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Text Hickeys June 26, 2006

Posted by Naughty Ninja in Links, Yaoi.
9 comments

Teacher and Student, Boy and Boy.

The form, spectacle, and popularity of yaoi (boy and boy love comics) has always been of high debate and controversy. Most experts and pundits can't even settle on a definition, let alone finalize speculations of why the biggest fans of yaoi are heterosexual women. The following two articles supply an introduction to yaoi, and cover various topics at differing depths from entirely different approaches to the subject matter. (All bold emphasis mine)

Mark McLelland attempts to phenomenologically understand the genre in "Why Are Japanese Girls' Comics Full of Boys Bonking?"

These stories about men bonking created by and for women do not trivialise gay life because they are not about 'gay' men. In women's yaoi fiction, homosexual love has been naturalised which is why so many of the stories are situated in futuristic fantasy societies where the political divides over sex and gender issues that polarise contemporary communities are largely redundant.

"Yaoi Ronsō:Discussing Depictions of Male Homosexuality in Japanese Girls' Comics, Gay Comics and Gay Pornography" by Wim Lunsing is a more recent one that's a heavier but rewarding read:

In 1992, Satō Masaki, a gay activist/civil servant/drag queen, harshly attacked yaoi—using the term in a personifying manner: he attacked women who draw and read yaoi—with the phrase: 'yaoi nan tte shinde shimaeba ii' [that yaoi may die]. He did this in the minikomishi [small-scale non-commercial magazine] Choisir, a feminist magazine devoted to the discussion of female sexuality by women. He felt that his human rights as a gay man were harmed by women drawing and enjoying yaoi manga. He compared them to the 'dirty old men' [hentai jijii] who watch pornography including women engaging in sexual activities with each other. In addition, he accused yaoi of creating and having a skewed image of gay men as beautiful and handsome and regarding gay men who do not fit that image and tend to 'hide in the dark' as 'garbage' [gomi]. In addition, he attacked them for creating the 'gay boom', a media wave of interest in gay issues sparked by women's magazine Crea, which, according to him, did nothing for gay men at large.

*Above image taken from the two volumed manga Passion; story by Shinobu Gotoh and art by Shoko Takaku.