You Can Cheat, As Long As It’s With A Prostitute.

Japan gave me quite a culture shock with this one.

4 min readNov 13, 2023

I recently bumped across this video on YouTube and it has received quite a few mixed reactions. It is either giving progressive or internalized misogyny and I’m not sure which one yet. Relationships have evolved a lot over time and we’ve entered the times where polyamory is a lot more normalised, and this time not just for men. But the west was in quite the shock to know that Japan has gone a step further to differentiate emotional intimacy from physical and sex is treated separately from love, the most now than ever in history. But the question is, is it really though?

Disclaimer: My research has been limited to the two videos I’ve linked in this article. This does not represent Japan as a whole so take these opinions with a grain of salt. I just wanted to explore the concept of emotional versus physical intimacy that was triggered by these two videos.

In the video, a street interviewer goes around asking Japanese women about their opinions if their partner slept with a prostitute. Most of them, surprisingly, were okay with it, but under certain conditions:

  1. The partner (men) cannot hide it from them. If they’re hiding, then it’s cheating.
  2. He shouldn’t have feelings for that woman.
  3. If they’re paying for the sex, it’s not cheating.
  4. If the couple has discussed it and is okay with it mutually, again, not cheating.

Some were relieved that they had the option of prostitution, because then it eliminated the chances of emotional cheating, which to them, is a deal breaker. But even though they are accepting it, they’re also not totally okay with it. When asked if they would break up if their partner is sleeping with a prostitute, most of them said they’d be uncomfortable, but wouldn’t breakup. One even said that even though they don’t like it, they don’t have much of a choice. They fear being labelled as “clingy” if they voice their opinion against it. Some justified men’s cheating as “freeing themselves” from their “boring and restrictive work life.” They also talked about the foreign concept of love revolving around “tying each other down” and Japanese people prefer looser relationships.

Upon further research, I found men talking about this issue too. The video is titled “Why do Japanese guys cheat so much?” Upon being asked, most of them have cheated, have friends who are cheating and are admitting it very casually. And unsurprisingly, only a handful considered prostitution to be cheating. Cheating in general is a lot more culturally acceptable and prevalent amongst men in Japan.

They shared similar views about prostitution as the women. As long as you’re not hiding it, as long as you’re paying, yada yada. One of them mentioned how it is cheating only when both parties want to do the act, while with prostitution, one of them is simply doing her job; thus justifying it.

In my opinion, I do understand what’s going on here, except, I don’t agree with it. I wonder how many of the men would be okay with their girlfriends opting to engage in prostitution. In fact, if it is just a job, would they be okay with their girlfriends being prostitutes? I’m guessing no. That’s where the hypocrisy lies.

Note how all of the women talked about only two possibilities: 1) that their partner falls for someone else, 2) that their partner sleeps with a prostitute, as if those are the only two options to exist. Then, they decide the latter is the more acceptable of the two, so they ‘settle’ for it. You know what the best option would be? c) they are emotionally and physically loyal at the same time. Thank you.

It is very funny how their “society” is so patriarchal that they have fed women the narrative that infidelity is okay. They are ‘clingy’ and ‘uncool’ if they try to ‘hold down’ their partners who are working in such ‘restrictive’ and ‘stressful’ job environments. Say these things as a woman anywhere else on the planet and you’ll be labelled as pick me.

Combine this mentality with Japan’s falling birth rate and that, my friends, is the recipe for disaster. I hope the misogyny gets called out and women can find more love and respect in their relationships moving further.




With everything going on in my mind, writing is the only way to keep track of it ^^