The no-sex zone

“According to a fascinating and bewildering investigation in the Guardian by Abigail Haworth Japanese young people are losing interest not just in marriage but in romantic relationships. “Some have even given up on sex. The national press is calling it sekkusu shinai shokogun, or celibacy syndrome.” This is, of course, having a terrible impact on the nation’s birth rate.

Reading this, naturally, the first thing I think of is the song Turning Japanese by the Vapors, which has the lines:
No sex, no drugs, no wine, no women
No fun, no sin, no you, no wonder it’s dark
Everyone around me is a total stranger
Everyone avoids me like a cyclone Ranger

LISTEN to Turning Japanese HERE

“Songwriter David Fenton explains: ‘Turning Japanese is all the clichés about angst and youth and turning into something you didn’t expect to.'” He denies that it contains either the sexual or racial connotations to which it has been attributed. “It could have been (turning) Portuguese, Lebanese, anything that fitted with that phrase. It has nothing to do with the Japanese,” the guitar lick and the video image notwithstanding.

That story about the young Japanese came out around the same time as I noticed articles on Facebook from a couple Christian pastors suggesting that sex is not meant for enjoyment, but that one ought to read a book or see a movie if one wants to have fun.
It’s ironic that young Japanese have inadvertently adopted the credo of ministers a half a world away. (Perhaps they should read this – WARNING: explicit – article about the joys of premarital sex.)

Of course, part of the argument against premarital sex, beyond the religious, has to do with unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Even now, About half of the of the 6.7 million pregnancies in the U.S. each year are unplanned… and “women with incomes at or below the federal poverty line are five times more likely than those at the highest income levels to become pregnant by accident.”

The trouble with the virginity pledge is that while it may be an “effective means of delaying sexual intercourse initiation among those inclined to pledge…; pledging does not appear to affect sexual safety among pledgers who fail to remain abstinent.” Indeed, ‘abstaining’ teens still get STDs.

When it comes to sex, ignorance is NOT bliss.

3 thoughts on “The no-sex zone”

  1. NALT… Not All Like That, meaning that Lex and I are from the Christian Left, which doesn’t get much press. We take our teens to the local women’s sexual health shop; talk to them frankly about condoms, and demonstrate their proper use, including “Don’t use the free condoms from Planned Parenthood. They are often donated from condom companies that were not satisfied with their effectiveness, but still took the donation tax writeoff… if you need condoms, talk to your parents, who should know about your activites. They should be happy you are not spreading STDs.”

    There is also a Japanese style of dress and attitude that’s androgynous, and Riley (among many lesbians who identify as “gender queer,” androgynous dress but definitely same-sex orientation) has adopted such. Many Asian students on the UW campus cannot be identified as man or woman from their dress. I say, do what suits you.

    As far as the joys of premarital sex, I never married someone with whom I did not enjoy sex. Both marriages had that trial period, because without that chemistry, it’s an awful bore. But there is a lot to be said about coupling THAT part of the relationship with an examination of both partners’ spiritual values, including money… how it’s to be spent, and on whom. Plasma screens or tithing to church/giving to community? Amy


  2. I have to say screwed up sex ed is pretty bad and messes people up pretty bad.

    That said, I wonder if a “wait until you graduate” program would be better. Just wait until after high school.

    Most people I know who had sex in high school found it to be a pretty miserable experience and that’s where kids are in danger of teen pregnancy and dropping out due to teen pregnancy.

    Of course, that would be practical and not tied up with religious or hyper liberal morality…


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