Thursday, December 25, 2008

Lesbian Sleepover III: talk about fantasies and arousal

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 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!).


Neil said...

My, but you have interesting taste in your reading, Beth. The only image I'd care to comment on this time is the two back to back in kimonos: I'd say they're both girls, one 13 and one 10 or 11.

I hope you survived Christmas in good form... well, I hope everyone here survived Christmas in good form!

Did Cheryl spend Christmas day with you two?

Zen hugs and lots of love,

Lene Andersen said...

I need something cold... a glass of water... a shower... something...

Abi said...

Do guys have a lesbian aversion? I've not heard of that. Perhaps they are averse to real lesbians, but in my experience they certainly like the sound of the ones they made up in their heads...

Many of those pictures were clearly women, but I get the impression that many of those were not actually women. It's so hard to tell with illustrations! They were rather flat-chested, but I gather that women who are that thin usually are.

And that seme with Qwen is absolutely massive, with a tiny head, which is just weird. It's the sort of picture I might draw (I am not good at drawing).

I hope you are doing OK. Sending gentle hugs.

cheryl g said...

First – great pictures…

In some I see 2 guys, in some a guy and girl and in some 2 girls but that is perceived gender and doesn’t necessarily matter for me. Don’t get me wrong – I am a lesbian and if the pictures showed naked people I would find the naked guys to be a turn off.

In these pictures they seem to me to be more my arch-type fantasies. They are about intimacy, vulnerability and sensuality – not sex. It is that sense of intimacy and sensuality that is intriguing and arousing. That is what makes the gender irrelevant for me. It is about the emotions and the perceived intimacy. Some of the pictures speak to my desire to be the protector/comforter and some speak to my desire to be the protected/comforted. That is why I enjoy the non-explicit yaoi and even the occasional hetero romance so long as it is not just pages of “heaving breasts and stirring loins”. Without the overt sex I can project myself onto one of the characters and that makes it accessible.

The Uke’s are attractive to me because of the projection of innocence without it necessarily being helplessness. Yes, they get themselves into many situations where they need to be rescued but they get into those situations through a not well thought out plan to solve a problem. They don’t get in the situation by simply being totally helpless. I suspect that if the Seme didn’t come to the rescue the Uke would get out of the situation on his own but the point is that the Uke allows himself to be rescued – allows that vulnerability.

My favorite picture is the Uke in bed. Like you I see an individual waiting for their partner to come to bed – wanting to comfort and be comforted. I also see an alternate scenario of someone lying in bed thinking, “did he/she notice me, does he/she like me?”

I really like the last picture. To me it could be a uke or it could be a girl but that again doesn’t really matter. The picture projects a sense of playfulness and happiness. Since I am attracted to women I see a girl that I would like to get to know. A girl who seems like they would be open and fun. I can’t help but think that others would see the same thing but project their preferred gender onto the picture. For me that is what makes these pictures accessible, attractive and arousing.

Dawn Allenbach said...

I think the pictures are easily interpretable to whatever mindst you have at the time. Between the manga you've shown us here and the manga my friends have shown me, it seems the sub/Uke is left deliberately androgynous so as to cater to the reader's (and the Dom/Domme/Seme's) fantasy.

I deliberately threw in the Dom(me)/sub reference because there are three pictures of Qwen and her/his Seme bound together by a single chain BEFORE the picture with the keys -- the one with Qwen wrapped up in the blue curtain, the picture backgrounded totally in red where the Seme is huge, and the bathtub picture. Interestingly, the bonds are placed on different hands in different pictures, suggesting they are not always physically bound to each other.

Veralidaine said...

Wow! You weren't kidding when you said you wanted to do a huge yaoi post!

I love Qwen. Maybe I was a Seme in a previous life, because I want to pick him up and hug him and tell him everything will be all right. He looks so in need of a good comforting! Gah. That vulnerability you talk about apparently affects me too.

The gender-bending is pretty extreme in this post. I don't even KNOW what I think as far as some of the later pictures where they look really feminine! Wow. I like androgynous people, but not quite to that degree, I'd like to at least be able to TELL.

I want to know where the secret Uke clothing store is, too. I bet they have lots of great stuff!

thea said...

Interesting to note what you were discussing about comfort and sensuality, rather than 'facts of life' equipment - isn't the sensuality what so many people cry out for, and the biology something that sometimes just happens around it?

If this is about relationships, we all need to be held some way; this is an interesting way to show it.

catsmum said...

I love the Uke in the green kimono - just a beautiful image - though you probably read more into it than I ever would :]
Hope Christmas was good for you

Lisa Moon said...

Wonderful exploration of your beloved topic, Beth!

It really illustrates to me the (to me, at least) reality to the concept of gender and orientation being spectrums, not simply two polar extremes.

I definitely agree with what Dawn said so well about androgyny and things being left open for interpretation - how brilliant is that?!

Also, I have to say the first image really caught me eye due to the person with silvery hair (there was more than one of those, yay!) and that's just excitement of recognition: hey, I have silver hair, too! Haha. :)

I hope you were all able to keep warm and, now that the temperatures are rising, will be able to keep DRY as all this yucky, dirty, sidewalk-hogging snow melts!

I wish you and Linda and Cheryl the best of this winter season and look forward to continuing to be gifted with being able to share a part of your lives here.

Thank you for being here, Beth. You're a wonderful, amazing person and I'm so glad to have found you.

With admiration and respect,

One Sick Mother said...

Yaoi! Yay!

I see what you mean about the first Uke. Cover up the muscle and the gender is much less determined -but big hands! (killer legs, too!).

Cat couple: boycats (tomcats?), although one is still a kitten...

*I* think about the equipment! Sorry, but I do! Maybe this makes me unusual, but when I was well (and single!), I didn't need protection (from the world) or validation as a person. I was quite happy to go out there, club some poor unsuspecting bugger and take him back to my lair to give me a good time...

That third picture: Despite the uniforms, I have to say that looks like a girl to me. Maybe it is the hair and the jacket, but there seems to be a fair bit of junk in the trunk there.

...and see the hips? (next picture): Girl!

I know Qwen is a boy (despite the conspicuous lack of tackle -I've looked!). But I do wonder if he takes estrogen? That covering of the boob thing...

Also that artist seems to have some scale issues: Sometimes Qwen's arms are Marfanesque, sometimes not. Sometimes the Seme is enormous (with a tiny head); sometimes more normal proportions. Now, maybe this is deliberate, to make a point, but I find it rather discombobulating.

The lying in bed picture is very interesting. There is a lot said in that picture. it makes a girl wish she could draw.

I have to say, I look at the bathtub scene and immediately thing "Those pants will be RUINED! ...and he is spraying water all over the floor!" LOL I am a mom now!

...then I think "Tiny bum! definitely a boy... (but where's the tackle?)"

Yes. I think in parentheses.

I would say the 'resting Uke' aftr the Qwen series looks like a girl. I don't see boy at all.

I definitely think those are two girls, with the amazing levitating food. (Although hello: HUGE hand!)

Again, I see "girl" in the heart-shaped wings Uke. Both pictures. I think girls are more scheming and planful too. I wouldn't imagine a teenage boy would get the ribbons together like that. But a teenage girl would!

Blue-haired Uke: Definitely bride.

The whole boy-school thing: **shudder**.

Yes the green kimono boy is definitely a boy. I like that he is very confident: "I like me and I look good and if you don't like who I am, you can eff off!" Good message.

The kimono girls are underage girls. The one with he spectacles *could* be a boy, but I get more "girl" from this pic.

That snow Uke is scary to me: Those eyes scream 'needy schemer' And not in a sweet way like the heart-shaped wings girl, but in a dangerous -almost psychotic- way.

Thanks for going through all that trouble to post those pics. I enjoyed them


Tammy said...

Okay, to me the one of her/him lying in the bed doesn't make me think of needing comfort, or waiting for something me it looks like he/she has that "Oh shit, what have I done???" look. Come on, who hasn't had one of those moments?? LOL
The one of him/her on the fainting couch surrounded by the red curtains, does anyone else notice how Ape-like the macho man's appearance is??? Look at his hands. The term "knuckle dragging" comes to mind to me in that picture.
Great pictures as always!! The misty one is just lovely.

Raccoon said...

I'll make a comment on the one where you said the wings make a heart: to me it looks more like an upside down mushroom, or a different part of a male anatomy.

The rest of the uke... the artists need to study more male anatomy. They are way too hippy.

Now, the yuri post; that, I'm looking forward to! Yes, I know that it's as idealized for the heterosexual guys (aren't all beautiful women bi and wanting to put on a show for us?) as this post is for the rest of you, but that's the way we are coded.

yanub said...

The second picture, the sushi eaters, the guy in the green kimono, and the last picture are all attractive pictures of condident, intelligent, competent adults. The second picture and the green kimono one are definitely guys. The others could be either, but it doesn't matter to me since the important thing is that they are well-matched.

Then there are the Qwen pictures. I find Qwen increasingly irritating. The seme is much too big, much too older looking, like they were drawn by different artists who were never shown pictures of what style the other was using. If I accept that Qwen is about the same age as his boyfriend, then I don't find his looks to say "Aren't I vulnerable and adorable?" No, I find him to be simpering and pathetic. If he knows what he's doing, he's a master manipulator. If he doesn't know what he's doing, he's going to come to a bad end. (What? Do romance novels portray something different? Must be why I don't read that dreck.)

Elizabeth McClung said...

Neil: I just look at the pictures, why, am I supposed to look at the words too?

I really don't understand why the back to back kimono's are seen as pubescent/pre-pubescent, is it the hieght?

I did something on Xmas - oh yeah, the blog, it took 7 hours, I think.

Lene: Hah, don't worry your very own um, little party is coming to you.

Abi: Guys only have an aversion to genuine lesbians, since they have no use for guys. however fantasy, or 'hetero lesbians' are sort of girls who dress as IF they were waiting for a guy and then just play around until the guy shows up.

Well, some yaoi isn't gender bender, but that kind doesn't really interest me I admit, because, I'm attracted to girls, so I can get into a romance that has what LOOKS and sort of has the emotions of a girl, rather than two guys smoking, drinking, with stubble and having clothes on the floor in stacks going, "Yeah, I kind of like you."

That picture is referred to around here as the "Ape" picture. Since it is so different in size. However, if you CAN draw like that - please do, three postcards from this series just sold for $39.99. The books (seven in all) have made several million. So buy ALL means, draw in that style!

Cheryl: Thats just because you like gender bending as much as I do.

I am pretty much the same except that unless the back was turned or it was artistically done, I would find the naked women a turn off too - I tend to find sensual situations or arranged clothes (or sheets) to be more exciting than nudity - as for nude guys.....uh, yeah.

I tend to agree that they go into arch fantasies, you can alternate from protector to the one wanting protection; like the sleepover, be the groom, be the bride, be the agressive, be the one being cradled in arms, it is about intimacy.

I like Uke's because they have what is more and more often being lost in today's western world for both men and women, that open ethusiasm, that childlike innocence, where our 11 year old act like 19 year old and no one ACTUALLY makes rings of flowers anymore or does romantic things unless it comes out of book or has all of thier emotions show on thier face. I find the ability to be willing to be hurt in order to see all of the world, and enjoy all of the world is what I like most about Uke's. For me, the fourth picture (the two in the stream - is very goood, as the 'protector' seems unknowing about thier feeling but are drawn to protect while the Uke is just being.....well Uke! I also like the one with Qwen as princess in blue as the expressions on that face are so evocative. They can go into so many different possible scenerios.

Dawn: I completely agree, that there ARE two school the sort of 'two two business dudes' and the one which is more femme androdgynous. Which leads to all sorts of possiblities.

I did notice the wrist chains but did you notice that they can be easily taken off are are actually a sort of buckle braclet (in one photo the chain leads to...nothing); sort of the way you might use fully handcuff while out with someone you like - more a declaration than a restriction (though that too).

Veralidaine: Yes, I wanted to do a big post as this is the minimum number of pictures I could do. I thought there were plenty nice ones.

I did choose the MOST androgynous in the later pictures because the focus was on 'dressing' up, and cross dressing, rather than Seme/Uke - But I find it facinating - for instance, there were two pictures, one of the two guys/girls as shrine maidens who look 17/15 and then the two of them in Kimono's back to back, both had EXACTLY the same hair styles - I chose the back to back one as it was more femme - somehow it dropped 5 years off of them. I do tend to see breasts in the kimono, but then with an obi cincher, who knows!

Yes, I think you need a place where wayward Uke's can go; Qwen does seem to need some comforting (ran away from home) - but this time I tried for a straight romance, I like that Qwen is portrayed as 'the princess' as that is obviously what is he/what he wants to be, and find the prince for him - which is why I like that picture so much I guess.

Thea: I agree, I tend to think that people want love, want someone who will defend them, whether male or female, want someone who will stand up for them or with them, want to be the 'special somone' for someone else. Not that there isn't a biological aspect, that 'itch' - but I cover that too in other posts.

Catsmum: Yes, it is beautiful but also I think confident - oddly, at one of the shrines in Kyoto along the bamboo path I saw a woman come up under some Sakura (cherry blossom trees in bloom) in the EXACT same kimono, with a fan too.

One Sick Mother: Hurrah indeed!

I pretty much agree with you on every point, the long silver haired girl, or guy with some need to see a good endrocronologist, is a girl, and happily so.

Qwen, in the 'wooing' scene, the bed scene, the blue princess scene has such an interesting complexity of desire (not lust but a stronger desire, perhaps stability?) as well as fear, hope - I find it very exciting and stimulating to be honest. I do find the overly large Seme to be a big much (do you really want to be with someone THAT big).

The bride one I like particularly becuase of the eyes of the Seme, already guarding, looking for anything to disturb his bride.

There are some other's where there are sort of girls tailored suits but guys haircuts and again same sort of look, this is who I am, as the Kimono one, I like them, but I just didn't have enough room (at 23 pictures already!)

I do find the snow Uke to be sort of, how innocent are you? Some see excitement, some see schemeing, I see a classic innocent 16 year old who thinks they know so much and really this is the time they are going to do soemthing stupid and cry for Dad to bail them out - so in a way, all the MORE innocent.

Lisa Moon: Well, actually I like Yuri, it is just there are more hetero women who read the blog so I cover that more often. besides, with the right Uke's that's a lesbian pairing anyway!

I find it illustrates the cultural difference that this is not only accepted but common in large cities (as my postcard set of goth loli girls 'who are boys') shows as well as the floor dedicated to these books. They are just more interesting and more various than, 'you weak woman, me strong man, me save you and carry you off" - insert rancher, or cowboy or whatever cliche for 100 years ago. I've been on a farm and what comes into the mud room is no turn on, unless you have a thing for manure.

Tammy: That's a very interesting observation - that could be the 'oh shit, what have I don't and how exactly do I get out of here now?" look. I didn't think of that. Yeah, who wants to wake up to giant dude in the morning?

We called that picture "ape guy" as well. I had fun but it was hard putting all the different artists together and then selecting which ones to use.

Raccoon: Um, never thought of it that way, still don't really. Interesting viewpoint (is this like an inkblot test for you?).

I agree that the rounded hips and hint of breasts makes it very gender bender and I sort of chose those picture deliberately, because I find more people can discuss what THEY see. As for the Yuri, worry not, this is anime yuri which IS hetero Yui!

Yanub: I find it interesting that you want them to be well matched in....age? Or size? Traditionally the Uke is younger by 4-5 years than the Seme, so after a while this is just 'normal' while I guess here people expect people to date within a year or two of each other? But size too?

No, I think Qwen is about 16-17 maybe just 16 and the other is sort of the 22-23 year old inheritor of a business who is used to being in power and situations of power and thus gives off an older impression (very common in Japan where companies and family still hand things down to sons, and thus train them to be at meetings at 16 and dress corporate from that age on).

Sorry you didn't like Qwen at all. But the Seme seems happy!

Kate J said...

Lovely pics... and they make a welcome change from the ubiquitous Santa, reindeer, elves and the like. Hang on a minute, some of those elves look familiar... big eyes, pointy ears... !?
Love & peace

Victor Kellar said...

OK, the whole "boy or girl" thing is certainly fun but I guess I'm just a grumpy old male, and a Uke (or anyone) who is genuine need of comfort always gets my attention, there is a part of my nature that responds to that, no matter what the gender (though honestly, if it was the male he's not getting anything more than a family-like hug) but, because I do have that nature I hate to be exploited. Seems like sometimes the Uke is deliberatley manipulating his man just to get some attention; for this, I have no patience, male or female. Even my beloved nieces, some of whom have learned how to manipulate men with their incredible cuteness, knows that won't work with Uncle Vic. But a fairly phrased request will always work.

The only female who can reall manipulate me with a sad look from her big brown eyes in Miss Hayley.

By the way, Beth, I'm curious if this posting goes through. Lately it seems are e mails aren't reaching you and I don't think my last couple of posts didn't come through either, not sure what is going on

Victor Kellar said...

Oh sorry, I forgot: Collette and I received the cards for our anniversary, thank you so much! They are beautiful and Collette is in the process of framing them. As always, we appreciate your selection process and the work that you put into to it

We will send you an email, if that works

Dawn Allenbach said...

I absolutely agree -- more of a statement to others that "This boy is mine" or "I belong to this Master" rather than preventing a boy from getting away. I delicate yet concrete symbol of the relationship.

Maggie said...

Hi-I think many of the uke's do look rather girlish...with many having boob buds. Can I tell you again that the eye, especially Quen's really creep me out?! Did you hear about a current US court case looking into manga as porn? There was a story on NPR this am about it. I only caught the end, so I didn't catch all of it but it sounds like it may go all the way to the supreme court.
Hope you are having a good weekend. Lots of love

Elizabeth McClung said...

Kate J: Elfs: the Yaoi version? - I am glad you enjoyed the pictures.

Victor: I emailed you again today, so if you have replied, no, nothing, I might try Linda's email address. I am really glad your postcards came though.

Dawn: Yes, that's how I read it too - which ironically hardly ever shows up in Yuri, well except in the triangles, like Strawberry Panic.

Maggie: you have told me so many times about how anime creeps you out because of the eyes that I suggest you either a) take some medication for OCD or b) have a 'I hate the giant eyes of manga support group' where you and other people can sit in a giant circle and just spontaously say, "Those eyes, the girls and those Uke's especially, they are SO large, it is gross, it freaks me out!" And then someone else can say, "Me too!" I am not sure what to say, since most times, after many 2000 word posts you say this I must conclude the above or that you ARE attracted to the girlish nature and doing the classic reaction of someone who is closeted by just attacking, almost out of context so EVERYONE knows you have NO attraction at all - nope, no attraction here to those hips and vulnerable look, nope, not Maggie, she doesn't swing that way, totally hates it, completely (found later in a lesbian bar!).

As for the court case, you will need to be a BIT more specific, since are we talking Hentai, Eechi? None of that is sold in US stores and you can legally buy Sim games for lonely guys to try to have sex with women through their anime counterpart - but then, I think you can do that on the Sims game too, can't you? And on Second Life? So I don't think that Chobits OR Yaoi is in much threat, perhaps the hard core Eechi, or underage sex - but without knowing about the case, I can't really comment. Since the US sells what is illegal in all of the EU, films depicting sexual scenes and about an hour of naked boys in sexual settings by Bakai Films (ages of boys from 7-11) as 'artistic license' I am curious what they do find porn. Not that they won't sell that - you just have to prove you are over 18.

yanub said...

A 16 y.o with a 23 y.o boyfriend. OK, see personal experience tells me this is DANGER WILL ROBINSON! WARNING! WARNING! Wait, let me shut off that damned robot. There, now, all better.

OK, yeah, when I was 16, I was attracted to 23 year olds. It was not a good thing. That is all.

The size thing--like I said, it's like they weren't drawn by a team that knew what the other one was doing. It just interrupts my suspension of disbelief. Unlike the age discrepancy, which keeps panicking my robot.

I do like you putting these things up and explaining the cultural references behind them. It's very helpful and enjoyable to learn more about stylistic conventions of different cultures. I do try not to judge art from other cultures against my own assumptions, since art is a lot more abstract, even when representational, than is widely understood. But there is try, and there is do, and the two aren't the same.

Neil said...

Pervert! You didn't get the PhD by looking at the pictures.

The back to back girls are young because to me, they LOOK young. It's all in the mind of the viewer!

Love and hugs,