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Yaoi & Bara Audience Demographic Review

Yaoi and Bara, difference? Yes. Demographic difference? Yes, but not the full audience. We're talking about the common perception that Yaoi is solely for the ladies and vice versa for Bara.


Before we move forward read some data we collected around the web on Yaoi vs Bara, along with women writing BL fiction. Most people say this: “If it’s done right and researched, make it happen”. So let’s talk.


Let's address the misconception that’s been floating around since the dawn of Yaoi: that it's just for women. Sure, the genre may have historically marketed itself towards a female audience, but let’s not pretend that people abide by what’s written on the label. Gay men read Yaoi, straight men read Yaoi, it’s just based on preference. In our previous articles we saw some responses on how Bara is just too much for some gay men because they prefer more of the pretty-boy type you see in Yaoi.


Also check out this awesome article from Yaoi Bookshelf discussing their thoughts on enjoying both Yaoi and Bara.


The Anatomy of Yaoi


Yaoi explores relationships between men, often delving into emotional complexities and sexual situations. With manga like "Junjou Romantica" and anime like "Sekaiichi Hatsukoi," the genre has given a platform to stories that are deep, steamy and at times dramatic like a soap opera. But nowhere does it say, “For Women Only.”


Bara and Geikomi


Alright, let’s bring Bara and Geikomi into the picture. These genres are like the muscled, tattooed cousins of Yaoi. While Yaoi is often characterized by its sometimes delicate, often pretty boys, Bara and Geikomi feature bulkier, hairier men. It's targeted mainly at gay men and usually created by them. Manga like Suyohara's "This Guy" and even visual novels like "Full Service" fall under this category. But guess what? There are plenty of women who also enjoy these genres.


If a gay man finds the emotional complexities and dynamics of a Yaoi relationship relatable or simply enjoyable, why not? Manga like "Ten Count" have a devoted following and a lot of the readers are gay men. Meanwhile, some women even create more mature, even hyper-masculine aesthetics to their comics and art categorized under Bara along with the complex relationships it often portrays.


The softer aesthetics and emotional resonance of Yaoi titles like "Love Stage!!" and "Given" have attracted a sizeable male following.


The Yaoi, Bara/Geikomi communities are more than just faceless masses. The internet has a way of bringing like-minded souls together. Online forums, social media platforms, and even conventions are meeting places for fans from all walks of life.


Yaoi is for everyone who enjoys it, just as Bara is for everyone who finds it appealing. Enjoy what you enjoy and let others do the same.


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