Yaoi

: やおい
The word yaoi is derived from the first syllables of each word in the expression, "yama nashi, ochi nashi, imi nashi," which means "no peak, no point, no meaning," and originally referred to self-published fan comics (dōjinshi). Later, it came to be used for dōjinshi with sexual pairings between two males.

In Japan today, the term yaoi is mainly used to point to the sex scenes of a manga or to dōjinshi with male/male content; it is no longer used in Japan as a genre label. In the West, yaoi has become a catchall term to indicate any story that includes a male/male relationship and is linked to Japan, be it commercial manga, anime, games, game-based slash fiction, English-language fan fiction, fan art, etc. Unlike "bara" manga aimed at homosexual men, the idealized homosexual relationships depicted in yaoi are aimed at women.

Boy's Love (BL) is the usual term used by the Japanese publishing industry to categorize commercial works focusing on male/male relationships marketed at women. BL can refer both to content that focuses on romance, as well as content that is graphically sexual. These now include not only manga but novels, CDs, games, and anime.

The term shōnen-ai (lit: boy's love) is a reverse translation of "boy's love."

(definition based on yaoicon.com)

return to lexicon