‘Parasite singles’: Why Young Japanese Aren’t Getting Married

Tokyo (AFP) – A sharply dressed crowd of Japanese singletons shuffle awkwardly around conference-room tables, exchanging small-talk and CVs in an attempt to find a marriage partner — all of them accompanied by their parents.

One 38-year-old woman, who declined to give her name, said she “didn’t have the courage” to find a spouse and move away from her mother, who had come with her to the match-making party.

“I didn’t have many good opportunities to meet someone,” she explained, adding: “My workplace has lots of women but not many men.”

Roughly a quarter of Japanese people between 20 and 49 are single, according to government data.

And while people of this age routinely express a wish to get married, outdated social attitudes and increasing economic pressure is making tying the knot more and more difficult, experts say.

Sociology professor Masahiro Yamada from Tokyo’s Chuo University told AFP that the norm of single people living with their parents until marriage means there is less immediate pressure to find a partner.

“They think it’s a waste of time to have a relationship with someone who does not meet their conditions” and can afford to wait for a better catch, he said, dubbing these people “parasite singles.”

Although long-term financial security with a husband or wife is seen as important, the difficulty of finding affordable housing adds to the incentive to stay with mum and dad, he said.

One 74-year-old man at the party, on the hunt for a suitable bride for his 46-year-old son, pointed to another problem: overcoming shyness.

“My son is a salesman. He’s good at dealing with customers but he is very hesitant when it comes to women,” said the father.

Why was his son not looking for himself? He was too busy with work.

– Workaholic Japan –

The same father said his eldest daughter was married but his youngest, a doctor living in the US, is single at the age of 34.

He said he is worried for her, “as I’ve heard it is hard for female doctors to find partners”.

Shigeki Matsuda, a sociology professor at Chukyo University in central Japan, blames the country’s falling marriage rate on a phenomenon known as “hypergamy”.

“Japanese women tend to seek men with stable employment and education levels” higher than them, he explained.

Anecdotal evidence from the match-making party seemed to bear this out, a small queue of women forming to exchange contact details with one of the men who, it emerged, had the highest income of the group.

“The high ratio of unmarried men and women won’t change unless more women accept the idea of marrying a man with an income lower than herself,” said Yamada.

In addition, many people meet future spouses in the office in workaholic Japan, and there are fewer opportunities as jobs become more precarious.

In the decades after World War II, Japan rebuilt its economy largely via huge corporations offering ultra-dedicated workers a job for life — but that pattern is changing rapidly and job security is declining.

Since the early 1990s, the ratio of non-permanent and contract employees has risen from around 15 percent to just below 40 percent, according to labor ministry statistics.

– Focus on love –

“Lower levels of income and an increase in the number of extremely unstable jobs — with the fear of getting sacked at any time — are not helping people to think about getting married and having a family,” said Shuchiro Sekine, head of a trade union representing contract workers.

Even if these workers hope to find a partner, with less job security and lower income comes less chance of finding a spouse.

Six out of 10 men aged between 30-34 with a classic “salaryman” job were married as of 2017, according to a government study issued this year, whereas only 22 percent of male contract workers the same age had a wife.

Those at the Tokyo match-making party are the lucky ones, Sekine told AFP.”Those on lower incomes wouldn’t even think about attending.”

Despite these barriers, do such events help? Shoji Wakisaka, head of the association hosting the party, said there was no firm data but there had been some successes — if limited.

“About two percent of participants on average find a spouse.”

One single woman at the party said it was an “efficient” place to meet others who want to get married.

“You can’t exactly ask passers-by if they are married,” her mother added.

A marriage counselor at the party, Noriko Miyagoshi, implored would-be lovebirds to forget the finances and focus on Cupid’s arrow.

“You shouldn’t be making a lot of conditions,” she told participants.”I hope you choose the one you genuinely feel you’ll be able to get along with.”

 

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Tales of Rock – Jerry Lee Lewis

Folks… Have I got a week that’s chock full of delicious content for you!!!

Enjoy!

With a nickname like “The Killer,” rock pioneer Jerry Lee Lewis was bound to make some waves in his career. And while he certainly did that with wild performances, including the time he set his piano ablaze after becoming incensed at the idea of having to open for Chuck Berry, the biggest scandal of his career happened far from the ivories.

During his 1958 European tour, the British press excoriated Lewis after discovering he’d married his 13-year-old third cousin, Myra Gale Brown, the year before (Lewis was 22 at the time of their marriage). According to Rolling Stone, Lewis attempted to cover up the marriage by telling people Brown was his other cousin, J.W. Brown’s daughter. He also allegedly lied about Brown’s age, but when the truth came out, he became “cocksure and defiant to the point of parading Brown onstage.”

The ensuing media frenzy effectively sapped Lewis’ career, and he spent the next decade descending into drug and alcohol addiction while attempting to rebuild his career by playing at small, local gigs. Meanwhile, Brown was living a life of quiet desperation.

Speaking with The Gwinnett Daily Post, Brown, who has since remarried and now goes by Myra Lewis Williams, described her 13-year marriage to Lewis as “a trial by fire,” “devastating,” and “chaos all the time.” Williams had her first child, a son named Steve Allen, when she was just 14, then a daughter, Phoebe, at 17. Asked what advice she would give to herself looking back, Williams said, “I would tell my young self that life is not always going to be like this. Get through it and it’s going to be better because it was as if I was going to be there forever and it’s never going to change.”

Yeesh.

 

 

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The 7 Best Places To Meet Someone & Flirt, According To Dating Experts

Dating apps have made it easy to strike up a conversation and flirt with anyone you find attractive. At least if you match with someone online, there’s a comfort in knowing they’re open to talking to you. But if you’re looking to meet someone offline, knowing when and where to get your flirt on can be a little challenging. According to dating experts, you can pretty much flirt anytime, anywhere. But to increase your chances of finding success, some places are better for flirting than others.

“We encourage all of our clients to be open to love no matter where they are,” Rachel Federoff, dating and relationship coach with Love and Matchmaking, tells Bustle. “Riding an elevator, taking a carpool Uber, going to jury duty, sitting in traffic, or simply being in line at a store can work, if you know how to work it.”

Whether you’re looking for love online or off, being good at flirting really starts with confidence. As Federoff says, “Confidence creates charisma. If you have that, then you’re already one step in the right direction. How you flirt depends on the situation.”

So here are some of the best places to flirt and the best way to go about it, according to dating experts.

1. Bar Or Coffee Shop

Attractive Brunette and her Beautiful Blond Lesbian Friend are Sitting at the Table in City Cafe. They are Enjoying in Fresh Cup of Coffee and is Sharing Love Emotions During Sweet Conversation.

Shutterstock

Bars, restaurants, and coffee shops are some of the most popular places to find other singles. When you’re trying to approach someone, there are obvious right ways and wrong ways to go about it. “Cheap one-liners and raunchy innuendos [likely won’t work]” Federoff says. How you flirt really depends on the situation. For instance, if you’re in a more intimate setting like a bar, Federoff recommends going for the “Gentle Jab.” “The Gentle Jab brings it back to grade school,” she says. “You like somebody, you poke them e.g. ‘Hi, the 90’s called, and they want their shirt back.’ This humorous interaction opens the door for playful conversation.” Keep in mind, there is a difference between playful teasing and negging. Teasing is light, fun, and good natured. Negging is none of that. If you can find a way to playfully catch their attention, it can be a great way to start things off.

2. The Grocery Store

“You may not think of flirting in a grocery store, but there are a lot of potential catches here,” Celia Schweyer, dating and relationship expert at Dating Scout, tells Bustle. In fact, Match’s 2017 Singles in America survey found that over 30% of people have flirted with someone at their local grocery store. Surprisingly, it’s about the same amount of people who say they flirt at bars. “We don’t think we might meet someone while we’re shopping for produce, but there are hundreds of grocery shoppers every single day and not all of them are in a relationship,” Schweyer says. “So the next time you do grocery shopping, be ready to give a one-liner about fruits or produce.” Be open to the people around you and the possibility that someone may be available.

3. Parks

Young couple with adorable Akita Inu dogs in park

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Again, single people are everywhere. You don’t really need to look extra hard to find someone. You don’t even need to fit it into your busy schedule. If going to a particular place is part of your routine, be open to who you might meet. For instance, if you regularly jog or walk your dog, parks are great places to flirt. “Leave your house with the mindset of ‘I’m open, approachable, and ready to connect,’ get those airpods out of your ears, and keep your eyes up, make eye contact, and initiate a ‘hello’,” Evin Rose, dating and love life coach, tells Bustle. “Make this a practice, and it will become a lot less scary and awkward than you think.”

4. The Gym

The gym is another common place to find someone to flirt with. In addition to getting a good workout in, Schweyer says, “A lot of singles go to the gym because they have some free time and no commitment to anyone at the moment.” If you go regularly and you’re interested in someone you see all the time, you already have something in common. If you’re trying to flirt at the gym, Schweyer suggests keeping it simple. “Don’t be a show-off. Just be who you are,” she says. Unless you always go to the gym with full makeup on, there’s no need to start doing it just to impress someone.

5. Weddings

Full length portrait of newlywed couple and their friends at the wedding party showered with confetti in green sunny park

Shutterstock

A 2017 Plenty of Fish survey found that 44% of singles say weddings are a great place to meet someone. Over half say it’s just easier to start a conversation. If you want to flirt with someone at a wedding, Susan Trombetti, matchmaker and CEO of Exclusive Matchmaking, tells Bustle, “Lean in and whisper to them an inside joke. This will create your own intimate moment that you can share.” Light touching and flirty glances will also up your game. According to Trombetti, smiling and eye contact shows a “positive presence” that will always attract people to you.

6. A Class Or A Workshop You’re In

One of the best things to do if you’re looking to flirt and meet someone to possibly date, is create a list of places where your dream partner would spend time. If you’re looking for someone who’s compatible with your lifestyle, chances are, this dream person has similar interests and hangs around the same places as you. It’s why classes or workshops you take are great places to meet people. “I’ll never give someone the five best spots to meet singles in your city, because we’re all looking for different things,” Rose says. “The clearer you get on what priorities and qualities in a partner are most important to you, the more you can hone in on where to show up and do some scouting.”

7. A Friend’s Event Or Party

Multi-ethnic millennial couple flirting while having a drink on rooftop terrasse at sunset

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The next time your friend invites you over, say yes and follow through. “The best thing about saying ‘yes’ to these invites is you get to meet common friends,” Schweyer says. “You won’t be totally meeting strangers since you can just pull your mutual friend aside and ask for some inside scoop.” That way you can have a good idea about how someone is and whether or not they’re single before you make your approach. You can even ask your friend to make introductions. “Be sincere and don’t overthink too much. If everything works out fine, then good for you. If not, then better luck next time.”

It takes a little bit of practice to be good at flirting. But the more you do it, the more comfortable you’ll be. These are some of the best places to try flirting. So be confident and go for it. You never know where it could lead to.

 

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Tales of Rock – Elvis Was the King of Treating Women Like Shit and Luring 14-Year-Olds into Bed

No thank you. No thank you very much.

Photo via Hulton Archive / Getty Images

In addition to nabbing the title of “the King of Rock and Roll” with songs like “Can’t Help Falling in Love” and “He Touched Me,” Elvis Presley stole many hearts. But a closer look at his life beyond the music and swinging hips reveals that he was just as much the king of exploiting teenagers for sex and treating women like shit.

Elvis was born January 8, 1935 in Tupelo, Mississippi, but moved to Memphis, Tennessee, with his family 13 years later. He was said to love singing in church, but his professional music career didn’t start until 1954, when he signed with Sun Records; before that, he’d been a truck driver.

Two years later, he was wildly famous. “Heartbreak Hotel,” his first number-one hit, was released in January 1956, and he quickly became a star with seemingly infinite potential before him. The man was everywhere, and always with a swarm of screaming fans around to greet him. But while on tour, Elvis’s main focus wasn’t “taking care of business.” Instead, it seemed like he cared more about exploiting the admiration of underage girls.

In his book Elvis Presley: A Southern Life, Joel Williamson writes about Elvis’s life on the road, including his time spent with teenagers. Williamson writes that while on tour, Elvis preyed on a group of three 14-year-old girls who would pillow fight, tickle, wrestle, and kiss Elvis, who was 22 at the time.

Williamson also details an incident in which Elvis slept with a fan while he was in Louisiana performing weekly on the Louisiana Hayride show in 1954. The condom broke while the act. Not knowing what to do, Elvis asked his friends on tour how he should proceed, but they had no helpful advice. In the morning, Elvis informed his friends that he brought the girl to the emergency room and left her there to get a douche. All the while, he was obsessively calling his 15-year-old girlfriend, Dixie Locke, whom he loved to dress in clothes of his own choosing.

Eventually, Elvis found himself a 14-year-old he could get to commit to him. The King’s first and only wife, Priscilla, met him in 1959 while 24-year-old Elvis was serving in the military in Germany. The two dated for six months before he returned to the US. In her memoir Elvis and Me, Priscilla writes that Elvis did everything short of penetrative sex with her the first night they spent together and until they were married. “It was as if Priscilla’s virginity was another thing that Elvis strangely and sorely needed to maintain,” Williamson notes in his book.

Photo of Elvis promoting “Jailhouse Rock” via Wikimedia Commons.

But the claims that Elvis and Priscilla did not have penetrative sex until their wedding night are disputed, particularly by Suzanne Finstad, author of the Priscilla Presley biography Child Bride: The Untold Story of Priscilla Beaulieu Presley. After their marriage (the two eventually tied the knot in 1967), Elvis would bring other women into their bedroom; he would watch and film his wife with them, sometimes also joining in—whether Priscilla was into this is undocumented. According to Williamson, he also installed a two-way mirror in his Palm Springs home with Priscilla so that he could secretly spy on couples having sex during lavish parties with showgirls he would throw there.

When Priscilla gave birth to the couple’s only child, Lisa Marie, in 1968 Elvis all but stopped having sex with her, according to journalist Alanna Nash’s book, Baby Let’s Play House: Elvis and the Women Who Loved Him. Priscilla wrote in her memoir that Elvis “had mentioned to me before we were married that he had never been able to make love to a woman who had a child.”

Priscilla eventually cheated on Elvis, and according to her book, she told him of the affair. She writes that Elvis grabbed her and “forcefully made love” to her, saying, “This is how a real man makes love to his woman.” The duo separated in 1972 and divorced a year later. Two years after that, Elvis went after yet another 14-year-old girl by the name of Reeca Smith. According to Nash, Smith claims Elvis did not “take advantage of her” during their six-month relationship.

His health deteriorating, Elvis couldn’t help falling in love once again, this time with a 21-year-old former beauty queen named Ginger Alden. The two got engaged and lived together in Graceland, where Elvis’s behavior worsened.

In her memoir, Elvis & Ginger, Alden writes about Elvis’s abuse, some of which involved the guns he kept in the house. Alden recounts a story in which Elvis, a compulsive eater at the time, was on a yogurt craze and asked her to bring him more yogurt. “I don’t think you need any more yogurt,” Alden says she told him. They both fell asleep, and Alden woke up to the sound of Elvis firing a 57 Magnum pistol off in their bedroom. The bullet hit just above their headboard; Elvis called it “an attention getter.” Alden also writes in her memoir that he once fired a gun at the TV and, in another incident, ran out of the house brandishing a machine gun because he had seen a boy with a toy gun chasing Lisa Marie.

Elvis’s career, and ultimately, his life, ended with drug abuse, which made him incontinent to the point that he was having to wear diapers, according to Albert Goldman’s 1981 biography. In 1977, at the age of 42, he died while wearing gold silk pajamas on a toilet in Graceland, where Alden found his body. Despite his sexual pursuit of children, physical abuse, and dangerous, emotionally driven decisions, fans still insist he was a God-fearing Southern gentleman led astray by drugs. People also still want to believe he’s really still alive and camped out in a cave somewhere. Neither notion seems particularly true.

 

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‘JIBING’ Is The New Dating Trend That Will Make Your Next Hook-Up Infidelity Less Awkward

We’d all love to charm each other with minimal awkwardness. Unfortunately, much like smoke and fire, embarrassment is the inevitable flipside to excitement (you are – literally – putting yourself out there, after all).

This in mind there is a smooth new dating trend you need to try (or at least know about) if you want to eek the most out of your 21st-century existence: ‘jibing.’

However, to understand ‘jibing’ you must first understand ‘flatzoning’ – the evil stepbrother of ‘friendzoning.’ What’s that, you ask? As one of our D’Marge employees (who was recently ‘flatzoned’) anonymously admits, it is “the phenomenon of being homeless but f**kable.”

Before you (rightly) crucify us for such glib usage of the word “homeless,” we don’t mean literally living rough, we mean living somewhere you’d rather not be (think: your parents’ basement) but being denied when you apply to live somewhere else on the basis of your attractiveness.

+1 Photos

Instead of finding a flat, you find a friend with benefits, who doesn’t want to live with you because they think it could be awkward to live with someone they might like to date. Hence the term: ‘flatzoning,’ which, when you think about it, is the exact opposite to ‘friendzoning.’

Anyway, this leads into a broader trend of ‘jibing,’ which is the term given to people finding love on apps which are not meant for dating (think Flatmates, Gumtree, Facebook Marketplace, etc.).

To get the down-low on this phenomenon, we spoke to Dr Nikki Goldstein, a sexologist, relationship expert and host of the podcast Sex & Life, who recently had a friend engage in a little ‘jibing’ action herself.

“I have this friend where she was selling furniture on Gumtree and [this guy] rocked up to the door to buy something from her.”

“With these things,” Nikki continues, “the benefit is you already have their number so it takes the awkwardness away from asking for someone’s details.” So even though you might not know this person, you tend to have a smoother interaction with them than you would with a standard Tinder date.

“I think it happens… a lot. These apps and websites that are not meant for meeting people, but you meet people.”

So, how exactly does ‘jibing’ go down? According to Nikki, this is a classic ‘jibing’ scenario: “You don’t know who the person is but then they come to pick up that thing (or check the room) and there’s a connection.”

“The easy part about this is that it’s easier to text them and say, ‘Hey let’s get a drink sometime.’ The harder thing is when you see someone in person these days, think there’s a connection, and then have to ask for their number.”

But back to Nikki’s friend: not only is ‘jibing’ often easier than meeting people in a club or bar, but it can also be more natural than Tinder: “When he rocked up he wasn’t putting on some kind of front – there was no expectation of a date – so in that setting even though you might feel nervous because you like the person, it’s safe to say you’re probably not putting on a mask.”

“On a tinder date, on the other hand, you might not be yourself (and) you might not be chatty because you’ve been thinking about this date for the last few hours.”

When ‘jibing,’ however, “You are in more of a natural state,” Nikki says, “Which is why I think it will work better [than] one of these dates where you’re sitting across from someone with pressure but no inspiration for a conversation.”

To the contrary, when ‘jibing’ you can base your conversation around the room, people, furniture or whatever trade you might be doing, which relieves the pressure: “Say you’re going for a tour of their apartment or spare room, you might be having a conversation about how much it’s going to cost, or the books on the coffee table, their likes and interests,” Nikki says, “and have that banter without the pressure of, ‘What am I going to say next.’”

The last question to consider is this: is now more socially acceptable to meet your partner on Facebook Marketplace than on Tinder or Bumble? Nikki doesn’t necessarily agree, telling us these chance meetings have always happened throughout history, and they now continue to happen, albeit in a different way, facilitated by technology.

And, according to Nikki, this is actually quite an important topic for dating experts to delve into, as many people “are either really struggling with their social skills because they are on their phone all day, or they have blinkers on when it comes to dating in the real world.”

The takeaway? We would say happy swiping but in light of recent developments: happy ‘jibing.’

 

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