Sunday, 20 September 2015

Dating, sex and love in Japan

Note: I was thinking about writing this kind of blog post for a long time. It's a huge topic and quite tricky to write about without sounding like a misogynist, a player or simply a bragging douchebag. But I read so many articles and blog posts about love and sex in Japan and almost all of them only touch the surface and never go down to the nitty-gritty details, the terrible but intriguing truth of it all. So I thought I should really write something honest about it from my humble point of view. So bear with me on this and try not to be offended with what is just a recollection of my personal experiences.

The Traveler

In 2010 I had my first ever relationship with a Japanese women back in Berlin and only in hindsight I realize what a troubled and selfish person she was. Of course she was beautiful, kind and supportive and almost like the Japanese girlfriend stereotype men all over the world dream of, but she also fulfilled many other clichees that are not so good. We got together because she cheated on her current boyfriend and she cheated on my while she was in Japan with an aquaintance of mine, whom I even introduced to her. They became a couple later as well. She went through so many guys in order to find her happiness and missing piece (more about that later), I was just a number in the end. For me it was different in the beginning of course, I enjoyed the learning experience, the exoticness, the support I received. I was clueless about the characteristics, upbringing, values, desires and hopes of a Japanese woman. So I just went with it while it lasted and enjoyed it pretty much. She went to Japan for around 3 months and while technically being still together, she not only cheated on me, she ended the relationship officially without me knowing about it. When she came back, we ended the relationship on that very day on a mutual basis. I didn't even know about the cheating, I just thought it was time to move on. All good, so I thought. She then showed her true cold self and I finally put all the strange puzzle pieces of our relationship together and made sense out of it.

After her I met a couple of other Japanese women living abroad and they all share something, in fact all the types on this list here share it. The search for the "missing piece".

From my experience, they all do the same thing; they "fall in love with the local guy". It can be the next guy they met after arriving at the airport, it can be every single guy they ever sleep with while being abroad, but there is almost always some local guy who they cling to very fast and strongly. Could be in order to survive, to start a multi-cultural family, to get a visa, to just enjoy the exoticness and have fun, it could be anything really. It's rarely about real love though I believe. The Asian women I met in Berlin, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, you name it; they all have this unstable mix of desperation, desire to rebel but sticking to their traditional values at the same time. An unbalance I yet have to make full sense of. Especially the Japanese try to throw all their masks and restrictions overboard and explore the full scale of free, unfiltered emotions, without having any real experience in them. If anything, it's a rollercoaster ride to be with these women, exciting and thrilling, but sometimes on a rollercoaster ride ride you lose your wallet or you need to throw up.

Back then I didn't understand it much since I have never lived abroad in my life before. Now after almost 2 years of living in Japan, I mostly understand them now, even my Japanese ex-girlfriend and her reckless bodycount. She tried to make the best out of a difficult, extreme situation, only trying to find that "missing piece".

Stock image of Asian tourist looking for guys..maybe (www.dreamstime.com)
By the way, I call them traveler because many of them don't stay in one place. They move on. They keep on searching, never really reaching a place to find their piece peace. Most of them were still trying to figure out what to do with their lives.

The Gaijin hunter

But back to Japan. The most common type you run into as a foreign male here is the average Gaijin hunter. It's a derogatery term, I know, but so is Gaijin (literally "outsider"), so I think we're even here. Those women like foreigners, simply as that. They want a white, black, Indian, South-American or whatever type for example. Or they only go for blue eyes and blond hair. Or sometimes it's good enough if you just speak English and are not Japanese. You can meet them in Roppongi or Shibuya clubs and bars, and it's usually them who approach you. So far, so easy you'd think...and sorry, it simply is.

They want a trophy boyfriend or just (another) foreigner to have sex with, so you they get it. The love hotel system in Japan makes that extremly convenient too. One-night-stand paradise. Cheater's heaven. Casual sex candyland. Back in school, I learned that the place where supply and demand meet is called a market. So some clubs or bars in are nothing but a meat market here. Japanese and foreign meat market. There are dozens of mixers and "language exchange" parties in Tokyo every month as well, so finding your next trophy foreigner is ridiculously easy. But so it is for the foreigner; even easier since you pay less entrance fee and just need to stand around, sip on your drink and wait for the next girl to approach you. Here is an excerpt of an event description of a fairly popular and seemingly harmless international party organization. It's funny how they focus on "ladies" here.
In our parties a lot of ladies come early or on time so we recommend you also get there for the start of our parties so you can meet the most people and get the best value and some good food while it is not crowded! Also sometimes the ladies arrive but don't come in, or leave early after half an hour or an hour if there are not many foreigners . So let's arrive for the start of the event and enjoy it to the utmost!
So why should I be bitter about such an easy way to meet new people women? In the beginning, the average foreigner in Japan doesn't know that this cute girl is not really interested in him as a person, it's just because he is a foreigner, an exotic oddball, a rebellious statement sometimes, too often a trophy. So if you think that this party pick-up you had an amazing conversation with, who you could really connect to, who was surprisingly open with you and enjoyed a great night with, is really girlfriend material, take a closer look. You'll probably be dissapointed. I was. Too many times. If you can live with the fact that women simply want to have fun and you're just an exotic sex-object sometimes, no problem right? Fair chances for everyone. The door swings both ways in Japan and sexual freedom is actually a thing here without too much of a social stigma. Well, it's complicated...

The one who has been abroad

I don't want to bother you with sub-types but there are some differences I noticed while meeting the women who prefer foreigners. While the above type is just out there because they like a certain type or thing, the ones who studied/lived/traveled abroad are a bit more refined. Just like me, who developed an affinity for Japan and its culture, those who've been in Europe or America, develop a certain taste for the things they learned to enjoy. It often starts with the language. Often, under the pretense of language exchange, you meet women who want to practice with you. It's often to their own advantage and you're (again) nothing but a tool. But sometimes they legitimately want to study the language and culture of your country. It's up to you if you think this interest for the most random and normal things of your own culture is weird and awkward or not. Of course you feel flattered at first, enjoy the attention and the fun times that language exchange can bring, not to mention the money if you're actually charging for your lessons. But sooner or later you'll realize where this was intented to be heading. One girl I was teaching, who was a weekly student completely broke off contact with me just because I didn't really give in to her subtle hints and shy advances. Rather than having a fun time with her, I needed the steady income and not a girlfriend. Or the sister of another of my regular students who just broke up with her foreign boyfriend, who met me simply under the pretense of language exchange but then couldn't hide how fucked up she is over her recent break-up. 

Generally, I felt that those who had lived abroad do understand you a bit better, respect your values more and don't just like you for having blue eyes for example. If they have good memories of the place they visited, they are almost desperate to associate these emotions with you, giving you a good chance of making yourself and your culture look good while enjoying time with a lovely, rather open-minded women. Since they most likely had a relationship while they were abroad, it's even easier to enter a serious relationship with them sometimes.
But all of them share the one thing that I found the most painful to realize in the past. They don't really like you for who you are, they like you because you are different. Or even worse, they simply like you for not being a Japanese man.

Then there are the party girls who spent a year in the US or Australia and come back and want the same action they got so much used to. Parties, freedom, randomness, good looking western guys. Especially in the early months of coming back to Japan, you'll see these girls frequent the common clubs and bars, trying not to lose their momentum of good times. They often don't like being back in Japan either because it means to put on the masks and get serious again. So it's a good chance to keep them in their happy-memories-land by being super extra foreigner with them.

I met a rather simple minded Japanese girl who just came back from a year in Australia. She enjoyed it very much and funny enough, her best friend over there was a German girl. One of the first things she said to me was "oh I love German people" (see the stereotype already?). Even though she wasn't really the brightest bulb in the box, she was super hot so I couldn't resist dating her for a couple of times. Our dinner dates were actually quite fun and a physical attraction was more than obvious. The drinking habit she developed from her time in Australia or already had before made her quite drunk one time, I mean terribly drunk, so drunk I had to support her. Not having enough cash on me and having been used to split the bills with her before, I asked her if she had some cash so we could pay our bill. In her drunken state she was not much of a help, instead she snapped at me for not paying the whole bill. It was just a matter of not having enough cash on me, I tried to explain, but she didn't listen. Instead she made a big scene out of it, scoffing at me for not paying everything like she expects her boyfriend to. "In Japan guy always pay!" she screamed at me. I wasn't even her boyfriend!! We had two dinner dates before (just dinner) and split the bills everytime, but now this hysterical fit? She headed off in a taxi, almost falling over in public because of her drunkenness. She then proceeded to delete me off Facebook and LINE right away. It was ridiculous. After I told her what a fool she was and how bad her behaviour and expectations were, she called me pathetic and repeated her complaint that guys in my age should always pay in Japan, everyone would know that. It later dawned on me why she suddenly went from nice party lady mode to full-blown crazy mode. On that night I had told her how much money I made...obviously a mistake...

She was clearly in the red area...

The Japanese one

After 8 months of fooling around and making mistakes, I decided to get serious and find a real relationship, even a possible marriage partner. Japan is pretty big in the marriage partner thing, despite the declining birthrate. So I registered with Omiai, a fully Japanese dating website. It was good practice and a good insight into Japanese online dating culture. I'm kind of a pro when it comes to online dating, so I wondered if things pay out as well here as they did back in Germany.

The first girl I met turned out to be...I don't even have word for it. Hard to describe our relationship either. But it was basically all about sex. She was very young, very Japanese, didn't really speak a word of English and was super submissive. I could do whatever I wanted with her, explore new things and test each other's limits. A great experience, for her too I believe, but ironically exactly NOT what I wanted to find on this dating website! We had the same intentions originally, partner, family, kids, and had some really good talks in the beginning too. But then ended up indulging ourselves with earthly pleasures after all. I asked her why she was doing all this with me and to my surprise she never ever hinted because it's that I am a foreigner, it was simply because I treated her nicely and with respect. I didn't lie to her, didn't abuse her trust. Something she didn't get from her abusive ex-boyfriend, her sleazy boss or her difficult family.

It's a stereotype again, but often Japanese women consider a foreigner to be more of a gentleman, more attentive to their needs and even more romantic. Some very Japanese women are interested in the average foreigner because of how they are depicted in media, Hollywood and even Japanese drama. In contrary to the clichee of the always over-worked, cheating, selfish and rather weak and insecure Japanese man, some Japanese women prefer the strong, more forward type. The motivation for these women is less that of having an exotic affair but more to build on the strong foundations they see in a foreigner's character traits compared to the strict and traditional rules and values of Japan. I met a lot of dissapointed women who wanted just that, but ended up with a typical Gaijin in Japan, getting into whatever Japanese pants they could get into, the reason for the bad reputation of white guys in Japan in a nutshell. A very Japanese woman will probably not try another foreigner again after being with the generic Gaijin asshole.

But looks also play an important part. Everyone hypes the half-Japanese beauty here in Japan (literally called  ハーフ, meaning half). They are huge in media all over the country and there is no TV show without the token Hafu. While they actually faced a lot of discrimination in the past, the problem is slowly dissolving. A half African-American, half Japanese becoming Miss Japan sparked a new debate recently. So of course, some women dream to have that perfectly attractive mixed race baby. Because as we all know, attractive people have it easier in life...

On Omiai I once ran into a bit of a strange profile. The Japanese woman depicted had some clearly visible tattoos on her arms and back, something you don't seem every day in Japan. We exchanged some messages and she was testing me with a lot of weird questions. It felt like an interview. Turned out it actually was one. She was actually a lesbian and got her mind set to one single thing; to have a baby with a foreigner and raise it on her own. She offered me to pay for a health check-up, the love hotel for "doing the deed" and any expenses that might arise from getting her pregnant. She always wrote suuuuper long messages, going into every detail, freeing me from any parental responsibility afterwards, even setting dates when she was most fertile! Which meant, having sex for more than once because it might not have worked on the first try. Being weirded out at first, I caught myself actually thinking about it for a moment. After all she was hot, with nice tattoos and willing to have sex with me. Then there is the decling birthrate in Japan and I'm always glad to help out, haha. But my first instinct proved to be true; this woman was obviously crazy. Of course, being a lesbian over 30 with no interest in fake marriage to either produce or adopt a child, her choices of raising an offspring were surely limited in Japan. Desperate times call for desperate measures, as the saying goes. But her manical focus on having a mixed race baby, the way she planned this thing out completely on her own and most importantly how incredibly weird her page-long message monologues were written made me back out of it. Well, that and also that I couldn't seriously let a crazy person raise another person that I had a role in creating before. My real family is already crazy enough.

So anyways, back to some less weird shit. I met this very nice and very Japanese girl on Omiai. She was a nurse, 27 and perfectly normal. She spent some time in the US, but that was ages ago and I would never think of her as a Gaijin hunter at first. We talked in Japanese all the time, about feelings, values, future, kids, just what you would expect from a serious dating platform. Our dates were nice too, just as I remembered how a relationship was about to start. Harmless, but with the right spark to kindle something bigger. So I thought. She made some weird comments about my behaviour one day, how "foreign" I behaved. I was throwing a napkin on my plate in a restaurant, after whiping my mouth with it. I didn't fold it, didn't make it look nice and my hand movement suggested carelessness. For her, it was a "foreign" thing, a weird thing. For me it was one of these microaggressions. I was taken aback, even turned off by that statement but didn't think of it as a big deal until later. We spent the night together, all was good and I really felt this was going somewhere. She was serious about having a relationship and so was I. We liked each other and were not shy about it. Then a week of practical silence. She didn't reply to my messages or often very late, didn't want to meet, saying she was busy. Then one day I got a message saying: "Sorry, but I found a guy who I want to be with. I can't meet you anylonger. I also only want to have sex with someone I really like instead. Bye." I was like...WTF?! I didn't even care for her explanation so I told her she's a heartless person and deleted her right away. I learned a new word that day from my Japanese friends too: キープする. It means "to keep (someone)". So I was simply not her first choice, she dated another guy or more at the same time and simply dropped me when things got better with no 1.

Then there was this single mom I talked to for months but never managed to meet. She was incredibly cute and sweet, her daughter was even more so. I actually considered meeting her and following this thing to the possible end if we could make it work, despite the fact that she already had a child with another man. I admired her for being a single mom in Japan actually. But to my surprise, after originally agreeing to a meeting she suddenly became completely quiet and ignored me. I have no idea what happened, but I guess it was the same situation and someone else outran me.

While this might not surprise some of my readers, it was quite a shock to me. It showed me that honesty isn't a trait often found in the Japanese dating scene, especially not in the race for the right marriage partner. It also showed me how calculating and rational some Japanese women can be. At least the Gaijin hunter or the ones abroad are a bit more emotional about things. But when it comes to marriage, even the ones with a steady job do look at your paycheck and how they could finance their future and kids with it. Unfortunately, the Japanese society and labour laws are to blame for that kind of compulsion.

It's also a reason why there are so many frustrated married Japanese women out there, looking for that little bit of excitment or love they can't get in their marriage (anymore). For some it's easier to sleep with a foreigner than a Japanese man. Less guilt, less trouble, more freedom. More bang for the buck, literally. One of my worst experiences was the one when the woman told me she is 2 months married...we were on the bed already, naked...I thought it was just about casual sex...nope...it was something like her hobby...I kid you not.
Other married women play the "my husband ignores me" card and actually seem pretty desperate for love and attention, physically and emotionally. So being with them almost feels like doing the right thing. You think "why the heck is this guy ignoring this beautiful, fascinating woman?!". "How can he cheat on her with other women instead when he has the perfect one at home??!". It's a very complex situation. Japan is a country with very different moral standards, and to some of it I am still not used to. It's a story for another time, but let me assure you that nothing of your Christian concept of right and wrong really means anything here when it comes to love and sex.

One of my best friends, the perfect image of a Japanese wife, smart and caring, beautiful and dutiful, was cheated on by her husband with a co-worker a while ago. I felt her pain, it was so unfair and mean. She cared for two kids and bended over backwards for making their marriage as good as possible, but her reward was a cheating husband. She was always faithful, even though she had opportunities a plenty. Trust was a big pillar of their marriage I believed.  She didn't deserve that, not in a million years. In the end they somehow tried to make things right again, but knowing her, something in her was destroyed forever. Surprisingly, the women her husband cheated on with paid my friend a certain amount of money as compensation. A normal day in Japan...

But let there be not only whining and negativity. A former housemate and friend will soon marry his Japanese girlfriend, and to me they are a good example of a working, multi-cultural relationship. They way they met each other for the first time (university) and how they stayed together is truly adorable. Then there is the lovely Japanese woman who I only briefly met when I was a tourist in Japan for the first time (link to 2010 blog post in German). Noe moved to Australia, found her husband and they have a cute baby boy together. At least on Facebook her/their life looks very happy.

There are other international couples that I know, each of them with an individual story. They all share a desirable connection; the adoption of each other's culture and willingness to compromise. All the failed ones I know, including mine, are often always about one partner being "too Japanese" or "too foreign" without the mutual understanding or patience on how to deal with that. From my experience, a typical Japanese woman doesn't compromise much though. You have to conform with what Japan's society standards tell you...and what your wife tells you. I envy those couples who managed to make the perfect or even imperfect harmony of each other's cultures and values.

The other foreigner

I think most of the crazy, dramatic and emotional shit in Japan happened when I was dating or hooking up with other foreigners here. It goes back to my earlier visits too, having sex in semi-public space which I would have never thought feasible in Japan. So there are the tourists, the short-terms, the long-terms and the in-betweens. After almost 2 years, I would consider myself a quite stable in-between, becoming a possible long-term one day. The average language teacher is often a short-tem, in plans for the future and in spirit. Same goes for a foreign exchange student or an intern. They share the same hunger for excitment with the tourist; to get the max out of their stay and to experience Japan to its fullest.

First of all, the obvious thing that connects you to another foreigner is that you're both in Japan (duh). Very likely that you share a similiar interest in the country, culture, language, etc. So that's common ground to build on. But this also means that you share most of the same problems, struggles and frustrations. Which is also a good emotional connector, I think. You always have something to talk or bitch about, sharing your experiences and interests while enjoying in Japan together. Being in the same shoes creates a fast bond, a satisfying bubble of trust and intimacy. Together with gratuitous exciting activities and drinking, you can hook up with a foreigner much faster and much stronger. It's not limited to sexual adventures but it often begins with one (see Tinder below).

It's all a bubble though. Quickly you realize that this person isn't really on the same page with you. There is no correlation between being in Japan and having the same values. What seems to be common ground often turns out to be a very different view on basic things. You begin to ask yourself: would I have dated this person back in my country? The bubble bursts. The quirks and characteristics you liked in the beginning begin to show you how fast you went forward with this person without checking for the basics. The awesome international relationship in Japan you dreamt of before proves to be an artificial construct that was based on misconceptions, misinterpretations and misunderstandings.

This doesn't just apply to dating or sex partners. This is especially true for friends. As a foreigner in Japan, you often lack the social safety net of good friends and family to support you. So you feel alone, vulnerable and sometimes not even yourself. Some of the in-betweens and long-termers often have a limited group of friends, depending on how and when they came to Japan. Some are looking for foreign friends because they only hang out with Japanese. Meeting new people is sooo easy here, just walk into a foreigner-friendly bar or club and sooner or later you'll meet someone who you can talk to (unless the Gaijin hunter isn't getting you first). It's so random and so rewarding. If you can keep that friendship going that is.

One thing that I'm peculiarly sensitive about is when people cancel dates or meetings without the re-scheduling part. If they are not even sorry about canceling, that's a big no-no in my book of everyday rules for social interactions. The abundance of people to hang out with once you know where to meet them really impacts how people treat each other I think. 

I met incredible people during my time here. Had romances, affairs, break-ups and dramas with a couple and each was a valuable lesson for me. You learn a lot about yourself, being in an extreme situation away from home. Sometimes it's a ticking time bomb if two oddballs (let's face it, all Gaijins are) try to make a relationship in another country work. After all, some women people are nothing but travelers again, away from home to find their happiness with all the complications I mentioned before. I had one or two time bombs blowing up at me. A couple more that turned out to be extreme drama of the batshit crazy type. And I played my part in it as well, especially when things got dark in 2014. Hearts were broken and tears were shed. Nothing to be proud of, I honestly regret being so indecisive and greedy. One reason for it was the infamous app, Tinder.

http://www.gotinder.com/

Tinder in Japan

Oh Tinder, you beautiful disaster. This app is becoming more popular in Japan recently but is already huge in the US and Europe. I started to use it after I saw a gay friend talking about his usage of Grindr, the gay equivalent. Before I always thought that Tinder was just a late copy of Grindr but now I can't really find any facts to prove that. Anyways, it's a simple "dating" app to check out people around you, swiping left or right for yes or no. But here's the thing, it's not really about dating (hence the quotation marks), it's simply about hooking up...sex. At least that's the original intention I believe. Japanese don't really know that, although almost all foreigners do. That lead to some awkward moments when you matched and quickly engaged in a one-sided, sexual conversation, only to realize that the Japanese girl on the other end is far from being interested in casual sex or anything related. Fair enough.

Tinder is like shopping. You shop for attractive people. Some bad eggs sometimes of course (talking weak in the upper storey), a huge amount of Gaijin douchebags I was told, but all in all, you can meet good looking women extremly easy and without the time-consuming "getting to know each other". The married woman who had sex with foreigners for a hobby? Yup, met her on Tinder. The crazy girl who scolded me for not paying for her? Yup, met her on Tinder as well. I realized the pattern a bit too late...

Just like shopping, Tinder is very addictive. With an almost limitless supply of new people downloading the app and the increasing popularity in Japan, it's even worse. You swipe all day long and see so many attractive people, hoping for that mutual match, but actually waiting for another, even more interesting profile or girl with hotter pics than the one before. It's like in a candy store, trying out all the different flavors but there are too many to pick! And your stomach already hurts and you feel kind of gross for trying so much. But then there is another match with an interesting girl.

I maded dis
It's also a bit competitive. A couple of friends around me use(d) it and just as you expect guys to be, talking and comparing each other's conquests quickly becomes a regular thing. Matching with the same girl on Tinder was often funny and more helpful that you'd think. It's a constant story generator and keeps the typical Gaijin in Japan rather busy if he knows how to play his cards right. Even though I met more than one person on Tinder that I would consider a good friend now, Tinder is as superficial as it can get and left me with a bad aftertaste, more than once. So I uninstalled the app. Didn't care for it for a couple of months......aaaand re-installed it again later.

It really is addictive. Fun and easy, nothing serious, a neverending temptation, for both women and men. I liked it for a time. But then the last incident of epic craziness made me uninstall and delete my profile once and for all.

So I was with this American girl I met on Tinder. She was a very cool person and we had lots of fun together. Nothing serious but absolutely cool and easy for the both of us. We both knew that we're still using Tinder, me a bit more than her I guess. I matched with a Filipino girl who was quite the firecracker and I was more than interested in meeting her. Having been with the American girl for quite a while now, I actually felt it was time to put an end to it before I meet another girl (yeah, I'm totally a nice guy, I know). But meetings got re-scheduled and delayed and I found myself in the weird situation of meeting both girls in the same week. No big deal you'd think. But then the inconceivable happened.

If you know this movie, you are awesome (and probably old).
One night I was texting one girl and suddenly the other one replied with the answer to my question to the other girl. I was confused. It turned out that the Fillipino girl moved in right next to the American girl! A couple of drinks later they openly discussed their sex life and Tinder and bam, here comes the German guy into play. Talking about odds...it was hilarious and the American girl, cool as she always was, had a blast. The Filipino girl however wasn't very happy about the fact that I had a history with her new neighbor and pulled the plug of our scheduled meeting. I had to break the news to the American girl that I wasn't really into her anymore and that I was honestly interested in her neighbor. But as cool as she was, she didn't even care much. She even offered to help me ge the Filipino girl! So funny.

In the end, I met the American girl one last time, we had fun and agreed to stay friends. All cool. The Filipino girl eventually decided to meet up with me too, so I went to see her in her flat. Of COURSE I had to run into my American friend at the station. It wasn't really that awkward though. The person who was awkward as fuck was the Filipino girl though. I got a bad vibe right from the beginning. Her dirty-minded joke-cracking that I found funny during our Tinder chats suddenly looked like her trying to hide something. I couldn't engage in a single serious conversation with her, it was all so weird! I hoped that cooking and booze would break the ice, but instead it broke her brain I think. At some point she completely lost her shit, started crying when she finally told me something true about her past. Then she started giggling again, provoking me with names, then suddenly getting butt-naked and inviting me to her bed. She staggered around the flat and hit her head so many times, even while on the bed. I had to beg her not move anymore. In all honesty, I had my share of drunk sex in the past, but this was ridiculous. When she started slapping me, calling me more names and altogether being a person completely out of control, I decided to fuck it (not her) and leave. I was soooo pissed off. Trains were all gone, so I had only one choice and asked my American friend next door if I could crash with her. I'll be forever grateful for her being so cool about it. The Filipino girl though had no idea what happened that night and thought it was all giggles and shit. I told her everything, every embarassing detail. Oh and how embarassed she was. Needless to say we've never met again.

And that was when I decided that my times on Tinder are over if all of the interesting girls turn out to be crazy stuff.

Rumour has it that some people do find their soulmates on Tinder and are able to enjoy a healthy and maybe kinky relationship ever after ;)

Conclusion (the missing piece)

Thanks for making it this far. I wrote for weeks on this, remembering more and more weird things that happened to me every now and then. So what you just read isn't everything, but it's definitely the stuff with the strongest impact. But what is my conclusion you might ask? What's the missing piece?

One could argue that the missing piece is in every one of us; the single reason why we search for a partner (other than the biological reason of creating offsprings). All of the stories above could have happened in your respective home country without any intercultural or interracial complication. But this is Japan and this happened to me and to many other people I know. The missing piece in this country is much more obvious, much stronger than I've seen it back in Germany. Japanese society and its traditions force people to accept who they are and what they have, so looking for something more, something to complete them is almost considered a nuisance or waste of time. For some women the foreigner is the way out of that. It's an escape route almost, for it is sometimes easier to focus on something new and different than to deal with the demons inside you. After all, I myself am a foreigner who is looking for the new and different, a way out of gridlock, so I understand it quite well. As someone just mentioned to me, the reason why I keep running into all these people is that I myself am not happy with my life and still search for that missing piece. Which is true to some part. I still search for it, despite having quite the fulfilling and happy life now (definitely not 2014). One thing never changed however; it's the one thing I keep telling people who tell me "not to look for someone". I simply want a family. A loving partner and more sooner than later kids. With over 36, I feel it's more than about time. No matter how happily I can live my life now, even with completely avoiding the dating game perhaps, this fact will not change and might the catalyst for everything described herein. So for myself, I know what my missing piece is. There is no need denying it. For those women in Japan, it is often just the same but more often a bit more complex I believe.

My conclusion is, that with many other things in Japan, this is nothing but a symptom of how poorly Japan's society deals with the many challenges it is facing right now. Globalization, racism, cultural awareness, integration and inclusion, sexual freedom, emancipation and feminism, declining birthrates, and so on and so forth. There is probably a possible historical aspect of this as well, being a country occupied by the Americans for many years. But this is just a blog post. So if you know what TL;DR stands for, that's for you.

TL;DR: You can have a lot of sex in Japan as a foreigner if you want. Real love is a lot more difficult to find. Also, Tinder is cool but toxic but awesome but ohgodnomakeitstop.