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Ontology on the gone!

The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society
Miscellanea and Ephemeron

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11/11/2007 Archived Entry: "Yaoi review: Star"

Story and Art by Keiko Konno
Published by the Juné Imprint of Digital Manga, Inc.

Review by Ginger Mayerson

I'm not complaining, but it's a little amazing to me how many straight guys fall in love with each other in yaoi. These two guys, Hoshimi and Hirokawa, work in the same office by day, but by night Hoshimi is a jazz guitar playing cutie in a street band. As fate or Cupid or something would have it, one night the drunken Hirokawa stumbles across this street band and falls instantly in love with Hoshimi. To his credit, Hirokawa still feels that way the next morning and, hangover be dammed, started hitting on Hoshimi. Hoshimi is somewhat alarmed and confused by this development until Hirokawa tells him he loves the way he plays the guitar and now he wants to...get to know him better. The office-musician-romance aspect is cool in this story. When I was in music I worked in offices and never kept quiet about where I had gigs, when I had the few I had. I handed out postcards, flyers, whatnot, and then guilt for those who did not show up to hear my extremely challenging avant-garde chamber compositions (because no one escapes). But Hoshimi is much shyer than I ever was, because his guitar playing prowess and hotness were totally unknown to Hirokawa prior to their magical meeting on the streets of whatever city they're in. A meeting Hoshimi didn't even notice because he was too busy being a jazz guitar man. And I respect him for that; when you're performing the music comes first.

Anyway, they fall into bed and then in love, Hirokawa dumps his girlfriend (who works in the same office as him and Hishomi [don't these people have to take the harassment/"please please don't sleep with your co-workers" courses I do?]) but she's okay with it, (although Hishomi kind of freaks out because that makes him and Hirokawa a serious couple, but then he's okay with it) and there's a happy ending.

Star has a lot of nicely drawn sex scenes in it. I mean really nice sex scenes, lyrical almost. Except, and this would only bother me because I'm kind of obsessed about it: in one of the sex scenes there are condoms (good) and Vasaline (not good). I know they need lube, but Vasaline is petroleum based (as in petroleum jelly [gee, they have a lot of nice-looking products]) and will rip up the condom. Cool nurse explains why "...oil-based lubes can destroy latex since they are made from a similar material." And ripping up the condom in the middle of hot sex wrecks the whole safe sex aspect of it. So, readers, use water-based lube with latex condoms. Here's a nice list of water-based lubes for you (am I nice or what? Here ends the Committee for Public Hygiene Announcement, thank you for your attention). However, once I mentally wrote Astroglide over the lube label, I was cool.

Star is a sweet book with a good plot, good characters and some very well-drawn hot sex. Recommended, but don't use oil/petroleum-based lubes with a condom, always use water-based lubes. Really.

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