By: Vrai Kaiser November 21, 20170 Comments

I feel like the male gaze v.s complete lack of sexual content is a false dichotomy. The anime industry and mainstream media in general tends to center the sexual perspective of straight cis gendered men to the point that sexuality tends to be falsely conflated with straight male sexuality. But there is tons of niche and independent media that tries to show sexuality from the perspective of women and queer men. One of the things I find interesting about erotic Josei manga is that it isn't just a gender flip of porn for straight men. Sex in media made for straight men tends to portray women as an object and men as a subject. The man is usually treated as a self insert for the presumed male viewer and is completely desexualized while the women is hyper sexualized in order to appeal to the presumed male viewer. Women's feelings and desires (both the audience and the characters) are treated as largely irrelevant. Josei does not simply reverse this script but avoids the script altogether. Both the man and women (or both women, Lesbian Josei gets even less attention in the west) are portrayed simultaneously as subjects and objects. The story forces you to relate to the woman as a person and not just as a sexual instrument to be used by the man. At the same time it doesn't assume that straight woman are disgusted by other women's bodies in the same way that straight male porn assumes straight men are disgusted by other men's bodies. Nor are male bodies treated as inherently non-sexual which most does by default. This doesn't mean that Josei doesn't have it's flaws there's plenty of badly written Josie out there. But I think it does provide a way to think about sex outside the limited stereotypical straight male perspective.

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