Abstinence on rise as nearly half of Japanese report no sex


Talk about a low birthrate. Increasing numbers of married couples and others are choosing to go without sex.

A biennial survey conducted last September by the Japan Family Planning Association found that 49.3 percent of all respondents said they had not indulged in bedroom gymnastics in the past month.

There was a disparity in the sexes: 48.3 percent of men and 50.1 percent of women reported going without. Both figures were up about 5 percentage points from two years ago.

Among married people, the disparity was more pronounced: 36.2 percent of men reported having no sex, compared with 50.3 percent of women. Both figures have shown continuous growth since 2004. The combined total for 2014 was 44.6.

Asked why, 21.3 percent of the married men said they were too tired after work, while 15.7 percent reported no particular reason but said they had become sexually inactive after their wives gave birth.

In all, 23.8 percent of married women reported having sex was bothersome, and 17.8 percent cited fatigue from work.

The survey also revealed an increase in young men with reduced sexual interest, a group colloquially referred to in Japan as “herbivores.”

Among male respondents, 17.9 percent reported little or no interest in having sex — or even an extreme dislike of it. The proportion came to 20.3 percent for men between 25 and 29, up 2.5-fold from the level in 2008.

The survey covered 3,000 people aged between 16 and 49. Of them, 1,134 people gave valid responses.

  • kyushuphil

    A few years back I wrote a poem, purporting to be news piece, proclaiming that the previous evening nobody in all Japan had any sex at all.

    If we read Miyuki Miyabe’s “All She was Worth,” we can surmise one reason — that Japanese young women, engulfed by advertising, put themselves into the clutches of consumer finance in order to gorge themselves on name brand items. (The Japanese title of her book is “Ka-sha,” or the wagon hurtling all in it to hell fires.)

    Or maybe it’s the schools, industriously shearing all of humanity for the sake of regimentation. That might help explain why millions of guys totally don’t know there may be people in sex, rather than just the mechanical visuals of online porn.

  • Japanese Bull Fighter

    The Japan Family Planning Association is a well known amakudari quango, not a serious research organization. I have been unable to find any description of the survey method or sample used. Coupling the claims of this dubious survey to the low birth rate in Japan is utterly moronic. Germany and Italy have the same rate as Japan. There are a number of Asian and European countries with an even lower rate. And, of course, contraception and abortion exist to decouple sexual activity and procreation.

    • Freedom2Disqus

      Japan Condom is on the rise… Not Japanese abstinence toward sex.

  • Oliver Mackie

    An interesting contrast in thought processes and conclusions between the first two posts here…..

  • Hanamanganda

    I would venture that for a significant number of those with children, the reason for lack of sex after the kids were born, at least some of the time, is lack of privacy. Japanese living quarters can be very small, and soundproofing or even locked doors, are not a prominent feature.

    But at the end of the day (literally and figuratively), it’s probably mostly about fatigue.

    But come on Japan – the world needs more Japanese!!

  • AsianReaper

    Anecdotal I know but most of the women my wife knows say they have not had sex with their mates for years. Since we live in a japanese ex-pat community I figured it was because the men all shag hookers or have a bit of tail on the side.

    • blondein_tokyo

      Hookers. Tail.

      Considering that men routinely use this kind of vocabulary about women, in front of women, I don’t think they should be surprised when women start crossing their legs.

      I tend to think that sex positivity, including in how men speak of women and female sexuality, would be in men’s collective best interest.

      • AsianReaper

        spoken like a true puritan. women cross their legs for so many reasons. Who cares really.
        Japan has a falling birth rate ,50% of men in CHIna are impotent( according to China Daily ) America produces drugs for all eventualities.

      • blondein_tokyo

        Actually, I’m advocating for women (and thus men, too) to have MORE sex .

        One of the afforementioned reasons women hold back and are hesitant to explore their sexuality is because when they do, they’re referred to as “tail” – or worse.

        As I said, it’s in men’s best interest to create an atmosphere where women feel secure and their sexual autonomy is both respected and encouraged.

        We would all benefit if society in general were more sex positive.

  • Tony Alderman

    The soaplands and delivery health businesses in my town seem to be doing as well as ever….