Hey there, there are a ton of danmei (Chinese gay novels) that don’t “fetishize” gay relationships or portray women as dumb cannon fodders. I personally hate it when people say danmei are only there as a gay fetishizing platform. I think I have read more “normal” novels that have more women as dumb cannon fodders than I have in danmei. I don’t know which novels you have read, but it seems you’ve been reading ones that are cultivation types. I have found that in any cultivation novels, there is blatant misogyny that is not present in most danmei. In the BL world, in general, there are many types of genres and in those genres you will find the classic dumb cannon fodder bitch types. There is so much misogyny in straight romance that they become cookie cutter and bland.
As a demisexual, I value love and chemistry over sex, even in the novels I read.
What attracts me to danmei is the fact that the plots are a lot more diverse and unique over any heterosexual novels. It’s fundamentally the same thing as people reading heterosexual romance novels, just the main characters are two males. Not all danmei are “yaoi” while most are “shounen ai.”
The difference in the two is like erotica versus a romance novel. Yaoi is where detailed sex scenes exist just like in erotica, where shounen ai is the same as a romance novel which are usually centered aound the plot and relationship building or overcoming one’s past. Danmei also frequently include a world where gender assumptions are challenged and reimagined. And in today’s world, reading something where everyone is not picked on for being gay is a breath of fresh of air.
In the real world, women can be vile, nasty, and shitty. In some of the more popular danmei, the women tend to lean toward the horrible spectrum, but I have read enough to tell that:….You cannot make an assumption that all danmei include this trope.
There are people who write BL for fetishism, and people who only enjoy it for the fetish. But don’t some men do the same when it comes to lesbian porn? Men liking boobs is the same thing as a straight woman liking penis. Just because straight women read novels where there is more penis doesn’t mean we fetishize gay relationships. We just like reading about men over reading about boobs as vivacious as Mount Everest.
And just as you said, assuming you are a straight female, you enjoy reading about limitless kinks. If you were truly disturbed, you wouldn’t read another danmei again. Also, you can join groups that will direct you towards novels that do not include the misogynistic side of the novel world. Novelupdates.com is a good source for newbies in the Chinese novel world.
Also, just because we like reading about 2D boys relationships doesn’t mean we go gaga over 3D males (gay porn). Though I will admit, as a straight female, I’d rather watch gay porn over heterosexual porn since that’s geared towards males and I don’t want to see vagina or boobs since I have my own. Which, again, is the same thing as straight males watching lesbian porn since they don’t want to see another male’s dick