I had prepared the pictures for this post over several weeks and today did all the sorting and centering and I was done, to tired to continue. Cheryl came for me and I said, "Well, I'm ready for bed except....I'm horny." Then I showed her what I had been looking at for several hours and she admitted that was getting the tingles ('just thinking of the bride'). So yes, this is the big Uke post, particularly the more femme Uke's (Uke's are the less aggressive, more pursued person in male/male pairings of Yaoi, a type of romance which is highly popular in Japan and Asia (70% of Romances sold) and now sold by every major girls manga sellers, including the ones for 13+ - it just is that popular. So why?
First off, Uke's play with the accepted gender roles and stereotypes; by 'accepting' them and fulfilling a stereotype they break them by doing simple things like accepting acts of chivalry.
In every society there are objects and actions which are indicative of gender, I call it the 85% (if 85% of a person indicates a gender, people see them as that gender – from the walk, the clothes, the fat on the face, the smooth skin= female or the hair on the arms, the broad shoulders, the use of large space with arms and legs and body=male – 85%) For every Uke there are far more females in society, considered "One of the Boys" who don't bind their chest, or have a male haircut (though if you do, you get called "Sir" a lot), but if a Ranger they walk with long wide strides, not close steps along an invisable line, they dress for function, they don't wait for someone to help them up a rock, they use full body space and have large guestures.
For females gender markers are clothes (some special Uke shop sells Uke femme clothes, but if you are wearing hot pants and thigh high stockings there will be second, third looks), traditionally larger moister eyes emphasized by mascara, and eyeliner, thinned eyebrows, shaved body hair, salon styled hair, glossy lips, and muscles untoned and smooth, as well as being smaller traditionally than one’s partner. Then you include the social feminine hand gestures, the use of the hand, the non-possessive use of arms or hands, the restricted body and hand movements (all part of the 85%) and it tells people "female".
And while I am biased, I feel in many ways women are the ones who while yes, covered by a glass ceiling are much freer in daily life: free to dress as they want, free to appropriate male clothes and change them, make them their own. They can freely express emotions both on their face but in body language and the workplace has changed because of it: people didn’t take breaks in the 1930’s because someone just found out they are pregnant or were having a bad day and needed to be consoled, or go out on a walk together just to ‘catch up’ on things. The range of emotions, of expression in face, in body, in attire is just one of the freedoms women have: to express that minute, hour or day anything from their attitude (sassy and sexy, to conservative and bookish), to emotion (happy and exuberant). Uke’s have stolen, knowingly, from women these freedoms; to express with face and body how they feel in clothing and movement, and to inhabit and play with them both in fiction (yaoi) and in REAL LIFE (here is a very nice Uke in Tokyo, his mother made him his cap - now that's a supportive mom!).
For a Uke to accept acts of common chivalry is to say, that yes, I don’t HAVE to be the stereotypical male, I can choose to be comforted, protected (even when unneeded); in the same way the other male, the Seme, has used stereotypical male patterns toward another male, which puts them in a sort of pursued status. The Ukes are not female (even though I, no matter how much I tried kept calling certain characters 'she'), but they are not full chest thumping male either: they are Uke. And being Uke gives them freedom too. Freedom to simply be who they are, to play and express themselves sometimes partially, sometimes fully in the expressions of femininity, the clothes, of fragility, of beauty, of attractiveness to either gender: whether that is just a couple hair clips and kiminoslike the Uke on the right, to full dresses or those who wear the 'male' clothes like jeans but, well, like a girl. Gwen here is a bit too much emphasising the sexuality of the person (and the rounded bum, the high cut leg, while at the same time lowered over the hips). The smooth back and thin arms, leave it sexual androgynous (or presenting as female). More on Gwen in just a moment (Don't worry, Gwen is only 10% of the pictures, just a good example).
But it also frees the Uke to be themselves even when alone, to show the tenderness of a soft side, the facial expressions and affections that would have no place in traditional masculinity. Whether that is clothes like dresses and a day off for tea or it is the fun of hoodies with ears; the type of clothes one is supposed to leave behind in childhood or is reserved for girls.
So let us look at Gwen (I use Gwen instead of a pronoun because for some people Gwen is female or even if they 'know' Gwen is male their groin and parts of mind say 'hot female'). Gwen is clearly a sensual and sexual individual, and a Uke. While Gwen is critized often, it is for the facial expression, the allowance of expressing anxiety, depression, being emotionally hurt and forlorn, and SHOWING IT, and then allowing the male (who I have nicknamed Gorilla Man due to the artist's obvious decisions to show him as SO much bigger), to comfort Gwen in a opposite partner usually opposite gender stereotypically way.
But the truth is that Gwen WANTS to be Uke, wants to LOOK Uke. Indeed, it is the nature of the Uke in accepting their sensuality which makes them sensual. Here, simply a change in hair style and a pair of glasses makes Gwen smoking hot. I am attracted, Cheryl is attracted, everyone I have shown this to is attracted. Gwen, in toning it down a bit and putting on a SINGLE gender marker (women’s style glasses) is HOT! If Gwen WANTED to pass as a very hot, arousing female (whew, is it hot in here!?), who would have no problem getting dates. Gwen could, but Gwen wants to dress as a Uke instead. Gwen likes being a Uke.
The following picture shows the difference between Qwen and Gorilla man (G.M.); that while Gwen sees roses as objects of beauty, of adornment, of enjoyment, G.M. treats the rose as he treats Gwen, something to possess; but have no fear, Gwen will teach him over time.
As we see here, Gwen is enjoying playing with a cat, who due to his grumpy expression, Gwen has dressed up as G.M. G.M. is 'humoring' Gwen, whose delight and range of emotions is shown in face and body. I think both G.M. and the cat will plan some revenge later for Gwen. But Gwen, in being free to adopt emotions is free to adopt desires too, to wish to be cared about, to be in the shirt of G.M., Gwen's boyfriend, while tenderly caressed.
There is the complaint, "But that is a child! Look at how small they are, their face." Well, no, this isn’t the face of a 10 year old boy or 12 year old boy but a 16 or 17 year old girl, and deliberately so (and pretty, and HOT!). No one has a problem with a girl 2/3rds the size of her boyfriend, one who moves her about, or has her jump down into his arms. So as we see her facial expressions of exhuberance and joy as she comes up to her boyfrind with matching wrist band and hoodie, with thin eyebrows and a girl's short hairstyle to add youth, show that she IS female. And it is cute and she is hot. only when we are told, nope, sorry, two males that the ‘hey, that’s just wrong’ jumps up. The Uke has made deliberate appropriation of gender markers. The Uke isn’t saying they ARE a girl, they are saying to us and to their boyfriend, ‘this is what you recognize from a girlfriend, recognize it from me too!’ (or if they look like that naturally, well, they will get a LOT of attention from guys and shouldn't really accessorize if they don't want to give out those signals).
Here again we have the, "Oh so young!" Except that I have known MANY of the dark haired male who are 18, and MANY of the blond male who looked like that at 16, 18, 20. Yes, there is a hair style for girls with bangs/fringe (as popular from Star Trek Next Generation), and a body language and underdeveloped arms. There is lace and yes, the black haired man will probably tell the blond, "No you don't!" when they want to jump down and lift them down protectively. And why not, intimacy is clear, and protectiveness is an aspect of intimacy.
In the same way the Uke uses stereotype for expressing their feelings, for the Seme, to give flowers to the Uke expresses how HE feels. The Uke, beyond long hair, holds the flowers and his other hand is in a traditional female handhold; not gripping the shoulder but the, "Oh you" to "You're so strong" handhold, they demurely turn away while the hand says that if they were to tip back, they would be caught by the Seme. Traditional expressions, telling the story.
When catboys go to make out, the accessories tell the story, from lacy kimonos, to flowery bracelets, anklets, and the rest, is to say more than, “I care about you.” They say, 'I want to be cosseted in the lap of my boyfriend, getting the same attention as any other person does in their boyfriends lap' so I wear dainty braclets with flowers and a flower/shell hairband, and a girls kimono with lace because that is how I want to be treated. Uke’s have dreams, and desires, it is just that they are so open, and so easy to be hurt that they exude vulnerability. The same acts of endearment, The seme lifting the Uke into his arms, while the Uke receives this with a bit of surprise and a bit of joy. Here, the same Uke, is held while hugging the Seme tight, and while the OTHER hand of the Seme is heading toward the curtain indicated they will be...um...watching slides together; the expression on the Uke's face is one of surprised, happy, joy, bashful saying, "He is MINE!" And that openness of facial expression is what hits subconscious negative triggers.
The Uke is the person in control of their identity, they make it, they mark it, they create it within an environment. The idea is that naked except for a veil a uke would still be a uke. It turns out that is true, besides a bit of lip gloss, a rose and a shaved and shapely body, here is the bridal Uke (looking like they just got the room and the Seme has one thing on his mind). But the Uke (and I say that because even seeing a breast and nipple, my mind goes "SHE!!!" and "She so pretty!"), has that, "oh no, this isn't exactly what I imagined" look. But the arms are still in line with the body, underdeveloped and unpossessive, in contrast to the male arm movements of the Seme.
By using traditional gender motifs, body lines, or stereotypes, Uke’s can express without words, “This is who I want to be to you”, “This is how I want you to see me.” – from bride (see above!), to loving maid ready to serve to a refuge of feminine comfort to sexy goddess demanding the center of attention. Or to enact in what can only BE foreplay, a horny catgirl waiting to play. Uke is the essence of gender markers, and an expression of personal identity as well as feeling through them. Perhaps this is what makes the male/male – Seme/Uke pairing so attractive to females, or also what makes some females and many males uncomfortable, that males have finally genuinely appropriated so many of the aspects from body posture to clothes women use (in the same way women having been stealing everything from eyeliner to stockings from men for millenniums). Yes, they are both male but with the markers (85%), they are sexually attractive, yes, flat chests but still....sexually attractive. They make a beautiful couple!
Actually, this is MY favorite couple this time, for me the Seme is just 'blah' but I really like the innocence and openness of the Uke. The arms are thrown over in the way of a girlfriend, no grabbing, which is what the Seme does to the arms, reemphasizing, "I care about you." Here we see them in a festival or entering a room. The Uke is somewhat curious but also cautiousthe Seme protecting with body and the face is telling everyone in the room, “Back off, this one is MINE!” while the Uke is just blissfully interested in what they see, but also know with a grin inside that the Seme CARES. That's my theory, Cheryl thinks that the Uke wants to go exploring but is scared, and the Seme is using the forearm to say, 'it will be okay, I'll look out for you, go ahead.'
That is a lot of the enjoyment of the Seme/Uke image, or motif, as it is open to interpretation, even to the point of how much is the Uke unknowingly giving out signals. Do they KNOW they look like that, and if not, how did they survive this long? Then the question of power and control, is the Uke really controlling the situation or just being objectified. It is all up for interpretation.
And while a Uke is a Uke, free to be, it doesn't come easy, as they were discussing back at the Uke Clubhouse: See the problem is that a good transformation, a provocative Uke isn't something that is conjured in minutes. No. Now, due to social pressure, there is the need to give a pretense that there is reluctance (sometimes there is enthusiastic embracing of their fragile beauty).But here we have a, if we are to believe, reluctant and somewhat pouty Uke who is getting ready to tranform from boring old MALE to the objective: the Uke object of sexual desire! So off with the clothes!
Now the problem is that while we are shown the same pouty face, simple logic tells us that the Uke could NOT get arms through the maid uniform much less tie the hair ribbons without having hands free. So we are supposed to believe that the Uke was held by unknown forces, forced into this surprisingly naturally girlish attire and then left bound. The pouty face is what is supposed to convince you. However this is what we call 'fantasy role play' or 'sexual fantasies.' Because the Uke can, at any time pull the ribbons free from their hands with a single teeth pull. But no, that would defeat the purpose of waiting for the Seme with the whole, "Oh here I am, a poor helpless Uke who has been left dressed up for you and bound against my will" (the dressing up, the ribbon tying, these are sexual triggers, even the reluctant face). Sometimes, it takes a lot of prep to amuse a boyfriend, no?
Okay, here we have a classic Uke story, which has (like most) an absurd premise. Granny is sick and 18 year old femme grandson must fill in, but the 'Master' is harsh and says,'Fine, work here but only if you dress as any other maid!' Oh, how heartless! And of course, the Seme finds our Uke looking very feminine, and the more feminine the Uke looks, the harsher the critism the Seme is. Until the day that the Seme catches the Uke about to fall, or helps him up...with a linger. Or then buys a special maid outfit for the Uke, or even offers the Uke to not have to wear the uniform if (due to a misunderstanding that the Uke is about to quit) he will only STAY. There are always lots of misunderstandings, but the Uke is fine in the maids uniform, kind of LIKES it. And the Uke finally gets it that, the Seme LIKES him. Indeed the Seme likes him in THAT way (Uke's can be a wee clueless). And now, with the support of the other maids, the Seme and Uke have more than just kissing or sex, but a relationship.
So in the Maid story a Uke finds out what turns on their partner (the Seme) and emphasises that, or plays along being ‘reluctantly’ driven into gender markers, clothing and actions to arouse, to comfort their partner (the Uke is the one giving off Material feelings up in colour by the tree, while the Seme looks...well, like a guy...which means he is probably thinking about a PS3 game or something). We finish with another wedding and a cult Anime series now a Manga series. Hard to tell who is the Uke and who is the Seme in this picture, though Cheryl disagrees, she says it is all in the way they use the arms. But this Uke wants what women have been wanting from men for a few millenium: commitment! Is this one any different? Yes, that is the blond haired one in the pink wedding dress with veil, earring, heels and garters, the preacher is there, now the Uke just needs to get the Seme to the alter. Good luck!
I hope you had fun, and got a few tingles, or more.
If you are keeping score, the bride, Gwen in glasses, the couple with the Uke with pink hair and green eyes, the two shrine maidens, the girl with the hoodie in AQUA and the two different cat girls pictures I just CAN'T help but say 'she', pluse the picture in this paragraph. Yes, I see the flat chest but, remember 85%, and my brain is saying, silk, make-up, necklace, braclet, shaved and smooth (and attractive) legs and arms, smooth long neck and hoisted into the lovers position=girl. There were some which could have gone both ways (like the red haired one under the bridge, or the historical Uke carried and in the room with the curtains about to be drawn), but after 8-12 hours of staring, finding, sizing, resizing, checking for color and staring again, yeah, a few tingles and I get aroused. I have decided to go with the flow: go Uke's! I hope you had fun.
One of a three part of Yuri (girl/girl pairs) should be soon, as I have MORE than enough pictures.