Japanese adults are not getting laid, according to a new study which found that around 25% of heterosexual Japanese adults between ages 18 and 39 have never had sex.
When broken down by age group, nearly 80% of those under 20 who are virgins, 40% of those between 20-24, and nearly 10% aged 35-39 reporting never having had sex. Of course, this means that if things don't change - there's a whole lot of 40-year-old virgins roaming around Japan.
Perhaps unrealistic expectations set by tentacle porn, large-breasted hentai girls and used-panty vending machines have intimidated Japanese women into closing up shop until later in life. Or maybe high levels of soy combined with the #MeToo era have created a population of ultra-feminized men afraid to make the first move?
The study also found that - brace yourself - men who make more money have more sex than those with lower incomes.
"Although the discussion around cause and effect becomes very complex when considering who becomes sexually experienced and who remains a virgin, we show that heterosexual inexperience is at least partly a socioeconomic issue for men. Simply put, money talks," said lead author Cyrus Ghaznavi.
The decline in sexually active Japanese adults during their reproductive years is worrisome, and the Japanese government is well aware of what's to come if things don't change, and soon.
In recent years, local governments have boosted their efforts to pair off heterosexual singles in a bid to reverse the country's declining fertility rate.
"There seems to be a national push to get people to really think about this issue and feel a sense of urgency," Choo said.
Furthermore, despite Japan's multibillion-dollar porn industry, Choo said discussions around porn and sex remain taboo. "Sex is seen as dirty and corrupting in Japan," Choo said.
"My students can't use the word 'penis' or 'vagina,' and if a woman expresses any knowledge or interest in sex, you're seen as a fallen women. Men don't talk about it, either." -CNN
According to Kukhee Choo, a media studies professor at Sophia University in Tokyo, Japan actually began to embrace the Western concepts of free love and sexual liberation following WWII. As Japan's economy skyrocketed into the '80s - at one point becoming the world's second-largest economy, working stiffs became the dominant idea of masculinity. After Japan's economy went tits up in the '90s, the ensuing period of financial insecurity and economic stagnation was a real confidence killer when it comes to getting laid, according to Japanese studies professor Shigeru Kashima of Meiji University.
"Over the past two decades, some Japanese men have found it hard to face external hardships and fear rejection," said Kashima. "There's also an attitude of men devoting themselves more to their hobbies compared to women dedicating themselves to work."
"Some people are in a relationship and they're sexless. Some people don't want to be in a relationship because they don't want to be sexual. This is all going on at the same time among young people in Japan," said Choo.
As we noted last May, sexless men are known as "otaku," - a Japanese term for socially awkward gents who have isolated themselves from their families and romantic prospects alike. "[T]hese “geeks” tend to be diehard anime and manga fans who have little interest in dating," wrote Luisa Tam in the South China Morning Post.
Taking it one step further are the "soshoku danshi," which translates to "grass-eating men" or "herbivore men" - a term coined by Japanese columnist Maki Fukasawa who describes these particular isolationists as having a "monk-like approach to life and relationships," which of course includes no sex.
Studies in Japan estimate that this class of men, normally in their 20s and 30s, account for around 60 per cent to 70 per cent of the male population. Obviously, their reluctance to procreate is a major cause for concern. Japan has had one of lowest birth rates in the world for nearly a decade now. -SCMP
“These herbivore men don’t connect with others, they don’t establish their own families or have children and don’t really contribute anything meaningful to society, either tangibly or intangibly,” says Dr. Paul Wong Wai-ching, associate professor of the Department of Social Work and Social Administration at the University of Hong Kong. “They are like parasites who often live with their parents. So you can imagine how it’s going to affect society in the long run, socially and economically.”
It didn't always used to be this way. During the Edo period (1603 - 1868), Japan was downright freaky - as evidenced by Shunga - erotic art typically made using woodblock print techniques. And while contemporary Japanese porn blurs out genitals, Shunga artists tended to draw oversized naughty bits.
During the Heian period (794-1185) there was an entire Japanese school of Shingon Buddhism devoted to sexual energy, known as Tachikawa-ryu. While most of its rites have been destroyed, we know that Devotees used ritual sex to reach enlightenment.
"Sexual intercourse between a man and a woman is the supreme buddha activity. Sex is the source of intense pleasure, the root of creation, necessary for every living being, and a natural act of regeneration. To be united as a man and woman is to united with Buddha," reads one of the sacred Tantras.
Alas, Tachikawa-ryu is no more - having been outlawed in the 13th century, with most of its writings either burned or sealed away at various monasteries.
And now, Japan has a serious virgin epidemic.