Yaoi

Definition - What does Yaoi mean?

Yaoi is a type of anime, manga, or fan fiction that originated in Japan which centers on male-on-male sexuality. The term comes from the Japanese phrase "Yama nashi, Ochi nashi, Imi nashi" which translates as "no climax, no meaning, no point."

The characters in yaoi works have both romantic and erotic encounters. There are yaoi films, television programs, fiction, artworks, and more.

Yaoi was influenced by "shonen-ai" or "boy love" stories from girls’ manga magazines in the early 1970s and the fan fiction tales of the late 1970s which put a sexual spin on boys’ manga. Shojo magazines were the first devoted to yaoi and began to appear in the late 1970s.

While shonen-ai influenced yaoi, the two genres should not be confused. Yaoi contains sexually explicit themes and scenes. Shonen-ai does not although sex may be implied.

In Japan, yaoi continues to refer mainly to the sexual parodies popularized in the 1970s. However, in the Western world the term refers to stories with more idealized homosexual relationships.

Despite the association with "boy love," yaoi characters are usually above the age of puberty. There is a separate genre featuring prepubescent boys known as Shotacon.

Kinkly explains Yaoi

Yaoi features attractive male characters. The "seme" or top typically pursues the "uke" or bottom. The stories are idealistic and often set in exotic locales such as Europe or a destination in the future. These settings are far more gay-friendly than present-day Japan. Homophobia is rarely touched on in yaoi even when it's set in Japan.

Female characters are often either absent or cast in minor roles. Rape fantasies are a common element of yaoi works although the rape is seen as an expression of uncontrollable desire rather than violence. Most yaoi works end happily. When the endings are tragic, this is generally a result of external forces rather than problems in the relationship between the seme and uke.

Scenes in yaoi works are often sexually explicit. The genitals of the characters are commonly stylized to appear more aesthetically appealing.

Yaoi is typically created by women and aimed at women although it has some male fans. It should not be confused with "Bara" which is aimed at a gay male audience. Due to the sexually explicit nature of yaoi works, they should not be viewed by minors as many other anime works are.

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