“We’re all having less sex, apparently, but is this new ‘Celibacy Syndrome’ really just women doing what they want?” asks Emma Sayle.
“Why aren’t the Japanese fucking? Is Celibacy Syndrome commonplace in Japan?”
This is what Vice magazine quite concisely asked when studies revealed that Japan’s youth have given up on sex. Quite literally, celibacy in Japan is on the up. Could that mean—for Japan—Celibacy Syndrome is too? And yet, our Japanese Kittens are some of the sexiest we know.
The article stated that more than 40% of 18–34-year-olds in the Japan are still virgins. It’s not that they can’t get it either—another study by the Japan Family Planning Association found that 45% of Japanese women just don’t want it.
And it seems this ‘Celibacy Syndrome’ (to quote Japan’s media) is a global issue. For example, a recent US study of 27,000 individuals found that Millennials are now having—drum roll—around two shags or less each week, or 80 times per year for those in their twenties.
Overall, the study found that couples who live together have sex 16 fewer times per year in 2010–2014 compared to 2000–2004.
Is Celibacy Syndrome a bad thing?
I’m a mother of two, and I personally think two shags a week pre-kids is pretty good going—especially if you and your partner both have jobs, hobbies, and a hopeful social life to squeeze in somewhere.
Rather than Celibacy Syndrome being a global crisis, perhaps it’s a sign that girls, in particular, are deciding when they want to have sex?
Women are very much the ones calling the shots most of the time these days. After all, I’ve built an empire on this fact, and that we’re now very comfortable saying ‘no’. Plus, there is no longer this whole ‘got to find a husband and have babies in my twenties’ expectation anymore.
‘Does celibacy make you tighter?’ and other myths…
Is the trend to do with the population crisis? That Japan’s birth rate (especially in key cities such as Tokyo) is plummeting directly affects a bigger problem? Or the belief that the less sex you have keeps her tighter and younger in her physical quest for beauty?
Not so, according to the experts. It seems that the most significant factor is, they just don’t want it. And it’s a similar story with many of the men in Japan, too, with rising numbers heading towards virtual relationships and digital girlfriends. There are easier ways to get what they want, and the shift in what they want is changing too. Relationships are hard to come by and time-consuming—digital alternatives are easy and instant.
Work took first place, with sex landing on the backburner
When I was in my twenties, I was very much on a work and life mission. I loved my weekends away with the girls, my crazy sports races, and I loved working hard on building my business.
Sex and boys were way down my list of priorities, and as a result, I actually had two separate years of no sex. I didn’t plan them, they just happened, and they were two great years.
Modern life and libidos
Of course, modern life and all its woes can take their toll on our libidos. Who isn’t tired, working late or worrying about money? Stress affects our sex drive, and even if we do fancy it, by the time 10pm hits, most of us just want to curl up in a ball and go to sleep. Our ‘To-Do Lists’ are much longer and are now cluttered with distracting digital stuff, making us feel like we’re a hamster in a wheel that’s just getting faster and faster.
I know I feel like that, so I tighten the reins, and, as a result, I get more wound up. Pleasure then naturally takes a backseat. Never mind shagging, I used to read two books a week! Now I’m lucky to read one a month.
Can we link porn to celibacy syndrome?
Modern life also means porn is far more accessible, and some reports have blamed it for these lower rates of sex. Perhaps they’re right? Perhaps we’re all just watching sex instead of having it. But, to be honest, I’m less bothered about that and more concerned that porn creates false expectations and unrealistic goals—screaming like a demon-possessed and really loving anal sex is not how it goes in the real world.
So, what have we learned?
When it comes to Celibacy Syndrome in Japan, it’s become a serious talking point. Conversations are taking place high up the chain, debating the reasons why celibacy is bad for the places where it’s happening the most—Tokyo, being one of the most pivotal cities. Having more workers and fewer mothers is making a direct impact on the city’s culture. And it’s the culture that appears to be playing the biggest part.
With the sex syndrome of Japan, in Tokyo, it’s about career progression and putting a professional lifestyle first.
Back in the States, one of the authors of the US study believes the reason Millennials are having less sex is that, just like me in my twenties, they may actually have other things to do and are more empowered by their sex lives. He went on to say that the dynamics between men and women in relationships have changed, affecting how often they have sex.
So maybe women are saying no when they don’t want it and yes when they do—which is exactly how it should be. Maybe that’s why rates have dropped? And when it comes to Celibacy Syndrome, Japan are a few steps ahead in global trends?
Perhaps, instead of focusing on the quantity, we should take up studies that focus on the quality. Maybe we should all try and combat celibacy by heading to blogs like frolicme?
However, as long as it’s good when you do have it, that’s what really counts.
Emma is one of the UK’s leading ‘sex-entrepreneurs’. She made her name launching the elite global adult-party brand Killing Kittens in 2005, which now has over 80,000 members having launched events across the US, Australia and Europe.