Menu Close

Tag: bishie

Does Yaoi exploit gay men and do we care?

Wow, what a question to start off with when I’ve been absent pretty much all summer, huh? From what I’ve seen out there in author-land, there seems to be some polarizing views on what Yaoi and M/M romance written by and for a female audience (yes, I know many men like it, too, and I think I’ve already covered this ground in “Yaoi versus M/M Romance: What’s the Difference“) should be and how it may or may not affect the gay community.

Let’s take the first part of this, shall we? Does Yaoi exploit gay men? Our characters in Yaoi fall into seme and uke and in many instances, let’s face it, the uke is a chick with a dick. Are there real gay men out there like that? I’d say certainly. While many lesbians (and yep, I do know quite a few) can sometimes bend their female gender to imitate a man quite well, I’ve seen it done just as well with the opposite sex. Wait, what did I just say? Some lesbians act more like guys than guys and some gay men act more like women than women do;) (Just like in the hetero world, LOL) OMG, I think I’ve just started a topic for another day – gender bending and men in dresses, LOL. So, if there are real gay men out there that act like cute little ukes, by having characters like this are we exploiting them? Hell no. Am I exploiting dogs when I have one in a story and it barks and wags it’s tail? Okay, maybe that’s a bit extreme. Even if there weren’t any gay men who behave like a typical uke, does this mean we shouldn’t write about them? Again, do dragons and unicorns exist? And there are stories written about them all the time.

Yes, this is Mana, a guy. I have no idea if he's really gay. Care to take bets?

But on a deeper level, are we female readers and writers of Yaoi and M/M romance  exploiting gay men because we’re turning them into some twisted fantasy we have about gay men and them getting it on? Personally, I find this ridiculous, too. We may make them and like them to be a bit more emotional than a real guy and we may want them to fall in love more than real gay men do, but I’ve also heard from real gay men that these stories can be inspirational to them. And about the emotional part? Boys and girls are born pretty much the same, it’s our culture that forces boys to repress their emotions. Studies show that our culture is finally changing and it’s getting more and more acceptable for men to shed a tear or two. What’s the big deal anyway?

What I’d really like to know is why it seems to be okay with the lesbian community and especially our culture at large for straight men to watch lesbian porn, but, OMG, you’re a straight woman and you write gay romance stories??? It seems like every time I see some stupid ad for porn aimed at men, it’s two hot chicks getting it on. And have you seen late night HBO and such? The soft porn ALWAYS has two hot chicks getting it on. Not that there is anything wrong with that – just to be clear. I’d just like to see more, well you all know what I want to see, wink, wink.

So no, I don’t think Yaoi or M/M romance exploits anyone (maybe the fangirls, LOL). And for that last part – do we care? Of course we do, don’t be stupid. Reading and writing Yaoi and M/M romance has helped me to understand the trials of being gay and lesbian throughout history and today. My first book, A Summer without Rain, was critiqued by a man whose son is gay. He told me reading my manuscript actually helped him to understand and empathize better with his son. And guess what? I’m proud of that.

Harlequin at Yaoi Con – Really?

I don’t know what I have against this company, except that they’re known for producing sappy romance novels involving happy endings with heterosexual couples getting married and having babies. There’s always the stereotypical alpha male hero and the blushing – OMG, I hate him, but I love him, but I can’t have sex with him – heroine. I…HATE…THAT. In fact, I think this type of romance novel is the very reason I’ve never read one before I started writing fanfiction and the only type of romance novel I’ve ever read is M/M or Yaoi.

I don’t know, maybe I’m a bit jaded and I’m going to get a bit personal here. After two failed attempts at marriage and four miscarriages I just see this fairy tale as being a complete farce in today’s society. Now that I’m settled with my two boys, one adopted from Russia, and NOT tied down in a marriage anymore, I’m happier than I’ve ever been. And I know I’m not alone here. My therapist (think I haven’t had therapy with what I went through? LOL) said the average number of marriages today are three.

So this sort of thing doesn’t seem real to me and I don’t see it being real to the majority of younger readers – I’m talking Generation X or Y or whatever the heck anyone under the age of 40 or so is being called these days.

Now back to Harlequin, the book mecca of all things neat and orderly and in their place (love before sex, marriage before sex, marriage before baby, all babies and husbands are perfect, a woman can’t be happy without a husband and gay people don’t exist – oh, I could just scream). So I hear they have a manga line. I hear they’ve even hired mangakas to do the artwork for their manga line. And they even showed them off at Yaoi Con in San Francisco. BUT THEY STILL HAVE THE REDICULOUS STORIES ABOUT LITTLE BO PEEP FINDING HER PRINCE CHARMING IN THE LATE 1880’S.  *falls over with a seizure*

Okay, I’m better now.What retarded impulse led them to think women who like to see two beautiful, androgynous guys engage in ass-play would want to read that garbage? That sort of thing is like the anti-christ for a Yaoi fan! I mean, being in the industry, I’ve heard all sorts of things about not having any women at all on the book covers of M/M books (not even really tiny and in the background) or the girl-cooties will make it unsellable to M/M readers. AND THEY BRING THESE THINGS TO YAOI CON??? *falls over again*

Okay, I’m back. I think I’ve had too much coffee, LOL. I was thinking I should post an image here to prove my point of how stupid these things are, but I can’t stand the thought even having one of the book covers on my blog. So you’ll have to go look for yourself: http://manga.about.com/b/2009/12/14/8-harlequin-romance-comics-debut-on-emanga-com.htm

And yes, I know that by posting this I’m giving them publicity and even negative publicity is good publicity, but I just can’t help myself. If you find you like that sort of thing, have at it. I won’t judge you (okay, maybe a bit 😉 )

So what do you all think about this? Should Harlequin finally break out of their tiny little mold and face reality and make some real Yaoi titles? How about opening the door to the M/M genre? Just to combat all this hetero romance stuff, I need a Yoai pic (I love this pic, BTW):

Subscribe for free reads, giveaways and new release updates!

Featured Free ReadCatching Him - Mesa Boys Short Story