Although originating in Japan, the genre later inspired variants in Western media. The word derives from harem , which was a term used to refer to the most private rooms of a household in Middle Eastern culture, especially among the upper class where only women and close relatives were permitted inside it. Because romance is sometimes the main focus of an entire series, [a] a harem structure is ambiguous. The most distinguishable trait is the group of polyamorous females or males who accompany the protagonist and, in some instances, cohabitate with the protagonist. While intimacy is just about customary, it is never necessary. When it is present, it is always a minimum of two supporting characters who express sexual orientation or the romantic orientation interest in the protagonist.
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Anche vari autori d'opere seinen hanno prodotto saltuariamente dei BL . Molte mangaka famose es. Dai primi anni novanta il termine cadde in disuso e venne sostituito da BL  , soprattutto per indicare shojo e josei . Le storie scritte da Kaoru Kurimoto alla fine degli anni settanta vengono considerate precursori dello yaoi .
It refers to a genre of manga and anime wherein prepubescent or pubescent male characters are depicted in a suggestive or erotic manner, whether in the obvious role of object of attraction, or the less apparent role of "subject" the character the reader is designed to associate with. A cutoff of "about 15" has been suggested as the dividing line between shotacon and BL. The equivalent term for attraction to or art pertaining to erotic portrayal of young girls is lolicon. The usage of the term in both Western and Japanese fan cultures includes works ranging from explicitly pornographic to mildly suggestive, romantic, or in rare cases, entirely nonsexual, in which case it is not usually classified as "true" shotacon.