'By itself, the middling ethos implicit to softcore feminization might seem to be an uncomplicated expression of postfeminist propriety. But since this propriety is steeped in self-consciousness and therefore tied to processes of negation, abjection, and bad faith, it is far more than that. [...] In softcore, these regressive essentialisms work in tandem with aesthetic ideology with stereotypes that center on race) to demean, diminish, and restrict popular sexual expression, including softcore itself. Defined broadly, this genre is thus typified by an under-the-radar stance that demonstrates that its producers, distributors, and consumers “know their place”; by its self-effacing models of reception, which certify that softcore sex renders even cult audiences squeamish; by its relentless evasion of the “pornography” classifier; by its structuring absences, which at the textual level include the penis, male masturbation, male same-sex contact, and male-identified rape fantasy; and by its “corporate” taste for a stylistic and intellectual weightlessness largely fabricated from cliché, superficiality, and cntradiction.'

David Andrews, Soft in the Middle: The Contemporary Softcore Feauture in its Contexts, publisher: Ohio State University Press

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