When I moved in 2014 somehow I lost volume 3 of Totally Captivated. I like to think one of the movers opened it by accident, had a epiphany about the awesomeness of manwha with gay sex, and pocketed it. I understand. Education and self-discovery is always a good cause.
Volume 3 is pretty important to the character arcs: Jiho discovers his ex Ewon and his gangster boyfriend Mookyul are having dubiously-consensual sex, and we start to learn about Mookyul’s and Ewon’s tragic, angsty backstories. Then we get hurt/comfort, followed by semi-violent possessiveness. The volume is vital to the story as a whole.
So although I don’t know if I’ll ever read the series again, I finally got around to ordering a replacement copy this week. Because I’m planning to leave my curated paperback yaoi collection within arms reach of my entirely non-existent grandchildren.
Megan Harris showed me my first porn magazine when I was twelve. It was her father’s.
Mr. Harris kept bees. Sometimes, when I went to Megan’s place to play, he’d be harvesting honey. I watched with eyes like saucers as he scraped the wax off the combs. When he slid the frames into the extractor he’d let me turn the handle to spin them. Bees crawled lazily over the filled jars lined up on the stained rimu kitchen table. Tacky wax lingered on my fingers for days.
Looking at Mr. Harris’s magazine was like watching a car wreck. Everything was so red. And shiny. The men’s glistening cocks were swollen purple spears, mouthed at by women with frosted makeup and tired eyes.
It all looked painful.
I hadn’t known this is what I was supposed to be.
I went home and cried.
I wish I’d had someone to slip me a bootleg copy of Little Butterfly instead. Rich but neglected teenager Nakahara coaches his boyfriend Kojima to exam success so they can attend the same high school. The Omnibus is going on the lowest shelf.
On the shelf above will be Cool/Uncool. Takashi freaks out when his high school boyfriend Yukihisa starts to grow taller than him. Luckily he learns to deconstruct the misogynistic hegemony of culturally-constructed sexual dimorphism.
The Finder series will be on the top shelf. I’m a grown-ass adult and I’m still not sure I was ready for what happened to that roll of film in Target in the Viewfinder. Totally Captivated will be somewhere in-between, right next to U Don’t Know Me.
I’ll also leave bookmarks for MangaFox on my unsecured desktop. And for Tumblr. And AO3. When my descendents’ schoolmates show them hardcore gonzo porn (which is probably going to be when they’re about eight, god help them) I want my grandkids to know they have alternatives. With a plot. And gentle angst. And a lot of love. And no frosted makeup at all.