What goes on beneath Japanese marital sheets : part 1 of 3


How often do you have sex with your spouse? graph of japanese opinion[part 1] [part 2] [part 3]

The answer to headline is “not very much, quite frankly. And just 17 times a year.”

The Japanese division of the drug company Bayer recently published the results of a survey into Japanese married couples’ bedroom life. They interviewed 103 men and 103 women, all currently married, from each decade of life from their thirties to their sixties, excepting men in their forties, where they only had 102 people, making 823 people in total. The fieldwork was conducted between the 9th and 12th of June this year, by means of an internet questionnaire. No information is available on how the respondents were chosen.

The main reason for this research is, of course, that Bayer is famous for Viagra (oops, hope that doesn’t trip your spam filters), so it wanted to highlight issues surrounding the condition known in Japanese by the initials of the English term, ED (I’ll let you work that one out yourself!), probably because it’s less of a mouthful than the Japanese term 勃起機能の低下, bokki kinou no teika. My dictionary suggests 勃起障害, bokki shougai, is the official term, but perhaps that second term sounds too negative – “malfunction” rather than just “reduced functionality” in the first case. Note that for reasons I’m not too sure of, a lot of the terminology is English loanwords, even when Japanese equivalents exist; for example, ED as noted above, then セックス and セックスレス (sekkusu and sekkusuresu, sex and sexless, to name but three.

As per usual for any bedroom-related surveys, no, I will not tell you where I stand (as it were), but instead relate a wee anecdote. The first time my mother-in-law came to visit our flat shortly after marriage, and as wifey showed her the bedroom, complete with double bed, of course, the mother-in-law asked where I slept.

A tip of the hat to Mari’s Diary to alerting me to this survey! No, I don’t know what the penguins are for either!

First, the basic sleeping conditions. Note that the sample size here, 603 people, is 73.3% of the total size; presumably the other quarter either sleep in different rooms or live separately due to jobs or other reasons.

Q1-1: How many centimetres are between your pillows? (Sample size=603)

Age groupDistance
Total66.9 cm
Thirties, N=16754.5 cm
Forties, N=16765.0 cm
Fifties, N=14370.8 cm
Sixties, N=12681.9 cm

Q1-2: What sort of bedding do you use? (Sample size=603)

One bed23.2%30.5%18.0%23.8%19.8%
One futon8.3%9.0%13.2%7.7%1.6%
Two beds beside each other13.8%11.4%15.6%12.6%15.9%
Two futons beside each other36.0%35.9%35.3%38.5%34.1%
Two beds separated7.5%3.0%4.8%9.1%15.1%
Two futons separated8.6%6.0%9.0%7.7%12.7%

Q2-1: On weekdays, excluding sleep time, how long on average do you spend together in the bedroom? (Sample size=823)

Less than 15 minutes25.0%
15 to 30 minutes13.6%
30 minutes to 1 hour11.8%
1 hour to 3 hours11.7%
More than 3 hours6.9%
No time at all31.0%

Q2-2: On weekends, excluding sleep time, how long on average do you spend together in the bedroom? (Sample size=823)

Less than 15 minutes20.2%
15 to 30 minutes13.9%
30 minutes to 1 hour11.7%
1 hour to 3 hours10.2%
More than 3 hours14.6%
No time at all29.5%

That makes the average of 41 minutes on weekdays and 57 minutes on weekends and holidays.

Q3: Other than sleeping, what do you do in the bedroom? (Sample size=586, up to two answers)

Watch television44.9%
Shared hobbies5.5%

Others include reading books, surfing the internet, massage, etc. Note that due to the smallness of some flats, the living room might also be the bedroom.

Q4-1: How often do you have sex with your spouse? (Sample size=823)

Not for over a year33.9%
Once a year3.4%
Once every 6 months10.2%
Once every three months10.2%
Once a month15.6%
Once every 2 weeks12.8%
Once a week10.1%
Once every 3 days3.4%
Every day0.5%

The average answer was 17 times a year!

Q4-2: Do you think you have a sexless marriage? (Sample size=823)

To some degree26.0%29.6%25.9%26.7%21.6%
Not really32.0%32.0%32.2%31.6%32.0%
Not at all19.2%20.9%21.0%18.4%16.5%

Q5-1: How important is sex? (Sample size=823)

Very important15.4%22.6%8.3%
Quite important44.6%48.9%40.3%
Not very important29.2%24.6%33.7%
Not important at all10.8%3.9%17.7%

Q5-2: Why do you think sex is important? (Sample size=295 men, 200 women, up to two answers)

To make a satisfying relation with spouse57.5%66.5%
Because it expresses love for spouse60.9%56.5%
To satisfy desires37.4%19.5%
Needed to make babies9.9%9.5%
Cannot read this one!6.5%4.5%
Can confirm my attractiveness1.0%12.0%

[part 1] [part 2] [part 3]

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2 Trackbacks \ Pings »

  1. February 29, 2016 @ 02:49

    […] Japan (Durex surveyed anyone sexually active) may be having sex far less than 45 times per year. A 2006 survey by Bayer found that Japanese married couples had sex just 17 a year, on […]

  2. March 2, 2016 @ 02:35

    […] aliyekuwa na hamasa ya mahusiano ya kimapenzi) wanaweza kujamiana kwa mara zisizozidi 45 kwa mwaka. Utafiti wa mwaka 2006 uliofanywa na Bayer uligundua kuwa kwa wastani watu wa japani waliokuwa kwenye ndoa walifanya tendo la ndoa mara 17 […]