Lolicon (ロリコン, rorikon), sometimes shortened to loli (ロリ, rori), is a Japanese term derived from "lolita complex".
Lolicon in its essence is associated with a mental attraction towards feminine neoteny. It can extend to youthful looking adults (including non-teenagers who are 20+ or even 30+) and crosses over with other genres such as kawaii or moe or pettanko. Age is not a limitation as many "lolis" in anime fiction are at least one hundred (such as various vampires like Evangeline McDowell of Negima, Mina Tepes of Dance in the Vampire Bund, Princess Miyu or Rosario) to over a dozen centuries (Demon Lord Etna and Angel Flonne of Disgaea) to over nine thousand years old (immortal alien Washu Hakubi of Tenchi Muyo). It is as much related to appearance, mannerism, context and personality as it is to physical age. In the anime 'Lucky Star', Konata's father Soujiro is referenced as being a lolicon for being attracted to Konata's mother due to her youthful looks even though she was a legal adult and in her twenties.
- One interpretation is that it refers to a sexual complex where an adult (male or female) is attracted to an underage girl, or in which an underage boy is attracted to an underage girl, or two underage girl.
- In the Western world, it refers specifically to artwork or manga depicting pre-pubescent or pubescent girls in sexual situations.
Lolicon is short for Lolita complex, a reference to the Japanese translation of Russell Trainer's The Lolita Complex. Which in itself is a reference to Vladimir Nabokov's 1955 novel Lolita, in which the book's narrator and protagonist, Humbert Humbert, becoming sexually obsessed with a 12-year-old girl named Dolores Haze, for whom his private nickname is Lolita. The novel is fourth on the Modern Library's 1998 List of the 100 Best Novels of the 20th century. It also made the World Library's list of one of The 100 Best Books of All Time.
The name "Lolita" has entered pop culture to describe a sexually precocious young girl. As such it is a term that began in English, went through other languages, before being imported back into English.
Like shōtacon, lolicon often depicts children in sexual situations with adults or other children. While the lolicon community argues that drawn art is protected under freedom of speech, critics claim lolicon is a direct offshoot of child pornography and may lead to child sexual abuse. Supporters argue lolicon is fictional drawings and therefore not child pornography (a view supported by Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition) because no child has been harmed in its creation, and that no study has ever linked lolicon to child sexual abuse.
Lolicon has dubious legality in many parts of the world. The sale, but not posssession, of lolicon is outlawed and punishable by imprisonment in some regions of Japan, but is legal in others. The United States PROTECT act of 2003 prohibited obscene or sexual drawings of children, while the Supreme Court in Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition ruled that such legislation is unconstitutional. Lolicon is illegal in Australia, Canada, Sweden, Norway, and South Africa, but prosecutors do not typically press charges unless other crimes are present. Since most lolicon is trafficked internationally (such as through the Internet), national legal prohibitions are difficult to enforce.
Loli and spanking
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