Psychosomatic Medicine Manga Imagines World Without Sexual Desire
posted on by Jennifer Sherman
Illustrator Sō and psychiatrist Yū Yūki create manga to educate the public about psychosomatic medicine. Yūki posted a four-page manga on their official Twitter account on Friday about what they believe would happen to Japan and the world if people suddenly lost sexual desire.
The manga's story begins when a couple of high school girls see some boys looking at erotic images of women online. The girls are disgusted, and one of them exclaims that she wishes people's desires for sex would disappear. A god apparently hears her request and decides to respond. Meanwhile, a man is treating his female companion to drinks. He calls her beautiful and tells her she can order whatever she wants. He offers her a small box with her birthday present inside and tells her he also reserved a room for later. The woman seems somewhat flattered but also uncertain what to do.
A mysterious force suddenly strikes the man. When the woman asks him if he is OK, the man reveals that all of his sexual desire is gone.
The man says he will neither participate in sexual acts with her nor be her male friend. The woman is bewildered. The man says it would not be appropriate for a woman to have a room with a male friend. He continues by saying that a male friend should not go to such a romantic bar, so a cheap pub will suffice. He adds that they will split the bill. Of course, he would also not give the woman such an expensive gift. The woman follows him in disbelief. The man also says that conversation between them will change and become like conversation amongst men. The woman would no longer be pampered, and conversation will be frank. His speech becomes even more rude, and he asks her if she's gotten more wrinkles.
The manga imagines that a world without sexual desire would mean that the majority of high-class hotels, bars, restaurants, and brand shops would shut down. Romantic feelings between men and women would cease. Japan's already low birth rate would decrease even more rapidly, and the state of the economy would be in danger. The high school girls are taken aback by this scenario told by one of their male classmates. He shows them a world in ruin and asks them if that is really what they want. The story ends with the girls admitting "We were wrong...."
Yūki's dermatology clinic website, which also features the manga, notes that such a scenario of world destruction is not targeted at women or men specifically. The website clarifies that the basis of this line of thinking is that both men and women want to be loved by the opposite sex. Despite the explanations on the official website, many online commenters called out the manga creators for sexism and misogyny.
One commenter noted that a lack of sexual desire would make people base relationships on personality rather than sex or appearance. People who wanted children could then turn to artificial insemination. Another positive effect would be the eradication of sex crimes, and the commenter thinks a lack of sexual desire would benefit both parties in a relationship.
Other commenters agree with the manga creators that a lack of sexual desire would mean people would cease to be kind to each other and society could crumble. Some people also said sexual desire is neither inherently good nor bad, but it is a natural process in life.
The manga is creating a buzz online as many feminists are denouncing the work. The extreme views expressed in the story and its harsh tone succeeded in gaining a huge response online, but the creators' approach may have undermined their desire to educate people about medicine, science, and health.
Shonengahosha's YK Comics label is releasing the first compiled book volume of the duo's Shinrigaku wa Yaku ni Tatanai!? (Psychology is Useless!?) manga and Manga de Wakaru Shinryō Naika Utsu wo Iyasu Hanashi no Kikikata-hen (Understand Psychosomatic Medicine With Manga: How to Hear Stories That Heal Depression) manga on August 30.