Blog

How Porn & Technology Might Be Replacing Sex for Japanese Millennials

By April 17, 2019 No Comments
Photo by Victoriano Izquierdo. 6 minute read.

Japanese millennials aren’t having sex.

According to a government survey published in late 2016, 42% of men and 44.2% of women—almost half of Japan’s singles aged between 18 to 34—are virgins. And while some prefer it that way, others would like their fortunes to change, with 85.7% of men and 89.3% of women harboring hopes of marriage in the future.

Japan’s lack of interest in sex is blamed on everything from a stagnant economy to Japanese manga fans favoring fantasy over reality, according to a report by CNN. Japan has one of the world’s lowest birthrates and is home to a severely aging population, with a recent survey finding 34.6 million Japanese aged over 65. But despite, the government’s attempts to boost the number of marriages and children, this year’s survey results from the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research, don’t reveal a swerve in the right direction.

Nancy Snow, a professor of public diplomacy at the Kyoto University of Foreign Studies, told CNN that changing social and economic norms contributed to the decrease in relationships between men and women. For Japanese males who want real relationships, there are support groups for men who want to overcome their anxiety of approaching women. White Hands, a Tokyo-based nonprofit, offers regular nude art classes, where mostly middle-aged men sketch naked female models. The classes, complete with textbooks, also try to help people feel more comfortable with their sexuality. For many of the students, this is as close as they’ve ever gotten to a real naked female.

Related: The Harmful Worldwide Trend Of Extreme Hentai (Animated) Porn

Class organizer Shingo Sakatsume, who calls himself a “sex helper,” understands how growing interest in the fantasy world of anime is leading single men to choose entertainment over real love and sex.

“By solving the virgin problem, I think we can solve many other problems related to sex,” Sakatsume, told CNN in 2015.

Snow asserted that such nude art classes could potentially be more helpful if there were also women on hand to draw naked male models.

“Here’s an opportunity to bring men and women together—they could have wine to break the ice and communicate more,” said Snow. “To just make it men looking at a female model perpetuates the problem.”

Japan’s Porn Problem

There are many economic and sociological issues at play in Japan that have contributed to their massive sexless and relationship issues, but we cannot ignore the effect porn has on people’s perceptions of sex and relationships.

The country is widely known as one with a very prevalent porn culture, where highly sexualized and explicit animated porn is everywhere. It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that Japan’s booming porn/tech industries are also fueling these issues for millennials, especially considering that Japan ranks as number four in the list of countries that most visit Pornhub.

Japan’s obsession with porn is well-documented, as detailed in the world’s largest porn site’s analytics shown below.

Notice that word “hentai?” Hentai is a relatively newly popular wave of pornographic material that has become extremely popular over the last decade, especially in Japan. This genre has topped Japan’s porn search results for the last few years, actually. But what is it?

The word hentai is a word of Japanese origin which is short for hentai seiyoku–”perverse sexual desire.” In Japanese, the term describes any type of perverse or bizarre sexual desire or act. Internationally, hentai is a term used to broadly categorize the genre of anime pornography.

The signature features of hentai porn are massively exaggerated sex acts featuring characters with impossibly large body parts. It specializes in featuring disturbing fetishes like animal tentacles, children (particularly little girls), and incest. It is common for monsters, demons, animals, giant insects, and plants to rape cartoon women. Women and girls in hentai look like a mixture of adult and child, with rosy cheeks and big round eyes.

A consistent theme in hentai is “sexy innocence.” Adult women, teens, and children are fused into one highly sexual object. The childlike expressions and hairless bodies with tiny, petite frames are combined with massive breasts and extreme porn star behavior. With this type of content so widespread in Japan, it’s easy to see why Japanese men and women may think that a real-life relationship could never measure up to that kind of extreme fantasy. A consumer’s mindset may be, why put yourself in the vulnerable place of social interaction when porn is so convenient and exciting?

Related: Researchers Say Sex With Robots Will Become Reality By 2050

Advances in technology certainly haven’t helped as well. There is even a new Japanese technology that is designed to replace a real-life relationship with a virtual girlfriend. In December of 2016, a Japanese company called Gatebox opened pre-orders for a new breed of “partner.”

While Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home are made for information and convenience, Gatebox seems to be offering a pseudo-girlfriend. Check out the commercial:

No doubt, these technologies are contributing to the issue of Japan’s population crisis. Research shows that porn can cause viewers to have unhealthy, warped expectations for real-life sex and relationships, and Japan is showcasing this.

Porn’s Impact On Relationships

Let’s look at the facts—being hooked on porn can have a huge, negative impact on relationships. As humans, we are hardwired to have relationships and build connections with others in reality. We need the social interaction and sense of community, not the fake intimacy that porn or other technology provide.

The more people become hooked on pornography and their virtual “relationships,” the more they can start missing out on building those connections. Porn can inhibit consumers from feeling socially able to connect to a potential partner, and shy away from real-life connections altogether, at times. Also, porn has been shown to potentially worsen existing struggles with anxiety, and deepen depression.

RelatedWhy Your Porn Habit Is Likely Making You Anxious And Depressed

As porn consumers turn more toward pornography and virtual fantasies, they may lose their desire for real sex altogether. Real sex becomes not as exciting as the pornography, and soon the consumer is potentially dealing with serious sexual problems. Emotionally, those who have a compulsion toward porn become more withdrawn from those they love. Their compulsion pulls them away from their friends and family, making them miss out, and disconnect with those they love.

Why This Matters

As promoters of real love and real-life healthy relationships, Japan’s issues embody the very things that we’re fighting against. Technology can never be a replacement for reality and our natural need for connection to other human beings. We fight against porn because it provides unhealthy ideals for real relationships, as well as fosters a culture of disconnection. We can’t afford to be okay with living on a society that doesn’t connect, which is why real love is so important.

Join us in fighting against porn’s harms in society—disconnect from fantasy and connect to reality.

Send this to a friend