Now, I don't want to paint the picture that every Japanese guy is a super shy dude who has no interest in sex. There definitely seems to be a lot of that, but there are also plenty of Japanese men who are nonherbivores, who have dating lives that resemble those of the typical omnivorous American man. In our focus groups we met Koji, a young bartender, who seemed to be the most omnivorous of the bunch.
The thing is Koji wasn't some super stud or anything. Compared with the other guys, he was a little shorter. He wasn't dressed in a super sharp suit like Akira and the other professionals. He wore a gray vest and a brown fedora. What he had was a casualness and forthrightness to him that, though fairly normal by American standards, really stood out in Japan. Those in the focus groups who knew Koji spoke of his seemingly mythical love life in hushed tones and were in awe of his confidence. Again, Koji was not some Asian Ryan Gosling figure; he just seemed to be comfortable with himself and not particularly shy. Like most fedora wearers, he had a lot of inexplicable confidence.
He and another friend of his wanted to make sure we knew there were some Japanese men who weren't herbivores and that that maybe the media was blowing this out of proportion.
"Can I just speak for rea;? If I don't have a girlfriend, I can go find someone to have sex with. I think those guys who say they're not having sex for a long time? I think they're bullshitting. THey just don't talk about it," he said.
"If you're single in New York, you get on your phone and text people late at night and try to meet up with someone. There's a shole culture of a 'booty call.' What's the process here?" I asked.
"My friends and I do the same thing. I call all of them and no one will pick up."
"Well, the same thing happens in New York sometimes too," I said.
About the book:
In Modern Romance, Ansari combines his irreverent humor with cutting-edge social science to give us an unforgettable tour of our new romantic world.
Snippet from Far From the Madding Crowd
- Thomas Hardy
Snippet from The Sound of Things Falling
- Juan Gabriel Vásquez