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Manga / My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness

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"A cornered rat will bite a cat, and a thirty-ish virgin backed into a corner will go to a brothel and write a report on it."
Nagata Kabi

Based off of the real experiences of mangaka Nagata Kabi, My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness provides candid insights of one woman's struggle with mental health, identity, and sexuality. Praised for recentering the Yuri Genre, this manga was originally published on Pixiv and has since gotten an official English release.

A sequel of sorts, My Solo Exchange Diary, was released in two parts from 2016-2017 in Japan, and 2018-2019 in English. A second follow-up, My Alcoholic Escape from Reality was published in Japan in 2019, and released in English in 2021, and a third follow-up, My Wandering Warrior Existence was published in Japan in 2020, and released in English in 2022.

This manga provides examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Subverted. During Nagata's research, she discovers that the ways her psychological problems manifest and her reactions to them are widely shared by abuse victims. Also, while Yuka is exploring Nagata's body, she discovers that Nagata's hymen is gone, which would seem to be unusual for a virgin in her late 20s who doesn't participate in any kind of activity that might cause it to break. However, aside from her parents being focused on Nagata becoming the typical "salaried employee" model of a Japanese citizen and not understanding her drives and motivations, no obvious abuse of any kind appears to have occurred.
    • My Solo Exchange Diary, however, does heavily hint that both of her parents are guilty of emotional abuse, especially her father.
  • Action Bar: One of the many diagrams representing Nagata's thought processes looks like a simple RPG UI.
  • The Alcoholic: Nagata become this, as explored in the aptly titled My Alcoholic Escape From Reality.
  • Author Avatar: In an intentionally cute chibi-style.
  • Conflicting Loyalty: Much of Nagata's personal turmoil is between wanting to make her parents proud versus allowing herself to be proud.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: Of the limited palette variety, with pink as the only hue.
  • The Ditherer: Shown thoroughly throughout.
  • Dull Eyes of Unhappiness: Nagata's eyes lose their highlights at a few particularly bad moments.
  • First Kiss: Nagata's is with the first escort, and is one of many firsts that night.
  • Hooker with a Heart of Gold:
    • Yuka in particular is very friendly and accommodating to Nagata, as is the agency.
    • The second escort that she requests, as described in the bonus chapter. Nagata describes her as being "funny and nice", and she seems just as accommodating of Nagata as Yuka was.
  • How We Got Here: The beginning of the manga shows Nagata about to have sex with Yuka. The rest focuses on how her life choices and attitude led her to that decision before picking up where she left off.
  • Idealized Sex: Discussed. Nagata refers to something known as "the yaoi hole" which appears in yaoi manga during sexual intercourse but doesn't exactly correspond to any known parts of human anatomy. As all of Nagata's knowledge of sex came from yaoi, she didn't really know anything about women's bodies or what to do during an actual sexual experience.
  • Less Embarrassing Term: In the early pages, Nagata couldn't bear to mention sex by name. Early readers' comments on this were so prevalent that she not only replaced the euphemism but mentioned her terminology switch in the manga itself. The English translation approximates this euphemism to "thesex".
  • Likes Older Women: Nagata specifically sought out an older escort for her liaison.
  • Love Hotel: A somewhat dingy one, at that.
  • Obnoxious In-Laws: Not Nagata herself but My Solo Exchange Diary reveals that her grandmother is this to her mother, constantly putting a lot of pressure and guilt on her.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Nagata achieving her dream of becoming a published mangaka is depicted off-panel.
  • Parental Incest: Nagata admits that her lesbian sexuality sometimes blends with her attachment issues to her parents, causing her to grope or spy on her mother. These attachment issues also influence how she's more interested in older, more motherly women.
  • Professional Sex Ed: Erotic doujinshi was Nagata's only prior knowledge of all things intimate, and with the additional monkey wrench of them only being yaoi works, which means the sex was idealized and unrealistic and didn't teach her anything about women's bodies. The manga itself is mostly about the author's mentality surrounding adulthood, sex, and sexual identity before and after her first visit to a brothel. Mentally ill and isolated, she barely knew about her own anatomy prior.
  • Rape as Backstory: In My Wandering Warrior Existence, Nagata reveals that she was sexually assaulted by an adult man when she was just six years old.
  • Self-Harm: Nagata cuts herself to relieve the emotional pain she's dealing with and has a bald spot due to nervous hair pulling.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • Having sex with a woman is impactful, but it doesn't cure her depression, of course. Her experience as a cashier counts as well, idolizing jobs as a "home" of sorts, before being fired and fully realizing how she's expected to pull her weight, no matter what.
    • There's also the sex itself, which massively differed from what she was expecting. In reality, her mental state at the time made her dissociate, leaving her disappointed by her own response and upset at being "rude" to the escort. She hadn't realised that in reality, even casual sex often requires high levels of communication and vulnerability.
  • Unexpected Virgin: Though that's the least of her problems.
  • "Well Done, Daughter!" Gal: Part of what Nagata struggles with is the aspect of her mind that wants to please her parents and meet their expectations for her life.
  • Wham Line: "I thought you were on a break this whole time."
  • Yaoi Fangirl: Nagata is shown to read Boys' Love comics in some panels. She used it as a sort of basis for what she thought was supposed to happen during sex. Despite her interest in women, it's implied that she reads erotic BL instead of yuri to learn how sex works because she's uncomfortable with her own body, as well as not yet coming to terms with her sexuality.