Appealing Pairings in BL



“How is an appealing pairing born in the world of BL…?”


In order to be known as diamond in the BL world (Boys’ Love, male-same sex couples), a pairing must have a mix of charm and diversity.


We previously had an article on the concept of what ‘pairing’ is, but for this article I would like to delve deeper into how a BL pairing is born.




Colourful “Attributes” and the Search for Attractive Pairings


Let’s get into the wide range of attributes that go into the birth of creating a BL pairing.


Simply put, an attribute is a specific categorization that denotes the pairing’s flavour and appeal.


Even though it’s a pairing between two men, combining two people with different positions and circumstances like a senior x junior, a prince x servant, or rival school reps, can add a depth to the pairing itself and can really expand on the world of the work..


The task of finding an appealing pairing for you is like choosing that perfect delectable dish that suits your tastes. 


You search through multiple genres and works, and find that pair that touches your heart. Then you connect with people through different networks and communities who enjoy the same pairing and discuss the moe (English: a mix of cuteness/giddiness) of it all to deepen your insight into and your interpretation of the two characters. This activity is known as “ukete” (English: the receiver/listener)


Fun fact, “kaisen” (English: buyer-only) or “ROM-sen” (English: Read-Only-Member-only) is when you deepen your love for the pairing by simply reading and viewing the works of others as opposed to creating them yourself. 




From an Ukete to a Creator

By reading doujinshi and doujin work about the pairing and talking with like-minded people, you yourself can eventually expand your beloved world into that of a “writer”. 


Regardless of the scale of the pairing, for instance “major” couples with a large fanbase versus “minor” couples that only seem to be known to those well-versed in the work, and regardless of the genre or exact pair itself, the love and passion toward that work doesn’t change.

That love and passion becomes the spark of creation and transforms into the gem that is the work you create itself. That gem then catches the eye of someone unfamiliar with the work, it falls into their hands and soon becomes the feeling of moe within that person’s heart. And as such, a new appeal for the pairing is born. This is a Circle of Moe and it continues on.


So? What do you think? Doesn’t it sound like a wonderful world?


Who knows, maybe the next thing that sparks that same interest within someone else’s heart will be something you create.




Tomoko Hanamiya

Tomoko actively participates in doujin events like Comiket as well as in the world of doujin novels. Her specialty is otaku culture and mainly in BL and novels. She likes cats and stuffed animals. 

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