Yes, that is the question, are Japanese girls sexy? As we continue our explorations into Japan’s low birth rate, this question is more relevant than ever.
You have to recognize that Japanese girls may be the most beautiful girls in the world. Their beautiful skin, eyes and lips may be due to racial purity. Their elegant figures are surely the result of Japan’s healthy diet. They are amazingly well groomed. Status- and class-conscious Japanese society would demand nothing less. And a culture of perfectionism means that everything is just so.
But are these beautiful Japanese girls really sexy? The answer has got to be a big NO! There are no plunging neck lines. When they wear mini-skirts, they usually have pants underneath to cover their legs. They do not wear tight jeans, with low waists. They do not even wear red lipstick, always faint pastel shades.
And even worse, Japanese girls have no idea about walking or moving or gesturing in a sexy way. No swinging hips, no erotic eye movements.
And when it comes to casual physical contact, they just freeze. Quite obviously, even within marriages there must be very little physical contact. All the anecdotal evidence supports this. Husbands and wives spend very little time together. Museums, classy restaurants, theatres and cinemas are full of women, as are groups of Japanese tourists. Men work long hours, drink together and then try to recover on the weekend.
Even where couples do spend more time together, all the feedback suggests that husbands and wives think of each other more like brothers and sisters, than partners in passion. If you look into history a little bit, it is perhaps not surprising that Japanese girls have no sexy role model. Sexiness was always reserved for prostitutes and other ladies of the ‘floating world’, while wives and mothers were more partners in the institution of marriage.
French girls have to be at the other end of the spectrum. The French girl who is not really beautiful will always find a way to make herself look attractive, by dress, manners or even coquetry (her pessimistic Japanese counterpart, will accept her lack of beauty with resignation). The French girl will know how to attract a man without giving too much away.
And in the game of social relations, the French girl will know how to mystify her man. French men and women simply love being together, love enjoying each other’s company.
One of the consequences of this lack of sexiness may the lack of interest in sex among young Japanese men. These men are known as “grass-eaters” or herbivores (“soshokukei”) – because they do not like eating flesh! This term was coined by a writer named Maki Fukasawa in 2007, and has been picked up recently due a book by Megumi Ushikubo (president of the Tokyo market-research firm Infinity), entitled “The Herbivorous Ladylike Men Are Changing Japan" which was published in November 2008.
Based on his surveys, Ushikubo argues that soshokukei boys have a combination of the following characteristics:
• They are not as competitively minded about their jobs as men in older generations.
• They are fashion conscious and eat sparingly so they can stay thin and fit into skintight clothes.
• They are chummy with their moms and often go shopping together.
• They are not interested in dating girls, having relationships, or even having sex (choosing from a plethora of "self-help" toys instead).
• They are very tight with their money and often carry several retailers' "point cards" around, declaring that those who don't pinch pennies are stupid.
Ushikubo estimates that 60 percent of today's men aged 20-34 fall somewhat into the soshokukei category! This generation has grown up through the lost decades of a depressed economy, where jobs are hard to find, and many of those jobs available are low-paying insecure contract jobs. Many of them are very closely attached to their mothers, as their fathers are married to their companies. And many grew up without siblings, but surrounded by TVs, stereos, computer games and so on.
But their lack of interest in sex is also surely due to the lack of sexiness of Japanese girls. Bytheway, their lack of interest in sex has hit condom-makers very hard.
Some of the more surprising aspects are that soshokukei often sit on the toilet while urinating, rather than standing up like a real man. Some even wear male bras. To be sure, these Japanese boys are rarely homosexual.
So what is this doing to Japanese society? This is clearly a factor behind the low birthrate. It may also be a factor behind the lack of competitiveness and innovation in the Japanese economy, which clearly lacks up-thrusting dynamism. The low rates of consumption which are weakening the economy may also be due to this.
There is talk about the possible arrival of carnivorous Japanese girls. If there are indeed be a few cases, they are more likely to simply frighten the grass-eaters. But I can assure you, carnivorous Japanese girls are few and far between.
What’s more, any Japanese girl with any get-up-and-go will marry a Western man (the reverse case of a Western girl marrying a Japanese boy is very rare, and typically involves French girls who are used to French men being spoilt brats). But, many Japanese girls are just as happy to be grass-eaters themselves, going shopping and holidays with their girlfriends, and living with their parents.
What would it take for Japanese girls to become truly sexy? First, they need to develop self confidence, something difficult in a male-dominated society. Second, they need to develop greater self awareness, and especially of the fact that they have a sexual dimension to their person. Third, the whole Japanese society, and especially the men, need to develop a more healthy attitude towards sex. Historically, sex in Japan was a commercial and exploitative affair, like in many parts of the world. But most regrettably that has changed much less in Japan than elsewhere.
I recently asked an American friend if he'd ever dated a Japanese girl. "They're very sexy", I said to test his reaction.
"They don't even look like girls", he replied. "They dress up like untouchable dolls!"
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