Known the world over for impecable manners and social etiquette, yet at the same time home to a thriving sex industry, Japan is a country of stark contrasts. What goes on behind closed doors is seldom discussed in public and yet with risqué manga and adults-only bars and stores in plain view in most city areas, there are likely few urbanites who aren’t plainly aware that behind its deep bows, well-regimented table manners and ceremony surrounding even the seemingly trivial act of exchanging business cards, Japan has a naughty side.
In a recent survey carried out by Japanese condom manufacturer Sagami Condoms, however, 4,100 people from all over the country disclosed the intricate details of their sex lives, discussing everything from when they first started doing it to how often they have sex today and whether they’re completely satisfied in bed.
In the survey, Sagami asked participants aged 20-60 from all 47 of Japan’s prefectures a number of questions about their sex lives. With the answers collated, the company was left with an enormous pool of data to analyse, organize and summarise. We’ll touch on some of the juicier sets of data here, but of course there’s only one logical place to start:
- The first time
Sagami’s survey revealed that it’s none other than the feisty Okinawans who are, on average, the youngest when it comes to that magical/awkward/traumatising first time with a partner, with the average Okinawan being just 19.6 years old when they make their initial foray into the world of sex. Coming in a close second, however, was frosty Aomori Prefecture at the northernmost tip of the island of Honshu at 19.7 years. Temperate Kouchi Prefecture in Shikoku followed in third place with an average age of 19.8. At the opposite end of the spectrum, though far from being late starters, the guys and girls of Ibaraki Prefecture wait on average until they’re 21.1 years old to express their love physically. Wait, this is a survey about love, right!?
But after that tentative start, just how much do the people of Japan like to play the field? Well, according the group surveyed, if you’re living down in Kouchi Prefecture you’ll have around 12 notches on your bedpost (providing you adhere to the traditional notching rules and not the newfangled ‘per occasion’ system…). Those feisty Okinawans also made an appearance in this category, coming in second with 10.2 partners on average, closely followed by the residents of Aichi Prefecture with an eyebrow-raising 10.1. Well, the prefecture’s name does include the kanji for love after all…
Look at you all, sitting up in your seats at the mention of scandal! Well, if this sort of thing turns you on, perhaps — according to this data, as my lawyer advises me to say — your chances of getting a little on the side are highest in Shimane Prefecture in the Chūgoku region of Japan’s main island, where a whopping 26.5% of those asked admitted to having cheated at least once. Shock horror, indeed! Toyama and Mie Prefectures needn’t look so pleased with themselves, either; they both clocked in on the cheat-o-meter at 26.2 and 25.6%, respectively. The people of Akita Prefecture in the northwest, meanwhile, showed that they can absolutely be trusted to remain faithful, with only 15.4% saying that they’d ever cheated. Who else wants to give Akita a hug all of a sudden?
Issues of fidelity and numbers of partners aside, what we’re sure most people want to know here is which prefecture is getting down to it the most. With the population of Japan steadily decreasing, which region should be commended for helping the country out? (Although, this being a survey conducted by a condom manufacturer, perhaps these aren’t really the people to call on for that particular job…) The people of Kyushu’s Saga Prefecture ranked in at number one, with respondents saying that they had sex 2.79 times each month. Fidelity-loving Akita also said that they had grown-up playtime 2.62 times in the same period, perhaps indicating that a regular sex life can have a positive effect on your relationship overall. For all their passion and bling, however, poor old Osaka came in dead last, with the Sagami’s results suggesting that they have sex just 1.52 times each month.
- A little ‘me’ time
Initially we thought we might see some data to suggest that those who aren’t having sex regularly are spending a little too much time alone in the garden shed with pictures of Jessica Rabbit, but the condom maker’s results would suggest the exact opposite. Slowly making a reputation for itself as one of the most passionate prefectures, Akita once again made an appearance in the top three, with its residents stating that they engaged in solo sessions on average 5.67 times per month. Toyama Prefecture on the west coast wasn’t far behind with 5.28 times, and cheeky Okinawa showed its face yet again to boast pleasing Percy or Penelope 4.80 times a month.
We’ve talked frequency, cheating and selfish love, but just where can we find Japan’s best lovers? Interestingly neither Japan’s most sexually active (Saga Prefecture) nor unfaithful (Shimane) prefectures ranked in the top three, with Kagoshima down in Kyushu taking the top spot for overall sex-life satisfaction with 55.8%. Number two was Yamanashi Prefecture with 55.7%, and in third place quiet little Fukui Prefecture (who masturbates the least in all of Japan, it should be noted), where 54.8% of those surveyed said that they were happy with their sex lives. Poor old Ehime Prefecture and Ibaraki, who statistically start late and have fewer partners, came in at the bottom end of the scale along with Tokyo’s neighbour Chiba Prefecture. Come on, guys, this simply will not do! We hope to see you move up at least 10 places next year.
There’s plenty more sexy data to be pored over at over on Sagami’s official survey website. But perhaps we should all just forget about the numbers and spend a little time with our loved ones, kissing, holding hands, and never, ever mentioning how many partners we had before them if we happen to come from Kouchi Prefecture…