Sexless marriages among middle-aged in Japan now the norm, leads to big jump in adultery

The Japan Society of Sexual Science has completed a large survey of sexual habits among middle-aged and elderly couples, investigating Japan’s chronic issue of “sexlessness”.

Surveying sexual activity among 1,162 middle-aged and older men and women, the results show intriguing trends for the reality of Japanese relationships.

The survey was conducted between January 2011 and December 2012, with men and women living in the Kanto region (which includes Tokyo, Yokohama, Saitama, Chiba etc.) aged between 40 and 79. The average age of male respondents was 59.5 and for women it was 57.2.

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Of the 1,162 surveyed men and women, most had spouses; only 92 of the men were single and 207 of the women.

As the same organization also conducted similar surveys in 2000 and 2003, it can now make findings based on over 10 years of data and trends.

First off, sexless marriages are in the majority. Asking if the people with spouses had had penetrative sex in the past year (with their partners), 52% of me and 54% of the women said “never”. In 2000, this had been 25% and 23% respectively. The drop in sexual activity is particularly noticeable among those in their fifties.

On the other hand, sexless singles are roughly the same for 2003 — 39% of men and 58% of women — meaning that today even if you have a partner, middle-aged couples in Japan have about the same amount of sex as those who are ostensibly “alone”.

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This leads to the next line of inquiry: adultery.

“In the past year have you have intimate relations with a member of the opposite sex who is not your spouse?” This was the question and in 2012 32% of men and 14% of women answered “yes” — a jump of nearly three times for both men and women compared to the 2000 survey! No doubt Ashley Madison et al are making this easier for them.

Of course, “intimate relations” need not always mean actual sex but socially speaking, even if it is just kissing it is in the same ball park as full adultery regardless of your interpretation of the phrase.

The really big prevalence is among the men. 39% of the men who answered they had had no sex with their partner in the past year said they had had “intimate relations” with someone else. Clearly they are going elsewhere for their fun.

So any time a Japanese politician starts talking about protecting the nuclear family, let’s remind him or her of the reality.

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