Dante's Inferno
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Far as I can tell, yaoi is meant to be porn for straight women. That much is easy to wrap one's head around.

However, going on the yaoi I've seen, it has a tendency to be very, very feminine in look and general demeanor. My question, as such, is this: Is the girliness supposed to be part of the appeal?

I can only suppose yes, considering how distinct yaoi is from bara (which is intended for gay men and as such looks very masculine), but if that's true, what does that say about the women who read yaoi? It becomes very easy to make the leap from "yaoi fangirl" to "closet lesbian looking for surrogacy" in this situation.

And while I can see women fetishizing gay men as being like how men fetishize lesbian women, I've never seen any lesbian porn that looks as mannish as yaoi looks girlish. If feminization is the name of the game in women's yaoi, why isn't masculinization the status quo for men's lesbian porn? All this does is reinforce my notion.

So, somebody help me out here. Is my theory sensemaking in the slightest?

2/11/2010 #1
Saber Wing

Well, first of all, to some women, it might be just porn, but that's not it for me. The story must be good, and it must drawn me in. I find some of the mindless smut out there to be very trashy. The romance is beautiful. I'm a hopeless romantic =).

To be honest, I don't understand how you could come to this conclusion. Why would watching two sexy men getting it on make the females who watch it closet lesbians? XD. It's true that the romance thing can be pretty feminine, since most guys couldn't care less about the mushy stuff. But, the guys in the yaoi anime are designed especially to be pleasing to the eye; mostly to women.

I mean, think about it. What man wants to see masculine things involved in something having to do with lesbians? To women, that slightly feminine romance attracts us because many women love the sweetness, but lesbians being manly would repel men for obvious reasons.

2/11/2010 #2

That doesn't quite explain the paradox that men find feminine women attractive, but women don't find masculine men attractive. You'd think some milder form of bara would be more popular with women or something.

2/11/2010 #3
Saber Wing

It's not that women don't find masculine men attractive, because I know I do. I actually find all of them quite masculine, though I suppose you could say they do have certain physical characteristics that could be described as feminine. But, I don't see it that way. I can't speak for all others, but that's how I feel.

2/11/2010 . Edited 2/11/2010 #4

I, personally, don't like yaoi where one of the guys is all slim and girly-looking. But I think it comes from the tendency in Japanese culture that one guy has to be an obvious "seme" (or top), and the other has to be an obvious "uke" (or bottom). It's much like in Ancient Greece, where older men entertained "relationships" with younger males (usually teenage boys). In fact, it's almost exactly like that.

There's also an inherent attraction of females to "cute" or "pretty" things. Listen to some girls or women talk about bishounen sometime. You'll hear: "He's so cute!" "So pretty!" "Adorable!" It seems to be a false projection of sexual attraction in many of these cases.

I have another important point to make, but... I'm pretty sure the women of the world don't want to hear it. And I don't want to hear the bitching, so...

2/12/2010 #5

Yaoi Rules!!

7/8/2010 . Edited 7/8/2010 #6
The Inimitable Enigma Cypher

Don't worry. I don't understand yaoi at all, either. I really don't see what is so intriguing about it.

7/9/2010 #7

The story must be good, and it must drawn me in. I find some of the mindless smut out there to be very trashy. The romance is beautiful. I'm a hopeless romantic =).

I'm not into yaoi/yuri at all, but I like this point. In any kind of romance, I want to know the characters and their personalities instead of just seeing what goes on between them in bed (or wherever the author found it convenient).

7/9/2010 #8
The Inimitable Enigma Cypher

I can give the yaoi writers this. I'm not into it, never have been, but if they're going to write it, then yes, at least let your audience get to know them instead of writing it like a cheap porno.

7/9/2010 #9
Robert Strand

It gay. that is all.

7/9/2010 #10

It gay. that is all.


7/9/2010 #11
Gaia Sky

I personally don't like girlish looking yaoi or yaoi where one male is very feminine and the other masculine. But of course what is considered masculine and feminine, perspective wise, may be somewhat different for each individual. I find this concept very annoying honestly because it's like a man dating a girl (yes a girl, definitely not a woman) with a wanker. You might as well just go with a straight pairing in this situation. I do like bishounen with bishounen for the most part but I usually imagine a bishounen being something akin to a pretty-boy faced man or young man with a muscular, lean body.

I've always been attracted to beautiful men in real life. For me that means men that are lean to muscular, but not too muscular with a Brad Pitt, Ashton Kutcher, Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom type face...full and/or shapely lips; slightly to very chiseled jaw; intense, gorgeous eyes and medium to thick eyebrows; glowing, baby soft skin and delicate hands (every pretty-boy guy I've met has always had soft, delicate hands which I love, sue me); amazing smile, etc.

Also, I would like to say that I see nothing wrong with women expressing their sexuality and writing yaoi PWP's, romance fics, etc. is just another way of doing that. I would also like to admit that I am bisexual but I am currently pretty much into men and let me tell you...I love everything about a man...especially their...well...I'll just leave that to your imagination. I think as someone else said, yaoi anime's for instance, are the way that they are with the feminizations because of the Japanese culture and their definitions of the "seme" and the "uke." These words are Japanese in origin. It doesn't mean that I have to like this set up, whatsoever.

I do define the "seme" and the "uke" in my pairing list but it isn't set in stone. I allow the characters to switch roles for instance so that power is more equally distributed between them. Also, I've fantasized about two men being together and created elaborate stories in my mind about them waaaay before I discovered yaoi which would probably set me apart from a majority of my yaoi peers. I also don't like M-preg or other things of that nature.

I think in the end if you really want to understand why people, specifically women, are into yaoi; you should research sexuality in relation to Psychology because I believe that people's likes and dislikes start in the mind and of course the mind is a very complicated thing and not so easily explained. Preferences and what turns people on can also be attributed to biology and how people were and are influenced by their environments.

7/11/2010 #12

Yaoi is a way for women in Asian cultures to counteract the oppresive image of female characters in anime, manga and movies that have been created by guys (in Japan). For example that image of a busty schoolgirl with her skirt blowing up in the wind and a group of otaku guys leering at her vulnerabilty is sort of a shouvenistic view on girls, am I right? In Yaoi the male characters are depicted with the emotions and the feminity of a girls. Yaoi is created by and for girls and gay/bi guys for the purpose of breaking free of these oppresive depictions of gender roles.

So yeah, most straight guys (esp. from western countries) don't understand or are very uncomfortable with yaoi. Also girls with traditional values are uncomfortable too. Personally, I found out that Yaoi doesn't interest me much and I don't read any yaoi stories anymore. But I understand it's purpose as a genre and I don't hate it or anything.

7/13/2010 #13
I'm Your Pitiful Life

I'm a fan of Yaoi, and if the story is good I take it as any kind of other story. Like all the fics Yaoi can be good and it can be bad. I really respect those writers who write good Yaoi the same as I respect authors of any kinds of other stories. It' looks weird for me when someone thinks that it's only for gays. It's the same thing, like to believe that looking to that fic will make you gay.

7/13/2010 . Edited 9/10/2010 #14

I read yaoi when I'm in a yaoi mood. XD And that's just kind of it for me. I'll just be on the computer, getting bored, and think "I want to read some TsengxReno..." and it's a way to fill the time. I've only ever read yaoi fanfiction, though. Never the read the mangas or watched the animes. For some reason, it doesn't interest me that much. But if I'm in the right mood (usually "I just want to read some general pointless romance"), it's a good fanfiction read.

7/13/2010 #15
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