Intersections: Gender and Sexuality in Asia and the Pacific In the mids, estimates of the size of the Japanese yaoi fandom were at ,, people;  at around that time, the long-running yaoi anthology June had a circulation of between 80, and ,, twice the circulation of the "best-selling" gay lifestyle magazine Badi. Most yaoi fans are either teenage girls or young women. Robin Brenner and Snow Wildsmith noted in their survey of American fans that gay and bisexual male fans of yaoi preferred more realistic tales than female fans did. She argues that the exchange of sexual fantasies between the predominantly female yaoi fandom can be interpreted that although the participants may be heterosexual in real life, they can also and compatibly be considered "virtual lesbians". Intersections: Gender and Sexuality in Asia and the Pacific. The reasoning behind this trend is sometimes attributed to the patriarchy- that women who write yaoi fanfiction are in fact acting out heterosexual fantasies through these male figures.
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Most yaoi fans are teenage girls or young women.
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The words' origin can be found in the online image board 2channel. Intersections: Gender and Sexuality in Asia and the Pacific Journal of American Culture.