What is Lemon? [Definition, Meaning]

Every fan fanfiction, no matter what website, will have a rating. Be it rated G (General), T (Teen), or M (Mature). If you read enough fanfictions, you have definitely come across the term “lemon”. Lemon is an extra rating that the author will put either in the tag, description, or even the title of their story. It’s a code word for the reader to know that the following story will have sexual content. But why “lemon” of all things?


It is rumored that lemon was derived from the hentai OVA series, Cream Lemon. It doesn’t go much further than that, though. We don’t know the first fanfiction to use lemon as a rating, and we don’t know when lemon became a common term in the fanfiction community. But with this code name, authors were able to tell their readers what the story was about, without getting flagged by the website it was being published on.

At first, lemon was only used in the anime community. Every so often, you’d see lemon in the title of Harry Potter and Twilight fanfictions, but that was about it. Within recent years, lemon has spread to other fandoms. Today, lemon is commonly used in the cartoon community, with fanfictions about Steven Universe, Gravity Falls, and Star vs the Forces of Evil.

Cream Lemon

  • Episodes: 38
  • Aired: Aug 1984 to Mar 1993

A hentai anthology anime with a new story and a new cast of characters every so often. This includes different genres, ranging from fantasy to horror. For those of you with a specific type of fetish, Cream Lemon has got you covered. There are themes of S&M, incest, yuri, and any other crazy fetish you may have. In one of the short stories, a village was under attack. The attackers pillaged the town, and had their way with the women. The only one who can save the villagers is a majestic Goddess.

Types of Lemon

To further expand upon the definition of lemon, a lemon fanfiction involves explicit sexual acts between characters. Lemon works are popular with the shipping community. A community where people look for specific fanart or fanfictions of a couple they ship. But a lemon does not have to be about only one couple. Another style of lemon involves multiple partners in one room. A lemon could be a yaoi, yuri, and straight couple.

Other interesting lemon fanfictions are the Reader lemons. For example, say you are in love with Kuroko from Kuroko no Basket. Sadly, Kuroko isn’t real, but you come across a story that will make your dreams come true. A Kuroko x Reader fanfiction. With this, the reader can insert themselves into the story, as the author writes about how you and Kuroko go on a date, or how you and Kuroko kiss. The author will identify you as “(Y/N)”. The “Y” means “Your” and the “N” means name. Some authors with use “(F/N)” or “(L/N)”, which stands for “First/Name Last/Name” if they want to be culturally accurate to Japanese honorifics.

But what if the reader wants to be with multiple characters? There’s a fanfiction for that too. Take Free Iwatobi Swim Club for example. What otaku fangirl would want to be with just one Free boy? Some authors will make an entire book dedicated to Free x Reader one-shots. Meaning each chapter, the reader will be paired with another character. Say chapter 1 is called “Haru x Reader Lemon”, and the next chapter is “Makoto x Reader Lemon”. Each chapter will have a new setting and scenario. So chapter 1’s Haru x Reader lemon could take place at the beach. The following chapter could have you and Makoto married with children. The possibilities are endless!


Remember when we said that “T” stands for “Teen”? That’s basically what lime is. Lime is a hint of lemon. There’s no intercourse or any other form of sex. Instead, there’s intense making out, touching, grabbing, and a reference to sex. Meaning that the author may write “and then they slept together.” or “They were up all night.” Limes are used in a few ways.

Sometimes, an author is curious about lemons, but is too embarrassed to write explicit details about sex. Instead, they write a few limes to get comfortable, and then move onto lemons. Other authors will use limes as build up for an upcoming lemon chapter. They’ll usually have the lime chapter end at a cliffhanger, so that the reader will get pumped for the graphic content in the following lemon chapter. For example, the typical lime chapter will end with the couple being naked, and one of them saying “You ready?”.

Take Sadistic Smut Stories (formally known as Lemon Fangirl), and her Izaya Orihara x Reader Lemon novel. Chapter 5, titled Mental Seduction (Lime) builds up to the following chapter, which is titled Role Play Part 1 (Lemon). Mental Seduction ends with (Y/N) and Izaya making out, but pulling away before they get too into it. With a clever play on words, the author inserts a few dirty jokes to hype the reader even more. The chapter ends with (Y/N) saying “I wanna get back to that as soon as possible.”

Lemon Lingo

Besides, the “(Y/N)” fandom slang we gave you earlier, there are tons of vocabulary in the lemon community. There are many fanfiction terms in general, but we’ll provide you with the most commonly used lemon phrases. “Manhood” and “womanhood” are used to represent the male and female genitals. “Knot” is typically used when a woman is about to climax. The phrase would go “(Y/N) felt a knot in her stomach.” Another phrase that’s used in both lemon and lime is “Their tongues fought for dominance.” It’s a way to indicate that the couple is french kissing. “Smut” is a synonym for lemon. If you search a lemon fanfiction but get no results, try replacing lemon with smut.

Lemons and Hentai Doujins

It can be hard to find a good hentai doujin. And it’s super hard to find a hentai doujin in English. Not only that, but what if it’s not drawn well? What if the translations and the scans are poor? What if you want one in color? By searching “lemon doujin” instead of hentai doujin, you’ll be able to find results fast. Since lemon is a term the Western anime fanbase came up with, you’ll be able to find an English hentai immediately.

Where to Find Lemons

Your local grocery store!...Ok, bad joke. Besides your average Google search, lemon fan art and doujins can also be found at anime conventions. In the artist alley of any convention, you’ll find numerous of artists selling their work. Some of them will show off their lemon fan art and doujins in front of their both. Some have made body pillows, posters, and even lemon stickers. However, not all artists sell lemon merchandise. But don’t worry, almost every artist offers commissions on the spot. Meaning they’ll draw you whatever you want in their art style. They’ll charge extra for color, laminated, and a larger print.

In the dealers room, and sometimes the artist alley, you’ll find people selling doujins. People who sell doujins are very strict. If you’re under 18, they will not sell you a lemon doujin. If you’re over 18 and are planning on buying a lemon doujin, make sure you have your ID. Lemon doujin retailers will label their doujins differently than what you usually see online. An average doujin retailer will rate their doujins as 13+, 18+, and 21+.

A 13+ doujin will have some cursing, and a few cute kiss scenes. An 18+ doujin will have an abundant amount of cursing, and censored sex scenes. Finally, the 21+ doujin will have all of that, plus uncensored sex scenes. Sadly, they retailers won’t allow you to flip through the book before you purchase, so you just gotta hope for the best when you purchase it.

Final Thoughts

As long as a fan girl longs for an intimate relationship with their husbando, there will always be lemons. Whether you want a lime, a yaoi, or a reader fanfiction, lemons will always have our backs. Are you a fan of lemons? Do you write lemons? Let us know your experiences with them and we’ll reply as soon as we can. Till next time!

Kuroko-no-Basuke-Wallpaper-700x466 What is Lemon? [Definition, Meaning]


Author: Sloan The Female Otaku

Sup everyone! I’m your female otaku. And that’s the intro I use for my Youtube videos. After being an otaku for 5 years, and a lover of film editing for 8, I decided to explore my horizons by writing articles on anime and otaku culture. I also love cosplaying and making people laugh. Please subscribe to my channel at Sloan The Female Otaku if you want to see more. Sayonara!

Previous Articles

Top 5 Anime by Sloan The Female Otaku