sex. “The woman and I spent the hour talking. I was afraid of the risk of (venereal) disease.”

He’s currently dating a woman four years older. They’re growing close. They kiss. That’s nice. It’s enough. What if they have sex and she gets pregnant? “I’m a freeter,” he says; “I make 200,000 yen a month.” Risk management. “If I got married,” he says, “it would rob me of my life.”

“Junta Kanei,” 26, is 10 years into his “second virginity.” His first virginity ended in senior high school – rather early. That gave him confidence. He thought he had it made where women were concerned. He finished school, found a job in e-commerce, socialized mainly with male colleagues, and basically lost the knack for being with women.

 Years went by. One day by chance he met a woman he’d known as a child in elementary school. They went to her place, drank, talked of old times, of new times – what would be more natural than a sexual finale?

It didn’t happen. “I was too nervous,” he tells Spa!. “I’d been out of it for so long. I was afraid to show myself awkward.”

How she felt we’re not told. As for him, he didn’t take it too badly. “Drinking with men friends is better,” he says.

© Japan Today

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

59 Comments
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I blame the lack of opportunities for women, that persuades too many that being a 'housewife' (something that nigh disappeared in the rest of the G7 a generation ago) is still the natural zenith of female potential.

The prospect of that once-hot cutie demanding double income levels of 'material comfort' on a single salary while Toshi TillDeathUsDoPart works slaves his life away at JobIHateWithAVengence.com is understandably too much for Toshi Singleton, a very real concern that is rarely articulated.

Advice for potential suitors:

Is your darling the "I'm happy because..." type, or the "I'll be happy when..." type?

If the latter, run for your life! Literally.

5 ( +13 / -8 )

Sex, once a major preoccupation among young people – often an exclusive one – no longer is.

Sigh... young people just ain't what they used to be.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

What the poll didn't ask was what those guys did to release the sexual energy every young man has. You can't ignore hormones. I doubt that any 20- or 30-something Japanese male would admit to taking the matter in hand, so to speak.

16 ( +18 / -2 )

Sigh... young people just ain't what they used to be.

ain't that the truth!

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Yeah, I can see where they're coming from. I could never afford to support a wife and/or kids on my salary here in Japan, so dating is kinda pointless....I know many male foreigners in Japan who married into rich Japanese families and sponge off their wife/wife's family, so that's one way to do it, I suppose. Also, the stress of having people who are financially dependent on me would be too much (salaries for Japanese women are so low, it's almost pointless having the wife working).

5 ( +12 / -7 )

On my trip to the supermarket today, there were couples and kids everywhere, romance in the air outside as well as inside.

kuchikomi needs to have more faith beyond falling back on polls 500 men aged 20-34 who have been sexless for a year or more.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

You can love someone without sex,” he says. To him, the ideal relationship is dating. A quiet coffee shop, good coffee and lively, flowing conversation – who can ask for more than that?

sounds like a habitual variety show watcher. Said to my wife yesterday that listening to those shows is like walking into a pachinko parlor. It boggles the mind how folks can watch that stuff, so I’d imagine anyone who can, and I’m talking addictively, is susceptible to turning off the rest of their life. Of course other factors include manga, porn, masterbation, smartphones, games, and so on. But he did say “lively, flowing conversation”

invalid CSRF

4 ( +5 / -1 )

No interest in sex? The mind reels! The concrete jungle and demands for productivity are killing us.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

' First virginity'? What the devil is that?

'Virgin' means 'never touched' or 'never done it' or really 'never connected' or 'never penetrated'.

If you have sex once, that's it. If you're raped, that's it. Once the act is done, your virginity is gone forever.

You can't get it back. However, I remember on late night radio back in 1990 in the U.S.A. crackpot ads stating if you call this toll free number, you can get set up with a 'special surgeon' who can 'restore your virginity'.

And I have the deed to some choice property on Mars to sell you too.

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

Virgin' means 'never touched' or 'never done it' or really 'never connected' or 'never penetrated'.

Yes, hence the quote marks around “second virginity” - the article suggests that he has abstained from sex for so long that he practically has his virginity back. That’s my take.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

 I doubt that any 20- or 30-something Japanese male would admit to taking the matter in hand, so to speak.

Actually, Japan Inc. has solutions for that, of course.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

A group of voluntary or involuntary celibates may not be the best people to tell us about society in general, but as an older person looking at the situation of younger ones, this quote interested me.

It’s a question of “risk management,” says “Fumiaki Komatsu,” a 31-year-old freeter. Sex, he explains, leads – when it doesn’t lead to pregnancy – to either marriage or break-up.

Breaking up with someone now in the age of social media looks a much bigger pain that it used to be, if you're all in or end up in Line groups or on Facebook or something with the same friends and acquaintances. I've seen a divorce on Facebook and it got very nasty. Even the dating process, having to do online chat with someone at the right frequency, with the right level of engagement, and the right tone, while still trying to work out who the other person is strikes me as pitfall-laden. Easy contact with other people will be a gift for someone who is a player, but I can easily imagine it creating more problems than it solves for regular people. Social media ends up as another test for potential partners, not as something to bring people together.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

He’s currently dating a woman four years older. They’re growing close. They kiss. That’s nice. It’s enough. What if they have sex and she gets pregnant? “I’m a freeter,” he says; “I make 200,000 yen a month.” Risk management. “If I got married,” he says, “it would rob me of my life.”

Smart man. Develop your business, career and hobbies and the woman will swarm to you.

Also, the stress of having people who are financially dependent on me would be too much (salaries for Japanese women are so low, it's almost pointless having the wife working).

Excellent observation. I started getting panic attacks after my marriage many years ago. More stress than I ever had in my life.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

It's too much trouble. It's easier to get the internet and look at pictures or videos.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I can't believe In reading some of these comments - What healthy warm blooded male is NOT interested in sex - regardless of orientation. What has become of the world . I hope the comment above from @Bernard Marx is totally in jest.

Once people start lumping sex and 'financial dependency' together in one sentence I'm just putting this down to the ridiclous 'woke' generation.

-1 ( +9 / -10 )

I hope the comment above from @Bernard Marx is totally in jest.

Absolutely not. I wouldn't joke about such a topic.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Who needs Sex as long as Sake and Rock' n Roll exists in this world.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

@Bernard MarxL: Then I genuinely feel quite sorry for you and would suggest if you cannot live in Japan on your salary and live a full life then you should think about relocation. That is no way to live one's life.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

@Bernard MarxL: Then I genuinely feel quite sorry for you and would suggest if you cannot live in Japan on your salary and live a full life then you should think about relocation. That is no way to live one's life.

Thanks, but would only be worse back home! Not all doom and gloom, I honestly don't care about this issue that much at all. Life is much simpler!

6 ( +7 / -1 )

It is a never ending source of annoyance and frustration to me that people write off the interest in sex to mere hormones. That sort of thinking is the source of the blatant interest that is killing one of the best, most natural and pleasurable bonding experiences humanity has.

That said, the real, hard truth will not be tolerated. I know this from many harsh experiences with brainwashed, sex and truth intolerant idiots. So I will try and talk around it and if you have a brain, then you figure it. But the desire for sex in humans is chiefly a psychological one, and that goes double for women. This psychological desire needs to be and SHOULD be developed. But it is actually being thwarted. It is being thwarted by all sorts of interests, from business interests that want you to believe you don't feel fulfilled because you didn't buy enough junk or eat enough junk, to people so bitter and hateful they just want everyone to be confused about sex so everyone will be as bitter and hateful as they are, to people who make a buck off putting people in jail. But the biggest interest of all is the indulgence in the creation and spread of sexual taboo for the holier-than-thou thrill of it.

There was actually an excellent video by one of the Berman sisters explaining why so many women cannot orgasm but they had to take it off the internet because the truth of the need for sexual psychological development is total anathema to western, especially English speaking cultures. Japan has fallen into similar mismanagement of its society, but not for the fire and brimstone reasons of the west. Japan just seems to be copying without feeling or thought, creating a sexless society out of a mistaken sense of "pure image".

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Even the dating process, having to do online chat with someone at the right frequency, with the right level of engagement, and the right tone, while still trying to work out who the other person is strikes me as pitfall-laden

Failing to answer a text in a timely fashion becomes a serious transgression. I see this sort of thing among our younger workers.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Once people start lumping sex and 'financial dependency' together in one sentence I'm just putting this down to the ridiclous 'woke' generation.

I get what you are saying but I remember my Depression era parents lecturing me in the 1970s on all the bad things that happen if you "get a girl knocked up". You create a life long responsibility. They would paint this picture of financial doom and gloom for the rest of my life all because I couldn't control myself. Unlike my generation which was pretty wild (the lecture sure didn't stop me from testing the waters) it seems the younger generation is taking that sort of lecture my parents gave me surprisingly seriously. Nothing "woke" about it. A little too sober maybe.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@Bernard MarxL: Then I genuinely feel quite sorry for you and would suggest if you cannot live in Japan on your salary and live a full life then you should think about relocation. That is no way to live one's life.

it is not a problem confined to Japan. For a long time I worked in the transportation industry in the US where workdays were 12-15 hours and you boss might call you at home while you were supposed to be asleep to scream their lungs out at you over some transgression the night before. The old saying at FedEx Ground was "part time is full time and full time is all the time". Go to work before the sun sets and go home with the sun rising. The pay was not very good and just about covered rent and living expenses. No way could I afford a family on that income. Being a night worker made normal dating impossible. Many of our workers worked two jobs and their spouse worked another job to afford the cost of a home and their family. I have no idea where they found the time or energy to even date.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Gender identities, the complexities and unexpected trauma of 'modern' 'romantic' relationships, and the historical, pathological, hypocrisy-laced sexual expectations of Western culture are coming to harvest. Given our current not-a-clue-what-to-do response to what we see in Humanity's future regarding massive overpopulation and our climate promising to make agriculture like high-stakes gambling on whether the weather will permit feeding ANYONE, this is the best news we could have. Perhaps an IQ test coupled with this survey would have shown some interesting correlations...

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

not to mention the growing stigma that modern media puts on intimacy or pleasure. a author once said, you can write in a book about 500 ways to kill a person, but write about a nude man or woman in pleasure, you will get a thousand death threats and even worse from religious people, not to mention the stigma, the cost of such a thing because as soon as others think you want something like that the political and social and accusations of sexism, is a lot. the stress is grate, during covid-19, and social entrapment from other nefarious bullying happens from many directions.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Times have certainly changed. I blame it on the lack of eye contact and furthermore direct contact. With all of these Social media platforms you would think it would be easier to have/ find sex. People live to much in the virtual world and the lack of presence in the Real world tends to lead me to the conclusion that, as Good as Technology is it has killed the Mojo of the humans! Indubitably sad indeed!

I wouldn’t want to be young in this modern age! Unless I had a good Play station. Pmsl!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

This is the backlash to the feminist movement.

Not only are men shunning marriage but their shunning physical contact with woman.

And women are ending up lonely wondering where all the men are.

8 ( +13 / -5 )

'Article appears to suggest too much money and a private education make you an impotent nerd.

So whats new?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Only comment worth reading above - from a woman. Thank you @Vanessa Carlisle.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Can't really conclude that from the poll.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I am happy to have gotten so much approval for my post but now I have to give you the next piece of the puzzle and I am not hopeful. Take a guess when the development of sexual psychology needs to start. Hint: its not post-college.

You cannot do as Japan does and have schools monopolize the free time of students start to finish. Everyday of summer vacation playing baseball or basketball is not going to allow for any chances to engage the opposite sex on the type of level necessary.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The article above basically shows a few examples of timid guys who had chances with women but did not escalate. Women generally will not make the first move. Another topic by posters is that some men have bad economic circumstances and do not feel it is a good time to pursue a girlfriend or wife. And my own opinion is that in the current day and age where we have many more options, people are not really forced to marry as they were in the past. I think we will ultimately end up with multiple women focusing on the alpha male (i.e., Tinder) and having sex or kids with him, while many beta males are marginalized and eke out an existence with low pay but maybe happy enough without the responsibility of a family and able to play games and travel as they like. Everyone is happy.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

was told by Japanese to enjoy the many acts of love making is considered to be perverted, and no one wants to be seen as that.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

What losers! I know a few OGs who are having no problems taking up the slack though.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I think we will ultimately end up with multiple women focusing on the alpha male (i.e., Tinder) and having sex or kids with him, while many beta males are marginalized and eke out an existence with low pay but maybe happy enough without the responsibility of a family and able to play games and travel as they like.

Reckless,

Its been like that already in the west now for 25+yrs I would figure, Japan maybe the last 15+yrs. Majority of women chase the top 20% of men, dont acknowledge the rest, online dating has shown that for ages. So top guys dont have to choose & women dont run the numbers to see why there isnt a 6ft 6pack 6figure guy for them all & these high value guys are not going to even consider many of those that chase them for marriage as that is pretty guaranteed to end in divorce because lawyers & courts have made divorce highly beneficial to women BUT tons of men have wised up & are avoiding the trap marriage has sadly become in the west.

In short its become a real mess, now carry on folks!

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Another pattern at least in the west is that a woman has a child with an alpha then separates or divorces, then she finds a beta earner to help raise her kid and maybe pop out another. Again, everyone wins.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

@Richard Raymond Kullman: You have been grossly misinformed. Maybe the current generation is having problems, but those who were teenagers in the 1980's and 1990's in Japan certainly didn't/don't see sex as perverted whatsoever.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Maybe the current generation is having problems

Those polled do not represent the current generation. Or do they?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Maybe they should do a follow-up poll, for people who have had sex the past year this time

1 ( +1 / -0 )

TrevorPeaceAug. 24  09:22 am JST

What the poll didn't ask was what those guys did to release the sexual energy every young man has. You can't ignore hormones.

remember being a teen? Might help you answer this question....

3 ( +3 / -0 )

This is the backlash to the feminist movement.

Not only are men shunning marriage but their shunning physical contact with woman.

And women are ending up lonely wondering where all the men are.

So go back to the good old days of pillage, rapine and family arranged marriages. Is that it? Another man who cannot handle intelligent independent women? No thought given to the costs of living and having a family in the modern race-paced urban world and impersonal productivity uber alles workplace." Our cities, our jobs and the relentless push to buy, buy, buy are crushing our souls. In a more relaxed lower cost world people would have time for intimacy and family. There are good reasons why Okinawans have a higher fertility rate than the rest of Japan.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Maybe they should do a follow-up poll, for people who have had sex the past year this time.

One wonders if the researchers could find enough qualified respondents to create a statistically significant representative sample, lol?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

What if they have sex and she gets pregnant? “I’m a freeter,” he says; “I make 200,000 yen a month.” 

That's why you always wear a condom and when you "splush" you do it outside. It would help you calm your worries of having to sustain a family on a 200,000 yens a month and still have a sexual life. That won't completely eliminate that feeling of "OMG. What if she is?" But still, you'd at least have a sexual life.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

For context, this really needs data from overseas to see how "Japanese" this issue is. The low birthrate and fall in marriages in Japan are entirely global phenomena.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

That's why you always wear a condom and when you "splush" you do it outside. 

This is not the 1950's! There is the pill.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Bugle Boy of Company BAug. 24  10:30 am JST

Virgin' means 'never touched' or 'never done it' or really 'never connected' or 'never penetrated'.

Yes, hence the quote marks around “second virginity” - the article suggests that he has abstained from sex for so long that he practically has his virginity back. That’s my take.

You don't 'get it back'. Once you lose it, once it's gone - it's GONE. For good. You can abstain from sex for a long time or even forever - that's called 'celebacy'. Many people practice that after losing their virginity. The same way that some philanders practice monogamy for life after they get married.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

no wonder the sales of sex dolls is on the increase! now how about a survey from the woman perspective?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This is not the 1950's! There is the pill.

True but that's a lot more planning than a Netflix card and a box of condoms.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Vanessa Carlisle

Japan just seems to be copying without feeling or thought, creating a sexless society out of a mistaken sense of "pure image".

I agree with a lot of what you've posted, about the healthiness of having an interest in sex, the primacy of the psychological side of it etc., but with regard to the above, I think you're on the wrong track. I think most young Japanese (I'm talking late teens) have no inhibitions based on "purity". I sometimes hear stories from my university students, and also see the behavior of the older siblings of my daughter's friends, so I think I have a pretty good window into this. Purity is not the issue. It really is more economic ("I don't have enough money to take her on a date") or indifference ("My video games are way more interesting"). The latter, in particular, is what you might look at more closely.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Repeating myself here, but if I may...... The population of humans on this here planet Earth has gone from fewer than 2.5 billion to 7.8 billion in just my lifetime. That rate of increase is what some call the population explosion, and it is unsustainable.

I cannot imagine young people not being interested in sex, but I am concerned about the consequences of unprotected sex among people of a certain age.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

You don't 'get it back'. Once you lose it, once it's gone - it's GONE. For good. You can abstain from sex for a long time or even forever - that's called 'celebacy'. Many people practice that after losing their virginity. The same way that some philanders practice monogamy for life after they get married.

Starpunk-It’s called a euphemism. Using euphemisms and metaphors is a for if abstract thinking. You should try it. It will brighten you world which apparently only consists of black and white.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I’d be interested in seeing a wider data set. I moved to Japan in 2000 at the age of 29 and attempted, with success, to find as many willing partners as I could handle. I started out teaching, so was making around ¥350k+ a month before too long and even in Tokyo my income did not present a major obstacle. Then I got a real job and more than doubled my income which enabled me to go out 7 nights a week if I chose. Finding attractive and willing dates was not difficult at all and living alone made it easy and cheap to couple up.

I don’t not report this to boast, but rather report that this was the norm when lived in Japan and I found Japanese (and some from other countries)women full of sexual energy and without the hang ups that some American women had about uncommitted sex in my experience. Eventually, I settled down and found a life mate and we are raising a family now, but this herbivore phenomenon was only talked about. I never saw it in practice. I had more sex as a single man, than I do now that I am married and I will consider our married sex life healthy and fulfilling.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

You can't have any confidence that the story, numbers or premise are true. Yet, here people are, analyzing the sociological and psychological reasons about this tabloid piece. Look, here's how tabloids work: make up something controversial, attempt to write it in an authoritative tone so people believe it, sell advertising tabloid in the old days, sell clicks today to sell advertising.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I remember dating while in college. Had to work in order to pay expenses, but still managed to go out for a bite to eat and/or a movie. At least at that age, a lack of funds was not a huge obstacle to dating.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

badmanAug. 26  10:50 pm JST

You don't 'get it back'. Once you lose it, once it's gone - it's GONE. For good. You can abstain from sex for a long time or even forever - that's called 'celebacy'. Many people practice that after losing their virginity. The same way that some philanders practice monogamy for life after they get married.

Starpunk-It’s called a euphemism. Using euphemisms and metaphors is a for if abstract thinking. You should try it. It will brighten you world which apparently only consists of black and white.

There are places for euphemisms for sure but not in a case like this. Some cases are truly clear cut in what they are and no window dressing or gussying up is ever going to disguising it. It's called 'facing something for what it IS' or another way to put it, 'Cut the Crap'.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You can't have any confidence that the story, numbers or premise are true. Yet, here people are, analyzing the sociological and psychological reasons about this tabloid piece. Look, here's how tabloids work: make up something controversial, attempt to write it in an authoritative tone so people believe it, sell advertising tabloid in the old days, sell clicks today to sell advertising.

Eh, I've seen similar studies in new sources one would never accuse of being a tabloid, and not just of Japan but also South Korea. I recall something I read in the LA Times about this that said something like ten percent of adult males in Japan never had sex. Ever. Japans low fertility rate is testament to this. On the other hand I have also read that during the Covid lock downs teen pregnancy in Japan is on a bit of an upswing.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

There is plenty of sex out there for guys with large wallets-most young Japanese can not afford what their dates want nowadays which explains the rise in prostitution I see here...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Sad that you think money is required to get sex. The truth is that there is plenty of sex available for guys with empty wallets too. Sex is a cheap activity. The aftermath can be expensive though.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Generally speaking young to middle aged men are always interested in sex with women. There have always been a small number who are not (homosexuals for example). The men in this article are on the short end of the Darwinian competition for a mate. For unsuccessful young men there is a psychological dimension to being sexless - they cope in the best way they can - it’s not easy to be on the outside looking in. Many socially awkward beta males resort to alternative methods to resolve their needs - a subject not broached in this article.

There are only a certain number of the most desirable mates of either sex. The competition is tough. Sadly both men and women in modern Japan are not resilient in coping with failures and turn inward seeking personal satisfaction in other ways. The sense of failure does not go away. Instead of lowering their sights and moving on too many throw in the towel and end up living unfulfilled.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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