September 11, 2011

What's the appeal?

As I sit here in Starbucks contemplating my next article for Culture Magazine, I realize that the yaoi I was reading last night in bed is still open in my browser. I finish the last few pages that my eyes refused to stay open for and then continue with my Sunday morning ritual.

But this has made me wonder, what exactly is it that I find so appealing about this genre? Is it the porn aspect? I mean, a lot of the titles I read are pretty darn hot. Is it the love stories? I would only be able to make that case if the stories I read weren't full of incredibly unhealthy relationships where one person is borderline physically abusive, and/or over-protective and jealous. The sweetness of the love realized always comes across tainted to me as the dominating character states "No really, no other man is allowed to talk to you, touch you, look at you, breath the same air as you..." Were it a real-life relationship I would be appalled. So why do I barely even flinch when it comes to yaoi? Is it the fiction aspect? Is it the lack of real people? Is it the lack of female oppression?

I've often wondered if my comfort level, as a women, was the fact that it was men being oppressed by other men, and not women suffering from this all to common plight. I mean, I can understand why that would at least instill some semblance of distance from the violence... but is it enough? I don't know.

Anybody have any ideas? I'd love to know your thoughts.