For men in Japan, looking for love isn't easy. A new survey has revealed that a quarter of them are still virgins by their 30s, and the problem has gotten so widespread, there are courses to designed to help them finally have sex.
One program is called "Virgin Academia," and it's run by a man named Shingo Sakatsume. He helps the "able-bodied" improve their viewpoints on sex, and, most importantly teaches relationship skills, Agence France-Presse reported.
Shingo said that sexual images are everywhere in Japan, and yet people don't really talk about sex and relationships, the Independent added.
"Virgin Academia" hasn't been widely accepted in Japan's society; its lectures on how to find a partner, and a three-day boot camp that includes intercourse lessons and guarantees to help men lose their virginity, has met with protest online and in the press, and caught the attention of police. It was shut down.
What remains of this sexual instruction is a life-drawing class, in which men get to sketch naked women and get used to the female body -- and understand it. Takashi Sakai, 41, is among the virgins, and found the class very illuminating.
"The first time I did this, in autumn last year, oh... I was so amazed. Their bodies are incredibly beautiful. One thing I learned is that there are many different shapes of breasts and even genitals."In total, a quarter of married men in Japan are still virgins, so many that they have a special moniker: "yaramiso." People there don't have too much nookie to begin with; 50 percent didn't have sex within the last year, 15 percent within five, Japan Times reported. This may contribute to the nation's declining birth rate.
Compared with other countries, Japan's youth put off their first sexual experience as a rule; nearly 70 percent of those aged 18 and 19 were still virgins. In Europe, kids aged 15 to 20 had much more intercourse.
So what is behind this statistic? For one, you can blame the economy, said matchmaking expert Yoko Itamoto.
"Many men seem to have lost confidence as they've lost their economic muscle."In the nation's "very tough and competitive" society, not being able to find and keep a good job has been emasculating for men.
But there are more personal, emotional causes at play.
One anonymous architect, 49, said he fell in love twice and both women rejected him, an event he called "devastating" and that "seemed to invalidate my life and take away my reason to live."
According to the Times, which profiled a couple reformed virgins, a strong bond with one's mother and ridiculously high standards for another also contributed. As for Sakai, he said he admires women, but has no idea how to get started chasing after one. He's still hopeful, however.
"There is no need to be so pessimistic. After all, being a virgin isn't fatal."[Photo Courtesy Chris McGrath / Getty Images]