ethnic fetishes

suffragettecity's picture

During a recent SMS chat (i.e. cell phone IM) session with a penpal of mine, he said something that reminded me of an (social, non-sexual) encounter I had with a Canadian gay guy at a party in the gay bar in Guilin about a year ago.

This guy was telling me about how he had come to China not for tourism, not for work, not for a cultural experience, but to find an Asian boyfriend. I thought that was, for lack of a better possible description, weirder than shit. It would appear that this man had what I like to call an "ethnic fetish."

I'm not talking about fetishes in the Freudian sense. Rather, I like to refer to fetishes such as what a friend of mine once called "Yellow Fever" as quasi-racist phenomena stemming from years of otherization of other peoples and, to a lesser extent, culture shock.

Almost all of the guys I've dated have been Han Chinese, the exceptions being one guy who was a quarter Zhuang and another guy who was Nepalese. This is because I didn't date while I was in the US, and, of course, Han people comprise the vast majority of China's population. However, when things start to enter the realm of guys who have a "preference" for whites, Asians, blacks, or anyone else, or a lack of interest in members of a given ethnic group, I start to feel a little, to reiterate, weird.

Usually, when I hear about reasons for these kinds of preferences, they're because of either lending creedence to ethnic stereotypes (e.g. that Asian guys all have small dicks, or that black and white guys all have big dicks) or the idea that certain complexions are more or less attractive than others.

What are your thoughts on this?

Boygasm's picture


Everybody has their own preferances, but what I consider him going that of a long distant to find a boyfriend is kinda stupid. I mean, Long distant relationship never works. I think its worthless. He could find any Asian guys in America.

Its okay to have your own preferances in race, just as long its not a big of a bias thing. Im white, and I had a black exboyfriend in New York, and he was wonderful, still is today. I never considered his skin to be any different, his culture was intrique and interesting but we both liked each other for eachother thats all it ever matters. Hes a great guy. :) Also, I dont care if anybody skin is different, I;ll date them to my area of interest. I look for personality, smart, understanding, loveable and always honest. Thats all we should rely on. If you guys stick to one race becuase of your belive its your loss.

Jazzer's picture


I've always had a thing for Russian guys. I suppose my "reasons" are because they tend to have more of the (superficial) features that I like in my men: nice square jaws, chisled facial features, etc. So I suppose if we were asking about ethnic fetishes, yeah, Russians are it for me.

But then again, I like boys, period. :-D They're all just so fabulously wonderful! My rule about boys is similar to my rule about music: if I like it (or him), I like it (or him). I don't care what kind it (or he) is. :) If it (or he) does it for me, then yay for me! *lol*

Gotta love the boys,


Some people's kids...I tell ya!

Luke's picture

Hell yes!

I have a huge thing for Russians! Most of it stems from a) their gymnastics team and b) their absolute brilliance, and ability to create some of the most moving, intensely personal literature the world has seen. No worries:)
The Head of Security for the Movement to Free Oompa Loompa Land from the Tyrannical Capitalistic Despot Willy Wonka

Daniel's picture

While attraction is really ca

While attraction is really case specific, I would say that I do have a thing for white guys. The fact that I was adopted into a white family and go to school at a predominantly white university (arn't they all?) may have something to do with this.

suffragettecity's picture

You guys are probably right -

You guys are probably right - I can't apply that opinion to every case. Cultural upbringing can have a lot to do with it.

On the other hand, there are times when bias does play some part; I once read a column in the Seattle Weekly written by a Korean-American guy who said he often gets rejected in Internet chat rooms by guys who haven't even seen him because, as one person put it, "Sorry, I don't do Asians." Keep in mind that this is in the same country where some people are blaming SARS on Asians, racializing it and thinking that it's an "Asian plague," much like AIDS was treated as a "gay plague" back in the 80s.

This sort of thing happens here, too. I've met some guys who seem to have a more-than-superficial interest in Western men, which could perhaps relate to the fact that there are so many advertisements and so forth that feature white people, which seems to create this idea that white = affluent and developed. There was this really nasty incident back in 1988 in which college students in Nanjing actually took to the streets in protest of black foreign students dating Chinese women, and I've heard some people say they think blacks are "ugly," apparently on account of their being dark-complected (fair skin is considered to be more attractive in Chinese culture than dark skin).

greyboi's picture


I guess I've always had this thing for white guys with blue eyes and short, curly locks of black or brown hair. I like all races and ethnicities, but these seem to stick out the most. This could be due to the environment I grew up in or it could be due to mass media influence on my perceptions of beauty. Eitherway, they're still cute.

I can see what you mean though. There are these guys in my campus' gay and lesbian club who look at me like I'm a walking dick, simply because of the positive stereotype that "black men are big". I mean, I'm more than a penis and a set of testicles. I'm a person, goddammit, and I refuse to be treated any less.

suffragettecity's picture

Well, I've got tastes for lit

Well, I've got tastes for little superficial things like that as well. For example, a lot of Asian guys are really slender and smooth, which I like. Also, a lot of guys are handsome without being chiseled, which I also find attractive.

What bothers me, however, is when you have guys like that Canadian man I mentioned, who are seeking to enter a serious long-term relationship with someone solely on the basis of their race (this guy came all the way over here to find a life partner), or when you have someone who would refuse to date a person simply because of his or her ethnicity, either due to actual race-hate or belief in negative stereotypes.

Jazzer's picture


Yeah, we don't like people like that--they're not cool. There's a difference between liking certain ethnicities because of whatever characteristics they may generally have and outright *disliking* others because of their race/ethnicity.


Some people's kids...I tell ya!

suffragettecity's picture

Right, but I think that likin

Right, but I think that liking a certain individual because you like him/her to begin with and because he/she has qualities common to his or her ethnic group that you find attractive versus extending your attraction to all members of a given ethnic group are different as well.

The Canadian guy seemed to have pretty indiscriminate tastes as far as Asian guys were concerned, apparently getting involved with the rather unclean guys who hang out around Guilin's downtown square after 11:00 PM and have group masturbation sessions in the public restroom nearby... When he talked about coming all the way to China in search of an "Asian boyfriend," he kind of reminded me of the character of Sophia in Malcolm X (you know, "Am I the first white woman you've been with ... that wasn't a whore?" - creepy).