Sexlessness Among Contemporary Japanese Couples

  • Alice Pacher
Part of the Leisure Studies in a Global Era book series (LSGE)


A major reason for sexlessness can be traced back to a lack of open communication within the couple relationship in terms of sexuality, along with an insufficient knowledge about each other’s sexual desires. In addition, a perceived separation between the role of a family member (not associated with sexuality) and the role of a romantic partner before or outside familial ties (endowed with a perceived sexuality) also contributes to sexlessness in contemporary Japan.

This chapter uses the term ‘couple relationship’ and ‘couple’ to denote “a permanent and sexually founded connection between two persons with a particular form of institutionalization (sexual partnership, residential community, marriage) and an intimate everyday practice” (Burkart 2018:29). This means that the term ‘couple’ as used in this chapter refers to married connections between two persons, but also to unmarried ones which aim to attain a higher degree of social institutionalization and intimate every practice; however, the term does not denote extramarital sexual relationships that do not aim to obtain institutionalization. This distinction is important in particular for Japanese readers because the common Japanese understanding of the term ‘couple’ covers a different scope than in Western semantics, often integrating rather loose and superficial interpersonal relations, but not married persons.


Sexuality Japan Sexlessness Couple relationship Leisure 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alice Pacher
    • 1
  1. 1.Meiji UniversityTokyoJapan

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