Letters from Japan: Partner's sex demands ruining my mental health

By Hilary Keyes

Savvy Tokyo's resident "Love in Japan" columnist, Hilary Keyes, answers anonymous questions from readers on everything from dating in Japan to women’s health issues. Got a question you’d like to ask Hilary? Email it to with the subject "Ask Hilary."

Hey Hilary,

This isn’t something I feel comfortable talking to anyone in my life about. I’ve been dating a Japanese guy for almost a year now, and while he’s generally a great guy, our sex life is ruining my mental health.

When we first started dating, we had “normal sex” and things were great. Then he started having trouble getting/staying hard and confessed that vanilla sex doesn’t do it for him. My boyfriend has this whole fantasy that he wants me to play out with him. [Details redacted at her request.] I played along because I love him, but what he says and does make me sick, and I end up feeling physically and mentally wrong for days afterward. I tried talking to him but he says that I must secretly like it and that if I wanted him to be happy, I wouldn’t say no.

Thankfully since the whole Covid thing and because of our work schedules, I haven’t been able to see him as often, and when we do, I tell him I’m on my period and we can’t have sex, which he’s respected so far. I don’t know how much longer I can keep lying to him, because aside from that, he’s a really sweet guy, and it’s starting to make me feel guilty. What am I supposed to do? 

Disgusted In Love

Dear Disgusted In Love,

I had to take a few moments to process your full message.

You cannot continue dating this man. This is not a healthy relationship, despite how he may behave outside of sex. You say that he is a sweet guy, but if he is willing to do that to you despite you telling him that you don’t like it, not to mention the fact that he is gaslighting you about you secretly liking it, it says otherwise.

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 [Details redacted at her request.] 

This is the meat of the sandwich.

13 ( +16 / -3 )

"Different strokes for different folks" has ruined many a marriage (old Chinese proverb).

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Drop him. It will only get worse and imagine if you have kids around the house. I know a few perverts and they are better off single unless the wife is also a pervert.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

I know a few perverts and they are better off single unless the wife is also a pervert.

Indeed. Check your sexual compatibility folks. Make sure your libidos are matched.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

We have no idea what kind of kink the guys is in to, but is she isnt comfortable then the solution is very simple break it off with him, there asked & answered

7 ( +8 / -1 )

So you can make someone physically and mentally sick for days and still be a "sweet guy". Wow.

I've never wanted to believe "nice guys finish last" but sometimes I see things that make me believe in it.

5 ( +6 / -1 )


We have no idea what kind of kink the guys is in to, but is she isnt comfortable then the solution is very simple break it off with him, there asked & answered

Did you read the answer from Hilary Keyes? It seems like you didn't read it because your answer is exactly what Hilary Keyes said...

You cannot continue dating this man. This is not a healthy relationship

..,there it was already asked and answered

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

What was his “thing?” Everyone clicking on this story wants to know...

2 ( +4 / -2 )

“ “generally” a great guy ” huh? he,s a d-mn pervert and he,s using you as his sex toy. many guys use the whole “I’m such a nice guy” thing as a shield and strategy to attract ( and later emotionally confuse ) women in order to satisfy their sick sexual perversions. people need to remember that guys don,t exactly need to be psychopaths or act stupid 24/7 to hurt women’s feelings and “ruin their mental health”. this is supposed to be very simple - dump him!

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

She could try talking to him again. Explain that she just cannot bring herself to engage in this type of sexual play. Agreed upon sex between adults is one thing, but if one adult says "no," then so be it. Maybe give him a chance to choose between his fantasy and reality.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I suggest the guy go to bondage bars, fetish parties and the like to meet women there. Always many cute women, customers as well as staff. That way he won't waste time getting to know a woman just to find she is sexually incompatible. Meeting a woman at these places means you get the sex preferences right up front - so if you end up attached to someone you don't run into this problem.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

It takes two to tango. If he/she don't want to or doesn't like doing it and you keep pushing it anyway, that person doesn't need you. You must respect your lover's wishes, if you don't you are an agressor.

This guy is selfish, she needs to leave him sitting on his can and find a better man.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Dump him now.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Seriously, you can't be more than friends with him. He won't get it from you, he'll get it from paid services, and then you can throw both mental health and physical health out the window.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If you don’t like it, don’t do it. If he can’t accept this then leave. Coercion is control.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If it is ruining your mental health, what would you expect someone to say? Why is there even a doubt what to do?

Clearly you should keep hanging around this guy, doing things you don’t want to do, lying about your feelings, writing to help lines, and prolonging this as much as possible, because he is a nice guy and you don’t want to hurt him.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Are people missing that she is disgusted IN LOVE. So she loves this dude that treats her this way. That says a lot about her mental stability - probably what attracted her to him in the first place.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Kinkshaming (even thou we don't even know the kink)? Check

Victim shaming? Check

Sad these 2 things are still a thing, which is why people with these problems do not want to talk about them, making things worse.

Communication is the key, if you say to that guy, sorry but I cannot do that, but the guy continues saying that you must, then is time to part ways.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Then he started having trouble getting/staying hard

Talking/trying is not going to fix this. Neither is love. Shaming him is not going to fix it. Shaming her is not going to fix it.

They are both fine as far as I can tell and neither needs any sort of accusation, particularly when we only have one side of the story. And I hold it against Hilary for basically attacking the guy without his input at all.

They are not compatible and need to amicably go their separate ways without any shame, guilt or accusation. That's it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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