The ‘real core’: The taste of Taiwanese men for Japanese adult videos

Heung Wah WONG, Hoi Yan YAU

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Inspired by Simon Hardy who sees ‘pornographic realism’ as the defining characteristic of pornography, this article argues that Taiwanese men identify more with Japanese adult videos (AVs) especially bishōjo (beautiful young woman) AVs, the prototypical genre in Japanese AV industry, than other varieties, because they appear to these men as more ‘real’. However, this article goes further to move beyond the reality–representation divide by arguing that the so-called ‘reality’ is also discursively constituted. We first demonstrate how the ‘proper’ sex act of men in Taiwan is discursively constituted through Simon and Gagnon’s notion of ‘sexual script’. We then show how this discursively mediated male sex in Taiwan parallels neatly with the structure of the narrative of nine Japanese bishōjo AVs featuring Yuki Maiko, a prominent Japanese AV actress. We conclude that Japanese AVs in general and bishōjo AVs in particular will garner huge popularity among Taiwanese men because they appear to these men very ‘real’. That is to say, the distinction between pornographic representations of sex and the ‘real’ sex vanishes not because pornographic representations are getting more ‘real’ as Hardy has argued, but because the so-called ‘real’ sex is also culturally constituted.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)411-436
Issue number3/4
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012
Externally publishedYes


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