Sexless Japan – Really?

Modern Japanese Women - are they Sexless?With maid cafes where pretty young girls that ooze submissiveness to their “masters”, and “shuccho health” (出張ヘルス, basically, dial-a-prostitute) and soap-lands (sensual bathing houses with soapy special service) to vending machines for porn, and specialty shops with used high school girl underwear; Japan, at least on the surface appears one of the most sexually proactive nations in the world. Japanese men are as perverted (if not more perverted) than those in other countries, and as for the ladies, on top of being naturally feminine (with petite sexy bodies, skin that doesn’t seem to change complexion from childhood, pretty faces and silky black hair), the women of Japan have no misconceptions about what style – clothes, perfume and make up – makes a man stop in his tracks, and rouse that tingle in his loins.

When interacting with others, sex and everything surrounding it is fair game for a topic of conversation in Japan and, it is certainly not frowned upon by religious groups or society at large as it is in the USA and other countries. When it comes to secreting sexual hormones and sexuality in general, almost nothing is taboo in Japan – until that is, the day one gets married, or so it seems. Indeed in stark sexual contrast, Japan may be suffering from a sexual drought, where being totally open about sex and being sexy in general, doesn’t seem to be converted into the ins-and-outs of baby making when it comes to married couples.

The state of sexless marriage in JapanShown in these statistics, a recent survey by Japan’s health ministry found that as many as one-third of all marriages in Japan are sexless. The problem is now so widespread that the government fears it is a major contributor to the dramatic plunge in Japan’s birthrate (now only 1.28 births per woman). This sexless phenomenon is not only found in those relationships that are plunging down the drain toward divorce, but to the contrary, more and more couples that consider themselves healthily married (and have no intention of separating), have not had sex with each other in the last month or more (the common definition of “sexless” in Japan), with many saying that they have not had sex together in the last 6 months to one year.

According to the most recent survey of 41 nations last October, the average Japanese has intercourse 45 (and according to Bayer Pharmaceuticals as low as 17) times a year, compared with the global average of 103. Japan is repeatedly at the bottom of the list. Last year it trailed Singapore, which was 28 shags a year higher!

The term “sexless”, was first used in Japan in the early 1990s, but now is instantly recognizable to the Japanese as a universally understood concept, and widely discussed in the media. There are books on the subject and thousands websites and heartbreaking blogs discussing sexless Japan, while letters on the subject fill agony columns on “dear doctor”-type sites.

Sexless JapanOne in five sexless couples say they view sex simply as a nuisance. A small number cite the lack of a private space, because children or elderly parents often sleep just the other side of a paper-thin door, leading many married couples to even sleep in separate rooms. Mitsui Home announced recently in an Asahi Newspaper article, that in 30% of the new houses they build, the couples are asking for 2 “master” bedrooms. This is a shocking statistic, which shows that sexless couples want to continue living their lives together – separately! “We are sort of room-mates rather than a married couple”, one 31-year-old man, who had not had sex with his wife for two years, told the Asahi Shinbun.

There are many other theories about why the Japanese become less inclined to raunchy evenings in the sack together, but likely it is a mixture of some of these:

  • Stress of work/life in Japan (maybe the taihen cloud?)
  • Lack of understanding, and usage of contraception, especially “the pill” (who wants to use condoms with their wife!?), making sex with your wife viable only when you want to have a baby
  • Abundance of 不倫 (furin, or extra-marital) relationships
  • More and more Japanese women choosing career over family
  • A tendency among Japanese married couples to feel an aversion to sex with their spouse, not because they dislike one another, but rather because they feel that they have more of a sister-brother relationship; the sanctity of which would be destroyed with a repulsive incest-like feeling, by what westerners would consider normal conjugal relations

The last point is an interesting one, as in the past, it has been traditionally Japanese women who complained that they couldn’t see their hubby “as a member of the opposite sex.” But in the last few years, there’s been an exponential increase in men who can’t view their wives as sexual partners either. While it is true that many Japanese married couples seem to be sexless in nature, they key thing to remember is that this certainly does not mean that they lack the desire for sexual fulfillment. While marriage and children may bring on a sex drought in the home, Japanese people who want (and in the case of most men, need) sex do not simply abstain from sex because they cannot see the feminine qualities in their own wife, or the sexual attraction of their hard working husband.

Japanese housewife seeking sexJapanese men love their companies; they live for work, and many don’t even think it is a problem if they don’t have sex with their wives. They have pornography and the sex industry (soap lands, cabaret bars, and dial-a-girl services, and trips to Taiwan) to take care of their needs, but their wives have nowhere to go. They just suffer in silence.. or do they? The divorce rate in Japan has nearly doubled in the past 10 years, with more women blaming their sexually inactive, as opposed to sexually errant, husbands for break-ups. Though they may not be seeking sexual pleasure from their better halves, married Japanese women are seeking intimacy from other sources (many even claim to have a sex addiction), leading double lives – being the good mother, while at the same time seeking out “Leroy” the lover, who is always lurking, and ready to fulfill her every desire.

Sex Friend search sites are used by women in Japan widelyJapan is full of temptation, and it doesn’t matter whether you are a housewife or salary-man, there is plenty of raunchy action waiting out there – if that is what you desire. Furin sites to find a (extra marital) “sex friend” partner are just as rampant in Japan as in other countries, however they are much more widely used by women in Japan to solve their sexless quandaries. For the more conservative ladies, sites like – which are neutrally classed as “social networking” spaces – are abound with profiles (men and women) looking for partners to secretly spruce up their sexless, but otherwise happily married lives.

Many Japanese marriages may be sexless, but this is only a statistic about the state of sex within marriage itself. In fact, there may be a good reason for the sexless condition of marriages here – Are the Japanese getting enough of the good stuff outside their marriages to keep them happy? I certainly think so.

Japanese people will never be sexless as individuals; therefore Japan is not sexless, so don’t let mere statistics confuse the situation!

(If you are married in Japan, or married to a Japanese, let us know what you think of “Sexless Japan” by leaving a comment below!)

1,228 thoughts on “Sexless Japan – Really?”

  1. On top of that today I chased the neighbor’s dogs out of our yard with a stick. This is after I spoke to them politely about their dogs (they did nothing) and called Animal Control twice (they still did nothing). After that she got upset and said she didn’t want any trouble with the neighbors and took to bed at 5:00 PM so upset was she …

  2. Oh don’t you just hate that. What is it with those J-wives that just think it’s ok to go to sleep when things don’t go their way? No sense of responsibility whatsover. A slight disagreement and sorry hubby, sorry kids. Everything is just off the agenda. Off to bed until the dinner is made, the kids are showered and in bed. And then it’s time to wake up and watch youtube for hours in the middle of the night so she’s tired the next day and needs to sleep in during all of the busy stuff in the morning. Is that just a J-wife thing?

  3. Wow. This whole thread is a must-read for anyone with a Japanese spouse who is experiencing frustration with their lack of desire. Eye-opening to say the least. I see parts of myself in most of the people that post here, from some of the most sensitive and thoughtful to some of the most ignorant, obnoxious, chauvinist D-bags.
    Watching your marriage go from a magical feast of carnal and emotional pleasure and daily affirmation of your manhood to deepest despair, humiliation, and desperation is a wild, soul-wrenching ride. I wouldn’t trade it for anything, right at this moment, because it is from that chaos that a self-awareness and understanding of relationships has been forged that would not have come about was I not presented with such a trial.

    We got pregnant within about three weeks of meeting, probably the first time we had sex, probably her first time (I don’t even know for sure if it was, such is the dearth of our understanding of each other). Sex was good and plentiful for two years, decent and steady for one, poor and sporadic for two, and absolutely gone for more than two now. So has been any sort of kissing, hugging, touching of any kind, and really any words from her at all beyond the bare minimum for arranging family affairs. Conversations beyond that are limited to stressful battles.

    This thread has helped wake me up a bit to the complexity of this issue. First of all are revelations about myself learned from comparing my thoughts and reactions to first-person accounts on here, and secondly, through descriptions of peoples’ Japanese spouses and from the rare first-person post from a Japanese person giving insight to their lack of desire.
    In addition to the standard differences between sexes, it seems we have a very real challenge in reconciling between Japanese and Western people what sex is, what it means, and how and when it is performed. Add that to a couple getting pregnant without knowing really anything about each other, further complications such as a history of depression (her), a substance abuse problem (me), two wonderful children, and it is small wonder that these are times that try a man’s soul.

    I have one question for participants: Has any Japanese/Western relationship ever partially or fully recovered from a complete, two-year drought from sexual relations? I feel like it is long past time to cut my losses and head for Brazil or something, but as I mentioned before, I enjoy the fruits of the struggle I guess. I would like to know if this particular nightmare/learning experience has a remote chance of turning out ok in the end.

  4. Hmm, I agree that most of us guys need to be more active and dominant with Japanese women. Control the purse strings? Uh, no. Sexless? Sorry, but if you’re not woman enough to be affectionate in the first place, don’t expect it. And plus I’d be damned if I’d put up with a woman that jus decides to “shut off”. If the Japanese can’t equate sex with love, intimacy, and affection, you’ll just have to literally hammer it into their body and mind. The last girl I was with was from Hong Kong. She was actually quite aggressive to me to the point where I actually got worn out from literally a few times a day and daily “physical intimacy”. I’ll never forget that one time when it was 4am in the morning and my morning wood was off on it’s own and she decided to take advantage of it while I was SLEEPING. So if the woman isn’t keeping the marriage intimate, make it intimate… don’t wait.

  5. I have been with my Japanese girlfriend for only 8 months but after reading these comments already considering not going ahead. However, my circumstances are a little different that MAY work in my favour, only time will tell:

    – She is 30 and from a southern country area

    – She has lived abroad for 3-4 years and we met in my country (Australia)

    – She loves sex with me and occasionally even masturbates if she is bored and I’m not there.

    – She was in a LTR with a Japanese male for 7 years, had sex daily but she refused to marry and he expected her to be a typical J-housewife, and started to get abusive.

    – She doesn’t want to live/work in Japan, mainly due to the crap work environment, she is studying here to get a good job.

    – She doesn’t care about marriage or kids too much, but she said she would to the right person.

    – When I raised this issue, she said she doesn’t want a sexless loveless relationship, but is not sure what will happen as she’s never been married.

    – I told her (even this early) I do not want a sexless loveless marriage (if we married) and I would leave her if it happened.

    – Although there is a couple of downpoints, her younger sister is married to a J-guy and says they had sex 3 times this year (although my girlfriend couldn’t understand why) and also her parents are divorced and she was brought up by her mother (however my girlfriend was the person who actually convinced her mother to divorce to become more happy, so she has a level head.)

    I was wondering, is there anyone, who know if any Western guys who laid down their concerns/rules early on and worked? For most of the posts I see here, the guys seem to jump into marriage/kids without even realising what will happen or talking beforehand.

    Thanks all.

  6. I’m in my late 30s married to a Japanese wife with two children. I too have been burned and wish I had read a blog like this before getting married. When I was dating her, she appeared to be the perfect wife-to-be – youthful, sex was plentiful, had no problems cooking and cleaning, and respectful. She was like a Stepford wife to be. Boy, was I wrong.

    After the birth of our first child, she changed. She went into Mother Mode and viewed me as more of a friend/brother. Sex went from once every two weeks to once a month. But it wasn’t until my second son was born that sealed the nail in the coffin of change. Now I get sex maybe once a few months and that’s IF I’m lucky! Now I’m just a money machine spewing out cash so she can go have lunch with her Japanese girlfriends and complain about me. I try to get her to bed by gentle cajoling and caressing her neck and she is like a stone statue. I get pissed off looks in her eyes and she complains to me that, “Americans want sex too much!” as if that was a fault! Well excuse me for thinking marriage included sex.

    Besides the lack of sex, our marriage is emotionless. Everything is business related. I bring home the money, she feeds the children and takes care of the home. When I try to bring up discussions about life or current events, she is not interested and asks me to talk about that with my “male friends” instead. The only thing she talks about is food and her hatred for all things Korean, which makes the hair crawl on the back of my neck with her racist diatribe. When I asked her what was wrong with Koreans, she couldn’t give a good reason.

    My advice to you: Be aware that your Japanese girlfriend is going to change once marriage and kids hit the books. I think the whole time I was dating, she has been acting and nothing was genuine. Once she got married, the reality came out since she was safe. She was after my wallet the whole time so that she can secure her place as a housewife and live in comfort while I slave away all day working my ass off.

  7. JamesD – What an awful story. Did you talk to her about this, or set your expectations before you got married and had kids? I really want to avoid this, but from these stories it seems there is a 100% chance it will happen to all Japanese wives, not matter what you do. I think it’s time to reconsider my happy relationship with my J-gf.

  8. Brett,
    No, I would not recommend marrying Japanese women. And no, I did not set a requirements list if that’s what you mean, for my wife before marriage, because I had no idea that she would change this drastically after marriage. Before marriage, she was so nice and funny, smiling all the time. And the sex was so good… Now, I’ve realized that it was all just a facade so that I would marry her and she could secure herself as a housewife. Once she had children, the ball dropped. It was as if my wife knew I could never leave (I love my children too much) and wielding this power over me she has no reason to continue her facade of acting cute or having sex with me.

    Brett, I would have to say that it depends on what is important to you. Would you exchange continuous marital sex for a good mother? My wife is a very good mother to my children, and a homemaker. She’s great at keeping the house neat and cooking healthy vegetarian meals. But I need to have companionship, not just a roommate. A lover, not someone who is constantly denying my most basic needs. I tried communicating this to her but she brushes me off saying it’s so annoying. I thought I was the only one but then I came across this forum. After doing some research, I found out I was not the only one!!

    Here’s an article from 2013 about Japan’s sexless issues.

    God, if I had known this earlier, I would have never married a Japanese woman. But who seriously researches negative things like that before marriage? I sure didn’t. All I could see then was my then-girlfriend (now wife)’s sexy black hair and short skirts. Asian women were so exotic to me. I’ve realized now after 15 years of marriage that they don’t have the same kind of Christian ideals that we do in America, where marriage is a unity of love, not just strictly business. Japanese women are very sneaky. They only want to marry you because you are a means to getting what they want – money and a stable life. That is all.

    If you’re going to go for a Japanese woman, I would recommend getting a prenuptial. See if your girlfriend’s facade drops then.

  9. Hi James. Thanks for your telling your story. It’s stories like yours that have me thinking constantly. It’s only been under a year with my Japanese girlfriend but I have voiced these very concerns with her several times and she has openly talked about it with me. I have made it clear already, and will continue to do so, that I will not tolerate a loveless Japanese style relationship in the future. She hates the idea of becoming a housewife and even left her past engagement with a Japanese man several years ago because this was to be expected of her. He was also quite rich. Surely if my girlfriend was generally after money and a easy lifestyle, she wouldn’t have done this? She tells me she doesn’t like the Japanese marriage style at all. We have talked about possible marriage in the future but she wants to spend a few years with me in my country to see how it goes. Your story has me worried all of this is a complete facade, the down to earth personality, romance, good sex etc. I’m not sure whether to ride it out for a few years and see what happens of just end it now and hope it would have proved the same as what so many people have commented about?

  10. Brett,
    Maybe your girlfriend is different and the one 1% that is unique. If you intend to marry her, I would very strongly suggest that you two lay out what is to be expected in the marriage.

    For example, does she expect you to be the sole breadwinner for the rest of her life? If times are difficult, will she willingly get a job to help out? Also, be aware that once you marry, you will be handing over the wallet to your wife. Japanese women expect to be in control all the finances. She will be giving YOU an allowance, not the other way around. I was not used to this when I first got married, because in America, I’m used seeing both spouses having their own bank accounts. Other questions to ask, does she see you as a partner or a lover? This is very important and you should define that as crystal clear as possible. A partner is just someone you meet for business purposes – get a child to further the family line, be a good wife and mother. A lover, in my opinion, is a partner and more. It is someone I can share my life with, my aspirations, my difficult times, passion, etc. as well as being there to understand and help me through. My wife is unfortunately the former, not the latter. When finances got rough, she became so resentful towards me. It’s almost like they expect to be treated with luxury items and expensive purses and cars to be kept happy. What role does she see herself as a future wife-to-be? What does she expect to be doing, and NOT expect to be doing? These are all things you should look out for. And I still would recommend you to get a prenuptial before marriage. You can NEVER EVER know the true feelings of a Japanese wife until marriage and children come out.

  11. Hi James,

    Everything you said is very true, and I have already spoken to my girlfriend about. I even asked her last night, if she were to have kids one day, what kind of life would she want? She said she still wanted to try and work if she could, possibly even using my parents occasionally to help out. She said she broke up with her Japanese fiance once before because she didn’t like the looks of her future as a stay-at-home wife all day.

    I asked her if she intends to keep the romance after marriage (if we marry) and she said yes.

    We talked about finances before, I told her Japanese women usually keep the finances and give their husbands a few bucks. She knows about this but is happy to keep everything separate, or possibly join accounts later if required.

    She does, however, have a strong stance on saving, and has kindly asked me to try and be better at saving, which in her defense, my saving abilities were really bad but now I have managed to save a lot with her help (she doesn’t have access to this btw).

    I asked her before, would she consider having kids with me in the future? She said – if she thought I was going to be a good father – if not she doesn’t seem to mind being childless if we both agreed.

    All of these things she says seems to counter most of the issues I’ve read with Japanese women, and I’m happy I am doing this earlier rather than later. However from what your story indicates – all of these things may all be careful lies to trap me into thinking otherwise? I guess that’s what I’m mostly worried about.

  12. I’d also mention, while she has helped me be a better money-saver, she herself is doing the same thing and we have talked about saving together for future holidays/possessions etc. I will always make more money than her (probably) but don’t intend to be the 100% breadwinner all the time and I think she understand that.

  13. Brett,
    No matter how different your girlfriend may be, she is Japanese. And that means her thinking will be centered around Japanese culture. Even though she may tell you that she doesn’t want to be a typical housewife and appear to be an independent thinker, I can’t honestly say that I trust her. If you are really asking for my opinion, I would say that I cannot trust her true intentions. What she appears to be as a girlfriend is not going to be the same post marriage. As was the case for my wife.

    Besides the emotionless and dried up sexual life my wife and I have, at least she is a good mother to my two children. I have to give her that. And I love my children so much I would do anything for them. It’s just very frustrating having to “beg” her for sex. I feel pathetic. If you are okay with trading in sex for a good mother, then it may be worth it for you.

    Marriage is an important life decision. This person needs to be someone you can absolutely trust will be there for you through thick and thin. Given the difference in cultures, I would strongly recommend getting a prenuptial at least, to protect yourself.

    For a Japanese woman, she has an important need to be married by age 30 and have a child, when they will be considered old by society’s standards.

  14. Thanks for you input. My girlfriend is already 30 and our plan is to enjoy life for 4-5 years and discuss marriage then. She had her chance for marriage, money and an a housekeeping role, and she refused it. I am going to keep an eye out for any signs of “faking it” in all aspects over the next few years and have the courage to take action, a.k.a leave her if I doubt she’s not sincere. I wish the best for your marriage.

  15. PS – I’m also considering, after reading these comments, to break up now while we are not too in love. From what I am reading, it sounds like not being with a Japanese girl will prevent me a crap life in the future.

  16. @Brett You should probably still give it a chance. I’m a Chinese-American in America and actually the situations above sound a tiny bit like my own parents LOL though I was born in America and I have nothing to do with Japan so this situation may be a bit more pervasive than in just Japan. My mom doesn’t work and my mom and I just spend my dad’s money on food @_@ lol… but if you don’t try, you’ll never know. My aunt is forty something and going with a sixty or so year old and she signed a prenup. I mean like at first I was so shocked that she would sign a prenup as I felt like it was humiliating but after I thought about it I guess it’s fine since they like each other and whatnot. My parents fight sometimes but mostly it’s about me not getting good grades LOL but I’ve gotten a bit smarter since they aren’t so much so I’ve become better at identifying the problems that they’re fighting about and solving them, other than my grades. But I mean I don’t think they cheat on each other…probably… though cause I’m Christian and was brought up Christian in america it’s a bit more of a iffy thing than in Japan I guess. I also think it’s important to keep it going and that it’s funner to try and fail knowing that you tried your best than to give up halfway when it could possibly work. Also I heard something weird than like sometimes when people have children together the Japanese spouse can run away to Japan and the other non-Japanese spouse can’t get the children back which sounds a little iffy to me so I recommend looking up the laws around that. I would also highly recommend not living in Japan though, no offense but depending on who your potential wife hangs around, even if she’s a nice person, people become like their friends :/.

  17. But I just realized the downside of my parents’ situation, we live in america, have a ton of debt cause my dad’s a cashier making around 40k and rent is 2800/month and my parents always tell me to drop out of college LOL and live at home. They also have sex less than once a year I believe… so life is pretty iffy in another way. My dad works overtime every day 11am-8pm including weekends, sometimes 6am-8pm a few times a year to support our lifestyle. I guess my dad got the worser end of this deal :/ But I guess the idea is that this is the American dream and that if we had stayed in asia I probably wouldn’t have been smart enough to go to college at all especially since in Asia there’s quite a bit of brainwashing about smartness and ability so a lot of dumber kids start thinking about going into blue-collar jobs pretty early on whereas if you live in the US in some better ranking public high school districts there’s more of a chance to go up. So I guess I’m trading my parent’s free time for my own chances of success… wow that sounds pretty bad.

  18. Brett:
    If you do get married to your Japanese girlfriend just do not have children her. It does not matter what she says now because once a child is born all her energy will be going to the new little guy and your little guy inside your pants will not receive any attention.

    At the following list of Sex talk with Lou podcast this is discussed in the Wednesday 23rd of March 2011 podcast.

  19. Brett,
    Don’t be fooled, not all Japanese women are like this. People posting here are the guys who had the bad picks. While it is true the mindset described here is a general trend, there are always exceptions.
    And from what you write, your gf might be one. Going to leave abroad, having a LTR without getting married, all these are very good signals. And most important, you already talk about this sensitive topic with her. Give her a chance.

    I met my wife in Canada, we are now living in Japan, we had some up and downs, specially after the birth of the second kid, but we are still at it every other day after 10 years of marriage. She isn’t very sensitive for sure, not much interest in skin-to skin contact, not very interested by any political – future of the world discussions. But she is supportive and kind.
    Coming to sex, maybe she just integrated it in here responsibility package: children, house, cooking, and sex. But she also asks me to take more care of the children, so it’s not like the children are hers, and also more care of her (not only presents; rather things like organizing her birthday party).

    Each person is different. While understanding the culture we grow in, and how it impacts our behavior is important, still people are different, and those fleeing away from Japan sure are more susceptible of being those rare gems with the good sides, without the bad ones.


  20. @JamesD

    I wish I could print out your posts, and show them to all men contemplating marriage to Japanese women! Your story is not at all unusual. It’s so typical, it’s practically a template for how things go from courtship to marriage to parenthood to beyond, here in Japan.

    I’ve heard so many tales of woe, just like yours. I am very sorry for you.

    One thing I wish that westerners, especially men, would understand is that in Japan (as in many cultures around the world in the past) marriage is very much a business arrangement. She gets a steady income, he gets a housekeeper/cook/childminder. I think that this particular arrangement worked very well back in the days when people, especially women, had very few options in life.

    Later on, when western women got the same rights (to earn money) as men, they understood that the price of freedom is responsibility. Couples took responsibility for earning money, and they also took responsibility for running the household and raising their kids together. And yes, they regarded each other as lovers and partners first, and parents second.

    The problem in Japan is that Japanese women got greedy – and make no mistake about it, they are very greedy – and wanted all of the freedom and none of the responsibility.

    If you marry a Japanese woman, you are a cash machine, and not much else. If you are a western male married to a Japanese woman, you will not only be a cash machine, you may also be expected to take a large part in housekeeping and childrearing, because that is the image that many Japanese women have of foreign men. However, your first and foremost role is that of breadwinner. That is why she married you in the first place.

    And yes, she will control the pursestrings. Here is an article about how to control your husband through controlling his spending money. It’s pretty typical thinking for a Japanese wife.

  21. A lot of juvenile comments here. Some guys sound so entitled…. I’d suggest most of them don’t get married at all let alone to a Japanese lady. I’ve been happily married for 18 years to my Japanese wife. I may be in the minority.
    In any case, I wouldn’t take recommendations about whether to marry a Japanese or not from comments on a blog!

  22. I take these comments with a grain of salt. I am currently in Japan visiting my girlfriends family. Of course only people with issues complain here while the ones who are happy do not care to visit these websites. I can see the culture here and I can see a lot of the crappy marriages people speak of. But I can also see a lot of great ones. I spoke to some friends back home and a majority speak of the same bouts of sexlessness and unhappiness in their marriages to western girls as well, while some are happy. I’m open with these worries to my girlfriend and she seem to understand share my dissatisfaction (which is suppose to be fake right?)

    I could see some bad traits in a Japanese girlfriend who I broke up with a few years ago, totally fake personality (although seemed genuine at the time), laughed at my jokes even though she didn’t find them that funny, did everything to try and make me comfortable at the expense of herself. This is probably the type of Japanese girl who does the 180 after marriage, as that would probably have been her goal. I saw this coming and got out quickly. Are these the type of girls you unhappy guys married?

  23. Brett:
    I met my wife at an American University. She was not fake and is not fake today.. She is a very caring women, and like many Japanese women she is very responsible. Sex when we first got married was never all that good but it was better than nothing or doing it myself. However: once the little babies came it was pretty much down to a couple of times a year. It did increase when she wanted the 2nd child. At this point in time we have not had sex in four years and I doubt we ever will again. To tell you the truth it would be strange to have sex with her now because I am so used to not having it at all with her. Will this be your life if you have children with your Japanese dream girl? I put money on it that it will be the case. Are you willing to take the chance and spin the wheel and that ball will land on that 1 in 38 chance that you get a winner? What can I say but do not do it. The odds are against you.
    I now have an American girlfriend on the side. Oh my goodness now I really know how good it is to be with a sexual women. My wife kind of knows about my girlfriend. That is also the strange life you may live. Your wife will give you kinda sort of permission to have a girlfriend. This is not what I wanted when I did marry. I wanted something much more simple and satisfying.

  24. Like I said Brett, only you can answer for your own future. If we all knew how things would end up, then there wouldn’t be a blog like this. All I can recommend is that you protect yourself. There’s nothing wrong with doing that just in case the marriage goes south. For example, if you have any assets (house, car, bank account), I would keep those separate and not merge once you marry. Depending on where you get married in the states, there are things called Community Property laws. If you’re in a state that has Community Property law, then anything you own after marriage, including any debt or assets created after marriage, become part of a “joint” ownership. That means in case there is a divorce, any assets or debts, such as a house, is jointly owned and have to be halved and given to the spouse.

  25. And to add to other peoples’ comments. I don’t think race matters as much as culture does. Depending on the culture she comes from, you can see ahead of time the type of personality she will have. If your girlfriend is Japanese (born and grew up there), then you can be sure the way she will be handling post marriage will mirror something similar to her own parents.

    My wife acts like her mom – in service to her husband, always polite, and an expert homemaker. Apparently, they sleep in separate rooms however. Not going to ask what that means to my wife, I’m just going to assume they’re “divorced” but not on paper and probably not making love.

    There are qualities I do love about my wife. But the lack of sex does frustrate me very much. You’re going to have to give up one for another…but then, as someone else mentioned, no one is perfect, right. You can observe the way your girlfriend’s parents are acting, specifically her mom, to see what your girlfriend will be like for you in the future, when she’s your wife.

  26. Thanks for the depressing yet honest comments James. I am currently living with my girlfriend and her mother for a few weeks in holiday before we return home. I love her mother and she seems to love me, a really nice down to earth lady, however she divorced her husband 20 years ago and has never seen him since so I can’t comment about how my girlfriends parents act together. My girlfriend didn’t change at all one back in Japan. I’m gearing towards ending my relationship soon due to this blog. Too much risk, sex is too important to me post marriage.

  27. @Brett
    I think it really does hinge upon whether you are planning to have kids with her.

    “I even asked her last night, if she were to have kids one day, what kind of life would she want? She said she still wanted to try and work if she could, possibly even using my parents occasionally to help out.”

    I would like to emphasise the “work if she could” part here. Japanese women will make any excuse that they possibly can to get out of working after marriage, even if they hinted before marriage that they were amenable to the idea. Believe me, I’m friends with dozens of Japanese housewives, and I’ve heard all the excuses. All of them. The biggest one of all is that “the kids need me at home” and this is actually a valid one in Japan where it’s extremely difficult to make flexible and inexpensive childcare arrangements, unless you happen to be living with/near very supportive in-laws.

    However, even when the kids get older, the mothers dote on them so much and encourage total dependence on them to the point that even high-school-aged students expect their mothers to be waiting at home for them after school. It’s not rare for even college-aged students to expect their mothers to be at their every beck and call. Fathers in this situation play very much a marginal role as breadwinners and not much else.

    By the way, an informal survey of my middle-aged housewife friends suggests that about a third of them don’t sleep in the same room as their marriage partners, and some even share sleeping quarters with their own teenaged/adult daughters but not their own husbands.

    Right now, your girlfriend may seem very different from the average Japanese woman, but once she has kids? Forget it. The peer pressure will be too much for her, she will definitely succumb and be just like all the other happy housewives she sees every day. Her world will get smaller, and so will your role in her life.

  28. Can I ask: to the men with wives who no longer wish to make love, have you ever asked them why they don’t want to make love anymore and what are the replies that have been given. It’s something that I don’t think has been mentioned in any of these posts and I would be really interested to know.

  29. L:
    too tired
    can’t relax with the house a mess
    can’t relax with the kids in the next room (what if they come in?)
    I can’t feel romantic in the house
    too stressed by the children
    surely you are too tired on weekdays because you are working?
    that tickles (in a bad way)
    I’ve got to do the cleaning
    let’s wait until the next time we are alone in a classy hotel
    It’s too cold

  30. Hi Nikki,

    It might be worth mentioning we do not live in Japan and she has limited Japanese friends (both in Japan and o/s) and of those she had, they are not married nor have kids. She doesn’t have any friends, sisters etc who have kids at all. I spoke to her about the possibility of moving back to Japan. I stressed Japan visits need to be limited to holidays as my job prospects there are extremely limited and she agreed. Of course many of you will retort with “yeah just wait until 5 years later she’ll force you to go to Japan” which I am very aware off and have no problem ending the relationship if she wants to run back to her mum forever. One of my Japanese male friends also made it clear a big reason Japanese wives change has to do with having a close knit circle of housewife friends who influence each other.

    If we ever decide on kids they will be raised in Australia. Of course this thinking is extremely early but I’ve made this known.

  31. Thanks for that MNOP…

    So it sounds like two things need to be eliminated- the kids and the housework…any chances of having the in-laws look after the kids and helping out with the housework?

    Human beings are all the same with needs and desires, there must be a reason why it suddenly gets switched off after child birth- having kids isn’t a good enough reason because other women in other parts of the world seem to manage it.

    But the kids being so close by and housework- being that J-women are so organised and on it- makes some kind of sense, so if those were taken care of then…

  32. Brett,

    It’s obvious that your head and hurt are struggling and you want to be with this girl…no amount of what other people are going to say is going to change that, so just go with your intuition on this one but be cautious at the same time…

  33. “Of course many of you will retort with “yeah just wait until 5 years later she’ll force you to go to Japan” which I am very aware off and have no problem ending the relationship if she wants to run back to her mum forever. ”

    The fact that her Mum is divorced (and presumably hasn’t found another life partner) doesn’t bode well, especially if your wife is the only daughter. Most Japanese people feel an extremely strong sense of obligation towards their parents, and these days the burden of caring for them seems to fall exclusively on daughters … even more so if their parents raised them single-handedly.

    I’ve heard so many scenarios that began with “Mum fell off her bicycle and broke her hip, I have to go back and take care of her for a couple of weeks, and I really don’t feel comfortable leaving the kids with your folks …” And you know how that one usually ends. Something’s got to give, the wife can’t be in three places at once, and unfortunately the one family member who isn’t genetically related to her is going to get the shitty end of the stick. That’s just the way it is.

    (By the way, this particular scenario is becoming common in Japan even amongst Japanese/Japanese couples. I know of several marriages that ended when one half of the couple wanted to move to across country to take care of ailing relatives, and the other half refused to move. It’s a drawback of the aging society here.)

    You say you are going to end the relationship if she runs off back to Mum. What if there are kids in the picture? Will it be so easy then?

    “One of my Japanese male friends also made it clear a big reason Japanese wives change has to do with having a close knit circle of housewife friends who influence each other. ”

    Yep, bullseye! Peer pressure, as you know, is strong everywhere in the world, but Japanese society takes it to a whole new level. Japanese people, especially women, are almost constantly watching and keeping tabs on each other. Some of the nastiest and most spiteful people I’ve ever met have been Japanese housewives. On the other hand, some of the loveliest and kindest people I’ve ever met have been the exact same women! It all depends on whether you conform to their exacting standards or not. Men are so busy out at work that they know next to nothing about women’s culture in Japan. I think they would be shocked if they did.

    If you are planning to marry and raise kids in Australia, then you’ll definitely be in an advantageous position. But upthread we’ve seen posts from a couple of men in Hawaii, whose wives hang out almost exclusively with other Japanese housewives, making them subject to the same kinds of peer pressure that they would be in Japan. So it looks like if you want to have a happy and long-lasting marriage with this woman, then you are basically going to have to turn her into a foreigner, and/or refuse to have kids! Is that really what you want?

    Anyway, kudos to you for thinking all this stuff out in advance. An ounce of prevention, and all that.

  34. Thanks L

    Also, re: MNOP’s comment. I think they are excuses to cover a wife’s true feeling; she doesn’t want sex!!

  35. Thanks for the reply Nikki. It may be worth mentioning my g/f has 2 other sisters in Japan as well.

  36. But if that’s so Brett, it comes down to how can a girlfriend fake enjoying sex before marriage and that not be obvious to the guy…

    I just can’t believe it’s kids that affect physical relations that much or that Japanese women are not into (because they obviously were before marriage and/or kids…)

    So what is the real truth to all this?

  37. I wish so much that we could all solve the mystery of sexlessness in this thread. I had no idea how much men suffer from loveless marriages until I read this thread. We women are capricious creatures, and I’m very sorry about that!

    Why do women go off sex?

    From my own life experiences so far:

    1. When raising small children, we feel so exhausted and “touched out” that at the end of the day, the last thing we want is for anyone to lay a hand on us, no matter how lovingly. It literally makes our skin crawl. (This is a biggie.)

    2. Childrearing is, these days, such a hugely specialized task, that takes up enormous amounts of physical and emotional energy. It requires a kind of laser-like focus on the job at hand that doesn’t leave much time (or mental space) for other activities. It’s as if almost every other relationship takes a back seat to the one that you have with your children. I have no idea why or how it got that way. My own grandmothers had several children each, and yet still managed to maintain loving unions with their husbands. How did they do that? I wish I knew. We are living in messed up times.

    3. Hormones. Women’s bodies from puberty onwards are in an almost constant state of flux, thanks to hormones. It must sound strange to you, but there are many times that being in charge of a woman’s body and mind feel pretty much like driving a car with a steering wheel that simply will not go in the direction that you want it to. I’m sorry about that.

    4. Life stages. This is pretty much connected to hormones, but there are plenty of other variables (such as the presence/absence of children, career trajectories, and elder care). I think it’s very telling that some of the people I know with the happiest, most caring and care-free sex lives are post-menopausal and even elderly women. They’ve gotten all the hard stuff out of the way, they don’t feel they have to exchange sex for shelter, they are no longer at the mercy of their out-of-control hormones, and they certainly have no fear of pregnancy (at least, I hope not!).

    5. Body image issues. I don’t even know where to start with this one, so I won’t. Let’s just say that you could have the most perfect woman in the world, and you still wouldn’t be able to calm her fear that she wasn’t beautiful enough for you. (Multiply the fear by a hundred once she’s had a baby or two.) For younger women, their self-esteem is very much tied up with their sexual attractiveness. If a woman feels she doesn’t look sexy enough, then she will simply shut down and refuse to engage in sex at all, rather than deal with her issues.

    6. This is difficult to write … but frankly I think that many women don’t actually go off sex itself. They just go off their partners, especially after their children are born. I don’t know why or how this happens. Perhaps it’s biological? (Another biggie.)

    7. Japanese women are subject to intense peer pressure (although if you ask me all women are). I’ve heard of cases of women admitting that they loved and sexually desired their husbands, and being roundly ridiculed for it. I’ve had hundreds of intimate conversations with hundreds of Japanese women, and I can tell you know that it is standard practice for them to regard their husbands as meal tickets, sperm donors, and not much else. They speak very disrespectfully of them and are often quite contemptuous. Some of them even look forward with glee to the day that their husbands die, so that they can live out their lives as merry widows. I am quite sure that there are many Japanese women who do privately love and respect their husbands, but you’ll never get them to admit it. Their friends’ opinions are far more important than that. Actually, I think they are being sensible – after all, who is going to hang around longer, their husbands or their friends?

    Anyway, I’ve got no solutions, but I hope you can understand just a bit more about the way that women think about sex.

  38. There is no way we can get out of here by acting crazy, we need
    to settle down. He’s got to refrain from screaming like a
    little girl when a hit ball comes right at his face.

    Women should not sit and talk throughout the game or do not
    sit and talk on a cell phone – go to the lobby, outside,
    a bar, etc.

  39. Question from L. Can I ask: to the men with wives who no longer wish to make love, have you ever asked them why they don’t want to make love anymore and what are the replies that have been given.

    The most frequent response from my wife is that it takes too much time and it is not productive. She can have an orgasm in a few minutes. As I have gotten older and I am now 54 years old it takes me much longer. However: I did tell her that for me sex is not just about reaching an orgasm. I would be happy to just have sex with her and we will finish when she had her orgasm. I think in her Japanese mind that this makes no sense at all. Once she starts something she has to finish it. Therefore: we never start because it is a waste of time to spend more than 10 minutes on something that produces nothing. She also can not relax or get into it. I think this was pretty much always the case. The all time worst sex one can have is with a Japanese wife that is focused on other business. I think Japanese wives are always focused on other business so it is always the worst. I stopped initiating sex four years ago because it sucked so bad. We have not had any sex in that time since she will never initiate sex.

    I have had a couple of girlfriends after I gave up having sex with my wife. My wife did make me into a good lover. It is a real challenge and test to find a way to satisfy a Japanese wife sexually. The effort I put into that effort has given me some skills, and so much so that the women I have been with have told me that I am very good in bed.

  40. Thanks Timmy T…

    I think what has always confused me is that J-women obviously like making love before a marriage and/or before kids so what is it that changes after a certain period of time- in your situation why was it later that it became nonproductive and not before in the early stages- this what I don’t understand, if it’s nonproductive wouldn’t it have always been non-productive? But maybe as Nikki suggested there are so many factors and reasons it’s impossible to attribute it to just one thing.

  41. Interesting how the same issues keep happening. I’ve been posting here for a few years and here’s the latest update. Previously we went to a couples therapist and the sex improved compared to before. We are in mid 40s, young kids, living in US.

    Now she decided to drop out of therapy so I go alone. We have sex 1-2 times per week but I always initiate which I hate. It’s like she’s doing me a favor and I owe her for it. I can often make her orgasm which wasn’t the case before. But I think she could take it or leave it and she’d be fine whereas I need it 2-3 times per week. It is pretty boring, she won’t dress up etc but at least I’m getting some.

  42. L:
    Yes there are many factors why my wife just is not interested in sex. Was she ever that into it before we had children? Only a little bit. After the kids she was not into at all. I guess in her mind sex was productive when we were younger because of coarse she would have to put out to at least stay married. In addition it is kind of what one needs to do to have children. So looking back at it most likely she was putting out and it was not for her own benefit of finding pleasure. Once we become older she is most likely thinking sex is no longer part of the glue that keeps the marriage together. The only thing is that for me I am contemplating giving up the marriage because it is still important to me.
    The thing is hard to figure out because one would think she is would want sex since she can reach orgasm at record speed. However: for her it is just too much effort for the enjoyment she may get out of it.

  43. Used to orgasm at record speed? Can girls really do that? That hints perhaps she was never truly orgasming in the first place? Check the follow up article to this; girls fake it a lot before marriage.

    Mine can’t orgasm at record speed but it can be fast. I had to make sure she wasn’t bullshitting me. Which can be hard. Girls are great at faking it.

  44. Why would any girl want to fake it and lose the chance to be pleasured…another on my list of ‘thing’s I don’t get’.

  45. Damn this is depressing. I was excited at the idea of moving to Japan permenatly (16 btw), since I enjoy the food and culture but if marriage is going to be like you guys describe I don’t know if i should since I do eventually want to get married. Gotta ask, did you set your expectations of what married life would be like to your wives before you got married? With the cultural differences that would seem to be the obvious thing to do to make sure you both were on the same page. Though from reading through all the comments it sounds like you all got the bait and switch so I doubt that would have helped. Also this is probably a stupid suggestion but have you ever tried to give your wife an erotic massage? (Oil, candles, dim lights, etc…). It seems like the usual excuse is their too tired. An erotic massage would not only help them relax but also maybe get them in the mood? But that probably isn’t an option either if your wife isn’t up to it. (Though why they wouldn’t want something thats 100% for their pleasure is beyond me).

  46. Hey Jerome,

    From what I have read most of the guys didn’t set expectations because they didn’t think they needed to, or didn’t know of these issues before they happened (thus learning about them online later). I haven’t heard of too many guys with J-girls who set expectations early and still got screwed, so this may be a good thing but I am expecting there are guys reading this who would disagree.

    Re: the erotic massages etc, I bet they’ve all tried that. A lot of the cases I’ve read here, the wife doesn’t really let them do anything physical, let alone an erotic massage. If the wife really doesn’t want sex, she’ll see the massage as an attempt to get sex.

    I’ve read a lot of comment of guys who say their sex life just before marriage/baby wasn’t that great. If this was the case, that would be a clear cut sign that the sex will vanish soon. The few guys who had great sex right up until kids, that’s when it’s difficult to predict and prevent.

    I’ve already made it clear to my girl if we get married, I will not tolerate a sexless marriage. It’s her choice to stay or leave under this premise. This is all I can really do at this stage, other than trying to make sex as enjoyable for her as I can. At least if I do this, and she decides to turn sexless, I can tell myself I did all I could to prevent it.

    PS – don’t give up your chance to live in Japan for a while, it’s such a great place to holiday/live.

  47. Haha thanks Brett I still plan on moving there, and from what I’ve read on other news articles, I won’t even have to worry about marriage since it seems like people my age in Japan have given up on getting married in the first place.

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