Is Japan really a sexless nation?

Ignition, a newish English-language online magazine about Japan, has published an article on “Japan: The Sexless Nation”.

The article is actually a translation of a piece that appeared in a Japanese newspaper, by Kaku Sechiyama, a professor at University of Tokyo.

It is provocative, to say the least:

Japan has the lowest sexual frequency in the world, and it is the only country where the percentage of people who are not happy with their sex life is higher than that of those who are.

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In 2005, out of people in 41 countries, Japan ranked lowest — with an average of sex just 45 times a year. Japan was second from bottom (after China) in terms of sexual satisfaction, just 24%.

Another survey in 2011 of people in 37 countries had Japan again at the bottom in terms of frequency — just 27% said they had sex more than once a week, half of that of the country ranked second from the bottom (UK, at 55%).

Dissatisfied women is a major issue here, it seems.

43% of the women who are “sexless” gave the reason of “not sexually satisfied with partner”, a number that is strikingly high and is way above the men’s percentage of 21%. This is a huge contrast to the “non-sexless” group, where approximately 90% of both the men and women said that they are satisfied.

Perhaps if they stopped locking up women who want to celebrate their bodies then there would be more sex in general and, more importantly for the government, more babies?

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While having less sex when you are older is natural due to changes in your body and also being busier with work and raising children, the article surprisingly claims that “19% of the people in their thirties do not have sex is due to being dissatisfied with their sex life.”

Though the article backs up its claims with some stats (based on surveys by Durex and NHK), we are always ambivalent when we read about Japan’s supposed chronic sexless, a frequent subject in Western media.

Yes, many marriages are “sexless” (and adulterous). Yes, many otaku are more interested in 2D characters than 3D ladies.

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But we see nothing but horny people whenever we visit Shibuya, and a walk among the love hotel district on a Saturday gives you a glimpse at all the lucky couples entering or exiting the facilities. No sexlessness here, that’s for sure.

Is the sexlessness of Japan a suburban myth? Or is it only contained to certain sections of society?


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