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"Why does my heart go doki doki?" The most serious situation in yaoi

Yaoi and shounen-ai genres (also may known as BL-Boy’s Love) depict male/male romantic and/or sexual relationships in manga. Yaoi and shounen-ai have an extremely common trope. When the person initiating the relationship (term for the initiator is ‘seme’) tries to kiss/grope the other party (uke) or force sexual intercourse, the victim of the harrassment blushes and has a throbbing heart inside while externally screaming out "No!" and trying the shove harrasser away. This situation is called ‘romanticised rape’ and is shown in the form of ‘true love’.

In yaoi, with this trope, the tension between the seme and uke is tried to be constructed and when seme acts too possesive, stalks uke and forces kisses or sexual intercourse, it is easily represented as "Loving so much that not being able to control one’s self", however, it should be realised that this is what ‘sexual harrassment’ literally means. Yaoi is a great genre with big potential; sexist clichés used as a plot device only creates the oppressing gender norms and ruins the yaoi’s possibilites to open up a door wich genres like shoujo or josei cannot do easily.

Writer’s note: "Doki" is the Japanese sound corresponding to "thump" in English.

  • Is it not "shounen-ai" instead of "sounen-ai?" – ZeroReq011 6 years ago
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  • Ah yes it is. The h button is problematic ın te keyboard, i double check everytime but i didn't notice, thanks. – Allthefujoshiunite 6 years ago
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  • I've noticed this in Shojo-ai, yuri, and josei as well. It's in all three of the genres even if it is more present in Shounen-ai and yaoi. – Animegirlinglasses 6 years ago
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  • I wanted to write an article like this but I do believe you've captured the fundamentals of all I would say on the subject. I have always, ALWAYS hated rape in yaoi and I really do hate that it is one of the most basic ingredients to many stories that the genre produces. It is never okay and I do appreciate mangakas who can realistically portray the effects it has on characters like in the manga examples you mentioned (Yuutsu no Asa and Ten Count). And what I really dislike are the rape stories that magically blossom into a romance tale. The seme is not questioned or "punished" in a sense for his horrible behaviour, which is never okay. And also as you mentioned, I do believe it becomes a problem when readers of this material try to justify the seme's inexcusable behaviour. But it would seem that overtime, being exposed to such a trope again and again desensitizes you to an extent. Great article! – charlmeister 6 years ago
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  • @Animegirlinglasses I read shojo-ai/yuri/josei occasionally, though not as frequently as yaoi but you are right; reason behind us seeing the trope this often in manga is because this understanding is inherent in our culture. Stalking someone is equated to loving too much etc exists in real life also. @charlmeister I think you also should write about this because we have to talk about this issue over and over again, it's so important. There is another thing I've noticed; if the story is fluff and contain almost nothing explicit (only holding hands/kissing), the there is mutual love but if sex or smut involves, then rape is used as a plot device. I personally like smut, however I feel like it is used as an excuse to justify two men having sex (like homosexuality needs to be justified...*sigh*). I also like Harada sensei's works, she never sugarcoats these issues. Thank you both for the replies, I really appreciate the feedback! ^^ – Allthefujoshiunite 6 years ago
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  • I read a few yaoi in my life, but not too many. Quite often (and as you mentioned) the situation there goes from consensual to something almost rape like, and that has to do with power-play I suppose - as it's considered to be a turn-on in practically any culture. We have more than enough western counter-parts that play out the 'romanticised rape': the big (and mainstream) leaders in the game being 50 shades of grey and twilight. Bottom line is that this type of relationship is, on some level, desired... Human psychology. We like violence: violence + sex + semi-consensual response = gold mine. Manga, books, and movies didn't invent this: it's been around since the down of time. Great topic – crispychips 6 years ago
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  • This is very interesting, as someone who doesn't have a wide knowledge of manga, it was illuminating to see the different aspects possible for analysis. – SamHersh 6 years ago
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  • Yikes. And agree with you completely. – Tatijana 6 years ago
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