Why do all the yuri novels seem to be gender-bender?

Moonpearl

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Wow, that's pretty shitty.
Ugh. That’s... quite the displeasure.
That was only the cherry on the cake for that novel, to be honest.

The main character was a twenty-something shut-in whose ideal woman was a fifteen year-old girl who was small, meek, docile, and obedient. He even boasted when he made the character he ended up becoming that he'd be a better woman than real women, because he, as man, knew what men found sexy.

He tried to "prove he was a man" by trying and failing to rape one of the girls (for "comedy" purposes). He claimed she'd "asked for it" because she'd let a "boy" into her room.

He also had that "slave falling in love with the kind ex-master" plot going, except that he never released her from slavery nor was he ever even passingly nice to her. He literally bought her as a slave to be a meatshield for him in battle.

But nobody in the story notices this because all his attempts to act out his shitty intentions gets ~comically misunderstood~ and he's so devoted to acting like his own "perfect woman".

I still feel nauseous even just thinking about that garbage...
 

Scribbler

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I also hate genderbender. It adds nothing to the story 99% of the time. And I feel like people only do it because it's popular.

It's hard to accurately write the opposite gender. If you can't do it right, then don't do it. Going about things halfway will only upset people.

It's not like anyone cares though, so it doesn't really matter, as long as they're entertained they'll be happy. Who cares about doing things right!

At least people are writing. That should be enough. It should be...
 

MrTiemos

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That was only the cherry on the cake for that novel, to be honest.

The main character was a twenty-something shut-in whose ideal woman was a fifteen year-old girl who was small, meek, docile, and obedient. He even boasted when he made the character he ended up becoming that he'd be a better woman than real women, because he, as man, knew what men found sexy.

He tried to "prove he was a man" by trying and failing to rape one of the girls (for "comedy" purposes). He claimed she'd "asked for it" because she'd let a "boy" into her room.

He also had that "slave falling in love with the kind ex-master" plot going, except that he never released her from slavery nor was he ever even passingly nice to her. He literally bought her as a slave to be a meatshield for him in battle.

But nobody in the story notices this because all his attempts to act out his shitty intentions gets ~comically misunderstood~ and he's so devoted to acting like his own "perfect woman".

I still feel nauseous even just thinking about that garbage...
That’s not a gender bender gone wrong, that’s a wacko moral compass for the MC and surroundings that really don’t care.
 

Moonpearl

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That’s not a gender bender gone wrong, that’s a wacko moral compass for the MC and surroundings that really don’t care.
If only the novel had been written as a psychological novel taking advantage of that. Unfortunately, it was written like it was just a normal yuri harem fantasy. I got the feeling that the author completely agreed with the protagonist's views.
 

Allarielle

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I think there's an important distinction to be drawn between the different genres of yuri and lesbian romance, even if they get muddled on this site. Yuri in anime and Japanese novels is fundamentally intended for a male audience - it's written and directed to appeal to heterosexual male tastes in watching women, and as was already pointed out, often also written by heterosexual men. Thus, if the protagonist is a gender bent man, that's just extra points in the reader/author being able to self-insert. I'm sure there are many exceptions, and of course since actual LGBT lit has been really rare until recently yuri still gets a lot of readership from lesbians, but I think if you compared the two side by side you'd be able to notice a difference. Just my two cp :)
 

BenJepheneT

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I once had the displeasure of reading a story where the man called lesbians wrong and disgusting, even thinking of his love interests that way for liking him, but he pretended to be a sweet girl to their faces and dated them anyway.
Might be a displeasure but I'm kinda curious on how the author handled it. Did he put some psychological explanation or some in-depth analysis or is it just boo woman bad
 

BenJepheneT

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I also hate genderbender. It adds nothing to the story 99% of the time. And I feel like people only do it because it's popular.

It's hard to accurately write the opposite gender. If you can't do it right, then don't do it. Going about things halfway will only upset people.

It's not like anyone cares though, so it doesn't really matter, as long as they're entertained they'll be happy. Who cares about doing things right!

At least people are writing. That should be enough. It should be...
I think people write genderbend so they could compensate the halfway for the other half. Writing as a female would be hard but a guy in a chick's body would be presumably piss easy.

But considering the amount of genderbend Yuris were getting on the site with the average quality, people aren't using that to their advantage at all

seems like they all only focus on the group bathing scene
 

BenJepheneT

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I think there's an important distinction to be drawn between the different genres of yuri and lesbian romance, even if they get muddled on this site. Yuri in anime and Japanese novels is fundamentally intended for a male audience - it's written and directed to appeal to heterosexual male tastes in watching women, and as was already pointed out, often also written by heterosexual men. Thus, if the protagonist is a gender bent man, that's just extra points in the reader/author being able to self-insert. I'm sure there are many exceptions, and of course since actual LGBT lit has been really rare until recently yuri still gets a lot of readership from lesbians, but I think if you compared the two side by side you'd be able to notice a difference. Just my two cp :)
Come to think of it, most of them is for the genderbend ecchi lulz rather than actual LGBT
 

Moonpearl

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I think there's an important distinction to be drawn between the different genres of yuri and lesbian romance, even if they get muddled on this site. Yuri in anime and Japanese novels is fundamentally intended for a male audience - it's written and directed to appeal to heterosexual male tastes in watching women, and as was already pointed out, often also written by heterosexual men. Thus, if the protagonist is a gender bent man, that's just extra points in the reader/author being able to self-insert. I'm sure there are many exceptions, and of course since actual LGBT lit has been really rare until recently yuri still gets a lot of readership from lesbians, but I think if you compared the two side by side you'd be able to notice a difference. Just my two cp :)
Isn't yuri as a genre primarily aimed at straight girls, though, with men only coming to the genre more recently? It developed out of Class S literature, after all, and is written with shoujo tropes, with mostly women writing it.
Non gender bender yuri isn't nearly as bad.

Might be a displeasure but I'm kinda curious on how the author handled it. Did he put some psychological explanation or some in-depth analysis or is it just boo woman bad
No, I think it was supposed to be funny. Like how they often have the protagonist panic in a similar way in normal yuri or yaoi, for "comedy", except he took it too far and the gender bender meant it was just a straight guy verbally abusing a lesbian in his head.
He just put forward the notion that homosexuality was bad and wrong.
 
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MrTiemos

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If only the novel had been written as a psychological novel taking advantage of that. Unfortunately, it was written like it was just a normal yuri harem fantasy. I got the feeling that the author completely agreed with the protagonist's views.
It could also be they say it as a ‘normal’ occurrence within the setting (i.e. slavery in Isekai being normal, but obviously not in reality)
 

Moonpearl

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It could also be they say it as a ‘normal’ occurrence within the setting (i.e. slavery in Isekai being normal, but obviously not in reality)
The non-slave characters were fine with the slavery because it was normal in their world, yes. But the norm for isekai is that the slave girl falls in love because the protagonist frees her and treats her nicely, so she follows him anyway. He never did that but she randomly fell in love at first sight anyway. And he was from our world and pretty much jumped on the "yay, slavery!" train after one line about how he "didn't really support it".

There was really no deep justification for this guy. There was no attempt at justification. It was a crappy otaku's power hungry wet dream that showed a little too much deranged otaku from the author.
 
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personally i don't really care but gender bender or not, i just want to see some surreal comedy of cute girls doing cute things.

i love yuru yuri a lot and it has a big influence on me. especially the scene when chinatsu's hair took all the ping pong balls.
 

mrsimple

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personally i don't really care but gender bender or not, i just want to see some surreal comedy of cute girls doing cute things.

i love yuru yuri a lot and it has a big influence on me. especially the scene when chinatsu's hair took all the ping pong balls.
We need more comedy. I enjoy laughing. :blob_joy:
 

LuminaMystere

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I think a lot of the issues with Gender Bender stories, especially GB romance ones, is that some people barely put any focus on the mental aspect of it, and instead spend all their time talking about the physical (usually presented as erotic) changes. That's how you get chapters upon chapters of a character playing with their new-found "parts", and nothing about, for example, the long term effects of what it's like to see someone that isn't you in the mirror, or the feeling of losing your sense of self.

Regarding the whole "self-insert as female" thing, though, I've often heard people complain that GB yuri often reads the same way as a straight relationship, just with the guy replaced by a genderbent girl. So... it does actually show through in the writing, a lot of the time, if that's the case.
 
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One of the best genderbent characters I’ve ever read is, quite ironically, not the main character of the series they’re from. Kumo Desu Ga, Nani Ka’s Katia, and also the main character as well, who is changed not from one gender to another, but from human to spider.

For Katia, the mental aspect of how they view themselves is an extremely important part of her character development, and the main character can be seen to gradually change farther and farther from humanity. Katia’s inner thoughts as shown in the side stories of volumes 1-3 show huge changes in how she thinks differently compared to before.
 
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Yorda

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First, I would like to emphasize that this is an awesome thread. Awesome. There were so many posts I loved and they really got me thinking. Before I knew it my post exploded and became the behemoth that is found below.

Yeah, a gender bender can be good, but aren’t there any good stories where it’s just an actual girl who legitimately loves another girl?
One story that I really loved was "I Favour the Villainess". It's a translated story I found on novelupdates. An actual girl genuinely loves the villainess. It was a funny premise, but more importantly the execution of the whole story was excellent in addition to the romance. I have grown to hate stories that initially start out okay only for all characters to become weird and story plot to become ridiculous. I love serious stories, filled with real struggle, pain, and believable characters.

Also, I love all kinds of villainess girls, which is why I am writing a story with a villainess in it. (GB villainess, and I will make her suffer.)


If you need any help with a yuri story, whether it's asking basic or seemingly silly questions, or if you just want feedback on your story overall, you can go to the Yuri Writing Help Room. It's right here: https://forum.scribblehub.com/threads/the-yuri-writing-help-room-18.754/
YUS! Incredibly helpful. Thank you for helping people and providing so much information.

I also hate genderbender. It adds nothing to the story 99% of the time. And I feel like people only do it because it's popular.

It's hard to accurately write the opposite gender. If you can't do it right, then don't do it.
I didn't know it was popular. I started writing a story with some GB in it, but not because I wanted to be popular.

What you point out is important for me to think about. I should try to justify why I wanted to write a GB MTF character into my story. I wanted my character to be psychologically disturbed, more aggressive, have an identity crisis, be uncomfortable, experience difficulties they would otherwise never experience, and be ill equipped to deal with their new life role. I wanted their romance to be distorted, and to justapose their appearance with their inner self. It's a bit intertwined with the GB, but I generally wanted to ruin my character down to their very core.

There was also some comedy that I wanted to include as well. I'm not sure if people can believe it after the above paragraph.

I think people write genderbend so they could compensate the halfway for the other half. Writing as a female would be hard but a guy in a chick's body would be presumably piss easy.

But considering the amount of genderbend Yuris were getting on the site with the average quality, people aren't using that to their advantage at all

seems like they all only focus on the group bathing scene
I only understand half of what you said, but I want to understand more.

I think a lot of the issues with Gender Bender stories, especially GB romance ones, is that some people barely put any focus on the mental aspect of it, and instead spend all their time talking about the physical (usually presented as erotic) changes. That's how you get chapters upon chapters of a character playing with their new-found "parts", and nothing about, for example, the long term effects of what it's like to see someone that isn't you in the mirror, or the feeling of losing your sense of self.

Regarding the whole "self-insert as female" thing, though, I've often heard people complain that GB yuri often reads the same way as a straight relationship, just with the guy replaced by a genderbent girl. So... it does actually show through in the writing, a lot of the time, if that's the case.
OMG. Then I'm doing things right! I want to focus on mental aspects and identity crisis for my GB character. The things I am most excited to write about are my character's mental breakdown and severe psychological distress.

One of the best genderbent characters I’ve ever read is, quite ironically, not the main character of the series they’re from. Kumo Desu Ga, Nani Ka’s Katia, and also the main character as well, who is changed not from one gender to another, but from human to spider.

For Katia, the mental aspect of how they view themselves is an extremely important part of her character development, and the main character can be seen to gradually change farther and farther from humanity. Katia’s inner thoughts as shown in the side stories of volumes 1-3 show huge changes in how she thinks differently compared to before.
Katia is my favourite GB character of all time. The uncomfortable way she is described is the best. It made me as a reader feel malaise, anguish, depressed, uneasy, and anxious. Uncomfortable, extremely uncomfortable and perplexing, where there is also some sort of feeling that the world is wrong, her life is wrong, something isn't right. Her uncertainty and discomfort with her body and thoughts is fantastic. The way she changes over time was impactful. How fickle her existence seems. Her life is fucked up and bittersweet. After a long time I stopped caring about the story "Kumo desu ga", but the few chapters of Katia and Shun were the ones I needed to read! The way she started fearing that she could no longer be friends with Shun and thus she started getting sort of romantic/sexual with him. The bromance went so wrong, but so right.

I hope to make my character deeply disturbed both mentally and physically. I want to completely inundate my characters with suffering! I don't want any "happily ever after" mojo to taint my story.

I support Moonpearl. She is like the resident Yuri expert. (Just check out NUF.com if you don't believe me.)

That is all.

:blob_sir: :blob_sir: :blob_sir:
Absolutely! Expert expert. Desu.
 
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Yorda

Villainess Yorda the Elegant Flower of Evil
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My post was so long ... at this point I think I should just claim this whole thread. It's mine now. I'm taking it by force. I want it that badly.

Through conquest, blood and ashes, I hereby declare my hegemony, and I shall reign 10,000 years!
 
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BenJepheneT

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I think people write genderbend so they could compensate the halfway for the other half. Writing as a female would be hard but a guy in a chick's body would be presumably piss easy.

But considering the amount of genderbend Yuris were getting on the site with the average quality, people aren't using that to their advantage at all

seems like they all only focus on the group bathing scene
I only understand half of what you said, but I want to understand more.
Genderbend was made so they can enjoy writing a female character in a male mindset and vice versa. Especially the guy-in-girl-body part. Every fantasy you had as a boy being woman can immediately be excused with one addition of a simple genre tag.

Which is kinda sad, considering how an untapped gold mine that genre is but people just keep digging up the copper that is the 'yuri groupbath scene'.
 

Yorda

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Genderbend was made so they can enjoy writing a female character in a male mindset and vice versa. Especially the guy-in-girl-body part. Every fantasy you had as a boy being woman can immediately be excused with one addition of a simple genre tag.

Which is kinda sad, considering how an untapped gold mine that genre is but people just keep digging up the copper that is the 'yuri groupbath scene'.
Okay. What are some ideas about how to properly write a GB genre story?
Specifically, what are these untapped gold mine concepts you are talking about?
I want to know what you think the real gold ideas are.
What should the genre be about?

I wanna do GB right. Any serious ideas are appreciated. They help me think about what I want with my story and what to not include.
 
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