A yaoi or BL work may be anywhere from portraying purely non-sexual romantic male/male love up to explicit male/male sexuality. In the West, the term "yaoi" is often used to refer to more adult and sexually explicit works, while non-sexual, romantic works are called Shōnen-ai (which literally means "boy-love" in Japanese). In Japan, the term "shōnen-ai" is not used in this meaning; "Boys Love" is the most common term for the entire genre.
In Japan, the genre is aimed at a female audience (typically teenage girls and young women). BL authors and fans are careful to distinguish BL from "gay manga", which is created by and for gay men.
Yaoi works that involve underage boys are called shotacon.
Seme and uke
The two participants in a yaoi relationship are often referred to as seme ("attacker",攻め or せめ) and uke ("receiver",受け). These terms originated in martial arts and do not carry any degrading connotations. Seme derives from the Japanese verb semeru (“to attack”) and uke from the Japanese verb ukeru (“to receive”). Though gay males are often referred to in English as "tops" or "bottoms," seme and uke are more nearly analogous to "pitcher" and "catcher." The seme and uke are often drawn in the bishōnen style and are "highly idealised", blending both masculine and feminine qualities.
Yaoi spanking stories and art
Sometimes spanking is featured in combination with yaoi. An example of a spanking author working in this genre is Haruka. An example of an anime artist who draws yaoi and spanking art scenes (M/m, m/m, M/M) is monsp.
- McLelland 2000
- Kinsella Otaku 1990s
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