Username/Email: Password:

To fujoshis: Why do you like BL?

You must be registered to post!
From User
Message Body
user avatar

7:34 am, Sep 22 2022
Posts: 28

BL has been a genre characterized as being "by women for women", as most commercial BL and self-published BL are created by female artists. Historically, it was used to explore topics and ideas that may have been disallowed if done by female characters. So it was an act of liberation, so to speak. BL is popular nowadays, but there is still a bit of stigma attached to being a woman liking BL in some circles.

So to all my fellow fujoshis:
Why do you like BL?
What attracts you to the genre?
What would you say to critics who claim fujoshis are fetishizing mlm by enjoying BL - do you agree or disagree?

I'm very curious about this, especially the last question about fetishizing mlm, since I've seen arguments on social media about it.

떡대수 supremacy
Post #799235 - Reply to (#799228) by Jessica_desu29

10:16 am, Sep 22 2022
Posts: 8

Greetings to a fellow BL lover 🙂

Putting my reasons and thoughts down is a bit difficult, hopefully they'll make sense to you 🤣

Probably the biggest reason why I like BL is because it is "balanced" - the men stnad on equal ground, are socially equal, have the same opportunities etc. And when it comes to their relationship, they have equal chance of ending up on top. Of course, there are series/pairings where one is "more" than the other (bulkier/stronger/more dominant/all of the above...), but even in those the at-first-glance-seme may end up being an uke (case in point: Wei Ying and Lan Zhan in Mo Dao Zu Shi). Not knowing beforehand who'll end up on top is refreshing, while with M/F pairings it's pretty much given. Which is why I probably like switchable pairings the best. 😁
The other reason why I like BL is because I HATE the so called "red library" ("romance novels"😉, where men often treat women like trash, are forceful, rape them or force them into a relationship/marriage, and the women have no say about any of it because they are socially "less". They make me frustrated and furious about how women were, and still are, treated (as a thing - to sell, to give to a man, to use, to f*ck and toss away, to serve as a housemaid...). Women, at least in my country, are still socially "less" than men, even if we try to claim that it isn't so - they have lower wages (a man and a woman doing the same job? woman will get paid less just because), are unwanted as employees, are less respected, and yet are pushed by society to higher obligations (marry, have kids, stay faithful). Unwed/unfaithful man? No problem, it's "normal". Unwed/unfaithful woman? Huge scandal, "there must be something wrong with her"... is how many people still see things. I also have a bit of bad experience, so M/F sex makes me sick and doesn't interest me. That is not to say I hate all M/F relationships, but M/F sex (written/seen)? Hell no.

As for the last question - I disagree. There is nothing wrong with fantasy, which is what BL is. Men have tons of traditional p*rn and fan service, so they should let us have our BL. 🙂 Generally speaking, both BL and fan service are fantasy/fiction and don't harm anyone. Don't like it? Don't watch/read. Fantasy only becomes a problem when someone tries to replicate it in real world - men thinking they can do whatever they want to women and such. I've never heard of a woman forcing two men to be together. 😃
What exactly is the problem of those critics? Do you remember an example or can you link one of the arguments?

Well, my reply turned into a bit of a rant mid-way, sorry about that... Hopefully it at least answered your questions.

What about you? What do you like about BL? 🙂
Also, aside from the questions you mentioned, I'm also curious about the age at which people first started to read BL and how old they're now.
I first stumbled upon BL when I was around 16. Now I'm nearly 30 and still enjoy it 🙂

Post #799239 - Reply to (#799235) by AndelMartina
user avatar

1:40 am, Sep 23 2022
Posts: 28

Thanks for your reply!🙂

I agree, it's very difficult to sum up why I love BL, too. But I guess my story is that I started reading BL (and manga in general) in 2020 during the pandemic after watching anime. So I was 31. I believe the first anime I watched was The Titan's Bride and the Saezuru movie. Then Banana Fish, Hitorijime My Hero, and Super Lovers. I even watched all the old school BL anime like "Boku no Sexual Harassment" and "Papa to Kiss in the Dark". I was completely hooked by the time I finished watching Junjo Romantica and Sekaiichi Hatsukoi. JR was actually my first manga purchase. I'm not ashamed to admit that my first BLs were R18 doujins. I literally went through all of the pages in the yaoi section of a hentai website... because it was the first time I had ever seen that kind of thing. Some were funny and hot, some were weird, but all were interesting enough to get me into the genre. "Sakura Gari" and Harada's works were the first commercial BL I read.

I think one of the biggest draws for me was the way the characters seemed. As you touched on, I really like the equality of the relationships. One of the things that kinda annoyed me while I was watching (non BL) anime was how boy crazy and weak the female female characters were. In BL, there's the inherent equality because both are guys. As you mentioned, there're still a lot of tropes that illustrate BL is written by women - like size difference or uke effeminacy and seme masculinity or fixed sexual positions - but as a whole, I don't get that cringe feeling while I'm reading. I can just enjoy the romance. Perhaps it's because I'm American and women here have more freedom than Japanese women have, so it was hard to see such rigidity in regular manga.

But on the flip side, what is ironic, though, is I like the "female essence" that the male characters do have, just by virtue of women creating the stories. Like, the amount of introspection and mulling over things, the desire for communicating problems (of course we all know how much miscommunication happens in BL), and the craving for committed deep relationships. It was so nice to see men wanting the same things women want, even though these (awesome) guys are 2D. It's not to say men don't want these things but they are less likely to verbalize them or make them a priority? I sometimes feel like these creators are creating the perfect guy for us fujoshis (same is true obviously for MLs in shoujo/josei). I feel like a BL guy understands what women go through, haha. 😁 I also like it because I like seeing men being cute and vulnerable. I really like masculine, buff uke characters for that reason: even though they are often tough and manly looking, they are still designed with a softness and approachable-ness that appeals to more strong women like myself, haha. They'd be pampered and spoiled without shame! Lol

As for the issue of mlm fetishizing, of course I disagree. I agree with you, it's fantasy. Why can't we have a bunch of cute boys to look at?!😛 One of the criticisms is that BL often shows mlm relationships in a negative life because there's a lot of rape, dubcon, and/or abuse in BL and it's often normalized or sexualuzed. I think it's a valid criticism, because there is a lot of rape. But rape is shown in regular manga the same as it is in BL, so it's more of a cultural issue than a BL issue, imo. Another is that BL presents mlm love as rigid and fixed and is therefore inaccurate. I think this is legitimate, too, but I'd argue that it depends if the audience is really thinking gay men are the same as what they see in BL. Many times BL doesn't even mention orientation of the characters, so I wonder how much of the audience are making those connections to real world people. I know I don't, since BL characters still feel very "feminine" to me, even though they are men.

I just wonder why there's criticism at all considering so many gay male BL artists respect female BL creators and their work. There're even a few male artists who've written BL for women's BL magazines and publishers (e.g. DrawTwo, Haiki, Minamoto Kazuki, etc). If these men are okay with women liking and creating BL, then isn't it okay? They aren't calling their female fellow BL artists fetishists! All the attacks on fujoshi and BL are aimed at readers, never on the fujoshis who make BL. It's a bit of a curiosity why that's the case.

떡대수 supremacy
Post #799260 - Reply to (#799239) by Jessica_desu29

11:47 am, Sep 24 2022
Posts: 8

Thank you for your view on this matter! I was curious about other people's reasons for reading/liking BL as well, but aside from us, no one seems to want to try to put their thoughts down...

I don't think there's anything wrong with R18 doujinshi. I personally like both BL manga (and anime) and doujinshi. I usually tend to go for manga when I want something new (new story, pairing, setting) and wholesome; and for doujinshi when I finish watching/reading non-BL anime/manga and want to see the male characters get it on 😁

Haha, I agree, if fantasy men were like this (introspective, caring, committed to a relationship...) in real life it'd be great. I'd definitely try to grab one for myself lol. Handsome strong men with hidden sofness or a cute weakness are fujoshi killers - at a glance they're lovable, but their softness is what really grabs your heart and makes you love them. I'm a sucker for this type of fantasy man as well 😀

Eh, if the critics' main problem with BL is rape, abuse and dubcon, then they should look at M/F media, then they'd find out that there's plenty of that in there as well. But yeah, I agree that there's a lot of it in BL. Then again, to those critics I'd repeat my point that it's fantasy only. If they're really against it, they'd have to ban it not only in M/M media, but M/F one as well. But they're hypocrites, so they'd only strive for the M/M part.
That leads me to a thought - I wonder if most of those critics are men (gay or not), who just dislike the way they're being portrayed (the same way I, a woman, dislike how women are sexualized in media), or if they're women who, I don't know, dislike same gender pairings in general?

There are both male and female authors of BL, the same way the readers are of both genders. So I think the critics' whole problem might not even be about BL or it's elements, but about having "something" to complain about. Because if there's something I've learned about in life, it's that people looove complaining, about anything and everything, especially anonymously on the internet. So don't trouble yourself with their criticism too much (but you probably know that already, seeing as you're my age) 🙂

Well, have a great day and enjoy your BL. I know I will 😁


4:37 pm, Sep 24 2022
Posts: 62

I was looking for an article I read a little while ago but I can't seem to find it. Basically it said that BL was a way for women to enjoy romance & sexual content without feeling like they are supposed identify with 1 one the characters. I think that's true. I could never relate to the chaste, overly shy girls in shojo romance and seeing all the "perfect" Barbie doll-like women in mature manga just got tiring. If all the characters are men it becomes more fantasy.

Anyone that's complaining about women being into BL better be complaining about men being into GL.

You must be registered to post!