Friday, March 16, 2007


According to the results of a sex survey of 2713 randomly selected individuals between the ages of 16-49 -- which survey of course took time away from whatever sex the respondents might have been on the verge of, thank you very much -- an unbelievable 39.7% of Japanese people between the ages of 16-49 (up 5% from 2 years ago!) have unbelievably not had sex unbelievably for over an unbelievable month. The survey was taken by the Japan Family Planning Association, which has a direct stake in the outcome.

As a member of the general public one must react to such stories largely from the perspective of one's own life history; thus it is that I stand in complete shock before such stark stats; indeed, in regard to sex I have never been so aghast in my life. Why, when I was 16-49-- on second thought, let's not get into that flagrante area (NSFW). But I have to ask a Japanese or two: if you're between the ages of 16-49 and haven't had sex for a month ("My research shows that if you don't have sex for a month, you probably won't for a year" Dr. Kunio Kitamura, Association director), what the hell are you doing (besides filling out this survey) that's more important, let alone more delightful? (An interesting side note is that this unnatural state of affairs and the resulting irritability and irrationality may go a long way, on an individual level, toward explaining Prime Minister Abe's irritable yo-yo-ing on the "comfort women" question, and the rightists' irrational refusal to even acknowledge the question.)

As to the scientific validity of this study, it must be pointed out that any 16-49 year-old who hasn't had sex in the eternity that is a celibate month is much more likely to have the time, to say nothing of the inclination, to drop whatever is the wan substitute and respond to a survey, wouldn't you say? Such folks are much more easily distracted than those who tend toward intense physical relations and are probably occupied at the moment.

On the other hand I must also mention that I recently saw, a few villages down the road, two classic love hotels being demolished that are not to be replaced. I take this neochasm to be even more ominous for the future of Japan than this survey, for I have never seen a love hotel demolished that was not replaced as quickly as possible with a larger, gaudier, more diversely erotic love hotel, in response to ardent demand. Those two lost love hotels, apart from locally manifesting a profound decline in national urgency, are likely to be replaced by gaudy establishments of the type where the dispassionate 40% of the populace can spend their vacant time playing pachinko.

In any case, less sex means a lowering population, which means many positive changes, from less crowded trains to more job opportunities, but as for me, I'd rather have sex than whatever less sex means.


Annette said...

"...something the government needs to look into urgently": Well, seen the latest string of gaffes, next year does not look bright, and certainly not pink.

By the way: do love hotels always come in couples?

Robert Brady said...

Not out in the country like this; their proximity was a monument to the urgent ardor that once prevailed...

Eric Pyle said...

Wasn't it Baudrillard who wrote that in America, sex was everywhere except in sex? Which I always took to mean that the culture is dripping with sexual imagery and language, but that if you actually touch someone chances are that you'll get sued.

No doubt the late lamented philosopher was exaggerating (as usual), but it may be true in Japan.

My local drugstore, in addition to the usual posters of drop-dead gorgeous women, now features a life-size cardboard cutout of a bikini-clad girl thrusting her pelvis at me. The local video store is of course half porn. The computer shops offer software for dating virtual girls. Near where I teach there's a maid-kissa where ugly men can pretend that the waitresses like them. Fancy underwear stores flourish. And on the streets hemlines are as high and jeans are as low as they can get. And yet statistics show that NOBODY'S ACTUALLY DOING IT.

Perhaps it's not so different from your earlier observation that nobody walks in the woods anymore. People really do prefer the artificial, and the simulacra...

Robert Brady said...

Well Eric, I guess folks like us are just gonna have to take up the reality slack... it's an ecstatic job, but somebody's gotta do it.