Rape in yaoi

This has been on my mind for a while now. As a yaoi fan I’ve read yaoi fanfictions that have depictions of rape. But the question is, why is there rape in yaoi? Is it a cultural thing in Japan? Or something else? Especially with the dynamics of the relationships within yaoi, the seme (attacker) and uke (receiver). An article on the website Yaoi Suki explains this phenomenon.

But the existence of rape and molestation is one variable that can’t simply be discounted. And, like the rest of the genre, rape in yaoi is also a fantasy– a rape fantasy. And like any fantasy, it bears little or no resemblance to the reality.

Rape in yaoi is usually a result of extreme lust and/or love; the rapist commits the crime because he literally cannot stop himself from expressing said love or lust physically. Want evidence? How often have you seen a seme say something along the lines of “I’m at my limit,” which translates to “we either need to stop or I am going to fuck you silly?” I feel like I see it or something similar once every other series or so at least.

Additionally, the victim of this rape is usually converted at some point into a willing participant. Sometimes it happens mid-coitus when the physical pleasure kicks in; sometimes it happens later when an uke “realizes” that they actually enjoyed, wanted, and/or invited the sexual interaction.

So in yaoi, rape is usually a crime of passion, lust, love, etc. (Except when perpetrated by someone other than the main seme, in which case it is evil.) In reality, rape is an act of violence and hate, power and domination. Yaoi rape is fantasy.
full column

I find this interesting because, as many of you yaoi fans know, this is usually the scenario. The seme is overcome with lust, but cannot stop himself, and the uke at some point gives into the passion. But I wonder, because the victim of the rape eventually “gives in” and enjoys it, does this somehow take away from the fact that it was rape? Or does it make make us a yaoi fans less guilty of reading it? Unfortunately, this topic hasn’t been researched in depth.

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2 Comments

  1. 長春藤

     /  February 29, 2008

    I see it eye to eye. I do not understand why rapes happen so oftenly in yaoi fiction. It is in fact an act of crime. No matter how the victim is enjoyed, it is done under the purpose of hurting others originally. Rape is a voluntary action. In biology, nearly all actions and responses are under control by the brain. Rape, this action is done after the thinking, analysing, and then the nerve impulses are sent to motor neurone. At last action is done. Maybe drugs and alcohol can reduce the speed of transmittion of nerve impulses, but actions like rape is an action that totally under the processing in brain. That means such scenes/stories which describe the rapist rape because of anger, lust or love are not real. Actually the rapists are intentional but not impetuous.

  2. Veja's little pet

     /  October 21, 2009

    You forget about the fact that some people actually enjoy reading rape stories. As long as it is fantasy, I adore non-con, because nothing quite like rape can give me the thrill of reading yaoi.
    I absolutely despise it when uke ‘changes his mind’ and decides that ‘he likes it’. It destroys rape fantasy. I’m surprised just how much supposed “rape” in yaoi ends with seeing-white orgasm on uke’s part. I agree with you about your note that uke’s eventual consent is maybe there to make yaoi babies feel less bad about reading it. But that still frustrates me. If you can’t handle rape stories, you shouldn’t be reading them in the first place.

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