Many believe the rise of this culture is a result of the sexually repressed and highly structured Japanese culture. In Japan, more than 25% of unmarried men and women between 30-34 are virgins, while half of all Japanese men and women claim they aren't going out with anyone. Last year, one of the best selling books was a manga illustrated guidebook detailing ever step of a relationship, from meeting to marriage.
[image-1]Toru Honda has written six books supporting this 2-D lifestyle. He believes that human romance has become a capitalistic venture marketed through entertainment, and that these types of romance hinge on money and physical attractiveness. However, Honda seems to be overlooking the fact that 2-D love is entirely a capitalistic venture, creating a desire for innumerable products that will only become more expensive as pillow people become automated, like the robotic love doll recently unveiled at the AVN convention.
For Honda, a 2-D relationship can be more passionate than a real one. The key is to re-train your imagination in order to connect feelings of love with 2-D characters. Some even see this reprogramming as a kind of spiritual training, teaching yourself to appreciate alternative form of happiness. And perhaps it can work, as some claim to be happier in the 2-D world, wanting only to be left alone. However, Honda only advocates this lifestyle for men like him, who have passed the point of no return as far as finding a human partner.
Honda encourages otaku enthusiasts to be proud of their preferences, and to flaunt their love in public. He believes 2-D lovers should live how they want without fearing rejection from the outside world. If only these 2-D lovers could be just as confident when trying to date, accepting repeated rejection without letting it affect their egos, then they may not need pillow girlfriends. Although, perhaps Honda more encourages his followers to flaunt their 2-D relationships as a display of defiance against the world this group feels excluded from.
In a sense, these pillow girlfriends are like coddling blankets or teddy bears for adults. And who knows. Perhaps in the case of extreme introverts, these pillows may even help some men experience things and even emotions they otherwise would not.
Read more at The New York Times.
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