January 19, 2015 13:09
A growing number of married couples in Japan are celibate, with polls suggesting they could amount to almost half.
The Family Planning Federation of Japan on Friday said a nationwide survey of 1,134 people between 16 and 49 last year found that 44.6 percent of married individuals are not having sex. That was a 12.7 percent rise compared to the same survey in 2004.
The Japanese Association for Sex Education Research classifies a married couple as "sexless" if they do not have sex for more than a month without suffering any ailments.
Male respondents most frequently cited fatigue due to work as the reason for their celibacy (21.3 percent) followed by too much trouble (10.1 percent), fear of intimacy (10.1 percent) and priority on hobbies (4.5 percent). Among women the biggest reason was too much trouble (23.8 percent), followed by fatigue due to work (17.8 percent).
The biggest proportion of celibate men was in the age group between 45 and 49 (38.8 percent), and among women between 40 and 44 (65.4 percent).
Experts believe those are the busiest ages for working men and women. Condom maker Durex in its annual promotional study in 41 countries ranked Japan at the bottom with people having sex on average 48 times a year, compared to the global average of 103 times.
Long working hours and a tradition of separate bedrooms are seen as the main reasons for the rise in sexless couples. According to one study, 88 percent of Japanese married couples in their 20s sleep in the same bed, but among couples in their 40s only 77 percent.
In Korea, celibacy is less widespread. Pollster Realmeter and the Korea Institute for Sexology surveyed 1,000 married people and found that 35.1 percent either did not have sex at all or just once over the past month.
Also, 33.4 percent said they had sex once or twice a week, while 21.4 percent said twice a month. But 10.1 percent said they had sex daily or three to four times a week.
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