What started in Japan as a gay romance genre has found its way overseas thanks to the internet and a wide fan base. Yaoi is a comic book phenomenon on male homo-erotic romance stories that are written for women by women and is also referred to as Boy’s Love. The stories themselves often center around the lives of male students and their relationships to each other and older men. Many Canadian women have recently shown great interest in this genre and have joined its growing online community.
…Yaoi categorizes itself based on its female authorship and readership. Many question how women can relate to these homo-erotic love stories. This may have something to do with the relationship between the two male participants of yaoi storylines who represent a pseudo male and female relationship. There are two roles that are fulfilled in these romances: the seme (“to attack”) and the uke (“to receive”). The uke is often characterized with a youthful innocence with feminine traits. Some argue that when women write these stories they are placing themselves under the guise of the uke. In this way they can live the ideal relationship through these characters. What about the seme? This character is idealized as the perfect man. In the eyes of those who write and read these comics, the seme represents what men should be. But at the end of the day they often become untouchable because they belong to their male counterparts. The seme and uke represent the dichotomy between the masculine and the feminine, youth and experience. What makes them and their stories attractive is the oppositions they represent which often leads to conflict, and how they are able to solve these issues because they manage to fit together.
It is a very interesting read, and something I’ve never heard of before. I will explore it more and post about it in the future.
Tags: boy’s love, homoerotic, romance stories, Yaoi