International relationships need all the help they can get to survive. Everyone has expectations that are connected to you country and culture we don't even realize we have until it's too late. That's why I do my best to help out whenever I can.
For example, a Canadian friend living in Japan with his Japanese wife complained that his wife had just told him that now they had had all the children they were going to have. They would not be having any more sex. He told me, "I love my wife but sex is more important than anything to me." I said, "Bullshit! If that were true, you never wold have become a professional juggler!”
His wife's attitude and decision to not have sex ever again with a spouse after having children, and sometimes before, is not uncommon with women and men. It's that way because the definition of marriage and what's expected of it in Japan is worlds away from what people (we) in the West think and expect it to be. This often comes as a nasty surprise to Westerners in Japan with Japanese spouses and the surprise comes well after legal papers have been signed and the children have been had.
One year at the festival. I met a Welsh man that lived in Japan. He was at the festival on his honeymoon. When I found out his wife was Japanese I said, "Let me talk to her. “ I ask her, “Do you love your husband?" She said, "Yes.”
"Do you want to have a long and happy marriage?"
"Then learn how to like sex because your husband is not Japanese. He's Welsh. He wants to have sex with you until you die, and probably after."
Don't even get me started on attitudes regarding the act of sex itself in Japan. When I'm back in the States, white American men who think I'm part Japanese (because I’m squinty and they’re racist) but won't come out and say it, will, in an effort to be "culturally sensitive" will pepper their conversation with Japanese words they think they know, "Sushi, Manga, bukkaki” That last word, by the way, is not a word you want to be throwing around at dinner. It puts people off their salad dressing. Anyway, these men will eventually pull me aside to ask, "Why is Japanese porn so rapey?" I sit them down with my university degree in Japanese language and literature to explain to them that culturally and historically speaking, portraying a Japanese woman enjoying herself during sex would just be fictional.
I’m Spring Day (real name, hippie parents)
Moving back to the United States after having lived in Japan and traveling the world for 16 years has been a bit of a head fuck, especially since I now work in the U.K. My blog “The United States of Shock!” is where I give my brilliant and bitter two cents, pence, yen and euro on my experience with culture shock and current events. If you have any questions you would like to have answered in a snit, email them to firstname.lastname@example.org