Sense & Sexuality

January 16, 2011

You Higashino – Kitty Media – 2009 – 1 volume

One thing I love about the English BL market is that, if I read a book and like it, chances are there’s another book by the same author floating around out there somewhere. In this case, I picked up the pun-tastic Gay’s Anatomy, and while I wasn’t completely wowed, I liked it well enough to see what the author could do in a different setting. I found this book (with a pun title again, but not quite as funny), and loved it. Next up: Deeply Loving a Maniac. And it looks like another volume of Gay’s Anatomy may be on the horizon, if all goes well for Kitty Media.

This book was hilarious. The premise is that the two main characters, both members of society’s elite around the early part of the 20th century, challenge each other to contests to see who can woo the selected target the fastest. Each chapter is a new target. Thankfully, the challenges are almost always in good fun. The first victim is reluctant, and unfortunately intercourse happens after someone else slips him a love drug, but the others are genuinely in love, and part with the men on good terms. Seeing them work so hard to gain the love and trust of the targets is also genuinely fascinating, both entertaining and a little romantic in every chapter. The fact that it’s about super-dominant grown men also helps immensely, and it made me laugh that neither seemed interested in one another, at least until later.

Also, there was a page I’m just going to post whenever I review a BL book from now on:

(dialogue is NSFW, image is fine and dandy)

The suits. The expression on their faces. The title of the chapter. That dialogue. Oh yes. Everything in Sense & Sexuality is done intentionally. Which is important. If BL doesn’t have at least a little self-awareness about how cheesy it is, it’s much harder to enjoy. At least for me.

The format is a lot of fun. The first three chapters are the “contests,” and like I said, most of these are at least a little fun to read, and not nearly as exploitative as it would be in other BL works. The chapters focus equally on Masatsugu and Kuniomi, then one that features them both, with the last two chapters detailing a love story between the two men. Both are rather dominant and very classy and pushy, so seeing them at work in their courtships, both with others and together, is a lot of fun.

I wound up liking this book a lot. It has the older men that I prefer, and they get even more points for not being rapists and being relatively classy. Like I said, the first chapter is as close as it comes to non-con, too, which I hate, and the rest of the book is a lot of fun. I enjoyed this much more than Gay’s Anatomy, which was a little bland, and this also had a lot more romance and humor than that book. Pick it up if you are so inclined, it’s worth it.

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