This post is an answer to what Ningyo is asking in his recent post on youth and sexual breakthrough. I think it is too long to post on his comment box.
I guess I'm not affected much by it as a kid since the anime that I was watching as a kid were mainly comprised of dragon ball and Doraemon.
It is only in my late teen that I seriously got back to watching anime again. That's when I learned what hentai means, and the existence of several ero-manga websites. Do I get turned on by the 2D characters doing sexual stuff? Well, sometimes I do but most of the time I am just looking at it as if I am learning something from a text book. It was all very technical. To this day, I am way more comfortable watching 2D hentai than watching real life porn.
The sexuality theme in anime nowadays has indeed goes to another whole different level compared to those of 10 years ago. Just look at the amount of ecchi shows in every season to see the proof. They are getting bolder, destroying the taboo wall of incestship, robotic deviants etc. It creates more weird fetishes than I care to imagine.
One way or the other, for better or for worse, anime kinda makes me more acceptance of yaoi and yuri. I have no problem with people who swing that way. I think they have the liberty to choose their own orientation. It just happens to be that I am comfortable being with a guy more than with a girl so I guess I'm straight as a board (pun intended). I also found out that I am more fascinated with yaoi than with yuri. Kinda like guys-are-more-comfortable-with-yuri-than-yaoi sort of thing. I am not fit to be labeled as an obsess yaoi fan yet but is very close to.
I found salvation when I look at the bishounen characters. They created this ideal image in my head of a perfect guy: funny and nerdy with a pinch of badassery. Obviously a chance of a real life person to have those traits is close to zero but as long as there is a small percentage that there might be someone just like that, I don't mind waiting ^^
It also set the base or idea of the kind of romantic rendezvous that I am willing to be a part of. The normal relationship bores me to death. I want adventures and sparks in my romance hence why my relationships didn't last long. I need someone who can excites me. That's why that a pinch of badassery is a must!
Anime also provides a sort of conformity, a sense of confidence that I can be whoever I wanted to be, without allowing opinions of others get to me because I see how Konata or Shiki or Haruhi get away with being who they really are. Inspirational indeed.