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 firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject "Ask Hilary."
I’m an American woman. I’ve lived in Japan for seven years and have been dating the same Japanese man for four years—living together for two. We have a great relationship. We go out to events regularly, see movies together, we’re like any other couple.
During the last year, our sex life has gotten out of control. We go through these roller coasters of either having sex all the time or having none at all. Right now we’re in the middle of a month-long dry spell. Neither of us has any physical issues (perfect health checks this year!). We both work long hours like everybody else, but otherwise, we are fine.
When things are good, we both initiate and have no trouble functioning, but then it’s like we get tired of sex. For me, I start feeling like sex gets boring and I don’t want to be the one to initiate. Then I guess my boyfriend gets tired of initiating, and we just stop having sex. When we aren’t having sex we’re still close but then we get frustrated, have these huge fights, and then have make up sex, and start a new cycle all over again.
I’m tired of dealing with this. I know it’s not healthy, but when I talk to my married friends they say that it’s just normal for sex to drop off, or they tell me that in Japan sexless marriages are normal. I don’t want that, and I don’t think my boyfriend does either. How do I break this cycle? Is there something either of us can do to even things out again? – Sorta Sexless In Tokyo
Dear Sexless In Tokyo,
Judging from your email alone, it sounds like you both are attracted to each other and are capable of initiating and enjoying sex. But, you said that eventually “sex gets boring” and you don’t want to initiate, which means if your boyfriend doesn’t initiate it, it doesn’t happen. It sounds like you’re both getting stuck in the same old routine of sex—in other words, you have established a certain rhythm that is easy and satisfying in the moment, but gets boring quickly.
One way to resolve this requires two discussions: one with yourself and one with your partner.
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