Letters from Japan: “Unhealthy Relationship”

Ask Hilary: Questions From Readers Answered

By Hilary Keyes
September 2, 2020
Ask Hilary

Savvy Tokyo's resident "Love in Japan" columnist, Hilary Keyes, answers anonymous questions from readers on everything from dating in Japan to women’s health issues. Got a question you’d like to ask Hilary? Email it to editorial@gplusmedia.com with the subject "Ask Hilary."

Hey Hilary,

This isn’t something I feel comfortable talking to anyone in my life about. I’ve been dating a Japanese guy for almost a year now, and while he’s generally a great guy, our sex life is ruining my mental health.

When we first started dating, we had “normal sex” and things were great. Then he started having trouble getting/staying hard and confessed that vanilla sex doesn’t do it for him. My boyfriend has this whole fantasy that he wants me to play out with him. [Details redacted at her request.] I played along because I love him, but what he says and does make me sick, and I end up feeling physically and mentally wrong for days afterward. I tried talking to him but he says that I must secretly like it and that if I wanted him to be happy, I wouldn’t say no.

[…]while he’s generally a great guy, our sex life is ruining my mental health

Thankfully since the whole Covid thing and because of our work schedules, I haven’t been able to see him as often, and when we do, I tell him I’m on my period and we can’t have sex, which he’s respected so far. I don’t know how much longer I can keep lying to him, because aside from that, he’s a really sweet guy, and it’s starting to make me feel guilty. What am I supposed to do? 

Disgusted In Love

Dear Disgusted In Love,

I had to take a few moments to process your full message.

You cannot continue dating this man. This is not a healthy relationship, despite how he may behave outside of sex. You say that he is a sweet guy, but if he is willing to do that to you despite you telling him that you don’t like it, not to mention the fact that he is gaslighting you about you secretly liking it, it says otherwise.

You do not deserve to be treated like that, and should never have to ruin yourself for the sake of someone else’s fantasies. There’s nothing wrong with having fantasies, but forcing someone to participate in them without any regard for their mental or physical health is abuse.

you do not deserve to be treated like that, and should never have to ruin yourself for the sake of someone else’s fantasies

Would you feel safe trying to end this relationship on your own?

From my perspective, I think it would be safest if you got someone, a professional counselor at the very least, involved before doing so. I strongly recommend getting in touch with either a counselor at TELL immediately or someone at A Jet for help. They can give you more concrete advice on how to end the relationship safely, and might be able to provide you with follow-up assistance regarding potential police involvement if you are concerned about your safety regarding a breakup.

there is nothing sweet about someone who does not respect your boundaries, and there are plenty of people out there who will treat you the way you deserve to be treated

Please take this very seriously, and talk to someone that can offer you the full professional help you will need to handle this situation. There is nothing sweet about someone who does not respect your boundaries, and there are plenty of people out there who will treat you the way you deserve to be treated. Above all, you need to treat yourself the way you deserve to be treated, and that if you don’t want to do something that makes you uncomfortable, nothing more needs to be said on the matter.