Thursday, February 17, 2011


We all know in our own ways that randyness is a basic building block of the universe; it keeps the race going, neck and neck etc. Back in the days of my own youthful sexperience, that uberactivity pretty much subsumed every other, filling the body, the air, you name it, melodies everywhere... Thank aging, that madness has diminished a bit so I can finally enjoy continuities of other kinds, interspersed as they are...

Japan, as many of us also know, with its softer connection between sex and morality, its countless love hotels and esoterically kinky sex toys, is one of the most erotically informed cultures in the world, a leader in those subtler reaches. All the more incomprehensible then was this headline I saw recently in a J-newspaper: "More young Japanese, married couples, losing interest in sex: gov't survey."

I saw the term "gov't" and right away thought: How erotic a survey could that be? But yes, Japan's Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (Health?? Labor?? Welfare?? Turn down the passion!) in January released the results of a survey of 3,000 J-men and J-females between the ages of 16 and 49 across Japan, with a 57.2 percent response rate, which to the discerning observer means that well over half the J-population of procreative age had nothing better to do than fill in the blanks on multipage government survey forms. This does not bode well for a decent sex life, let alone procreation.

The survey pretty much nailed the fact that increasing numbers of young Japanese have no interest in sex; but not to worry, the trail-blazing government is on the case, coming up with sexy solutions, like maybe reducing work time (it works for parliament!), which I guess they think would somehow stimulate modern youth to devote their off-hours to cranking out an appreciative electorate, instead of playing MRPGs in their rooms as the population declines.

O yes. The point-- well, one of them. “The percentage of male respondents who said they had no interest in or had an active aversion to sex stood at 18% -- an 8-point jump from 2008 figures. The percentage of women who agreed rose 11 points to 48%. There were particularly sharp increases in the 16 to 19 year old age range, where the percentage of females with no appetite for sex went from 46.9% in 2008 to 58.5% in 2010, while among males the rate more than doubled from 17.5% to 36.1%." "Young males not interested in sex more than doubled!" This is one of the biggest-shocks-of-this-year-that-went-entirely-under-the-world-news-radar. (“[Place name here] has sex with Sarah Palin” would get 24/7 skywriting headlines worldwide for a month; but “Half the Youth of a Major Nation Says No to Sex!” Who cares?)

For the sake of statistical integrity it should be pointed out right away (as was not done by the Ministry, I might add) that the survey itself probably interfered with imminent sex by at least a thousand or so respondees (Was that the doorbell? It looks like a government official! Get dressed!) (Government survey diminishes birth rate!). Plus, it need not be said but what the hell, youth who are not having or preoccupied with having sex, or not entertaining thoughts of being preoccupied with finding a way to have sex, must have a lot of time on their hands both day and night, engaging in dispassionate activities somewhere other than bedrooms and love hotels, indeed everywhere they go; such individuals tend to have big chunks of time to throw away responding to surveys and engaging in other time-shredding activities, so the sample is statistically flawed from the start.

Even so, an amazing number of hypohormonal youth are consciously checking the "No" and "Never" boxes on all kinds of forms, so there must be something to all this silence of the springs. Some say it's caused by pollution, others blame it on junk food, other groups say it's parenting and video games combined with global warming, yet others say it's a blend of pesticides and hormones in the food, compounded by tv programming, or vaccines, or all those drugs, something in the water, as men become epicene like back in Heian times (though those earlier epicene males were downright priapic, cruising the streets of Heian-kyo doing their ardent best to generate today's electorate...

Anyway, seems like everybody blames this apathy on a different cause, but it must be due to something; young loins couldn’t be simply giving up on sex because it’s no fun and not worth doing -a bother, even - since that is an utterly laughable statement en masse and would indicate collective insanity, apart from being blatantly untrue and a few other things as well, like here comes the end of the world-- or at least Japan, which would have to close down for good with a population smaller than that of Antarctica. (Would there still be visas?)

Apart from the niagara of internettable porn flooding eyeballs with both sexes and then some, another possible cause, if not merely a symptom (but if you ask me, there is nothing mere about sex; I'm a big fan) could be the increasing use of the "boyfriend's arm pillow," a best-selling prop that replaces the least procreative aspects of a boyfriend, who, being elsewhere by mutual preference, is increasingly likely to be dozing on his "girlfriend’s lap pillow," a best-selling item that does the same for the guys whose arms have been taxidermically replaced, as their entire presences are increasingly cold-shouldered and the national population graph suffers erectile dysfunction.

As if that weren't enough, after decades of young J-males depilating their bodies and learning to wear makeup in an effort to appeal to females who it turns out prefer to sleep on manufactured boy parts, Japan is concurrently giving birth - ironically speaking - to another social phenomenon, that of the hikikomori, defined as a person who hasn't interacted with anyone outside their family for more than 6 months, three-quarters of such individuals being male (many having been replaced by pillows), who number over a million so far and are increasing by the day, if the lengthening lines at pillow shops are any indication. It will be a dark day indeed, and for all the world, when Japan's last love hotel shutters its doors.

I should add that, in so many earlier ways, Japan has been the canary in the world's coal mine... So get ready, world.


pserean said...

I can't help but wonder who thinks up these the man pillow.
I'd put a little cassette thingamajiggy in it, though...
would triple the sales, i should think:

'have you lost a little weight?
your waist is so tiny!\
of course those pyjamas don't make you bum look big!'

hmmm. i shall look into job openings..

Robert Brady said...

I'd say you have a bright and wealthy future in a growing industry.