So I kinda sorta like yaoi…and by “like” I mean LOVE!

Before I start singing the praises of the genre here is a brief overview of some BL/Yaoi basics….

Yaoi 101

Yaoi, aka Boy’s Love (as defined by wiki) “is a genre of fictionalized media focusing on romantic and sexual relationships between male characters, typically aimed at female audiences.” Yaoi is a more sexual off shoot of shounen-ai, which depicts more tame male-on-male relationships. Most BL and yaoi focus on men, with little or no female presence within the plot. Male characters are plentiful and fit into one of two categories: Seme or Uke.

Semes

Semes usually, but not always display masculine characteristics. These men are referred to as the “tops” and are the dominant participants in the relationship. These characters are often more aggressive than their partners and are the ones who “give” during sexual intercourse. These men are usually strong, well built specimens who appeal to both men and women, and are often seen pursuing their prey uke.

I generally like confident and imposing semes, but that’s just me. It’s even better when the seme has a cute side that only his uke gets to see. There is something sexy about a man blushing that gets me all hot and bothered…now put some glasses on that seme…

Ukes

Ukes on the other hand are the “receivers” or bottoms. They are often more feminine in appearance and physically smaller than semes. These characters are often more reserved than their partners, rarely pushing the relationship. Most BL is told from their perspective giving insight into their thoughts and feelings, making them more relatable to the reader. Seme/Uke roles can be both permanent and impermanent with some couples choosing to reverse roles within the relationships (I personally like this). Also age has no bearings in who is a seme and who is an uke. Semes can be younger than their partners and ukes can be older and vise versa.

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