The gender fluidity of people has been documented for centuries. Many terms have
come to describe various aspects of sexual identity. For those who identify as both
sexes, the traditional term has always been that of hermaphroditism.
Naturally occurring in multiple species across the animal kingdom, hermaphrodites
are capable of sexually reproducing on their own. In humans however, hermaphrodites
have sex organs of both sexes but lack the ability to reproduce on their own.
With sexual characteristics usually associated with both genders, hermaphrodites
prefer to identify themselves as intersex. In recent years however, there has been
an increased awareness of hermaphrodites or intersex individuals. Japan’s growing
popularity in comic books, anime, and manga has produced intersex characters. Funatari,
essentially erotic material between intersex and non-intersex individuals, has become
popular in today’s society.
Whether looked at as hermaphrodites, intersex, or gender fluid individuals, people
have started recognizing non-binary gender possibilities. Within the erotic community,
authors are starting to include such individuals and sexual turn-ons. Readers have
always been able to find a surplus of erotic material from Japan, but today, readers
are excited to see stories reflecting their own cultures and character perspectives.
With so many possible ways to explore gender and gender identities, what will authors