Society and Identity
In an era were more and more people live alone and marry at a later age or not at all, it becomes necessary to look at personal relationships beyond marriage. However, in spite of a huge and at least in the western context often exoticizing media coverage, there has been almost no research on romantic couple relationships and/or sexual relationships and their meaning for individuals and their lives in contemporary Japanese society. Recent statistical data from the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research as well as from the global Online-Survey “Generation What?” suggest that young adults (18–34 years) lack opportunities and spaces to talk about and actually ‘do’ sexuality.
Drawing on semi-structured interviews with young heterosexual adults from Tokyo in their late twenties, the presentation focuses on the questions of where and how to talk about sexuality (also on a methodological level) and where and how to ‘do’ (various kinds of fulfilling) sexuality in contemporary Japan. While talking frankly about intimate topics in public places, the interviewees directly referred to the supposed lack of spaces and opportunities for talking about and doing sexuality. I show, however, that the young adults find individual and (sometimes) creative ways to cope with this situation and to appropriate and create corresponding ‘sexual spaces’.