Bosses and girls appear in list of times that call for liquid courage.
Japan tends to have a pretty accepting attitude about drinking. Aside from breakfast and weekday business lunches, there really aren’t many situations where it’s considered unacceptable to knock back a few cold ones (or hot ones, if you’re drinking atsukan, warmed sake, in the winter).
So with the booze flowing so freely, it’s not uncommon for young men to take a glass of liquid courage before embarking on a nerve-inducing endeavor. Japanese Internet portal R25 recently polled 200 working men between the ages of 20 (Japan’s legal drinking age) and 39, presenting them with a list of 15 intimidating situations and asking which they have trouble doing completely sober, but find easier to do with the aid of some alcoholic refreshments.
Let’s take a look at the top 10 responses.
9. Cry (5.5 percent of respondents)
Crying in a bar may not be anyone’s first choice for a fun night out, but you could argue that it’s a better venue than your workplace restroom.
9. Have a serious discussion about work with my boss (5.5 percent)
In Japan, the line between “working” and “drinking” is often a blurry one.
8. Tell my girlfriend that I’ve been feeling unsatisfied in our relationship (6.5 percent)
6. Talk openly and casually with others (7 percent)
6. Have a verbal argument with someone (7 percent)
The two responses tied for sixth place are actually a pretty convenient pairing, as it’s been my experience that if the main reason you think you can talk “openly and casually” is because you’re drunk, there’s a pretty good chance you’re actually being “loud and annoying,” which often leads to verbal arguments.
5. Have a serious discussion about work with my coworker (8.5 percent)
4. Go to a strip club, kinky massage parlor, hostess bar, or some other sort of sexy business establishment (12 percent)
3. Gaze into a woman’s eyes (19.5 percent)
Surprisingly, the respondents seemed to find looking at a woman’s eyes a more difficult hurdle to clear while sober than paying her to show her breasts.
2. Sing karaoke with all my heart (22 percent)
1. Make a pass at a woman (25 percent)
In Japan, many relationships only graduate from being 100-percent platonic after a lengthy period of getting to know one another through school clubs, mutual friends, work, or some other group activity. Because of that, trying to take that first step out of the friend/acquaintance zone can feel like a big risk, since even if she says no, the pair will still have to see each other in some professional or social capacity.
This style of courtship also means that it’s less common for a guy to flirt with someone he met by chance at a pub in Japan than in many other countries, and a lack of experience can make that seem like a pretty scary undertaking. So whether it’s with a woman he’s just met, or someone he’s known for some time, a quarter of the men surveyed said they like to steady their nerves with some booze before they make their play.
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