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Archive for October, 2010

{In retrospect, it may not have been smart of me to post this.  I was acting on impulse after reading the Shanghai Shiok article.  I will leave it up, as it has already been linked from there, but in the future if I import this blog onto another site (something I have been wanting to do), I may leave this post out. The fact is, it was not appropriate for me to insert myself in this conversation the way I did, and this post has major potential to offend and to excuse exoticization and fetishization of Asian women. I apologize for posting it.}

Recently I read an excellent post at Shanghai Shiok talking about an Asian girl’s discomfort when she is in public with her white boyfriend, and it inspired me to talk about something personal.

Basically, to state it bluntly, I am attracted to Asian girls, especially Chinese girls.

Now, there are a variety of possible reader reactions.  Some will be totally supportive in a “Hell yeah” sort of way.  Others will say “So what?  Lots of young white American guys like Asians.”  Still others will have a negative reaction.  A few will say “you only like asians because they are obedient/easy/<insert ignorant stereotype here>”, while others will accuse me of being a “loser” who “can only get Asians”.  A few extreme Chinese nationalists might accuse me of trying to “steal our women” or somesuch.

Thankfully, I have not experienced much in the way of extreme negative reactions.  But nonetheless, I am not totally comfortable stating this preference (and of course there are plenty of cases where I shouldn’t).  I fear that people will hear it and automatically assume that I am a creepy loser who will never accomplish anything.  On the other end, saying it in certain circumstances I worry I might attract those few girls that fit the stereotypes — which I really don’t want — though on a higher level I know that they aren’t so common, and easy to avoid when they do come around.

My attraction is based on a mixture of physical traits common in East Asian populations (epicanthic folds, facial bone structure, skin tone, etc) and cultural fascination.  I have been learning Chinese for over three years, and studied abroad in China for a semester (and greatly enjoyed it — not only for the girls).  And yes, I did persue a few girls while in China, as well as back home.  Reactions varied, from cultural dissonance (“I’m to old for you” from someone only a year older) to the expected flat rejections.  A few girls that seemed somewhat interested rejected me for racially motivated reasons — not because they didn’t like white people, but because they were not sure if their parents would approve, or they feared the cultural differences would make it too difficult.  And of course, plenty of rejections had nothing to do with anything racial or ethnic at all, simply problems of distance, or “I just don’t like you” … stuff that a guy comfortable in relationships expects anyway.

While it does affect me when rejection comes from racial or ethnic reasons, really I get more uncomfortable with things totally outside the courtship issues.  Most friends are supportive, but I hear in media and through friends countless stories about white guys going after Asians because they are supposedly easy or submissive or have some dubious sexual quality.  I have seen other guys who are “into Asians” and compared myself to them, on a lower level maybe fearing that I was a little like some of the idiots and jerks among them.  There have also been times when I have made jokes about my own little preferences, to be shot down by a friend who worried I would offend people.

When it comes down to it, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with my preferences.  I feel I have a healthy attitude.  I will not date an Asian girl simply because she is Asian.  I have to get to know her first, find some other connection before I really pursue.  And there are plenty of other things that attract me: geeky interests, ability to speak different languages, some physical traits that aren’t specific to East Asian populations.  If “Asian” were my only criterion, I would be simultaneously limiting myself and also opening myself up to trying to pursue an insane number of girls.  No, it’s something that makes me notice, but I do not completely exclude non-Asians from my interest, nor do I pursue every Asian girl I see romantically.  If merely having more interest in girls from one part of the world makes me racist or shallow, then it is what it is.  I can’t really change what attracts me.

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