Friday, January 26, 2018

netorare 寝取られ

NSFW : this article may contain words or images you'd rather not have your boss see.
Within the anime fandom, netorare 寝取られ refers to a genre of pornography featuring "cuckolding" and people "cheating" on their partners romantically or sexually. It's often associated with hentai and doujinshi 同人誌.

Sometimes netorare is abbreviated to NTR.


Although the term netorare can be quickly translated as "cuckolding," its definition is much more broad than that. That's because, in English, "cuckolding" only refers to a man's wife cheating on him with another guy. The cheated man labelled "cuckold."

In Japanese, netorare refers the act of someone "being taken ( someone else's bed)." The genre can include a man's wife cheating on him, a woman's husband cheating on her. It can be their girlfriend, boyfriend. They don't even need to be actually dating: it could be somebody's childhood friend whom they never mustered the courage to ask out.

In fact, since the gist of it is just: character A has some feelings for character B, then character C comes and takes them away, it could be A's hot teacher that was taken away by someone. It could be their mother, father, daughter, son, sister, brother, etc. It's just a matter of framing the idea of them "being taken" by someone else.

For reference: watch Darling in the FranXX. (ugh... I can't believe I said those words in that order.)

A netorare scenario doesn't even need to be heterosexual.

In Netsuzou TRap -NTR- 捏造トラップ−NTR−, for example, the main theme of the story is that a girl has a boyfriend, but ends up falling with her best friend, who is also a girl. So it ends up being about two girls betraying both their boyfriends with each other.

Usage in Japanese

Unlike the words ecchi and waifu, which mean something in English but not in Japanese, the word netorare and its abbreviation NTR are, indeed, used in Japanese with the same meaning they have in English.

Katsura from the manga Gintama 銀魂 saying he likes netorare (NTR)


The word netorare written with kanji is netorare 寝取られ.

The meaning of these kanji are "to sleep," neru 寝る, and "to take," toru 取る. So if you tried to guess the meaning of the word from its kanji, you'd probably guess something stupid like "to take sleep," which makes no sense.

So what does netorare mean in Japanese, if not "to take sleep"? Is it just "cuckold" or "cuckolding"? Well, no, netorare doesn't mean that. To understand it, we have to go to the origin of netorare: the verb netoru 寝取る.

Netoru 寝取る

The verb netoru means "to sleep with a girl (or guy) that's already sleeping with someone else."

Of course we don't need to be so literal, we're clearly talking about "cheating" here. But the point is netoru is not "to cheat with" or "to be cheated on by." It's from the viewpoint of the third-party, the outsider. To netoru is to sleep with somebody else's partner.

In English, the most literal translation of netoru I could find, albeit obscure, would be "to homewreck." Because a "homewrecker" is a woman who sleeps with somebody's husband, therefore "wrecking their home." It's not a very god translation, but it gives you an idea of what it means.

The word netoru 寝取る used in the manga Mahou Shoujo, Ore 魔法少女 俺

As for why it means that and not "to take sleep," it's because the "to sleep," neru 寝る, also means "to sleep with [someone]," as in, "to have sex with [someone]," or "to lie with [someone]."
  1. Person A was sleeping with person B
  2. Person C slept with B
  3. C took the "sleeping with B" away from A.

That's why netoru means that.

Here's some example phrases. Note how the unfaithful partner is the object of the action marked by the wo を particle.
  • tanin no tsuma wo netoru
    To sleep with other people's wives.
  • tomodachi no kareshi wo netotta
    [I] slept with my friend's boyfriend.
  • tsuma wo netotta otoko wo koroshita
    [He] killed the man who slept with [his] wife.

So now we know how netoru works, but how do we get to netorare from netoru? First we need its passive form: netorareru.

Netorareru 寝取られる

The verb netorareru 寝取られる is the passive form of netoru 寝取る. English doesn't have passive forms like Japanese. In English we achieve the same effect by the use of prepositions. But I think it's easy enough to understand what it does:
  • neko ga nezumi wo taberu
    The cat eats the rat. (active)
  • nezumi ga neko ni taberareru
    The rat is eaten by the cat. (passive)
  • yuujin ga kanojo wo netoru
    The friend netoru's the girlfriend. (active)
  • kanojo ga yuujin ni netorareru
    The girlfriend is netoru'd by the friend. (passive)

(note: kanojo 彼女 means both "girlfriend" and the third-person pronoun "she")

In Japanese, conjugations of verbs can be conjugated again. So from the passive form we can get netorareta 寝取られた which'd be the past, "was netoru'd."
  • netorareta tsuma
    Netoru'd wife. Wife someone else slept with.
  • netorareta kanojo
    Netoru'd girlfriend. Girlfriend someone else slept with.

Finally, we can also conjugate it to the word netorare, which would mean the act of netorareru'ing. In other words, netorare means something like "cheating with."

So, even thought a lot of people think this, if a character says netorare they don't mean "cuckold," they're referring to the act. Like saying "it's robbery!" instead of "it's a robber!"

Netori vs. Netorare

A word related to netorare is netori 寝取り, which is similar, but different.

Basically, the noun netori comes from the verb netoru, while the noun netorare comes from the verb netorareru, the passive form of netoru. So netori is active while netorare is passive. In other words, netori means "stealing someone else's partner" or "homewrecking," while netorare means "cheating with."

Here's a diagram:

The meaning and difference between netori and netorare shown in a diagram.

Technically, what is going on is pretty much the same thing, but the point of view changes. From the girl being taken (netorare) to the guy taking the girl (netori). So if it was a story about someone's girl who ends up with multiple guys, it'd be netorare, but if it's a story about a guy who goes around sleeping with other guys' girls, it'd be netori.

And, likewise, a woman going around stealing boyfriends or husbands is netori.

Netori example found in the manga Seitokai Yakuindomo 生徒会役員共. demo kare wa sudeni kekkon shitete ne でも彼はすでに結婚しててねー But he had already married [you see]. netori ni kyoumi atta watashi niwa zekkou no kikai!! 寝取りに興味あった私には絶好の機会!! For me who had interest in netori [it was the] ideal chance!! are? あれ Uh?


Factoring netori into the equation, some people came up with not one, but two ways to disambiguate the NTR abbreviation:
  1. netorare is NTR, netori is NTL.
  2. netorare is NTRR, netori is NTR. comment...


One weird thing about netori and netorare is that they're both the same type of form, only being conjugated different verbs, netoru and netorareru, respectively.

This might sound weird if you know something about Japanese because to get netorare you remove ru from netorareru, but to get netori you change the u at the end of netoru to i. How are they the same conjugation? If they were the same wouldn't the word be netorareri 寝取られり instead?

Well, this happens because in Japanese there are two classes of ru-ending verbs, called ichidan and godan. The verb toru 取る, and consequently netoru 寝取る, are godan verbs. But the passive conjugation -rareru ~られる is treated as an ichidan verb. The conjugation of ichidan and godan verbs are different. For example:
  • kiru, kiru. 着る, 切る (ichidan, godan)
    To wear. To cut.
  • kigaeru, kirikaeru 着替える, 切り替える
    To change clothes, to switch over.

Netorase 寝取らせ

As if netorare and netori weren't enough, netorase 寝取らせ also exists.

The difference between netorase, netori, and netorare, is that netorase is the causative form of netoru. That is: it means to cause, or let, someone netoru someone. Mainly, netorase would be about the cuckold letting (or forcing) someone else to have their way with their partner.

For example, in English, a "cuckquean" is a woman who enjoys letting another woman (dubbed cuckcake?) have her way with his husband/boyfriend. So the cuckquean netoraseta her partner to the cuckcake. (I think I have seen something like this in Blade Runner 2049...)

The abbreviation of this word would be NTRS.

Uwaki 浮気

The term uwaki 浮気 is a general term for "infidelity," or "fooling around (with other women, etc.)"

The words netoru, netorare, netorase carry the nuance of "taking" someone from someone else, which is normally unnecessary. So uwaki would be the normal word for extramarital relationships, cheating, and so on.

浮気はダメだぞ!? transcript from Aho Girl アホガール
Manga: Aho Girl / Aho Gaaru アホガール
  • uwaki wa
    dame dazo!?

    Infidelity is bad, [you know]!?


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  1. Olá, gostaria de saber a forma de se diferenciar o netorare por gênero

  2. Interesting, for your information

  3. This is truly informative. Thank you so much.