By Togame. Released in Japan as “Jitsu wa Watashi Sexless de Nayandemashita” by Media Factory, serialized in the magazine Comic Flapper. Released in North America by Yen Press. Translated by Alexandra McCullough-Garcia.
I will admit, this wasn’t quite what I expected when I heard about the license and saw the title. It is certainly a biographical manga about the author and her struggles, but I was thinking it would be more like My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness, a lot more directly at the reader and deeply serious. But of course, this ran in Comic Flapper, not on Pixiv or another online site. As a result, it feels far less autobiographical, and honestly aside from a couple of references to Togame drawing manga within the book, and of course using her own name for the heroine, you’d never really know this was about her. It’s the story of a young newly married couple, and the fact that she wants to do it but he doesn’t. Of course, the common “plotline”, both in Western and Japanese works, is that the opposite is the case. Everyone knows that men are always horny and women get “headaches”. But is that really the case?
As I said earlier, this is a lot more comedic than I was expecting. Togame’s reactions are frequently over the top and overdramatic, and she also tends to fantasize about imaginary situations where either her husband or someone else satisfies her desires. (Indeed, it can be very hard to tell when the reality ends and her fantasy begins, and I felt sometimes that she was finally succeeding only to be shown a panel where she admits it was in her head.) She thinks when desperate about cheating, and goes out to drink with another guy at some point, but in the end does not have an affair and clearly loves her husband. She’s just… really frustrated. Things are not helped by the fact that she’s apparently “tiny and fairy-like”, and that said husband thinks of her more as cute than sexy, though she does have a generous bosom that she tries to break out to entice him as well. What, in the end, is the problem?
To no one’s surprise, it’s poor communication that’s the issue here. Despite her laying out her feelings and what she wants, he’s not really taking her seriously, and it takes her leaving the apartment for a bit to make him realize what’s going on. Similarly, she just assumes his lack of desire is just that, and never tries to ask him why he doesn’t really feel in the mood. Of course, this is merely the case of Togame and her husband. In an epilogue, which I quite liked, we see various other women and their own relationship, and get other types of explanations, such as a woman with “no libido”, or another woman who loved her husband as a person but didn’t find him sexually attractive at all. Communication is not ALWAYS the answer. But, in the main story, it seems to have done the trick, and we end with Togame and her husband now having sex and trying to have a child.
Like Togame herself, I feel this is more “cute” than “sexy” as a manga. But it was a sweet read, and reminds the average reader that the cliche of “the guy wants it, the girl doesn’t” is not always the case.