There will be spoilers for the manhwa series Secret Therapy.
Yoon Jaesung has always been the hottest shit in town. He's got the good looks, more money than he knows what to do with, and he's smart. One of the ways he shows just how great he is is by being at the top of his class. Unfortunately, after the return of Lee Hyun, that method of showing off is taken from him, relegating him to second place. This is unacceptable for the perfectionist that is Jaesung. It's so traumatizing for Jaesung that he ends up with another, far worse issue. He's impotent.
At a loss, he complains to his friends, one of whom turns him onto a streaming app called Cake. It's a gay cam site, and with nothing to lose, Jaesung gives it a shot. Jaesung checks out the streamer his friend suggested, and while there's nothing particularly unique about this streamer, there's just something about him that piques Jaesung's interest. Miraculously, this streamer cures Jaesung's impotence problem, but as Jaesung finds out, this streamer is the only one that can get him hard anymore. Desperate, Jaesung floods the streamer with donations, hoping to meet him in person, have sex, and cure his impotence for good.
What he doesn't expect is that the streamer happens to be someone he already knows.
The art style isn't my favorite. It isn't ugly or bad by any means, but it feels too pointed for my liking, especially when we get a side profile from the characters. Their chins and noses could cut you if you aren't careful. There are plenty of gorgeous moments, and there are some sex scenes depicted in this that can't be beaten. Hyun is stunning, and his sex faces are top-notch. This is a big winner if you want lots of good smut.
Unfortunately, I'm not all that fond of the narrative. I really like these character types, with Jaesung being a wealthy playboy and Hyun being more reserved on the streets but lewd between the sheets type. This combination is everything, but the story surrounding them isn't all that great. The impotence issue is solved instantly; their rivalry disappears almost immediately after they have sex for the first time, and from there, we get some vague background on Hyun being bullied for being poor and then for being an orphan after his grandmother dies. I wish we could've seen more depth from Jaesung, but let's face it, this story is made for smut over substance, which is fine. I was just craving more substance by the end of it. I typically love the whole playboy type getting played scenario, which this series scratches the surface of, but it never truly felt like Hyun had any more power, probably due to the gap in their financial security.
I actually preferred the extra couple, Siwoo and Taewon. They seem to have a really fun relationship with a much more dominant bottom in Siwoo. They have all of the kinky BDSM sex in this, which I desperately wanted more of. The worst part of this entire series is how little we see Siwoo and Taewon together as a couple. I hoped we'd get a side story exclusively for them, but no dice. It's super disappointing on that front, especially when the main narrative feels so superficial as it is. There seem to be multiple points where Siwoo is meant to be a rival for Jaesung since Hyun says Siwoo's name in his sleep, when he's upset, etc., but that is never resolved in any capacity. I wish some time had been spent developing Siwoo, at least, because he seemed like he was meant to be a more important character than he actually ended up being.
I want to end this on a good note, as I feel I might be a tad overcritical. I love how positively this views sex work, camming in this case. Jaesung never tells Siwoo he has to quit, even when they get together. The most that it is even mentioned is Jaesung asking about whether or not Siwoo will keep camming, never implying he feels one way or another about it. I almost wish Jaesung had kept doing it for himself, just to show that sex workers can have healthy romantic relationships while being sex workers, but I'm just glad that Jaesung didn't demand that Siwoo quit or put Siwoo down for being a camboy (bonus points that Hyun being a camboy was never used as blackmail, love that).
This is a smutfest. I'll admit that I reread this pretty often for some of the sex scenes, but narratively, this is pretty weak. If you're looking for camboy work with a better story, BJ Alex is a classic. If you want the impotence to play more of a role, Love Me, Doctor! is a much better option. But if all you want is lots of smut with some light fluff tethering it all together, look no further than this series. It's not a fave, it's not a hate, it's just fine.
Have you read Secret Therapy? If so, what do you think? Do you agree with my assessment? Do you not? Let me know, and comment below!