There will be spoilers for the manhwa series Alien in My Wardrobe.
Trigger Warning: There may be references to BDSM play and blackmail/sextortion, as it appears in the manhwa.
Haesung Park is your average corporate professional. He goes to work, works hard, goes home, and goes to sleep, a regular routine for an average guy… at least, it would be if Haesung didn't also spend his days fantasizing about his sunbae at work, Shiwon. Shiwon is kind and reliable and one of the reasons Haesung can do his best at work. However, in Haesung's fantasies, Shiwon is dominant and cruel, which is exactly what Haesung wants. Haesung is secretly into BDSM, so he tries not to get close to anyone. Who could ever accept someone with such weird tastes?
Never fear. The heavens answer him with a man who conveniently crashes onto Haesung's balcony. He's tall, dark, and handsome, not to mention a jerk, which aligns perfectly with Haesung's BDSM fantasies. However, he isn't just any man. He is an alien from a species whose ultimate goal is to overtake humanity and eventually the Earth because their planet is dying. While Lotus, the alien, doesn't intend to make Haesung his main research subject, Haesung mistakenly links up to Lotus's research.
Beggars can't be choosers, though, so Lotus is just fine with using Haesung as his research subject. Haesung, however, is not as gungho with the situation. So, Haesung strikes a deal: Lotus can stay with him and research to his heart's content… if Lotus will help him fulfill his BDSM fantasies. Much to Haesung's surprise, Lotus accepts. So begins the odd partnership between an alien and a human. What could go wrong?
First off, we have got some super healthy BDSM dynamics here, which I LOVE. It's funny that the healthy dynamics come from an alien unfamiliar with such things, but it's excellent all the same. Unfortunately, when BDSM is present, it is often used to get around dubious consent, a kinky afterthought, or just a way to dominate a less-than-willing partner. So I can't express enough how happy I was that there was actually a discussion of the BDSM play, what the sub wanted, what the safe word was, etc. Honestly, that made the play that much sexier because it was clear that there was consent and that both parties enjoyed it—all the thumbs up for that.
Then there is the art. It is a unique style, which is really, really lovely. It is easily recognizable and is uniquely sexy and adorable. It is very angular with sharper face structures, so I am sure some people probably won't like it since it is different from the typical webtoon art style, but I love it. The sharpness really enhances the sexiness of the top/dom Lotus. It helps distinguish between his rough and tumble personality against his love rival, Shiwon, and his sub, Haesung, who both have softer features in comparison. The style lends itself really well to the characters and their personalities, which is great. It's not only pretty but actually serves a purpose.
On the topic of characters and art styles, I am not sure if it is the art style or not, but for once, I was not at all a fan of the other love interest, Shiwon. I typically say that a male lead is my type, but Shiwon gave me more of the creeps than anything, even as a male lead. At the beginning of the story, it sort of hints that Shiwon might not be as nice as he seems to portray, but it is actually revealed that he is as nice as he says he is and is actually extremely vanilla, which is partly why Haesung doesn't end up pursuing him. I didn't feel anything with Shiwon, and I am not sure if it was his design or if it is because he ended up being as plain Jane as his personality suggested, but that's all fine because, on the other end of the spectrum, we have Lotus.
And Lotus is major daddy-vibes for me. He is super sexy and checks all the boxes for the male leads that make me feel things. He is a bit of an asshole and technically a criminal, which is partly why Haesung ends up being attracted to him. Still, once he recognizes his feelings for Haesung, Lotus reveals this clingy and soft side that just makes him that much more attractive. Plus, he helps develop Haesung from this scared and introverted person into someone confident in who they are because Lotus accepts him for who he is. Also, it ends up being that he is a criminal because he wants to save the Earth. So not only is he a caring dom, but he is a hero for humanity. What is there not to love about Lotus?
Finally, after all the gushing, it is time to discuss one negative: it's too short. Don't get me wrong, the writing and pacing of the story are excellent. I wouldn't change any of it, in all honesty. Selfishly, though, I wish it were longer. I loved Lotus and Haesung so much that I wanted to just stay in their world for as long as possible. So, ultimately, the one negative I have really isn't a negative. Instead, it is a succinct story that doesn't overstay its welcome but instead leaves you wanting more.
It might go without saying, but I do want to emphasize how much I love this. The worst part about it is how short it is, which is a great negative to have. If you like a cohesive story tied up in a short romp with plenty of sexy and healthy BDSM play, you really can't go wrong here. Alien in My Wardrobe is permanently in my top five of BL manhwa, and I hope it will be the same for you if you do decide to give it a read. I hope you will because it is a good one.
Have you read Alien in My Wardrobe? If so, what do you think? Do you agree with my assessment? Do you not? Let me know, and comment below!