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Extramarital Affairs and Sexless Married Couples

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(No) Sex in Japan


Although extramarital affairs are widely discussed by Japan’s mass media, including by TV personalities and internet celebrities (to negative and positive reception), there is still a lack of academic research.

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  1. 1.

    The definition of “extramarital affair” does not include the sexual services industry, but “extramarital sex” includes it. Some men use sexual services “to avoid disturbances in daily life caused by love affairs,” and others want to pursue “fresh love” with an “ordinary woman” that they cannot experience at home. Still other men want to abandon the role of the husband to manifest “a man” (Kameyama, 2003: 16–21).

  2. 2.

    Fūzoku (or sei- fūzoku sangyo) is the Japanese term for the sexual service industry and its wide range of services. It includes those that offer sexual intercourse and those that forbid sexual intercourse but provide oral satisfaction. There are also services that only allow cuddling or touching (Pacher, 2018b).

  3. 3.

    He mentioned that people have friends for eating and surfing. Likewise, for sex, he would like to find friends for sex purpose. He says it is much simpler to think of sex separately.

  4. 4.

    The author spoke with this interviewee again on September 26, 2019, asking again about the infertility treatment. He said it was very hard, and he did not want to do it again. However, he also emphasized he had a deep understanding of people who had difficulty conceiving children and a hard time with infertility treatment. He considered that this experience made him “a thoughtful person,” especially for men. During the infertility treatment, he felt pressure but could not consult anybody about it. This was difficult for him; he suggested many men might have similar problems and no opportunity to talk about them. Sexual issues resulting from infertility treatment are worthy of further study.

  5. 5.

    The author conducted a second interview with this subject in August 2017. He had gotten divorced. He mentioned that sexlessness had posed a big problem, and his wife had not been able to handle this sexlessness any longer. After the divorce, he reflected on his married life and realized that a marriage without sexual contact was not enough. He felt there had been a lack of emotional and sexual intimacy. In the first interview, he had stated that he loved his wife too much and that he had not been able to do a “dirty” thing with his wife, as an explanation for his sexlessness. By the second interview, he had realized that this was not the only reason. Instead, the cause was the pressure of the expectation of a child and a family with his wife: “her family members would always ask me, ‘when will it happen?’”. However, as family and friends started to accept the couple’s privacy, the interviewee moved further toward a life without any sex with his wife. In the future, if he were to marry again, he suggested wanting to have a sex life within his marriage and reflect more on his relationship.

  6. 6.

    He took Viagra without a doctor’s prescription, and his penis hurt for a long time. Taking Viagra without a doctor’s advice is not recommended.

  7. 7.

    During the first interview, the interviewee suggested that the couple had tried to overcome their sexlessness. They talked about sex; although he knew his wife’s libido and taste, he did not tell her about his own sexuality. As married life extended, sexual communications with his wife decreased.

  8. 8.

    At the time of a follow-up interview in August 2017, the boyfriend’s wife had noticed the affair and asked for a divorce.


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Correspondence to Alice Pacher .

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Pacher, A. (2022). Extramarital Affairs and Sexless Married Couples. In: (No) Sex in Japan. Springer, Singapore.

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