chapter  6
49 Pages

Images of Homosexuality in the Gay Media

In the preceding chapters 3, 4 and 5, I discussed various representations of homosexual men which can be readily observed in mainstream Japanese popular media: the ‘feminine’ man, the beautiful youth and the girl’s best friend. However, in this chapter, I want to look at the various representations of men which are on offer in media produced by or directed at same-sex desiring men themselves. These images are not, of course, necessarily any more realistic than those images of homosexual men produced for the consumption of women because, just as many women consume stories about homosexual men as romance, many homosexual men consume stories about other men as pornography. These pornographic images and narratives are designed to stimulate sexual response in the reader and are primarily consumed as aids in masturbation. Lunsing (1995) comments on the very common use of gay magazines as masturbatory aids and many of the informants interviewed by Yajima (1997) mention the important role gay pornography played in their sex lives before they made contact with a same-sex partner.