Dan Hughes highlights an article about Japan:

MASAMI HAS SEX with several of her pals, she admits, rotating among partners who themselves enjoy numerous liaisons. Her promiscuity is not uncommon: Surveys suggest that many young Japanese maintain multiple sekusutomo �literally �sex friends.� According to a joint study... in the Shibuya section of Tokyo recently, 43 percent said they keep five or more sex friends at a time...

They form social groups that�like their jobs�are part time, low stress and temporary.

My friend Brian responds:

It is quite similar to the attitudes of the late '60s hippie crowd, actually, who were going through the "Mother of all Cultural Shifts". With the seperation of the old generation and it's strict rules of how to function in society from this new care-free way of thinking and behaving, the hippies produced a hightened sense of global morality and no sense of personal morality. Sure, it was an emphasis on relationship and community (loving one another, man) that produced this. But, I can remember even in the Woodstock movie that was filmed for theatre release in 1970, there was an interview with a teenage couple who were asked "are you guys a couple?". The girl answered, "no, he's not my boyfriend or anything". The interviewer pressed it further to get a bit of definition on what this relationship consisted of (he could probably tell there was something else going on), and the girl responded, "we're not dating. I mean, we ball (60's slang for having sex) and everything but we are not a couple". It was the way then...and now, as Japan goes through it's own cultural shift, it is the way again.

Yeah, talk about a cheapening of love. But if the North American track record is anything to go on, eventually people wake up to the reality that "tonight" love leaves you empty and longing for "forever" love. In a way, these times of radical independence might be good, if only for teaching people that there is really something deeper and spiritual to sex than just the physical.