Sex. A Tokyo Expat's View.
My editor in Australia comes up with a topic of sex. Wow. After 16 years in the same relationship you’d think I was an expert. Not true. What I can tell you is that sex is a weapon. And here is where I step aside and allow my friend, Margeau, to take the helm of this little orgy of sexual opinions. She is all woman wrapped up in a Southern charm which belies her Dixie stubbornness and resolve. When she speaks, I listen.
Margeau’s opinions on sex:
She fastens me with a stare and interlaces her hands. Elbows are definitely on the restaurant table. This is going to be good.
“Paul, sugar, maybe you aren’t aware but:
“Sex is very different from a man’s point of view and a woman’s. The mechanical result is simple — men shrivel and women might be on the threshold of conception after sex if your uterus is ‘viable.’
“Is sex love? Nope. You might veneer the emotions but, simply put, it is much like a sporting event. Like playing hand-to-hand combat without trying to bite off someone’s ear.
“People say if you are honest you can relax and allow sex to happen. In this day of stealthing, (when your man suddenly has to go doggie and he yanks off the condom) and misrepresenting one’s fertility possibilities (“I’m on the pill, I can’t get pregnant!”), you’d wonder why anyone wants to have sex.
“Take the myriad of infections you can get. Some you can treat, some flare up and abate and others will slowly grind you down til death.
“So when you hear someone threatening to ‘hold out’ or not ‘put out’ for sex, they may actually be doing someone else a favor."
“Oh, yes, and back in the 1990s, I remember you had to come to Tokyo with a year’s supply of birth control pills in a vitamin bottle because you weren’t able to get them here and you weren’t supposed to bring in more than a month’s supply. Your only choices in Japan were condoms and foaming spermicide strips that looked like breath freshener film. It was pretty grim. Your last choice was going into the gynaecologist’s. Foreign women were surprised the doctor would look at your body shape and say, “you look like a medium” and you would be tossed a wrapped diaphragm — no hop up into the stirrups for a fit, no demo on how to juggle it with cornstarch. This happened while you were still dressed. It made you feel like a noblewoman in China with her doctor’s doll in ivory. “I’ll just point to where I need you to treat, but for modesty, don’t look.”
“And while we are at it, the old adage of a man cheats on his wife with his left hand has gotten a few technological boosts. Is holding out on sex to ‘teach someone a lesson’ such a good idea? There are fleshlights and soon maybe even sex-bots. If taken to the absurd, if robots can refuse sex and claim rape, where will humans be then? Back to square one. Looking for a fast interaction and back to the things that push you through your daily routine. This is Tokyo. You see how the boys from Roppongi Hills stand tall on their wallets trying to impress the girls at places like Motown?”
Margeau sighs and looks down at the table and smooths out the linen, “Still, how many couples are made at those places?”
“But for all the misery and dissatisfied times we have sex, it’s not a white thing, a black thing or an Asian thing. There is some part of us — each human — that makes us reach back and say, I am willing to give it another go if you are, darling.”
My mouth is open. My eyes are open more than usual.
Margeau smiles and says, “Don’t sit there looking like an owl on a barn door, pass me some Sweet and Low for my iced tea. I have a date tonight.”