Yes, yes, all the guys are going, “AHHHHH, my EYES!” because it said ‘lesbian’ and now you are three seconds in and already in a gender bender crisis. “It said…Lesbian….” They mutter. Have no worries, as we are sort of playing a game, to see how many women are in these pictures. But also to talk about fantasies (this could be useful, since these are social and cultural fantasies, in which boy or girl it does really matter. Honest!). So is it a guy or girl, or two guys? And since that is a social fantasy: the wounded warrior and the supporting, helpful…um…nurse?
Most of this is going to be about the Uke (the more feminine and usually smaller one) rather than the Seme (the more aggressive one). Why? Well, because Seme’s are guys, and tend to act like typical guys whether they are interested in a guy or girl. Sort of “That pretty.....me want!” Along with the hands in the pocket stance, the "I don't talk about stuff" and the whole, “What, me have emotions? I don’t THINK SO!” But of course they do, which is what wooing and relationships are all about.
Uke’s are interesting. Like this couple here. What is going on and who is the Uke? Is it a girl or guy with silver hair? Okay, now use your thumb to cover the arm muscle and ask yourself again. Yes, Uke’s are usually not that muscular. Indeed, much of the pictures or interplay with Uke’s and Seme’s is about sensuality, the Seme wants…well, probably sex, or something and the Uke wants…intimacy, someone who will be part of their life. Okay, my thought with the hand behind the head and the forearm is that the Seme (whose eyes are on the prize…as it were), is about to lay the Uke on the ground and is sheltering the head and the shoulder while the Uke’s holds on for support.
And here, we have another pairing. With flowers none the less, but yes, probably two guys. Again because of the muscles. Though they are cat boys and are kind of cute. Okay before we go on, we need to let the guys know something: women don’t actually think about the ‘equipment’ as much as say: “Does he really care about me?”, “Does he even notice me?”, “Why isn’t he more attentive?”, “I am trying to do what makes him happy, does he notice?” If you are femme, you can replace ‘he’ with your stoic butch partner.
Now, what is it that makes a Uke….a Uke; they could be a girl, but they aren’t (well that is debated depending on the picture!). Yet they aren’t drag queens. But they have a lot of the childlike innocence and openness that makes them attractive. They show tenderness, they show emotion, excitability, and are willing to share it. They have more feminine mannerism: elbows close to the body, less muscle tone, the cut of the fringe/bands, the cuts of the clothes but unlike most teenage girls, they seem to be unaware of the effect their nature has on others. They are open to being hurt, they desire to be cared for but don’t need to wait for it. They think they are JUST FINE, which of course, brings out that effect, the need to protect and watch over them, because they don’t realize how innocent they are (I am reminded of a female relation who at 17 was going to get a one way ticket to LA, since “That’s what Marylin Monroe did” – and I had to explain that a man who would say he was a film maker WOULD notice her right off the bus....but he wasn’t taking her to a ‘regular studio – but did she believe me? Of course not. I think her parents might have locked her in her room, she really was FAR too innocent for L.A.). So here we have two friends.
Boy/boy, or boy/girl? What does it matter, one is the typical guy who pretends that he is ‘tolerating’ the enthusiasm of the long haired one, who has the garland in the hair and has brought some flowers along. But you can see, by not pushing the other away (“Get OFF me!”), the guy is a friend, is fine with this person, in fact, might have some feelings for them.
Okay, this is a classic example, the Uke is in the river, and is focused on something, is it catching fish. I look at those hips and I am thinking “GIRL!” even though they are both wearing the same uniforms. But what is the guy doing? He is concerned only with protecting the Uke, the arm to make sure they don’t fall in the river, the eyes on them, to protect them. See, the Uke hasn’t ASKED to be protected, but the way all the emotions show on the face, the non-realization how innocent they are to the boy brings out his desire to protect them.
Okay, Qwen is back and you can vote if you think this picture says boy or girl. Currently it is two votes to one. The thing is that Qwen has that, Oh, I’ll just wander down to the store and get something to eat somthing (which isn’t phallic looking AT ALL, no, no!). And then when the Seme chastises Qwen, there is the arms behind the back, the ‘I’m SORRY, I didn’t know.” Girlie!
Okay, this is one of my favorite pictures: the wooing. I believe Qwen is being natural and honest here. She/he has pulled back, because is he for real? Does he want me really, or does he just want to use me? Also there is a HUGE cultural stereotype here, which is being wooed, being the center of attention – be that guy or girl, this is the start of a LOT of sexual fantasies. Qwen is cautious but wants to believe, I think (Again, if a guy, why cover the breasts?).
Here is a look that I think almost anyone in any relationship knows. Qwen is in bed and looking, waiting. She/he is waiting for the Seme, no, not for sex but just to not be alone. To give the Seme a hug from behind in the bed and feel the warmth against her/his face. Or to be enveloped in the hug of the Seme. What Qwen is looking for, desiring is COMFORT. At least that is my opinion (box down below to disagree – if you think Qwen is like, “I’m ready for it, where is he!”). I am trying to show that Yaoi is about sensuality, is about social fantasy, is less about the actually equipment (or at least the ones I read) than about the emotions. And that is a look I have had on my face after a bad day. I want to be held.
This is the other favorite picture: Qwen asking, ‘Is he the one?’ Okay, they have the same sort of hair but it obvious that Qwen is rather more femme, from hair clip to skirt and fluffy hems. The thing about Uke’s is that they know, I think, that they don’t dress typically (they go to the special Uke clothing store, which must only be in Japan! There is a new manga, it is on my Amazon wish list, and in it the main character is asked by a girl; “Why do you dress like a goth loli girl?” The answer: “Because I look cute!”). But I think Qwen and other Uke’s care about how they look, and want to look their best, and what pleases THEM, or the person in their life, even if that isn’t traditional. The reason I like THIS picture so much is that while the Seme is just, a guy. There is such a mix of emotions on Qwen’s face: Does he want me to be part of his life? Is he the one? Does he mean it? Does he really care about it? Hope, hesitancy, vulnerability and a knowledge that they might be hurt, but to hope anyway.
Well this picture sort of speaks for itself. The Seme (who looks about eight times LARGER than Qwen! But hey, I knew a 6’8” guy and a 4’11” girl who got married) is being tender, or at least a touch to Qwen. Is Qwen being seductive covering the breasts and groin again, knowingly or not?
Okay, there is NO question is this picture that Qwen is NOT all innocent. Qwen is being ‘attentive’ to the Seme and it is obvious that the Seme is loving it. Again, looking at the body and thinking, “Guy? Really? Need to learn to draw better!” But the point is that this is also a social fantasy, it is about arousal and why LOTS of women like reading these stories. Because what does it matter if it is a guy or girl at this point. And hey, maybe lots of guys like them too.
Okay, here we have Qwen in dress up, which is what I tend to call it, I think some call it cross dressing. But for me, when you look at Qwen’s nature, how is this different than when I dressed as the naughty schoolgirl for the photoshoot and the little girl asked what I was doing (“Playing Dress up!”). It is a persona. And here Qwen is the confident Yukaza woman with full obi and bound breasts (breasts Qwen?). But what is Yaoi without some cross dressing really?
Okay final scene from the series called ‘No Money’ and here the Seme and Uke are bound together and surrounded by keys…if they want to free themselves. Qwen is in Edwardian women’s clothes and the Seme in men’s. Qwen isn’t dressing up, but just dressing at Qwen. They both look content as the people they are, and while Qwen seems to be asking with the eyes, “What do you want to do?”, they both seem fine as who they are and with each other as part of their lives. So Qwen’s risk worked out and it seemed that he was the one.
Ah, how can we leave this section without another beautiful Uke, just resting (or waiting for Mr. Seme, or Ms. Seme to come into their life!). Doing dress up - hey, if they want to be a shrine maiden, fine, they make a FINE shrine maiden.
Okay, here is a picture I put in because I thought it would show that Uke’s sometimes know EXACTLY what they are doing. And that Yaoi is about desire, about knowing the other person. However, that digressed into the “Girl or Guy.” Because I was pointing out the Seme was in more ‘female’ wear, the pony-tail, the caprice pants, the lace top while the Uke is in a yoga top. When one person goes, “Because the Uke is a girl.” And another goes, “No, they are BOTH girls, look at that pony tail, this is a lesbian couple!” (No, but in the next couple posts will be a complete YURI post – yes, the pure and innocence of girl/girl love, or those accidents where they bump into each other and get ALL tangled up!).
New Uke, who is very sad and lonely, and I notice that the wings make a heart. Also seems to favor pink. I am not sure if this picture is supposed to be before or after the next picture. Is it about failure or the fear of failure?
Okay, THIS Uke is definitely seducing here. Seme is....a guy, as he just sort of lies there. Sheesh! While the Uke seems particularly hesitant, vulnerable, but also calculated (you don’t get all those ribbons color coordinated without a bit of calculation!). But yes, this is Yaoi so that is supposed to be two boys. Of course, cast your vote. Does the Uke get the guy (and quite honestly if THIS is what he is like in bed is he WORTH getting?).
Okay, another favorite picture, with a new Uke, yes, two guys, supposedly. Now, all we have is a sheet and a bit of gauze and yet there is one overwhelming social fantasy and image here: BRIDE. Yes, the big fantasy of intimacy, of relationships. To me this Uke knows they are delicate, that they are vulnerable and have been looking for that one person; to keep your wishes, your hopes, your goals, to protect them and you as you reach for them. The Uke has a look of hope, vulnerability, fear and wonder all mixed into one (which is what makes Laura Croft so hot?). Sorry, when straight women were asked who they would be with of the same sex, Jolie and Laura Croft won big time. Because she is sensual, yes, but also because she is strong, she is protective, she is the one, perhaps. Anyway, the Seme is already in protective, “Mine!” mode. There are flowers, there is a bride, there is a protective husband, there is love, does it REALLY matter if they are guys or a guy and a girl?
Okay, now into femme land and more dress up or cross dressing. Here is the same artist and world, there are other pictures of this boy with yellow hair but his ‘friends’ have obviously given him a wig and a bit of a gender make-over while asleep. OR while awake, as for example, in the series Hana-Yumi, the Xmas dance between the all boys school and all girls school is short in the girl department so money is offered for boys who will be girls (this happens SO often in Manga land – and sometimes at tween girls sleepovers where who is bride and who is groom gets switched around often). So while there is a look of shock it isn’t horror but more like, “I look THIS good!” or “What am I going to do now, my parents are coming this afternoon.”
Which brings us to Princess Princess by the gender bending writing of Family Complex, and the Intersex Romance of Day of Revolution. Is this Yaoi? Well, in an all boys school the most pretty are voted as “Princesses” and here are dressed in Mucha style, and live as girls for guys to not go insane until summer break. The two on the right kiss each other and share a room so is it Yaoi? I can’t say (YES!!!!).
But the next picture shows the Uke very clearly, here is a person without wig, with no adornment except thin eyebrows and a women’s kimono and yet this is also very clearly a……Uke! Confident in who they are.
Which leads to the kimono and falling leaves picture. There are two votes that one is a girl, one a Uke, and one that both are Uke. What I point out is that there are no rings, no bracelets, no make-up, nothing except maybe a wig and hair ribbons matching the Obi, which matches the Kimono. And two girls, two uke….two people who are enjoying the blossoms and catching them and thinking of that and not much else. The kimono say they are both under 21 and unmarried. They aren’t saying, “Oh how vulnerable I am, come and help me!” but I think any guy who is attracted would feel that soon. Would find their open emotions refreshing, and while the Uke or many females find the minimal communication to be a sign the person doesn’t like them, it is the opposite and then, comes the realization, “Oh, they LIKE me…….they like me?” This is romance.
And how can’t we finish without our Snow Uke, who currently is 1 person saying “Completely a girl, are you blind!” and two thinking, “Guy, but a Uke!” Yes, I know that is a skirt and leggings and fur on the boots. They have something warm to wear outside, and seem happy, seem eager to look to the future and whatever adventure might come. Do they look a little innocent, or rather do they look like they DON’T think they are innocent and thus even I feel the need to jump in and protect them from wandering down dark alleys. Anyway, I hope this little exploration of the possibilities of arousal with the Uke and Yaoi has been of interest if not, um, stimulating. And I hope it chased away the post Xmas blues. And more updates on the sleepover and a YURI themed one up ahead (yes, go ahead, hide the children!).
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