Traits: Shemale vs Futanari distinction

Posted in

#1 by warfoki
2019-07-01 at 10:14
< report >Okay, so this discussion was specifically brought to my mind by Morimiya Marina.

I've seen that she's been tagged with Futanari, which i deleted, since it's wrong: there are only 2 core features of futanaris in general: they are presented and treated as females for the most part (just with an extra dick) and that they have BOTH set of genitalia (testicles are optional, penis and vagina are not). Morimiya Marina does not have a vagina, therefore she is NOT a futanari, period. As such I searched for shemale (which is usually how this particular phenomenon is referred to in most hentai sites), found Transwoman, applied it.

That got overwritten and Futanari put back, saying that she was, well, a she at birth, therefore the "assigned" male at birth doesn't apply, so she is not a Transwoman and the description for Futanari should be updated to include her as well.

I didn't challenge this edit, because that would just result in a pointless edit-war, which is something nobody needs, however I highly disagree with this notion. The differentiation between futanari and shemale exists in practically every single site dealing with hentai I know of. So mixing the two into one does not seems to be a good idea. And technically we already have a shemale tag, it's an alias for Transwoman.

Problem is that Transwoman is a lot more loaded of a term and instead of just describing a bodily features (female looks, complete with breast, but penis instead of vagina), it comes packaged with the entire gender-identity nonsense. I mean, yeah, in reality, that's how it works. In hentai-land, futanaris and shemales just exist. You don't get to know what was their "assigned gender" most of the time, you only get to know that they have a dick, and no vagina, therefore not futanari. Most eroges won't wax philosophical about this.

On the other hand, I don't want to change Transwoman to the, say, e-hentai version of shemale, since I do realize that there ARE characters (mostly in OELVNs, not surprisingly) who focus on transitioning and for whom the entire package is there.

Proposition, delete the Shemale and Ladyboy aliases from Transwoman and make a new Shemale trait that is exclusively concerned with the bodily features (female looks, complete with breast, but penis instead of vagina) and absolutely nothing else.

I made this into a separate thread, because I'd imagine this might become a hotspot for discussion, so I figured it would be simpler to keep all that in one place.Last modified on 2019-07-01 at 10:15
#2 by anonymous
2019-07-01 at 10:37
< report >I'm not a fan due to the high likelihood of misuse for futanari and trans woman characters, but I don't have any better suggestion for how to handle rare edge cases like the character you're talking about.

To clarify, she was born with a vagina but surgically/magically/whatever had it turn into a penis? Because that does sound like futanari is more accurate than trans woman even if neither is exactly right.
#3 by warfoki
2019-07-01 at 10:51
< report >She was born as female, with a vagina. Later she got that replaced by a penis via experimental, super expensive surgery, because she preferred fucking her partners, rather than being fucked by them, so she wanted a more... appropriate set of genitals for that purpose. She still identifies as female though.

And yes, she is closer to a futanari in that sense, but at the same time the entire point of a futanari is that they have both sets of genitals, she doesn't. And while this is the only example I'm aware of right now, I'm fairly certain that there are more than a few, since Japanese VNs rarely go into the entire gender-transitioning, they just throw shemales in as fetish-fuel for the most part. As such a tag that focuses solely on this aspect wouldn't be useless I think.
#4 by mysterycorgi
2019-07-01 at 11:15
< report >Shemale, hermaphrodite, and ladyboy are deragatory terms considered to be slurs in "real life" and thus I think they should be avoided. I'm in favor of phasing out potentially damaging language and slurs from tags for anime, visual novels, etc. because even though it's all fun and games, the cultural impact can still be negative. For example, many transgender individuals do not like the term "traps," as being killed for being perceived as a "trap" is a real threat for them. The gay and trans "panic defense" has saved many murderers and perpetrators of violent assault from facing actual consequences. Meanwhile transgender individuals have died or been gravely wounded and their family and friends are left without support while the murderers go free. I believe that addressing common misconceptions, even in the anime/games fandom, can have a great positive impact on fostering acceptance and in turn expand sex positivity in general society. Words have meaning and power.

Personally I would label the "hentai-land" fetish version of the general tag as futanari, if one wanted to label a game/genre. I know many trans and gender non-conforming people who prefer that term and many trans women who are sex workers openly use the label. Unfortunately there's always been a debate as to what futanari have as far as genitalia, but I don't see why one should limit it unless you want to make additional work for tags. I've seen visual novels and comics with a variety of physiological combinations tagged as "futanari" but there does not seem to be a consensus when it comes to that discourse. Which brings me to my next point...

link In real life, Intersex individuals are born any of several variations in sex characteristics including chromosomes, gonads, sex hormones, or genitals that, according to the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, "do not fit the typical definitions for male or female bodies". However, intersexuality is woefully misunderstood by many. Also I have personally known people who were born intersex, were immediately surgically altered (regardless of necessity or the consent of the parents, in some cases) and raised to live as one gender, only to suffer terribly once they reach puberty or adulthood. Some go on to transition later in life, others haven't. Whether or not they transition, many deal with life-long issues like suffering terrible pain during sex due to being unnecessarily mutilated when they were an infant, or wondering why they don't have periods or can't fill out their figures. Being intersex and transgender isn't mutually exclusive. There are many intersex individuals who don't fit the genotype of XX or XY but never find out, or only find out through a fluke that they are in fact intersex on a chromosomal level (XXXY and YY and XXY and many other variations have been documentde. Also I would like to point out that there are many transgender individuals who do not get surgery at all, regardless of what they were born with.

So my recommendation is to go by real life examples and not misinformed fandom examples. Does the character transition? They are trans. No? then they are gender non-conforming. Do they fall outside of typical 'male' or 'female' anatomy? The character is intersex. Does the game's story involve having sex with individuals who fit the fantasy/fetish of being "futanari"? Then the game can be labelled as such.
#5 by skorpiondeath
2019-07-01 at 11:27
< report >Warfoki transgender and transexxual imply gender identity. From what I remeber, but I can be wrong, every Transexxual is a transgender while not every transgender is a transexxual. That makes hard to tag characters since gender identity is not something you can tell from the phisic.

But as today Futanari is applied whithout gender identity it's just used to tag a female character with dick and vagina so only the phisical part are taken into account.
Why not introduce a Dickgirl tag which is a girl with a dick based just on the body features of a character whitout taking into account gender?Last modified on 2019-07-01 at 11:42
#6 by anonymous
2019-07-01 at 11:28
< report >So basically separating the fetish aspect from the gender identity aspect, so there would be some overlap like:
- trans female character with a vagina and no penis would be tagged as trans woman but not shemale
- trans female character with a penis and no vagina would be tagged as trans woman and shemale
- trans female character with a penis and a vagina would be tagged as trans woman and futanari (I don't know if this situation has ever come up, but hypothetically)
- trans female character who doesn't appear in sex scenes would be tagged just as trans woman
- cis female character who grows a penis in addition to a vagina would be tagged futanari
- cis female character who grows a penis and loses a vagina would be tagged shemale but not trans woman
- character with a penis and no vagina who presents as female but whose gender identity isn't addressed would be tagged shemale but not trans woman

Something like that? I guess if it's used that way, maybe a separate trait is better than just saying shemale = trans woman, but I'm not confident people are going to read the descriptions.
#7 by anonymous
2019-07-01 at 11:44
< report >And yeah the term "shemale" is not great, but if a new trait is created that's separate from futanari I don't know if there is a non-offensive term that could be used. Also Dickgirl was previously rejected because it's unclear whether it refers to a character with a penis and vagina or just a penis.
#8 by skorpiondeath
2019-07-01 at 12:00
< report >@minah: quote taken from Dickgirl
A dickgirl is a girl who is biologically female, but possesses only male genitalia.
It was explained in the description to be honest... and also that "biologically female" helps making clear is not about gender.Last modified on 2019-07-01 at 12:00
#9 by warfoki
2019-07-01 at 12:00
< report >Dickgirl is a term that is usually used as a synonym for futanari (because you know, girls in every aspect, except with an extra dick attached), so that's not ideal. Shemale might be derogatory slang irl, but I don't have any better. Trap is a derogatory slang too, we still use it, because that's what's used in hentai-related sites and communities and when we went all pc on it for a while, it ended up being a mess.

As far as I'm concerned:

Practical usability >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> political correctness.

In fact, I don't really consider political correctness to be a factor in anything at all, it's at best a remote afterthought. I want a functioning database that is actually searchable for the terms that are actually being used, not a "safe place" that primarily caters for the fragile feefees of pampered adult children as a kind of digital daycare-centre. We have western universities for that. As such I couldn't possibly care less what irl sex workers think, we are a visual novel database, not a real life gender studies database.


More or less, yes. Shemale would be body feature only, transwoman would be about self-proposed gender identity, futanari is fantasy hermaphrodites essentially. Girls who only grew a penis through magic for a scene or two wouldn't have any of these traits and have only Penis Growth. If said penis growth is permanent, then tag them as Futanari set as spoilers.


Mate, we both know that people won't read the description, if they think they know what that tag / trait covers without doing so.Last modified on 2019-07-01 at 12:52
#10 by skorpiondeath
2019-07-01 at 12:04
< report >
I want a functioning database that is actually searchable for the terms that are actually being used, not a "safe place" that primary pampers the feefees of pampered adult children as a kind of digital daycare-centre. We have western universities for that.'s a database with rape, bestiality, sexual slavery, I hope political correctness it's not an issue.
#11 by butterflygrrl
2019-07-01 at 12:11
< report >It's not about snowflakeness it's about people being able to find the content they're looking for. Having too many tags means that a lot of them end up useless because people don't know they exist in order to apply them. There's no reason to be offensive when there's a better option, but making options worse in the hopes of being vaguely polite is useless.

The character as you describe sounds much more applicable to people who are looking for futanari than for people who are looking for transwoman, shemale, ladyboy, etc. Maybe we're looking at different hentai sites but I've never seen "shemale" used for anything other than pre-op trans. Magical dicks has always been futanari.

Dickgirl would fit but it's silly to have both futanari and dickgirl as separate categories, most people wouldn't know which to use, you'd get a lot of characters in the wrong place and confused users wondering why the list they were looking at didn't include X.Last modified on 2019-07-01 at 12:12
#12 by warfoki
2019-07-01 at 12:27
< report >@Butterflygrrl:

Let's see:

E-hentai makes a difference between shemale and futanari the same way I intend to, nhentai has separate tags for futanari and shemale, Gelbooru has separate tags for newhalf where they specifically state that this is not about transitioning-only, but a body feature for dickless "futanaris" (so basically functions the same way as the tag I'm suggesting) and they of course have separate tag for actual futanaris. Fakku has three different tags: Trans, Futanari and Newhalf. I could go on, but I think I've made my point: I don't know what sites are YOU visiting, but the idea that shemale or an equivalent of it is not separated from the concept of futanari is CLEARLY false.Last modified on 2019-07-01 at 12:51
#13 by donkeyskin
2019-07-01 at 14:23
< report >Two months ago, I asked for an Intersex trait, separate from the current Hermaphrodite trait in t3314.1673
minah replied to me that maybe the existing Hermaphrodite name trait and its Intersex alias could be swapped because the characters were too few to justify it, but it still didn't happen. Did it end up being forgotten?
IDEALLY speaking, there should be two separate traits since they are two different things as I explained in my post.

But yeah, until the names are swapped (or separated), I refuse to add the current hermaphrodite trait to intersex characters because that's just as derogatory to call transwomen "traps".
#14 by anonymous
2019-07-01 at 14:37
< report >@13 Yes, that was probably just forgotten. Thanks for bringing it up again.

Since Hermaphrodite is currently listed under Genitals now, but actual intersex conditions are broader, they probably should be split. I would suggest an edited description for the current Hermaphrodite trait to make it clearer and more specific:

This character has both male and female genitalia and a male or androgynous gender presentation. (For characters with male and female genitalia and a female gender presentation, please use the Futanari trait.)

For characters with other intersex conditions, please use the Intersex trait.

And have a new Intersex trait under Features (rather than under Genitals) with donkeyskin's proposed description plus "For characters who have a non-binary gender identity regardless of their physical sex, please use the Non-Binary trait."
#15 by warfoki
2019-07-01 at 14:47
< report >So separate a trait, that managed to find a total of 4 uses over the course of almost 2 years (less, if I disregard amateur hour OELVNs), so is essentially a hair breadth away from deletion for not being used, into two, potentially even less used traits just to be politically correct or you are, shock and horror, refuse to contribute? Is that the gist of it? Because the only possible answer I can give in that case is hell no.

Imaginary characters don't care what you tag them as, and if someone is for real "hurt" by how something is tagged on VNDB... they should get out of their safe echo-chambers and have a damn realty-check already, because they are being absolutely fucking ridiculous.

I've swapped the alias with the name, since that makes zero difference, the trait is searchable with hermaphrodite all the same (that what aliases are for), but that's about the length I'm willing to go with this.


No. We have Futanari, Transman, Transwoman, Transgender, Non-Binary and the new newhalf / shemale trait I'm proposing. The number of characters that wouldn't be covered by ANY of that and would absolutely need to use Intersex are already exceedingly small. We are not going to further split things here for absolutely no practical reason, political correctness be damned.Last modified on 2019-07-01 at 14:54
#16 by beliar
2019-07-01 at 14:49
< report >As Minah has mentioned, a Dickgirl trait had been proposed before, but I rejected it, because it's not an actual term, but a synonym for a futanari or a shemale, depending on who is speaking. And we all know how well would trying to invent a vndb-specific definition for a Dickgirl go. Hint: no one reads descriptions.

I would agree with splitting Shemale/Ladyboy/Newhalf trait from the current Transwoman trait for physical-only characteristics (and using Minah's suggested application table in #6 as a reference), but I have to really wonder how many characters, with the exception of the one we are currently discussing, would benefit from the split...

What I'm afraid is, that the split, even if it seems somewhat benign, will still confuse some users. Of well, per aspera ad astra.
#17 by anonymous
2019-07-01 at 14:58
< report >@15 If it's not going to be split you should move it under Features rather than Genitals.
#18 by warfoki
2019-07-01 at 15:02
< report >Done.
#19 by donkeyskin
2019-07-01 at 15:31
< report >@15 Please, calm down. I'm sorry if I came out as too nitpicking, but I was just trying to correctly explain stuff that people admitted not knowing enough about in old discussions (I searched and read old discussions before requesting the Intersex trait).

I am under the impression that probably the only true 'Hermaphrodite' character is this one Lorem (not a human). In the end, there will probably end up being more Intersex (human) characters than non-humanoid Hermaphrodite characters.

It still stands true my example that tagging a transwoman with trap is offensive and wrong, just as using hermaprhodite for intersex people.
So thank you for swapping the names, it's important.

Could the description be updated as minah said in post #14?
#20 by warfoki
2019-07-01 at 16:48
< report >@Donkeyskin:

Intersex people are individuals born with any of several variations in sex characteristics including chromosomes, gonads, sex hormones, or genitals [...]

That's from the wiki, so they don't necessarily have both genitals, like the new description would suggest, while the current description doesn't necessitate that. Yes, VNs dealing with genetics are rare to the point of nonexistence, but so are the characters who truly need this tag and nothing else would do it for them, so might as well be nitpicky.
#21 by ᔕᕼᖇOOᗰᒪOᖇᗪ
2019-07-01 at 16:51
< report >I read VNs and use VNDB almost every day and yet I don't do edits. Why? Because of the tags, how they are used and knowing that I'd end up in constant edit wars. This is a perfect example. But this one in particular is also one I feel very strongly about.

For conversations sake, quoting warfoki, "female looks, complete with breast, but penis instead of vagina" = shemale.

I understand that it doesn't seem important to people who aren't particularly interested, but believe me, the distinction between penis + vagina and only a penis is greater than you could ever imagine. I've had the unfortunate displeasure of combatting people tagging shemales as futanari on various sites for almost 2 decades. Please don't. I beg you. Please. It's not what people who are looking for shemales want and it's not what they are looking for. warfoki has made many great points and I agree with pretty much everything. Separate shemale and futanari by physical look alone and deal with gender identidy and method of transition through other tags. I can't stress enough how important it is to separate these two. You're going to make people overlook games featuring the super rare shemales or make people looking for futanari buy games only to find out it wasn't a futanari at all.

I haven't finished the game referenced in #1 yet and I intend to take my time with it but I'll definitely look into doing edits when I'm done.
#22 by donkeyskin
2019-07-01 at 17:11
< report >@Warfoki: I meant the old description I suggested in the previous thread (t3314.1673)

But it would need a little editing if we want to include both hermaphrodite and intersex characters, how about this (hermaphrodite description taken from post #14)?

This character is either born as intersex or a hermaphrodite.

Intersex people are born with sex characteristics (including genitals, gonads and chromosome patterns) that do not fit typical definitions for male or female bodies.
If a person is not born with ambiguous external genitalia, they might not know they’re intersex until later in life, like when they go through puberty. Sometimes a person can live their whole life without ever discovering that they’re intersex.
Intersex people were previously referred to as hermaphrodites.

Hermaphrodite characters have both male and female genitalia and a male or androgynous gender presentation.
For characters with both male and female genitalia and a female gender presentation, please use the Futanari trait.

For characters who have a non-binary gender identity regardless of their physical sex, please use the Non-Binary trait.
#23 by anonymous
2019-07-01 at 17:28
< report >^I think that description's a bit confusing trying to combine them. But we should discuss it back in the main traits thread and end the tangent here.
#24 by eacil
2019-07-01 at 20:57
< report >E-hentai uses dickgirl but like they are dumb, when you search for shemale you get futanari. Rule of thumb: never use colleagues as a reference because they don't know any better than you.
I don't know any non derogatory term for shemale too. I am for using Newhalf though. Also, even irl, newhalves=/= transwomen. Not all newhalves want to transition. Some think of themselves as a third gender/borderless and not as someone who is a girl in a boy's body. That's why MtF pre-op which would be the most neutral term would be wrong too like transitioning would be finished for those cases. It's even more true in hentai-land.


Hey, but it's not the first time we are talking about that, don't we?

If nothing was done I believe it was because there is not enough examples, to my greatest displeasure, to justify the creation of a separate newhalf trait.

Technically, the example which triggered this discussion shouldn't be tagged newhalf as its essence is man to woman shifting and certainly not the opposite. I for sure wouldn't want to find this character when searching for newhalves. However, this is an exception and like we are talking about usability, I am for Minah's #6 table. If ever this "vagina turned into a penis" becomes a thing, new measures could be taken but I doubt it will... and I hope it won't because I don't see any solution. Subtraits with directions (MtF, FtM) would still be wrong under a newhalf parent trait. Reverse-newhalf wouldn't save us either because it would mean... pettanko haha.Last modified on 2019-07-01 at 21:08
#25 by netonetori
2019-07-01 at 23:04
< report >''I refuse to add the current hermaphrodite trait to intersex characters because that's just as derogatory to call transwomen "traps".''

But but traps are gay!