On the one hand, I understand why some people get thoroughly uncomfortable with the amount of incest that seems to go on in romantic and erotic Japanese popular media. But on the other, this is a perfect example of how the material we use to entertain us can be used to satisfy our curiosity about fantasies without anyone getting hurt — or anything illegal happening. As such, one should feel absolutely no guilt about enjoying Double Your Pleasure, an anthology of short yuri manga stories about twins getting it on with each other.
I’ve talked before about how Amazon has a tendency to repeatedly recommend hentai manga to me even when I’m not specifically browsing for it, and Double Your Pleasure is another one of those books that seemed to keep coming up. At this point it’s kind of understandable — not only have I bought numerous hentai books from Amazon, I’ve also shown a clear interest in yuri manga and series that explore lifestyles other than that of a cisgender heterosexual male.
I was curious about Double Your Pleasure for another reason, though: it was published by general manga publisher Seven Seas rather than a hentai-centric brand like FAKKU!. Would a book specifically marketed as an anthology of erotic stories from a “mainstream” manga publisher be noticeably different from one put out by a specifically adults-only brand?
Short answer? Yes, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Double Your Pleasure is undoubtedly erotic, but its stories deliver this feeling and atmosphere in a way that is, for the most part, more dreamy soft-focus images of impossibly beautiful women locking lips and wrapping their limbs around one another than it is close-ups of foamy genitals. There’s a time and place for both, of course, and Double Your Pleasure is a suitable fit for when you’re in the mood for something that is undoubtedly lewd, but which isn’t necessarily over-the-top and in-your-face, if indeed it’s possible to be both at the same time.
As the full title of the volume “Double Your Pleasure: A Twin Yuri Anthology” implies, the focus of Double Your Pleasure is squarely on the fantasy of twins getting it on with one another, often with a third participant joining in on the fun.
The first story in Double Your Pleasure, for example, concerns a pair of identical twins who are so close that they consider themselves to essentially be one person, and how the rather stern class representative doesn’t quite understand this. Naturally, the only way to make her understand is to give her a thunderous orgasm in the classroom — though it transpires that even after that, our class rep is one of the few people in the world able to successfully distinguish the two of them from one another.
It’s a simple story with a fairly flimsy justification to get into the yuri action — as indeed most of the stories in this volume are, by nature of their brief length — but it’s enjoyable, and it gives an interesting snapshot of the lives of a few characters. The twins’ extreme closeness — to such a degree that they frequently make love to one another in an attempt to “become one with ourselves, as we once were” — is a natural extension of the fairly intimate relationships we see between siblings in a lot of Japanese popular media, even that which is not specifically erotic or incest-themed.
This is a cultural aspect that is, in essence, the root of why some western commentators find it difficult to deal with incest fantasies in Japanese popular media. While we enjoy fairly close family ties with one another here in the west, there’s also a certain amount of keeping one another at arm’s length, particularly between siblings; it’s arguably more common to see rivalries between siblings rather than freely expressed feelings of genuine love.
In Japan, meanwhile, numerous cultural factors contribute to increase the intimacy between siblings. There’s the simple matter of the way they address one another — titles and honorifics used specifically between siblings such as “onee-chan” and “onii-chan” highlight how the relationship is special and distinct from others in one’s life. And then there are factors such as “skinship”, where, in simple terms, opportunities to be in the buff together (usually in a non-erotic manner such as bathing, I hasten to add) are seen as commonplace and desirable means of enhancing both familial and extrafamilial relationships.
But I digress. Elsewhere in Double Your Pleasure, we see a surprisingly varied range of stories on the theme of twins indulging in an erotic relationship with one another and occasional others.
One features a relationship between a teacher and a pair of twins she teaches — just for double the taboo factor — and also explores the idea of a polyamorous relationship, where there are three participants and everyone involved is quite happy to share. This is actually one of the least explicit stories in the volume, but it’s oddly sweet amid the taboo factor.
By contrast, the next story in Double Your Pleasure, which features a pair of twins getting turned on by their reflection in a mirror because it allows them to fantasise about doing things to one another, is probably one of the sauciest stories in the volume. It also has a point to make, which is that after assertively breaking the ice about romantic and sexual matters with a significant other, it becomes easier to explore those things for yourself — even if it can be embarrassing to do so.
Elsewhere in the volume, we have a tale of non-identical twins, one of whom has an inferiority complex towards the other, but who still desires intimacy with her older sibling. We have the tale of a tired working woman who ended up with two energetic, horny and jealous stepsiblings dumped on her when her father married for money and buggered off on honeymoon. And we have a story of a twin who is keen to emphasise how different she is from her sibling, but ends up coming to realise they are more similar than she had realised — with a little help, of course.
While short, each of the stories in Double Your Pleasure feels like it has something to say beyond “look at these girls making out, that’s hot”. That aspect is definitely there — more obviously in some stories than others — but for the most part, the tales in this volume are about presenting us with intriguing little vignettes that you can’t help be curious about. What might the characters get up to after the curtain closes on our brief glimpse into their lives? What happened earlier in their lives to bring them to this situation? There’s plenty of scope for imagination.
Those hoping for some sort of coherent narrative will, of course, find themselves disappointed by Double Your Pleasure, but go in with the appropriate expectations — this is a book of short, completely unrelated stories by a variety of authors and artists — and you’ll have a good time. There’s a nice atmosphere of comfy mild eroticism about the volume as a whole; it’s a stark contrast to the raw sexual energy of more explicit hentai, and sometimes that’s precisely what you’re in the mood to enjoy.
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