what is yaoi? – gay 101

Something more than American gay comix.

(Apologies for the ? marks in the Japanese words below. It’s the weird translation from Japanese words to ascii)



yaoi jock boyfriends about to fuck on the bed

Yaoi has become an umbrella term in the West for male/male manga or Japan-inspired comics, and it is preferentially used by American manga publishers. The actual name of the genre aimed toward women in Japan is called ‘BL’  is aimed at the sh?jo and josei demographics, but is considered a separate category. Yaoi is used in Japan to include d?jinshi and sex scenes, and does not include gei comi, which is by gay men and for gay men. As is done with live action adult material in Japan, the genitals may be “masked” (pixellated) so they are not clearly visible.

Yaoi and sh?nen-ai are sometimes used by western fans to differentiate between the contents of the genre. In this case, “yaoi” is used to describe titles that contain sex scenes and other sexually explicit themes and “sh?nen-ai” is used to describe titles that focus more on romance and do not include explicit sexual content. However, Kaze to Ki no Uta (“the first commercially published BL story”) was groundbreaking in its depictions of “openly sexual relationships”, spurring the development of the sh?nen-ai genre in sh?jo manga. The use of yaoi to denote those works with explicit scenes sometimes clashes with use of the word to describe the genre as a whole. Yaoi can be used by fans as a label for anime or manga-based slash fiction.

You might hear the word “Hentai” used for this. The difference between the two is that hentai is art involving women and m/f encounters, while yaoi us men and m/m.

Now you know.

For our purposes here, we will refer to all such pics and galleries as “Yaoi.”

If you are a Yaoi artist (or create any other types of m/m related visual art!) we would be glad to showcase them here with a link back to your gallery, website, collection (etc.) Note that the usual “rules” apply as with photos and gifs and videos: we can’t show overt, explicit sexual acts (aka “hard” or “hardcore” sex.) We will be glad to help you with questions on that, if you’d like. Shoot us an email.

yaoi - smooth japanese bottom showing his butt for the camera

yaho - confronting military gay bully



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