Yaoi is a Japanese popular term for female-oriented
fictional media that focus on homoerotic or homoromantic male sexual relationships, usually created by female authors.
Yaoi began in the dōjinshi (fan fiction) markets of Japan in the late 1970s/early 1980s as an outgrowth of shōnen-ai, also known as "Juné" or "tanbi" (which contain platonic relationships between pubescent or pre-pubescent boys), but whereas shōnen-ai were original works, yaoi were parodies of popular shōnen anime and manga
. Yaoi came to be used as a generic term for female-oriented manga, anime, da fan fiction works featuring idealized homosexual male relationships.
Most yaoi fans are either teenage girls or young women
. The female readership in Thailand is estimated at 80%, and the membership of Yaoi-Con, a yaoi convention in San Francisco, is 85% female
. It is usually assumed that all female fans are heterosexual, but in Japan there is a presence of lesbian manga authors and lesbian, bisexual or questioning female readers. Recent online surveys of English-speaking readers of yaoi indicate that 50-60% of female readers self-identify as heterosexual.