Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Dodging the Question

I got so wrapped up in talking about Kenshojo joining a cult in the last post that I forgot to return to talking about how I tried to pump Quit for information on Sex, Marriage & Women in Japan, but not necessarily in that order. I'm reading two books right now that deal with the above topics and there is a lot on cheating.

I don't know exactly what I expected when I tried to bring it up, I think I was hoping for a long monologue detailing her thoughts on the matter and possibly some juicy details about her own marriage. Instead she deflected to the Sex & the City movie. OK I thought, if you want to talk in this roundabout way, let's see what you have to say about some of the things that happen in the movie. Apologies to those of you who haven't seen the movie but bear with me here, it was the only way I could get any straight answers from her. Quit's official party line is that she couldn't believe Miranda went back to Steve after being cheated on. When pressed, she admitted that she probably wouldn't have forgiven her husband if he cheated before, but now that she is going to have a baby she probably would. Somewhat unsurprisingly, Quit's husband thought it natural that Miranda returned.

I told Quit a little bit about the books I was reading all the while trying to ply her with thinly-veiled questions about the cheating culture in Japan. Why? Well there's not many people I can ask and I am so curious as to what people think about it. Cheating is all I hear about from people's inadvertent comments, TV programs and other media. I can't help but hear all the shit being talked about Japanese men. And guess what?! I'm in a relationship with one and finding it very difficult at times to separate what I hear from my own situation. So in an attempt to sort things out in my head, I am reading things that make me uncomfortable. Not just the books, but all the message boards on Mixi concerning relationships, basically reading until my eyes pop out. I realize whatever it is I am looking for will ultimately have to come from myself but I can't help myself, I'm unhealthily fixated.

I asked Quit if she thinks many people cheat here or whether it's been blown out of proportion. I told her that despite people saying that Japanese women turn a blind eye to their straying partners, they really aren't doing that, and are in fact not at all accepting of cheating. Then I asked her what she thought. I asked her if she and her husband have talked about it. Quit was amazing at dodging my questions! Just when I thought I was on a roll, speaking so quickly I kept tripping over words, she deflected it all with the skill of a goalie. What she did tell me however, is that at her previous job married male colleagues were very open about going to kyabakura, and gokon, which are small match-making parties. She even demonstrated to me how they would slip off their wedding rings and masquerade as single. Tell me something new! I wanted to shout. I have been personally been told by more than one Professional that he has gone to gokon despite having a wife and children at home. On a side note, Quit confessed to me that she had been to 102 gokon and ended up dating only one guy out of the 200+ she had met at them.

Feeling glad that I had at least tried to encourage some dialogue over glazed spareribs and fried rice, I gave up and let her steer the conversation to Ayumi, her former colleague who is now 31 and hasn't had a date in two years. Quit and I analyzed Ayumi's sweet appearance and personality and then went over her efforts up until this point to find a guy, and discussed what she might try from here. I have never discussed the finer points of trying to find a husband and I was quite lost when Quit asked me what I would do in the same position. I brought up Kenshojo as an example of someone who had basically quit the race, and laughing, Quit said that maybe she would find a fellow cultee to marry.


astrorainfall said...

How frustrating. I hear ya. I must say that cheating in japan is a topic I cannot wrap my head around.

Well, I've had a couple of japanese gfs who feel very indignant about this widespread cheating thing and their solution is to date gaijin men who think cheating is a lot more taboo than your average Japanese dude. Even the ones who frequent Roppongi :p

I do have a Japanese male friend who takes relationships and sex very seriously, but it does seem he's in the minority.

Lisa said...

Are these married men cheating with unmarried Japanese women? Or non-Japanese women? I don't get why unmarried Japanese women would waste their time on married men. Are these women who are just looking for a boyfriend, or are these the same women who are interested in getting married and moving to Saitama?

I don't know how people have time to cheat!

Green-Eyed Geisha said...

astrorainfall: I am still puzzled as to why gaijin guys are put on a pedestal as purveyors of romance and chivalry. I think that if it came down to it, there would be a fairly similar split in numbers between guys women would want to date and those they wouldn't, regardless of whether they are Japanese or gaijin.

Lisa: I wish I knew! I'm going to write a post on the two books as soon as I finish them but I doubt I'll be able to shed much light. I think it's a mix of married and unmarried men AND women cheating with each other. In a nutshell, people who aren't getting intimacy in their relationships take up with other people, but I also don't understand what's in it for unmarried men/women.