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William Pesek

The Lust Beneath Japan's Sex Drought

The stories about Japan giving up on sex are off-target and miss the bigger picture.

An occupational hazard for foreign journalists is traipsing into "exotic Japan" and getting lost in a forest of stereotypes, fuzzy data and tarted-up headlines.

Such is the case with the media's renewed obsession with reports that the Japanese have given up on sex. This canard emerges every couple of years, but it's snowballing anew thanks to an Oct. 19 Guardianheadlinescreaming: "Why Have Young People in Japan Stopped Having Sex?" The references to dominatrixes-turned-sex counselors, men who get excited by robots, virtual-reality girlfriends and the demise of the Japanese people proved too much for Internet jockeys to resist.