Why women like YAOI

It started with a conversation with a friend. He asked why women would want to see m/m centered stories, manga, and let’s admit it, porn. I am not good at thinking on my feet so I told him I would get back to him on that. The rest of his visit, we didn’t talk about it again, but a couple weeks later I had had enough time to think about it from a logical stand point and realized what the biggest part of it is, at least for me.

The genre affords women the opportunity to experience romance, love and sex without the inherently tricky and untrustworthy female body involved. If you take out the female body you take out all the self-loathing, jealously, envy and feelings of disgust we have been taught to feel about our own bodies. In short, society has taught women to seek out YAOI as a way to enjoy love and sex without having to admit it.

That actually sounds problematic when you look at it that way.  Am I that far off base?

~Heather

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6 comments

  1. asylumfarm · August 2, 2014

    Reblogged this on asylumfarm.

  2. nyankoto · August 4, 2014

    I do think that’s a chunk of it. If there’s no female body, the female reader doesn’t have to take the sex as personally. We can just sit back and take it all in from a comfortable distance… Ah, but I think it’s also not just because there’s a problem with the female body but because there’s a problem with female desire (if we want it too much or too messy, we’re bad women). When there’s no female character, we don’t have to feel uncomfortable about her acting on sexual desires. But maybe that’s what you meant already…

    • asylumfarm · August 4, 2014

      I think you just said it better than I did. 🙂

      • nyankoto · August 4, 2014

        I don’t know about that… but I think this is an interesting conversation to have, because (in the U.S. at least), yaoi is the only non-porn girl-porn that I’m aware of, a form of literature that lets women visually indulge in erotic desires.

        You know, it just occurred to me — does anyone ask guys why they want to read yuri (or see girlxgirl)? I’m guessing not…

      • asylumfarm · August 5, 2014

        Excellent point. Men are not only allowed to explore all avenues of their (hetero) sexuality, but are not shamed for having a fascination with seeing two women together. Does it make them even more straight to see TWO women at the same time? Though I sometimes wonder how many men really enjoy seeing two women together, and how many are simply conditioned to think they want that. But what I see as the homogenization of human sexual preferences is a whole other can of worms.

  3. nyankoto · August 5, 2014

    Oooh. That can of worms sounds like fun…

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