Sex in Japan

Warning: This post is not for under aged.



Here’s a tip for you who enjoys staying up late and have an interest for Japan:

Tonight, 00.00, the Swedish TV-channel “Kunskapskanalen” will broadcast a documentary by Pierre Calue concerning the very much disturbing facts concerning today’s sex-life in Japan.

…or you can do as me… ( who have a work to go to on Monday ^^)… watch it on The documentary (~50 minutes long) was put on the site February 22nd and you will be able to watch the clip ‘til Mars 24th.

Unfortunately, the documentary is only viewable in Sweden. If you know French, you can probably look it up on YouTube. Search for Pierre Calue and “L’Empire des sans”. It might be understandable to follow if you know Japanese as well. French and Japanese are the spoken languages in this documentary.


Beautiful view in Japan

At, and at the broadcast tonight, the documentary will have Swedish subtitles.

If you’re interested but don’t have the opportunity to watch, I will shortly describe the content in this post since I recently watched it.

The documentary on Sex i ett stressat Japan.

This is not a romantic story in any way. For a westerner, it’s rather disturbing and sad. I wasn’t surprised by the facts, since I know that Japaneses to some extent is a very lonely people and their culture is very different from ours. Especially when it comes to sex and relations.

When we (“western-Japan-lovers”) think about Japan; we mostly have a quite romantic inner picture of the country. We watch these lovely animes, gets fascinated by the weird and cool inventions, the extreme fashion and the colorful and exciting environments…



This documentary exposes the dark reality behind the fantasies and this might make some people disappointed or uncomfortable, especially for those who have a very glamorous and naive picture of Japan.

Japan IS an amazing country. I love it and I would love to live there, but I’m also aware of many negative things. Like the problem between people to connect and the working situations. But after all – no place on earth is heaven for real. Even the sun has its spots.

When westerners think about Japan + sex, we mostly picture really refined stuff, a bit weird, exciting and unrestrained. That’s because we are exposed to a fantasy.

Reality is something totally different. Unfortunately. I don’t say that this is the reality for all Japanese – I mean – how would I know? O_o But there is a growing trend and the documentary tells the story very well.

Japan has the world record in sexual continence.

Screenshot from the documentary

Screenshot from the documentary

1/3 of all couples stops having sex early in their relationship and the rest doesn’t have sex at all. Japan has the lowest birthrate in the world which highly affects consumptions, economics, social growth and evolvement. If this situation doesn’t change, then Japan will have 35 million LESS citizens by year 2050.


Administrative authority has actually provided the Japanese people “guides” to help them communicate, having sex and giving birth to children. This is a serious problem in Japan that many westerners don’t know about.

And while the sex-life between couples is diminishing, the sex-market is flourishing. It’s extremely profitable and continuously growing.

The Japanese sex industry

The Japanese sex industry

The question you ask yourself while watching this is WHY do couples stop having sex?

It seems like the problem actually starts with the men. THEY are the one who asks for separate bedrooms and avoids their women – not the opposite. Their excuse is tiredness and lack of time, among else. Sex seems to be considered as something tiresome.

The documentary focuses on some specific persons with different standing concerning sex.

One man says that communication is a big problem. He can’t tell his woman (that he actually loves) what he want in the bedroom. He can’t confess his sexual fantasies. Why? I suppose it’s taboo and a result of the communication problems.

Instead, he frequently visits some kind of videostores that are getting more and more popular in Japan. There are over 500 stores like that in Tokyo. The videoplaces offers a great supply of pornographic material and private rooms to rent, designed for masturbation and relaxation. Additional sextoys and equipment can also be bought for extra charge.

Video store with masturbation rooms

Video store with masturbation rooms

This shows that Japanese men doesn’t necessarily lack of sex drive – but they choose other alternatives than their own wives. An explanation behind this – and that are presented in this documentary – is that men want it simple and fast. They work a lot and are tired when they leave their jobs. They want sex, but don’t want to work too hard for it. Having sex with a real woman includes pressure and a need for extra effort to satisfy her TOO.

The border between reality and imagination is quite vague in Japan. It’s pretty hard to get for a westerner who’s not familiar with it, but for a Japanese, it’s actually nothing strange with animated or cartoon porno – so called Hentai. In Hentai, the sex-objects can be anything and absolutely perfect. There are no boundaries concerning anything.

It’s not unusual with quite extreme sex jokes in regular animes either. In the western world, animated movies and cartoon are for children – not adults – and hence it can be considered quite perverted.

Anime and erotic jokes

Anime and erotic jokes

This leads us to the sex dolls – or sex robots – which industry also is growing in Japan. In this documentary, Pierre Calue is focusing on the company Orient Industry (NOT for under aged) that produces extremely advanced and high-tech sex-robots.

Sex robots, work in progress

Sex robots, work in progress

Their objective is to create dolls that look as human-like as possible – and as perfect as possible. The dolls have real human hair and for extra charge, you can choose specific features like color of the eyes and size of the vagina.

The sex dolls appeared already in the 30s, but were pretty simple back then. Today they are highly advanced and are more robots than plain dolls. Orient Industry’s dolls can make 28 different movements, on demand or spontaionusly. They are implemented with artificial intelligence that memorizes the man’s personal fetishes or sexual needs.

Sex robots

Sex robots

In other words, they are a simple alternative to real and “complicated” women. I guess they are pretty expensive though.

I have never seen male sex dolls when I think about it… In this documentary, there’s only female sex-robots as well.

It’s very ironic… as sex-dolls looks more and more like real women… Japanese girls looks more and more like dolls. The more a girl looks like a doll, the more desirable she’s considered. When walking around in fashion areas like Harajuku and Shibuya, you see a lot of these “perfect” girls.

Japanese lolitas

Japanese lolitas

The documentary also focused on a man called Kota, who had major difficulties reaching out for women. He was single and lonely, which was very painful for him. To satisfy his emotional needs for tenderness and intimacy, he frequently visited cat cafes.

Lonely man at cat cafe in Tokyo

Lonely man at a cat cafe in Tokyo

There‘s about 50 cat cafes in Tokyo and I visited one myself in Shinjuku during my last visit in Japan (Day 4: Calico cat cafe in Shinjuku). When I was there, the thought that people would visit that place for these reasons NEVER occurred to me.

Kota liked to go there to pet the cats and show them tenderness. He thought of it as a metaphor of his personal contact with women who just like cats where hard to get. He tempted the cats with treats to get their attention, but the next minute, their interest of him was gone again. Cat cafes for Kota didn’t seemed to be something sexual – thanks Goddess – but it was a resort where he could touch, showing love, feel closeness and relax.

Pets are a common cure for loneliness in Japan (just as in the rest of the world I guess). But maybe it’s a little bit more extreme in Japan. In Tokyo, there’s actually more pets than children below age of 15.

The third man in this documentary, Rio, represented a new kind of social phenomenon among young people in Japan. That’s a new generation that choose to be non-interested in relationships and sex. They call themselves 草食男子 (Sōshoku danshi), in English “Herbivore men” and the Swedish translation is “gräsätare”. It has nothing to do about being a vegetarian though.

A herbivore guy.

A herbivore guy.

They are frugal, very much aware of their physical appearance and have a lay-back attitude towards life and carrier. Rio expressed that he didn’t want to struggle through life. Maybe this phenomenon is a result of the inhumane pressure that are put on Japanese students and that brings so many to commit suicide.

Herbivore men rejects marriage, and the society’s expectations of them; expectations to be a “good consumer” and to follow social traditions. It’s not unusual that these guys prefer being alone, are hetero, but doesn’t feel any need to do anything about it. They are satisfied with their lives, have no ambitions and just want to relax.

50% of all Japaneses between age 20 – 30 are herbivore men. They are called the “I love me”-generation. Getting a girlfriend is considered to be a waste of time and money. Rio says that girlfriends more or less solely are a status symbol; like a cool car or a famous wallet brand. He also quotes a lyric that I suppose is his motto: “Freedom and loneliness goes hand in hand.”

And yes, in one way I believe he is right.

The summation of this documentary is that the Japanese welfare has killed the natural sex-life among a lot of people. The individual comes first, not the erotic meeting between two people.

The reality escape, the need of comfort and the isolation have created a new self-oriented and egocentrically sexuality.

Pierre Calue ends the documentary by saying: “Is Japaneses just a different kind of people, or are they actually ahead of us in evolution?

What do you think…?

4 replies »

  1. Thanks for that article! I was just watching the documentary tonight and decided to post on my blog :
    You’ve pointed out some interesting parts of the documentary and I want to develop on those as I was already planning an article about the documentary, with a bit of a different take.
    Come check it out and tell me what you think 😉

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February 2013

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