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  1. With Love
    With Love July 9, 2012 at 9:18 am |

    realize how crazy everyone is

    This is ableist language. Please use different wording.

  2. Meropi
    Meropi July 9, 2012 at 9:46 am |

    So how would you suggest someone who hasn’t attended Ivy League PhD programmes and hasn’t been too busy brushing off book deals (aka a vast majority) defend themselves against sexist, racist fetishizing?
    I can’t really cheer for your friends’ response, which places the value of a person on their achievements, while remaining completely oblivious of the privilege that played a part in that.
    So yeah, good for her for having so much good stuff going, but how does that classist, self-congratulatory response speak about treating human beings as human beings because they are, first and foremost, human beings and not successful writers or academics?
    I’m not saying she wasn’t entitled to it, I’m just saying it’s not the case to praise the bejeezus out of it and try to engage it as part of discussion about activism.

  3. miga
    miga July 9, 2012 at 9:47 am |

    My biggest worry right now is that people won’t relate to me or see all aspects of my culture.

    I’m very mixed (Black, Japanese, Mexican, Blackfoot-Cherokee, French, Spanish, German, Jewish) but most non-Black people see me as solely black or Indian. This affects the roles I’m able to get as an actress~ the other day I applied for a role meant for Asians, specifically Japanese. I have a Japanese first name and my resume states that I’m part Japanese, however when I was emailed back the woman said “This role is for Asians only, however you may attend.” This happens all the time, yet I will never ever turn away from auditioning for an Asian role because that is who I am, and maybe one day someone will pay attention and be open enough to recognize it.

    Unfortunately I’m shy, so it’s hard to call out things that affect me directly. I can say “Hey, don’t say that about person xyz,” but when the offense relates to me I usually say nothing. Writing is the best way for me to speak my truth, which is why I’m here.

    I write my own things for people like me and people open-minded enough to relate. It’s scary because I don’t know many people like me, so I worry that if I write about a character as mixed as me my work won’t be relate-able. But I write anyway because not doing so would betray my voice. Because I want people who grow up the way I did not to feel alone. And more of us are coming every day.

  4. Crys T
    Crys T July 9, 2012 at 9:48 am |

    As a diagnosed crazy person, as far as I’m concerned, you can go right on using “crazy.”

    Seriously, people, shouldn’t the point be NOT using words like “crazy” to describe mental illness and ONLY using them to describe actions that are….well… crazy?

    Jesus.

  5. Emily
    Emily July 9, 2012 at 9:50 am |

    I recently noticed this when looking at the blurbs on the backs of books. From what I can tell, books by people of color are more likely to have something about appealing to “our common humanity” in the blurb than books by white people. It’s like the blurb writers are trying to reassure white people that the book isn’t just a black-people book. That rarely happens for books written by Europeans, unless they’re either really old or have been translated to English. Apparently white English speakers can’t handle a book that isn’t written especially for us. And I can’t tell you how many people throw one token book by a person of color into an otherwise all-white reading list “to add diversity” or so they can “understand what they went through.” The politics of reading are really quite a mess, and it’s hard for any English major to escape without feeling like a white-supremacist patriarch at least some of the time. Sorry if that was a bit off-topic, but that’s what your post reminded me of.

  6. alina
    alina July 9, 2012 at 9:54 am |

    “if my cause was fighting for organic food in public schools”

    …another pit fall of feminism, other than the white-centric dialogue you point out, is that its various factions tend to fight against each other. let’s not point accusatory fingers at other people doing good things in the world.

  7. Chataya
    Chataya July 9, 2012 at 10:04 am |

    Judging from the responses so far, I’m kind of expecting this one to be unceremoniously deleted as well.

  8. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll July 9, 2012 at 10:08 am |

    She wasn’t pointing fingers at others doing good in the world, she was comparing her treatment as a WOC and her causes with treatment of white women and the relatively harmless cause of organic food in schools.

    A white feminist fighting for organic food in public schools gets treated and looked at differently than a woc fighting against racist sexual fetishing.

  9. bhuesca
    bhuesca July 9, 2012 at 10:18 am |

    I have to day that the ableism and classismt permeating this piece made it difficult to focus on the point. That and i feel like i read this same article weekly on racialicious.

  10. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune July 9, 2012 at 10:22 am |

    If our race and ethnicity is constantly fetishized as part of our sexuality, how are we supposed to have productive interracial relationships that become the mixed babies that make world peace?

    Anna, I really appreciate the article and there’s a lot of points to be made and discussed in it. I…can’t really tell if you’re being serious with that paragraph, though.

    As someone in an interracial relationship, I find myself in something of a bind. On the one hand, there is the real fact that interracial relationships promote harmony through exposure, in much the same way as the more gay people one knows the more gay-friendly one is, etc. I’ve watched both my family and my wife’s become substantially less racist over the years we’ve been together.

    On the other hand, there’s this ridiculously high standard of self-awareness, tolerance and warm and fuzzies expected of interracial couples, to the point where it’s actually stifling to have to constantly be going “no, we’re fine, we’re so happy, we’re being gay (or bisexual) and interracial and having a good time”. This obviously makes me really wary of people who congratulate me on having an interracial relationship because world peace or whatever. (Though of course I don’t, because I’m in one of the interracial relationships that won’t be producing babies. Gay couples are statistically much likelier to be interracial couples, yours truly included.) The solution to racist, colonialist bullshit is for people to stop being assholes; mixed-race people shouldn’t have to bear the burden of being Peace Ambassadors Because Everyone Else Is Clearly Racist And You Must Behave Better Than EVERYONE OR ELSE. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s a racist view to hold, but it’s certainly an apathetic one.

    And there’s the constant barrage from “our” side – the social justice side – that insists that no one can possibly have an interracial relationship without racial fetishes playing into it, and that no non-white person can be with a white person without being essentially colonised, which honestly makes me feel more defensive than the outright racists who call me shitty names. I get enough “race-traitor” bullshit from racists without getting essentially the same arguments from supposed non-racists, you know? (Also, fuck, I’m Indian. We’re not in any fucking danger of extinction, yo.)

    tl;dr yes, interracial couples promote harmony, but hanging that responsibility on them puts unnecessary strains on relationships, especially when we’re kind of fucked from all directions, racist and anti-racist both.

  11. alina
    alina July 9, 2012 at 10:23 am |

    and both of them should be applauding one another, rather than using the “my life is harder than yours” approach.

    besides, as the rare “woc” involved in food activism, i would argue that it is neither a white-only cause, nor a harmless one.

    i would also argue that the reduction of my identity — or anyone’s identity — to a politically correct acronym only gives the world more labels and categories. It would be nice if feminism, for once, put up a united front.

  12. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune July 9, 2012 at 10:25 am |

    She wasn’t pointing fingers at others doing good in the world, she was comparing her treatment as a WOC and her causes with treatment of white women and the relatively harmless cause of organic food in schools.

    This. There wasn’t any granola-baiting going on, ffs. Different causes provoke different reactions. I had to fight back my own defensive reaction before even clicking on the post, because I’ve had enough shit piled on me for being in an interracial relationship to be wary of such articles. I didn’t see anything (other than one bit that I’ve discussed in a modded comment) that really annoyed me, and this is one topic where I actually have a pretty thin skin.

  13. DoublyLinkedLists
    DoublyLinkedLists July 9, 2012 at 10:25 am |

    If our race and ethnicity is constantly fetishized as part of our sexuality, how are we supposed to have productive interracial relationships that become the mixed babies that make world peace?

    I’m so very confused about this.

  14. bhuesca
    bhuesca July 9, 2012 at 10:33 am |

    And where did that other thread go? The people want to know!

  15. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune July 9, 2012 at 10:43 am |

    Just a little clarification — mixed babies line was a well-meaning joke. Didn’t realize it at the time of writing that it makes a lot more sense for readers who know me personally.

    Oh, good. Reading down your post, I was all nod…nod…nod…the flying fuckity… so it helps to clarify.

  16. Jill
    Jill July 9, 2012 at 10:46 am | *

    So how would you suggest someone who hasn’t attended Ivy League PhD programmes and hasn’t been too busy brushing off book deals (aka a vast majority) defend themselves against sexist, racist fetishizing?
    I can’t really cheer for your friends’ response, which places the value of a person on their achievements, while remaining completely oblivious of the privilege that played a part in that.

    Seriously? She gets a racist online dating message, sends a snappy response, and now she’s being classist and bigoted because she didn’t Recognize Her Privilege? Christ.

  17. Angel H.
    Angel H. July 9, 2012 at 10:47 am |

    alina:

    If you don’t want to claim the label of “WOC”, fine. No one ever said that you had to. But just because you’re blissfully ignorant about the racial rifts in many activism circles, including food activism, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist.

  18. BHuesca
    BHuesca July 9, 2012 at 10:55 am |

    I want to agree with you, Jill, I really do, but something keeps ringing in my ears that my family used to say: “Character is best revealed not when the going is easy but when the waters are rough.” I just don’t think that others’ mistakes and -isms necessarily give one a “get out of jail free card” for their own mistakes and -isms.

  19. miga
    miga July 9, 2012 at 10:55 am |

    I appreciated your mixed kids joke, btw. :p

    i would also argue that the reduction of my identity — or anyone’s identity — to a politically correct acronym only gives the world more labels and categories. It would be nice if feminism, for once, put up a united front.

    I really appreciate the Women of Color term and feel it unites people more than divides us. Feminism can’t put up a united front by ignoring differences- that tends to mean only things that relate to white upper middle class western women get put front and center, while the rest of us are told to “shut up and stop making everyone look bad.” It’s one of the problems I really have with capital-F Feminism. On a personal level, as a mixed person, it definitely makes me feel closer to others without having to list every single hyphen-American that I am.

    That and i feel like i read this same article weekly on racialicious.

    Bhuesca, I’m a racialicious fan too- that’s how I found feministe, but not everyone reads that blog. It’s rarely cross-posted on this site, and I think that (given how much 101 stuff WoC posters have to deal with on Feministe) this piece still has its place. Feministe has certainly gotten better on this front, but I don’t think we’ve gotten so far as to say everyone’s past that step.

  20. EG
    EG July 9, 2012 at 10:56 am |

    Are the people content!?

    Sure, except…I’m sure you weren’t referring to the comments I left as “inanities,” right?

  21. DoublyLinkedLists
    DoublyLinkedLists July 9, 2012 at 10:57 am |

    She gets a racist online dating message, sends a snappy response, and now she’s being classist and bigoted because she didn’t Recognize Her Privilege?

    This doesn’t seem like something so unlikely. I actually think things like this happen fairly often and is part of how different types of oppression intersect and support each other.

    But what I really think was meant by this comment is not the the response is really out of line, but that holding it up as a paragon does not address how someone without all these accolades to cite to “contradict” the racial stereotype is supposed to combat racism like this message on okcupid.

  22. alina
    alina July 9, 2012 at 10:57 am |

    ignorant, no. choosing to deal with it by doing good work, rather than spending my time pointing out every single little -ism and -ist? yeah, that.

    a different choice than yours does not make anyone ignorant.

  23. miga
    miga July 9, 2012 at 11:15 am |

    ignorant, no. choosing to deal with it by doing good work, rather than spending my time pointing out every single little -ism and -ist? yeah, that.

    Pointing these things out is good work as well. Racism, ableism, classism, sexism ALL relate to the work you are doing with food activism, as well as many other inequalities. These isms combined to create and perpetuate it, and you can’t make a comprehensive solution without pointing these things out and working to solve them.

  24. miga
    miga July 9, 2012 at 11:15 am |

    ugh. blockquotes gone awry.

  25. ArielNYC
    ArielNYC July 9, 2012 at 11:24 am |

    I think it’s fair to make a distinction between “I want to have sex with a person who is X because that’s new and exciting to me” and “someone from group X must be Y, therefore I want to have sex with a person from that group”

  26. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune July 9, 2012 at 11:32 am |

    “I want to have sex with a person who is X because that’s new and exciting to me”

    I’m…not sure that statement isn’t exoticising. Why would one assume that, say, French-kissing a blond Swedish woman is substantially different from French-kissing a blond Indonesian woman unless blond Swedish women are (insert racial stereotype here)? The actions aren’t physically different, unless there’s some racist crap in the back of the mind. Sex is sex no matter what race you’re grinding against. Racism isn’t all about stereotyping – exoticising someone is also a racist act.

  27. EG
    EG July 9, 2012 at 11:39 am |

    The actions aren’t physically different, unless there’s some racist crap in the back of the mind. Sex is sex no matter what race you’re grinding against.

    I take your point, Mac, but I’m uncomfortable with the above argument, because it can also be used to undercut the difference between sex with somebody you desire and somebody you don’t. The actions are the same, the grinding is the same…but the person being different makes all the difference.

    That said, I’m not sure how having sex with anybody of a different race (as opposed to a particular person you’re attracted to who is of a different race) would be any more new and exciting than having sex with anybody of the same race, so ditto to your main point.

  28. Mxe354
    Mxe354 July 9, 2012 at 11:41 am |

    @alina

    “if my cause was fighting for organic food in public schools”

    …another pit fall of feminism, other than the white-centric dialogue you point out, is that its various factions tend to fight against each other. let’s not point accusatory fingers at other people doing good things in the world.

    Feminism has become a lot less white-centric lately because of the influence theories on intersectional oppression and whatnot. And the fact that its various factions fight against each other is unimportant. Disagreement is ubiquitous within every social justice movement.

  29. duck-billed placelot
    duck-billed placelot July 9, 2012 at 11:47 am |

    OK, when a writing job targets a certain minority? Amazing writer is usually a given, and still the first thing they’re looking for. And that’s amazing! Are you really trying to denigrate groups/people making specific space for minorities? That’s what we WANT people to do!

  30. Athenia
    Athenia July 9, 2012 at 11:51 am |

    I have a friend who isn’t interested in dating East Asian dudes because she wants to feel dominated in the bedroom. She usually dates South Asian dudes.

    I am very perplexed by this because 1) All the East Asian dudes I know are ripped 2) Doesn’t she know that feeling dominated has a lot to do with *what* you are doing than *who* is doing it?

  31. alina
    alina July 9, 2012 at 11:57 am |

    mxe — not sure you or anyone else has the right to say what’s unimportant. the fact that disagreement is ubiquitous within social movements has always weakened those movements.

  32. Lauren
    Lauren July 9, 2012 at 11:59 am |

    I have what I consider to be a “funny story” like this. And I say “funny” because I, in 2012, am assuredly white, and I do not feel that I experience oppression because I am technically Italian-American (50 years ago my grandparents and other relatives in their generation WERE denied jobs/housing, but I feel on a site like feministe I don’t need to go into the entire deal on how Italians were able to assimilate enough to become “white”).

    With that caveat, it is interesting how some places, and among some people, old habits die hard, even in 2012. My boyfriend is white Anglo-Saxon Protestant, and his 92 year old grandmother only found out this past Christmas my Italian last name. At the Christmas dinner, she proceded to ask if I spoke Italian (I don’t, beyond curse words and “manga manga”), if I make my own spaghetti sauce (I open a jar like 90% of Americans), and that when we go to Christmas church service it will be done “differently from YOUR church” (I have been to Catholic mass about 5 times in my life). Although she was polite and inquisitive, she very clearly had an “off the boat” mentality when talking about my ethnic ancestry, even though I’m the 4th generation of my family to live in America (3rd actually born here).

    If nothing else, it gave me one teeny tiny, miniscule, look into what non-white ethnics must deal with EVERY day, and almost every moment of life in some way, shape, or form. Like most “symbolic ethnics,” I don’t have to deal with this type of stereotyping/questioning hardly at all, so when it does happen, it’s particularly bizarre/laughable.

    GREAT PIECE!

  33. Mxe354
    Mxe354 July 9, 2012 at 11:59 am |

    mxe — not sure you or anyone else has the right to say what’s unimportant. the fact that disagreement is ubiquitous within social movements has always weakened those movements.

    Point taken.

  34. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll July 9, 2012 at 12:05 pm |

    besides, as the rare “woc” involved in food activism, i would argue that it is neither a white-only cause, nor a harmless one.

    I mean it’s viewed as relatively harmless by society. It’s not controversial like say fighting for pro choice rights are.

    Or fighting racism.

    Saying ” we should have organic food in public schools” doesn’t get the whole country shrieking about race cards and special treatment for minorities or women just want to murder babies.

    And anything in this country that comes out of the mouth of a woman who isn’t blonde and white is viewed differently. The white women will get misogyny of course, but she doesn’t get a steaming pile of racism on top.

    If you don’t want to claim the label of “WOC”, fine. No one ever said that you had to. But just because you’re blissfully ignorant about the racial rifts in many activism circles, including food activism, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist.

    This.

    Various “factions” aren’t “fighting” each other. Oppressed women of color aren’t fighting with white feminists or picking fights or being too sensitive or wasting time with isms when they demand to be included and to have feminist allies without racism.

    If you don’t want to be labeled woc, fine. But don’t turn around and label the rest of us as infighters and attribute motivations to us, thanks.

  35. ArielNYC
    ArielNYC July 9, 2012 at 12:32 pm |

    @EG

    “That said, I’m not sure how having sex with anybody of a different race (as opposed to a particular person you’re attracted to who is of a different race) would be any more new and exciting than having sex with anybody of the same race, so ditto to your main point.”

    Because a good part of sex is visual, and visual variety is interesting? There’s also the curiosity of how people from different cultures and subcultures approach sexuality. Obviously don’t be an ass and judge a whole class of people based on a few people you know. But exploring similarities and differences with as many diverse people as possible while keeping an open, unprejudiced mind is very rewarding.

  36. With Love
    With Love July 9, 2012 at 12:47 pm |

    Because a good part of sex is visual, and visual variety is interesting? There’s also the curiosity of how people from different cultures and subcultures approach sexuality. Obviously don’t be an ass and judge a whole class of people based on a few people you know. But exploring similarities and differences with as many diverse people as possible while keeping an open, unprejudiced mind is very rewarding.

    Isn’t expecting sex with black men to be different from sex with white men the opposite of “keeping an open, unprejudiced mind?”

    As for the “visual variety” aspect, if you’re (for example) a white woman, the sight of brown skin against white skin isn’t all that interesting unless you don’t have any friends who are people of color. Maybe make a wider variety of friends?

  37. Brian
    Brian July 9, 2012 at 1:02 pm |

    People, people… Fetishism happens. You can’t control it. Also: fetishism is awesome! Fetishes are fun!

    The problem is not fetishism, it’s how people treat each other! Coming on to someone in your first email/contact with them is probably a bad idea! Doing so in a racist manner? That’s doubling down on a bad idea. but there is nothing bad/wrong/shameful with being sexually attracted to someone because of their etnhicity – AS LONG AS YOU ACKNOWLEDGE IT AND DON’T TREAT PEOPLE YOU WANT TO HAVE SEX WITH LIKE OBJECTS. That’s the important point – and, importantly, it’s valid whether or not you have a particular fetish or even ‘type’.

  38. ArielNYC
    ArielNYC July 9, 2012 at 1:09 pm |

    @With Love

    “the sight of brown skin against white skin isn’t all that interesting unless you don’t have any friends who are people of color.”

    Sure, if you rub naked with your racially diverse friends all the time, this image will be pretty trite.

  39. EG
    EG July 9, 2012 at 1:15 pm |

    I…don’t really see what’s so stimulating about the image in any case, but chacun a son gout, I suppose. All I can say is that it wasn’t some charged part of any of the sexual experiences I’ve had.

  40. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll July 9, 2012 at 1:27 pm |

    Sure, if you rub naked with your racially diverse friends all the time, this image will be pretty trite.

    So….I’m the only one who does this?

    Explains all the weird looks.

  41. ArielNYC
    ArielNYC July 9, 2012 at 1:29 pm |

    @EG

    Fair enough. To each hir own.

  42. Angel H.
    Angel H. July 9, 2012 at 1:37 pm |

    mxe — not sure you or anyone else has the right to say what’s unimportant.

    Yet, this is exactly what you’ve been doing from your first post.

  43. Angel H.
    Angel H. July 9, 2012 at 1:41 pm |

    @ Brian:

    Racial fetishism is racist. Period.

    And since I really don’t feel like going over all of the reason why, I’ll just refer you to the last time the subject was brought up here.

  44. Li
    Li July 9, 2012 at 1:49 pm |

    The problem is not fetishism, it’s how people treat each other! Coming on to someone in your first email/contact with them is probably a bad idea! Doing so in a racist manner? That’s doubling down on a bad idea. but there is nothing bad/wrong/shameful with being sexually attracted to someone because of their etnhicity – AS LONG AS YOU ACKNOWLEDGE IT AND DON’T TREAT PEOPLE YOU WANT TO HAVE SEX WITH LIKE OBJECTS. That’s the important point – and, importantly, it’s valid whether or not you have a particular fetish or even ‘type’.

    Yeah, except that a pretty unending parade of PoC have explained that they experience being fetishised as 1. objectifying and 2. a form of microaggression.

    So, like, nice defense, but since fetishism is a way of treating other people, your argument’s sort of self contradictory.

    “I HAVE A FETISH FOR BLACK WOMEN. Oh, but yeah, sure, I totally view you as fully human and whatever.”

  45. alina
    alina July 9, 2012 at 1:55 pm |

    “Yet, this is exactly what you’ve been doing from your first post.”

    i’m sorry angel, did you have a specific problem with my argument or were you just needling? you seem to be an expert on all of my posts.

    for the record, i don’t think i called anything unimportant. i think i disagreed with a point made in the article — a point which the author later clarified — and then expressed my opinion about a couple of complex issues that i happen to care a lot about. if you have something interesting or enlightening to contribute, i would really like to hear it.

  46. Mxe354
    Mxe354 July 9, 2012 at 2:13 pm |

    there is nothing bad/wrong/shameful with being sexually attracted to someone because of their etnhicity – AS LONG AS YOU ACKNOWLEDGE IT AND DON’T TREAT PEOPLE YOU WANT TO HAVE SEX WITH LIKE OBJECTS.

    I used to share your view. But the truth is, even that is a form of benevolent racism which, just like benevolent sexism, is still a harmful form of prejudice.

  47. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune July 9, 2012 at 2:24 pm |

    I take your point, Mac, but I’m uncomfortable with the above argument, because it can also be used to undercut the difference between sex with somebody you desire and somebody you don’t. The actions are the same, the grinding is the same…but the person being different makes all the difference.

    EG, I would argue that consent makes the difference there, personally. Though I’m not sure I get what you’re driving at? D: My brainskillz are not good today.

    Because a good part of sex is visual, and visual variety is interesting? There’s also the curiosity of how people from different cultures and subcultures approach sexuality.

    *eyebrow* A good part of sex is visual, huh? Oooookie then. Aside from that, here’s the thing: an approach to sexuality has fuck-all correlation with race in today’s world. You’d be better off thinking about how Americans or Indians or Norwegians or Venezuelans fuck than how white or black or brown or polka-dotted people fuck. Unless, of course, there’s some racist totally logical reason why a third-generation middle-class well-educated vanilla Chinese-American would fuck completely differently from a third-generation middle-class well-educated vanilla white American? I’ll be downright fascinated to know what that totally non-racist difference in sexuality is.

  48. Angel H.
    Angel H. July 9, 2012 at 2:26 pm |

    i’m sorry angel, did you have a specific problem with my argument or were you just needling? you seem to be an expert on all of my posts.

    If by expert you mean “I can read the words you type”, then yes I guess I am.

    for the record, i don’t think i called anything unimportant.

    Then what were you doing when you criticized people who don’t share your rose-colored view of feminism and accused them in-fighting?

    if you have something interesting or enlightening to contribute, i would really like to hear it.

    Funny. I was just thinking the same thing about you. After all, not one of your posts (which I am such an expert on, apparently) has anything at all to do with the topic of the OP. Instead, you went off on some tangent on how we should just ignore the fact that some people are marginalized within the movement and how you don’t want to be called a WOC. If you have anything to say about racial fetishism, then let’s hear it. Otherwise, why are you posting here?

  49. ArielNYC
    ArielNYC July 9, 2012 at 2:40 pm |

    @macavitykitsune

    You’d be better off thinking about how Americans or Indians or Norwegians or Venezuelans fuck than how white or black or brown or polka-dotted people fuck

    I don’t believe I said anything to the effect that the shade of your skin determines your sexuality. Not sure what your beef is with visual stimulation and sex.

  50. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune July 9, 2012 at 2:41 pm |

    As for the “visual variety” aspect, if you’re (for example) a white woman, the sight of brown skin against white skin isn’t all that interesting unless you don’t have any friends who are people of color.

    No shit. Personally, I think the contrast isn’t any more interesting than it would be if I had a brown partner, or she a white one? There’s something innately erotic about bodies pressed together, but I don’t think it has anything to do with race.

    …though in our case it does give room for awesome “chicken on rye bread” jokes.

    People, people… Fetishism happens. You can’t control it. Also: fetishism is awesome! Fetishes are fun!

    The problem is not fetishism, it’s how people treat each other!

    Yes, except…fetishising is a way of treating someone. Treating someone differently because of their race is, well, racist.

    You sound like you’re coming at this from a kink rather than a social justice perspective, and there really is a difference, I think. So let me have a go at differentiating, in non-technicalspeak:
    Fetish (kink perspective): Sexual act or object that is inherent to arousal, without which arousal cannot occur. (examples: high-heeled shoes, needles, arm hair, Sonic the Hedgehog suits, Brie cheese.)
    Fetishising (social justice perspective): Treating someone like a sexual object and reducing them to racist stereotypes for the benefit of your boner. (examples: Chinese women are submissive, Indian women are sex goddesses, black women are insatiable, Japanese femme women are clearly into rape-roleplay because of hentai porn, yadda fucking yadda.)
    I would argue that the definition of fetish, as the kink community understands it, cannot apply to racial fetishising. If your (general you) fetish is, say, a submissive woman in a sari and high heels, you should be as turned on by a white sub in a sari as an Indian sub in a sari and high heels. Oh, you’re not? It just doesn’t seem… ethnic and exotic enough for you?

    *bzzt* Sorry, that’s not a sexual fetish, that’s a racist one.

  51. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune July 9, 2012 at 2:44 pm |

    I don’t believe I said anything to the effect that the shade of your skin determines your sexuality.

    But you did say that people with different cultures clearly have different ways of approaching sexuality? Except “culture” isn’t the same as “race” at all. American culture = / = Chinese culture, so what’s “new and exciting” about fucking a Chinese-American, unless there’s some racist idea that Chinese people obviously fuck differently, no matter how culturally similar they are to people of other races around them?

  52. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll July 9, 2012 at 2:47 pm |

    Not sure what your beef is with visual stimulation and sex.

    It’s just been the porn justification forever!!

    People neeeeed to be visually stimulated!!

    Guess blind people are shit out of luck then.

  53. Donna L
    Donna L July 9, 2012 at 2:49 pm |

    Perhaps it’s only me who was wondering this — was there a reason your friend specified that the guy on OK Cupid was white and Jewish? I couldn’t figure out whether that was supposed to be significant in some way.

  54. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune July 9, 2012 at 2:50 pm |

    To continue my comment @55, because I realised I didn’t explain some things adequately… a human being of any race is not an object. Nor is their existence a sexual act. Therefore, you can’t apply the kink-definition of fetish to racial fetishising, because that’s patent fucking bullshit.

    And yes, before people ask, I disapprove violently of people who do things like slave-master (not in the sexual, but in the historical sense) play, or Nazi roleplay, which is sort of the logical extension of racial fetishising in the kink community. Have some fucking decency and don’t jerk off over the corpses of millions.

  55. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune July 9, 2012 at 2:52 pm |

    Perhaps it’s only me who was wondering this — was there a reason your friend specified that the guy on OK Cupid was white and Jewish?

    I think it was an attempt not to accidentally whitewash someone who’s Jewish who might not identify as white, except they never got as far as discussing that?

    *cough* And now I shall stop with the commentspam.

  56. Donna L
    Donna L July 9, 2012 at 3:00 pm |

    Macavity, I thought that might be it, but wasn’t sure if that was the reason or if it was just a random irrelevant fact.

  57. Donna L
    Donna L July 9, 2012 at 3:08 pm |

    Who said it wasn’t? I was curious, that’s all. Now I know.

  58. EG
    EG July 9, 2012 at 3:11 pm |

    EG, I would argue that consent makes the difference there, personally. Though I’m not sure I get what you’re driving at? D: My brainskillz are not good today.

    Your brainskillz are fine–I think I just wasn’t clear! I mean, I’ve had consensual sex with people I wasn’t attracted to, and the same actions feel radically different than when the sex is with someone I am attracted to. I think I’m just ultra-sensitive to these things because I’ve had some (consensual) lousy experiences. It’s probably too much of a derail. Apologies for that.

  59. ArielNYC
    ArielNYC July 9, 2012 at 3:12 pm |

    @ macavitykitsune

    “so what’s “new and exciting” about fucking a Chinese-American, unless there’s some racist idea that Chinese people obviously fuck differently, no matter how culturally similar they are to people of other races around them?”

    Well, as I said, “because a good part of sex is visual, and visual variety is interesting.” Might as well add that physical variety is interesting, or really whatever it is that’s new to you. You yourself admit you don’t really find the idea of shagging someone who looks different than you all that stimulating in itself. I’m not sure why you presume others must share the same sexual mind as yours.

  60. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune July 9, 2012 at 3:18 pm |

    Might as well add that physical variety is interesting, or really whatever it is that’s new to you.

    …so, people of other races are on some sort of New and Interesting Checklist? “Wait, wait! I’ve never fucked a black woman with RED HAIR before! You’re so new and exciting I…I…totally don’t give a shit who you really are, aside from a black woman with RED HAIR!” —> Racist thought process. Seriously. It’s not fucking difficult to not treat people like notches on a bedpost, and I’m rather horrified by your inability to distinguish between “hey, never fucked a CHinese guy before, okay” and “ooh, Chinese guys! So new and exciting because race!” The one is clearly not racist. The other is clearly so.

    You yourself admit you don’t really find the idea of shagging someone who looks different than you all that stimulating in itself. I’m not sure why you presume others must share the same sexual mind as yours.

    I don’t presume others must share the same mindset. The world would be a lot less racist if they did, hm? And the world is…well, the world is how it is.

  61. alina
    alina July 9, 2012 at 3:25 pm |

    oh angel, we seem to agree about everything then, don’t we.

    i personally feel a lot more powerful and important now that i’ve bickered with a total stranger on the internet. don’t you?

  62. Angel H.
    Angel H. July 9, 2012 at 3:37 pm |

    i personally feel a lot more powerful and important now that i’ve bickered with a total stranger on the internet. don’t you?

    So, you don’t have anything “interesting or enlightening” to contribute about a discussion on racial fetishism, then?

    Remind me, do trolls disintegrate in direct sunlight, or is that just for vampires? Stick your head out the window and let’s find out.

  63. Li
    Li July 9, 2012 at 3:47 pm |

    As someone who’s pretty promiscuous, yeah, the fact that people have different bodies and appearances can be fun! Do you know what’s also fun? Noticing that not all black/white/asian/whatever people look the same as eachother. Noticing that as a white person, there are a whole fuckton of other white people out there who look nothing like me, so if I’m after “looks different to me”, then wow, I don’t actually have to specifically track down a representative of human-phenotype-type-3.

  64. ArielNYC
    ArielNYC July 9, 2012 at 3:52 pm |

    @ macavitykitsune

    You talk like a right-winger who claims they’re trully, totally, unquivocally colornlind and anyone who isn’t like that is the real racist. Well, I do see color. I do see diversity. And I like diversity just fine. Your sexual mind doesn’t factor (or so you claim) people’s appearance as interesting by itself but rather as an incidental, minor trait, and that makes you feel superior and judgmental.

    You also seem to have something against casual sex in general. What if a white woman has really cool red hair. Is it racist for me to want to have sex with her as well? Am I ethically obligated to find a more sublime reason for sex than really cool hair? Or butt? Or legs? Or whatever? And ditto for any other mixture of genders? Does every sexual encounter must be profound or else You Don’t Approve?

  65. ArielNYC
    ArielNYC July 9, 2012 at 4:09 pm |

    @Li

    Noticing that as a white person, there are a whole fuckton of other white people out there who look nothing like me, so if I’m after “looks different to me”, then wow, I don’t actually have to specifically track down a representative of human-phenotype-type-3

    So since all white people don’t look the same, looking for someone who looks even more different than the average white person is suspect?

  66. FAY
    FAY July 9, 2012 at 4:09 pm |

    “Remind me, do trolls disintegrate in direct sunlight, or is that just for vampires? Stick your head out the window and let’s find out.”

    is there a way to flag posts for removal? i’m mostly enjoying lurking in the background of the mostly-interesting and intelligent conversation here, but that just seems hostile and degrading.

  67. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune July 9, 2012 at 4:17 pm |

    You talk like a right-winger who claims they’re trully, totally, unquivocally colornlind and anyone who isn’t like that is the real racist.

    Actually, I’ve commented against colour-blindness? It’s fine to find someone of another race attractive, but to say that the main reason you’re attracted is they’re Ethnicity X and that’s New and Exciting is, uh, skeevy. I don’t care if it’s within a context of a long-term relationship or a one-time hookup…seriously.

    Your sexual mind doesn’t factor (or so you claim) people’s appearance as interesting by itself but rather as an incidental, minor trait, and that makes you feel superior and judgmental.

    Do point out to me where “finding someone attractive” = “their race is attractive”. Please, do go ahead.

    You also seem to have something against casual sex in general. What if a white woman has really cool red hair. Is it racist for me to want to have sex with her as well?

    The fuck are you getting this from? Diversity is not objectification. I was specifically objecting to objectification, not to noticing people have different racial ancestry. And no, it isn’t racist to want to have sex with someone with red hair (I can’t believe I’m having to say this), it’s racist to believe that someone of a different race must be “new and exciting” because of their “different approach to sexuality” even though there isn’t perceptible cultural differences from another race. Also, where the fuck do you get off accusing me of being opposed to casual sex? What possible evidence could you dredge up? I suppose I’m also racist for being in a non-monogamous interracial relationship.

    Does every sexual encounter must be profound or else You Don’t Approve?

    Your amazing butchering of the English tongue aside, a sexual encounter doesn’t have to be profound or even remotely meaningful in order to be NON-RACIST. It’s amazing that there seems to be no middle speed for you.

  68. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune July 9, 2012 at 4:18 pm |

    Comment modded, but basically what Li said.

  69. Tony
    Tony July 9, 2012 at 4:20 pm |

    The main thing with fetishization is that you recognize that it is about you, the fetishizer, and not the person that holds the trait being fetishized. That is why “Oh, you are an Arab American, you must be a Muslim; oh, you are an Arab American feminist, you must be particularly rebellious or endangered” or stereotypes about how people perform in bed such as “Chinese women are submissive, Indian women are sex goddesses, black women are insatiable, Japanese femme women are clearly into rape-roleplay because of hentai porn, yadda fucking yadda” are wrong. It’s because you are assuming something about the other person, erasing their humanity in favor of your preconcieved notions of people who have a particular trait, that they happen to share.

    I think it’s fine to have an ethnic fetish provided that you recognize it is about you– what goes on in your mind, all the preconcieved notions that you have which lead you to this fetish (and let’s face it must fetishes are about more than just the color of physical appearance of a person) are part of your own baggage and no one else’s. You can’t assume anything of somebody else on the basis of it. Rather, it is something that you should share with your partner, just like any other fetish. While it’s definitely awkward at times and not for everyone, I think people should be able to say, “You know, I have a fetish for X ethnicity, can you play this role for me in bed?” That’s actually better than having a fetish but not talking about it, because you are acknowledging that it’s a role they play explicitly for your pleasure, a fantasy. And that it’s being done for your benefit. And finally you’re compartmentalizing it so that it’s explicitly identified with having sex and isn’t necessarily a part of your life or relationship outside of sex.

    Needless to say, the vast, vast, vast majority of ethnic fetishization does not follow the model I outlined above. I do think it’s worth exploring why people have these fetishes, and what it says about our thought processes. While ideally we’d be able to completely separate out thoughts from behaviors, fantasies from realities or at least perceptions of reality, in true reality both live in the same world. So the reasons behind certain thoughts or stereotypes are worth analyzing critically as well.

  70. Li
    Li July 9, 2012 at 4:28 pm |

    What I’m saying is that it’s vacuous (and, you know, racist) to track people’s differences by race if your thing is that you enjoy sleeping with people with a variety of appearances, because people are not actually representative of racial generalities, they’re individuals. I’ve slept with a number of people from the Chinese diaspora, and all of them have looked totally different from one another. Some of them have had a bunch of physical features in common with white partners I’ve had (fashion students take note: you do not all need to effect the same look). Individual variation trumps racial variation and unless you think you are sleeping with a race instead of a person, that’s actually the metric that matters.

  71. Angel H.
    Angel H. July 9, 2012 at 4:30 pm |

    While it’s definitely awkward at times and not for everyone, I think people should be able to say, “You know, I have a fetish for X ethnicity, can you play this role for me in bed?” That’s actually better than having a fetish but not talking about it, because you are acknowledging that it’s a role they play explicitly for your pleasure, a fantasy.

    So, it’s totally okay to be racist as long as it’s behind closed doors?

  72. Tony
    Tony July 9, 2012 at 4:31 pm |

    So, it’s totally okay to be racist as long as it’s behind closed doors?

    Yeah, that is totally what I was saying.

  73. Angel H.
    Angel H. July 9, 2012 at 4:35 pm |

    What I’m saying is that it’s vacuous (and, you know, racist) to track people’s differences by race if your thing is that you enjoy sleeping with people with a variety of appearances, because people are not actually representative of racial generalities, they’re individuals.

    THANK YOU. This is why racial fetishism is different than other fetishes. Because you aren’t talking about an object, or an article of clothing: They’re *real people*.

  74. Angel H.
    Angel H. July 9, 2012 at 4:38 pm |

    Yeah, that is totally what I was saying.

    Yeah, I figured that when you were talking about roleplaying X ethnicity as if the people of X ethnicity all had the same racist stereotypes that that was exactly what you were going for.

    Glad you cleared things up for me.

  75. Li
    Li July 9, 2012 at 4:43 pm |

    Tony, if you ask someone to perform a stereotype (and I don’t know whether I find it creepier to think of you asking an a partner who shares the ethnicity of the stereotype or one who doesn’t) it’s no longer just about you. You’re asking someone to play act a stereotype that exists in real life and is weaponised against people.

  76. Tony
    Tony July 9, 2012 at 4:47 pm |

    Yeah, I figured that when you were talking about roleplaying X ethnicity as if the people of X ethnicity all had the same racist stereotypes that that was exactly what you were going for.

    You must have turned off your sarcasm detector. The difference between roleplaying and real life is that one is a fantasy, and the other is not. Do women who have rape fantasies really want to be raped? That is kind of distinction I was trying to draw here. Like I said, I think it’s worth examining where the desire for these fantasies comes from, but doing something in a fantasy and doing it in real life are an ocean apart.

  77. FAY
    FAY July 9, 2012 at 4:48 pm |

    angel–your hostility towards alina is shameful and immature.

  78. Esti
    Esti July 9, 2012 at 4:49 pm |

    I think it’s fine to have an ethnic fetish provided that you recognize it is about you– what goes on in your mind, all the preconcieved notions that you have which lead you to this fetish (and let’s face it must fetishes are about more than just the color of physical appearance of a person) are part of your own baggage and no one else’s. You can’t assume anything of somebody else on the basis of it. Rather, it is something that you should share with your partner, just like any other fetish. While it’s definitely awkward at times and not for everyone, I think people should be able to say, “You know, I have a fetish for X ethnicity, can you play this role for me in bed?”

    Tony, this part of your comment perfectly demonstrates the problem people on this thread are articulating about racial fetishization. You’re saying that it’s fine for someone to tell their Asian partner “I have a fetish for Asian women, can you play this role for me in bed?” when that sentence makes absolutely no sense unless you assume that “Asian women” corresponds to a bunch of physical or behavioral traits.

    That’s the problem with racial fetishization — the link it represents between “I like submissive women” and “hey, an Asian girl!” You are by definition assuming something of other people when you engage in that thinking. And yes, people’s groins like what they like, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t critically engage with why our sexual preferences have racial dimensions and what types of assumptions that means we’re making — even when we think we’re not, even when they only come to the surface in sexual situations — about people based on their race or ethnicity. So long as you’re using “X ethnicity” as a marker when you really mean “a particular sexual role,” I’d suggest you have some more self-reflection to do.

  79. Tony
    Tony July 9, 2012 at 4:51 pm |

    Li- Then don’t play it. It’s about me in the sense that it originates with me, and if the other person agrees to play the role it’s for my benefit. I am saying people should have the ability to decide for themselves what they will and won’t do in bed.

  80. Angel H.
    Angel H. July 9, 2012 at 4:54 pm |

    You must have turned off your sarcasm detector.

    *I’m* the one with my sarcasm detector turned off?

    The difference between roleplaying and real life is that one is a fantasy, and the other is not. Do women who have rape fantasies really want to be raped?

    The difference between a rape fantasy and a race fantasy is that one is about committing an act towards a person, the other is about how you believe a person of another race would act.

    In other words, what Li and Esti said.

  81. Tony
    Tony July 9, 2012 at 4:57 pm |

    That’s the problem with racial fetishization — the link it represents between “I like submissive women” and “hey, an Asian girl!” You are by definition assuming something of other people when you engage in that thinking.

    No, I’m not assuming anything of anyone else. All it tells me is that I got this image in my head that is a sexual fetish, irregardless of anything about anyone else. I assert that a fetish can be constructed and exist even if it has no bearing to what the fetishizer perceives as being reality. The problem is that in practice, people tend to get the two confused, when they really shouldn’t.

    And yes, people’s groins like what they like, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t critically engage with why our sexual preferences have racial dimensions and what types of assumptions that means we’re making — even when we think we’re not, even when they only come to the surface in sexual situations — about people based on their race or ethnicity.

    Yes, I completely agree. We should definitely examine the reasons behind our sexual preferences, as I’ve said many before in these types of threads.

  82. Angel H.
    Angel H. July 9, 2012 at 4:59 pm |

    I am saying people should have the ability to decide for themselves what they will and won’t do in bed.

    Absolutely. Just don’t be surprised when people tell you that the racist thing you are doing is racist.

  83. Li
    Li July 9, 2012 at 5:03 pm |

    Tony, I don’t think you’re actually getting where my problem is. If you and a partner want to do fantasy play, wevs. All yours. But proposing to a partner fantasy play in which they enact stereotypes that are consistently used against them in real life has the potential to be seriously fucking hurtful. Being all like “but hey, it’s not you, it’s me!” isn’t going to magically make that go away. Proposing racist play to someone impacted by racism is a shitty thing to do.

  84. Angel H.
    Angel H. July 9, 2012 at 5:04 pm |

    All it tells me is that I got this image in my head that is a sexual fetish, irregardless of anything about anyone else.

    That’s bullshit because you’re not fetishizing a *thing*; you’re fetishizing a *person*.

  85. FAY
    FAY July 9, 2012 at 5:07 pm |

    So, you don’t have anything “interesting or enlightening” to contribute about a discussion on racial fetishism, then?

    Remind me, do trolls disintegrate in direct sunlight, or is that just for vampires? Stick your head out the window and let’s find out.

    i’m sorry, but is this allowed? it’s horrendous. who talks to other human beings this way?

  86. alina
    alina July 9, 2012 at 5:31 pm |

    angel, it sure is good we have upstanding citizens like yourself to champion important causes. i feel much more hopeful about the future of humanity.

    although actually, as a troll, i guess i don’t care too much about humanity!

  87. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan July 9, 2012 at 5:37 pm |

    I’m a little confused on the “fetishizing a thing” vs. “fetishizing a person.” Would people be okay with someone having a fetish for women with dainty feet, or small breasts, or red hair? It seems like those are fetishizing aspects of a person, just like fetishizing a person’s race might be focusing on an aspect of that person. So is fetishizing race really fetishizing a person or a trait (ie. a thing)?

  88. Angel H.
    Angel H. July 9, 2012 at 5:37 pm |

    angel, it sure is good we have upstanding citizens like yourself to champion important causes. i feel much more hopeful about the future of humanity.

    Still waiting for you to post something “interesting and enlightening” about the topic…

  89. Donna L
    Donna L July 9, 2012 at 5:43 pm |

    racial fetishism is different than other fetishes. Because you aren’t talking about an object, or an article of clothing: They’re *real people*.

    There are plenty of sexual fetishes that aren’t about race that equally involve real people and can be equally creepy. There isn’t quite so stark a distinction as you suggest between racial fetishes on the one hand and all other fetishes on the other.

  90. ArielNYC
    ArielNYC July 9, 2012 at 5:45 pm |

    @Li

    it’s vacuous (and, you know, racist) to track people’s differences by race if your thing is that you enjoy sleeping with people with a variety of appearances, because people are not actually representative of racial generalities, they’re individuals

    Well yes and no. People are diverse individuals. Ethnic/racial groups are diverse. But if I’m turned on by dark skin, I’ll have easier time hooking up with an unique individual of the Yoruba people than a nordic swede or a Han Chinese. Denying that different groups have different distributions of physical traits is silly.

  91. cherrybomb
    cherrybomb July 9, 2012 at 5:50 pm |

    I’m a little confused on the “fetishizing a thing” vs. “fetishizing a person.” Would people be okay with someone having a fetish for women with dainty feet, or small breasts, or red hair?

    It still feels pretty dehumanizing when I’m treated like someone’s personal sex fantasy because I date both sexes. Or because I have large breasts. Or because I’m a mom (MILF fetish extra-creeps me out, since it brings into play my child via my status as a parent). When you are treated like nothing more than a (do-able) trait it feels creepy and gross. I can only imagine it feels similar to people who are fetishized because of their race.

  92. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune July 9, 2012 at 6:00 pm |

    . So is fetishizing race really fetishizing a person or a trait (ie. a thing)?

    The answer’s in the question, Bagelsan. If someone thinks that “X race= X character traits, I like X traits, therefore X race is so hot” then it’s no different from any other fetish. If someone thinks that, however, they’re fairly obviously racist. Physical traits aren’t quite the same as character traits.

  93. Angel H.
    Angel H. July 9, 2012 at 6:02 pm |

    There are plenty of sexual fetishes that aren’t about race that equally involve real people and can be equally creepy. There isn’t quite so stark a distinction as you suggest between racial fetishes on the one hand and all other fetishes on the other.

    You’re right. I was just remembering an article I read somewhere about how nurses are the most sexually fetishized profession. If I find the link, I’ll post it.

  94. Angel H.
    Angel H. July 9, 2012 at 6:03 pm |

    i’m sorry, but is this allowed? it’s horrendous. who talks to other human beings this way?

    Who are you, and why should I give a damn?

  95. cherrybomb
    cherrybomb July 9, 2012 at 6:12 pm |

    You’re right. I was just remembering an article I read somewhere about how nurses are the most sexually fetishized profession. If I find the link, I’ll post it.

    Several nurses in my family and amongst my friends who hate the “naughty nurse” stereotype, and the way it makes some people think they get to take liberties with them as nurses because “hey, naughty nurses!”

  96. Henry
    Henry July 9, 2012 at 6:24 pm |

    I don’t know Bagelsan, why don’t you read this and see if it helps you understand why race based fetishes are not healthy, it’s not “I like red hair”, it’s “I expect all members of race X to act & look within a particular subset of characteristics”:

    http://nypress.com/a-white-woman-explains-why-she-prefers-black-men/

    When the shoe is on the other foot, I can tell you at least I don’t appreciate the stereotypes applied to black men vs. white men in nearly every area in the linked article. So yeah posting one wants a “spicy” Latin woman or a “virile” Black man is not good for race relations, it just perpetuates stereotypes.

    If you like red hair you will most likely end up with a white partner because that’s where red hair exists for the most part, not because you want a white person because they act a certain way. A “white” fetish would be “I love stuffy WASPs who act all WASPY”, whatever that is. The issue in the OP wasn’t “I like women with black hair” or whatever physical characteristic, it’s “I want a “spicy” Latina”, which carries a whole class of stereotyped features, mostly behavioral, with it.

  97. im
    im July 9, 2012 at 6:29 pm |

    Interesting thing to do: TUrn off safesearch, and Google Images Search of the form {women | men}. This comes with a trigger warning for objectification, and in the case of searching “Norwegian Women”, tw for domestic violence.

    Not sure if the male or female results are the more interesting.

    Among the findings:
    -Some nationalities show up more women in the men results page than others
    – Some kinda interplay between exoticization of men and sexualization of women
    – Searching for East Asian nations and Latin American ones both will show very many sexualized women, but the sexualization is VERY different in character.
    – Even just searching for different European countries can be pretty interesting. Esp. note which ones show more traditional attire, even just in Western Europe.

  98. Esti
    Esti July 9, 2012 at 6:45 pm |

    @Tony

    No, I’m not assuming anything of anyone else. All it tells me is that I got this image in my head that is a sexual fetish, irregardless of anything about anyone else. I assert that a fetish can be constructed and exist even if it has no bearing to what the fetishizer perceives as being reality. The problem is that in practice, people tend to get the two confused, when they really shouldn’t.

    Seriously, stop and think about this for a second: if you ever have the thought “I want my partner to act like an Asian woman in bed tonight” then the image you just happen to have in your head is de facto making assumptions about Asian women based on racial stereotypes. It doesn’t matter if you know rationally that there are lots of Asian women who don’t act in the way you mean when you say you want to role play being in bed with an Asian woman — the fact that your fantasy is constructed on racial lines means that it is relying on racial stereotypes.

    I mean, why is it that you would role play “Asian woman” instead of “Spanish woman who’s really submissive in bed” or “Kenyan woman who giggles a lot and is shy”? The difference is that the submissive Asian woman trope is prevalent as all fuck in society, and has been specifically sexualized over time. And if it had absolutely no bearing on what you perceive as reality, you would not be using it as a shorthand for how you want your partner to behave in bed. The fact that you rationally know that not all Asian women are like that doesn’t make use of their ethnicity as shorthand for sexual behavior magically non-dehumanizing or racist.

  99. Donna L
    Donna L July 9, 2012 at 6:48 pm |

    You’re right. I was just remembering an article I read somewhere about how nurses are the most sexually fetishized profession. If I find the link, I’ll post it.

    I wasn’t thinking along those lines at all, but I guess you’re right. I was thinking more of fetishization which, like racial fetishization, targets groups of people with particular physical characteristics. Disabled people. Trans people, such as trans women who haven’t had genital surgery. (“It’s not a fetish, it’s just a celebration of visual diversity! The best of both worlds, you know? Can I **** your **** now, please?”)

  100. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll July 9, 2012 at 6:57 pm |

    angel–your hostility towards alina is shameful and immature.

    alina’s racism is fucking shameful and immature.

    You know, if all you “fetish” people are so damn certain it’s perfectly fine, I sure hope you start every conversation with ” I want to fuck you because you’re X race, I find it visually interesting” and see how many people kick the racist teeth out of your head.

    Please.

    It’s no different that white power fuckwits saying they could never be attracted to Black people because they’re too different. Different hair, different skin, different “smell” (wtf) etc etc.

  101. Angel H.
    Angel H. July 9, 2012 at 7:12 pm |

    @ pheeno:

    Hah! I totally missed that one! Must’ve been in mod.

    @ FAY:

    As a wise man once said: “I know you are, but what am I?”

  102. Chataya
    Chataya July 9, 2012 at 7:13 pm |

    i’m sorry, but is this allowed? it’s horrendous. who talks to other human beings this way?

    So you read through a bunch of comments by a guy insisting that racism is okay because it makes his dick hard, and this is what you decide to object to?

  103. Tony
    Tony July 9, 2012 at 7:20 pm |

    @Esti,

    — the fact that your fantasy is constructed on racial lines means that it is relying on racial stereotypes.

    the submissive Asian woman trope is prevalent as all fuck in society, and has been specifically sexualized over time. And if it had absolutely no bearing on what you perceive as reality, you would not be using it as a shorthand for how you want your partner to behave in bed.

    We’re getting off on a bit of tangent (and I’m no psychologist), but it seems to me that the construction of mental short-cuts in sub-cognitive realms is not necessarily indicative of a person’s actual beliefs. For example, my hands find it easiest to type with a QWERTY keyboard, even though I know that the layout was specifically designed to be difficult, and that a different keyboard design would make things easier. It is possible (taking your hypothetical scenario) that I was inculcated into this racist “submissive Asian woman” trope at a very young age, and somewhere along the way two things happened. First, ‘submissive Asian’ became part of a mental short-cut for what is sexy in my mind, and second, I learned that this is a racist trope that has no bearing on reality. Hence the fantasy may very well have originated in racial stereotypes, but it is deeply embedded in my sexual preferences after I completely and truly purged it from my mind and heart. Whether to share this with someone else, like a potential partner is another question (as Li addressed), but are we saying this is inherently problematic? What then, should the hypothetical “me” in this case do? Sex counseling to purge this short-cut away, assuming that were even possible?

  104. Angel H.
    Angel H. July 9, 2012 at 7:31 pm |

    We’re getting off on a bit of tangent (and I’m no psychologist), but it seems to me that the construction of mental short-cuts in sub-cognitive realms is not necessarily indicative of a person’s actual beliefs. For example, my hands find it easiest to type with a QWERTY keyboard, even though I know that the layout was specifically designed to be difficult, and that a different keyboard design would make things easier.

    Oh, Lord. He’s comparing racial fetishes to keyboards now…

    It is possible (taking your hypothetical scenario) that I was inculcated into this racist “submissive Asian woman” trope at a very young age, and somewhere along the way two things happened. First, ‘submissive Asian’ became part of a mental short-cut for what is sexy in my mind, and second, I learned that this is a racist trope that has no bearing on reality. Hence the fantasy may very well have originated in racial stereotypes, but it is deeply embedded in my sexual preferences after I completely and truly purged it from my mind and heart.

    If it’s still there, then it really hasn’t been purged, has it?

    Whether to share this with someone else, like a potential partner is another question (as Li addressed), but are we saying this is inherently problematic?

    Dude, you’re getting off on racism. Hellz yes, that’s problematic.

    You seem to be trying to rationalize it away to make yourself feel about not being a “real racist”: “Yes, I fetishize X people, but it’s totally okay because I’ve studied racism so I’m totally not a racist.”

    What then, should the hypothetical “me” in this case do? Sex counseling to purge this short-cut away, assuming that were even possible?

    If you don’t want people to think you’re being racist, don’t do racist shit.

    I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m not gonna sit here and make you feel better for having a racist dick.

  105. ArielNYC
    ArielNYC July 9, 2012 at 7:33 pm |

    @pheenobarbidoll

    I’m pretty sure that if random guys were to approach a woman at a bar with the openining line “Your t&a are visually interesting, let’s have sex”, they’ll get a slap in the face, figuratively if not literally. I don’t suppose that invalidates attraction to t&a as a reason to have sex with someone. It confuses sexual desires with expected social conduct.

  106. Esti
    Esti July 9, 2012 at 7:39 pm |

    If “submissive Asian” is still the shortcut in your mind for what is sexy, I think it’s a safe assumption that you haven’t fully purged the effect those racist stereotypes had on your heart and mind.

    No one is telling you that you can’t get off on particular sexual behaviors. No one is telling you that you can’t be attracted to particular physical characteristics. People are saying that it is racist to identify particular sexual behaviors with particular physical characteristics, or to seek out partners based on those assumptions, or to ask partners to role play things using “X ethnicity” as a shorthand for the way you want them to act.

    And if racist stereotypes have had such an effect that you find it really difficult to disassociate Asian women from submissive sexual behavior, then yeah, seek out some counseling.

  107. IrishUp
    IrishUp July 9, 2012 at 7:47 pm |

    I’m calling sock-puppetting on alina/FAY! And while Angel’s comments are (as usual) spot on, deliciously snarky, and in-bounds, sock-puppetting is grounds for banning ’round these parts. On the vanishingly small chance there are two people posting contiguously using the same sentence structure and punctuation, then you’re both shit stirring without embiggening the conversation.

    Back OT, I am giving side-eye to the argument that New and Exciting Skin Tone =/= $Unexamined Racist Script(s). PantsFeelings are no more exempt from absorbing racist shit than any other of our cognitions. Considering how ubiquitous these Exotic SexyTimes stereotypes are, it’s really unlikely that it’s JUST about skin tone, or contrast or what have you. In any event, cultural context means that however it might feel to me (I just *like* darker/lighter hair/skin/ whatever!), it is hard for me to see how I could put that out there on the other person without invoking racism.

  108. ArielNYC
    ArielNYC July 9, 2012 at 8:07 pm |

    I’m skeptical of people being able to change their sexuality thru therapy. My instincts tell me that if your sexuality is inextricably bounded with racism, you’re fully aware of that, and can contain it by playing it out in a private, consensual and honest fashion, while otherwise functioning like a decent human being in society, then the Dan Savage in me says pray you can find someone with the complementary condition and go for it. Just don’t impose it on unwilling people (hence being decent person).

  109. ArielNYC
    ArielNYC July 9, 2012 at 8:25 pm |

    @IrishUp

    “Considering how ubiquitous these Exotic SexyTimes stereotypes are, it’s really unlikely that it’s JUST about skin tone, or contrast or what have you.”

    Sure, could be sexual false consciousness, could be an authentic desire to fuck the full spectrum of the rainbow of humanity. Can you tell the two apart?

  110. IrishUp
    IrishUp July 9, 2012 at 8:28 pm |

    ArielNYC, I am curious as to where is the evidence that people are fully aware of their racism? Doesn’t the preponderance of the evidence suggest that *most* privileged people are either ignorant or actively maintaining their state of “unawareness”?

    I would agree that you can’t therapy someone out of their sexuality, but I deeply disagree with the notion that therapy would not be useful in unpacking your shit. And my experience has been that unpacked baggage tends to look a LOT less appealing than when the shit was wrapped up with a pretty bow at the bottom of my knapsack. I’m not sure that Only Gets Hot for $SexyTimes_Stereotype is equivalent to a whole sexual identity one cannot be talked into not having.

  111. unacomplished
    unacomplished July 9, 2012 at 8:29 pm |

    Just so I understand the position being put fourth here, this means my ex being rly inquisitive as to “how big it was” because she had “never been with a black guy before” was her being racist?

    ——————————

    I’m pretty sure that if random guys were to approach a woman at a bar with the openining line “Your t&a are visually interesting, let’s have sex”, they’ll get a slap in the face, figuratively if not literally.

    Making any comment on a woman’s physical appearance in public is a good way to get punched in the face, I’ve been tazed for telling a woman her “stockings were awesome” (apparently “calling attention to her legs when she was wearing a skirt so short was highly inappropriate”). The safer option is to make no comment on their appearance at all, be warned tho, I’ve had glasses poured on me for the “listen, I’d really love to get your number, but in all honesty, you wanna get out here? maybe finish this conversation at my place?” because they thought I was “just being friendly” and “should have made my intentions known earlier”

    Trust me, that’s a fight you will never win, approaching women you don’t already know some kinda way for intimate relations in a way you can guarantee will be respectful is impossible. Safer to let them come to you (though far less effective :()

  112. IrishUp
    IrishUp July 9, 2012 at 8:36 pm |

    “Sure, could be sexual false consciousness, could be an authentic desire to fuck the full spectrum of the rainbow of humanity. Can you tell the two apart?”

    My question is rather, how can you equate choosing partners based on skin color with experiencing *humanity*, in a world that judges the relative worth of a person based on their skin color? My point is that *I* could never be *sure* within myself if those things were separate, and regardless, the other person would be being pigeon-holed in a manner consistent with racism. My *intention* does not magically negate the racist structures we live within.

  113. Nadine
    Nadine July 9, 2012 at 8:44 pm |

    Hi, I actually don’t care if white people think I’m new and exciting. I don’t exist to provide white people with a novelty. Even in these comments when you’re talking about how you *like poc you don’t consider what poc might like. you just assume you have a right to your preference, maybe the people you fetishize have their own preferences, maybe that is not you. Fyi white racists aren’t new or exciting to me! I usually don’t date white guys or have much to do with white people and almost all the comments on this thread are the reason why.

  114. Nadine
    Nadine July 9, 2012 at 8:47 pm |

    Sure, could be sexual false consciousness, could be an authentic desire to fuck the full spectrum of the rainbow of humanity. Can you tell the two apart?

    Could be the full spectrum of the rainbow of humanity doesn’t share the desire to be fuc ked by you.

  115. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll July 9, 2012 at 8:52 pm |

    “Your t&a are visually interesting, let’s have sex”, they’ll get a slap in the face, figuratively if not literally. I don’t suppose that invalidates attraction to t&a as a reason to have sex with someone.

    Gives the target all available info before making the decision to consent to sex though doesn’t it? And that’s inconvenient for people like you.

  116. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll July 9, 2012 at 8:58 pm |

    Just don’t impose it on unwilling people (hence being decent person).

    You mean, by withholding the fact you’re only wanting to jump someones bones because they’re a different race? Because that’s imposing your racism onto them, and denying them the ability to CONSENT TO IT.

  117. ArielNYC
    ArielNYC July 9, 2012 at 9:15 pm |

    @IrishUp

    If Tony can cure his racist sexuality, by all means godspeed. But I figure if he’s struggled already to no avail then I wouldn’t put too much hope in therapy. It just smacks too much of sexual repression, and that’s something I think should be relegated to pedophiles and other inherently pernicious behaviors.

    ” how can you equate choosing partners based on skin color with experiencing *humanity*, in a world that judges the relative worth of a person based on their skin color”

    And because the world judges people based on their color, I shouldn’t be curious to experience physical/cultural variety for its own sake?

  118. tmc
    tmc July 9, 2012 at 9:20 pm |

    i’m sorry, but is this allowed? it’s horrendous. who talks to other human beings this way?

    Actually, yes, women of color are most definitely “allowed” to defend themselves against racist bullshit. And they’re allowed to do it in a way that doesn’t coddle anyone’s widdle racist fee-fees!

    I’m calling sock-puppetting on alina/FAY! And while Angel’s comments are (as usual) spot on, deliciously snarky, and in-bounds, sock-puppetting is grounds for banning ’round these parts. On the vanishingly small chance there are two people posting contiguously using the same sentence structure and punctuation, then you’re both shit stirring without embiggening the conversation.

    Word to all of the above.

  119. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune July 9, 2012 at 9:32 pm |

    You mean, by withholding the fact you’re only wanting to jump someones bones because they’re a different race? Because that’s imposing your racism onto them, and denying them the ability to CONSENT TO IT.

    Pheeno, I love you! Thanks.

    I would agree that you can’t therapy someone out of their sexuality, but I deeply disagree with the notion that therapy would not be useful in unpacking your shit.

    Indeed. To those arguing that therapy to unpack racism is somehow bad because black-box sexuality is the only way to be: Uh, NO. You’re dealing with your racism, and that has fuck-all to do with your pantsfeelings, mostly because people do in fact manage to have pantsfeelings – interracial pantsfeelings! – without being sexist fucknuts. Clear enough?

  120. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune July 9, 2012 at 9:33 pm |

    It just smacks too much of sexual repression, and that’s something I think should be relegated to pedophiles and other inherently pernicious behaviors.

    Right. Racism isn’t an inherently pernicious behaviour. Noted.

    Please, continue to educate us poor coloureds about how A-Okay your racism is because you’re just so SPECIAL AND DIFFERENT.

  121. ArielNYC
    ArielNYC July 9, 2012 at 9:55 pm |

    @Nadine

    “you just assume you have a right to your preference, maybe the people you fetishize have their own preferences, maybe that is not you”

    I don’t assume I have a right for my preferences. I KNOW I have a right for my preferences. Just like you do. And every other human being on this planet. That puts no obligation on anyone. I dunno where you got the idea that I like = I’m owed. And I dunno why you equate sex with the full rainbow of humanity to fetishizing race. Whose race am I fetishizing?

  122. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll July 9, 2012 at 10:08 pm |

    I KNOW I have a right for my preferences.

    And I KNOW I have the right to know beforehand why someone wants to have sex with me. I also KNOW that I have the right to deny access to my body based on that information. And I KNOW that if you (or anyone else) chooses to withhold that information because it would lead them to be figuratively/literally slapped the fuck into next week, then you (and everyone else) damn well knows there’s a fucking ISSUE with your “preference”.

    Women who would be offended at some random idiot saying ” I find your bewbs visually interesting” are offended because it’s objectification. I’m not a walking pair of tits.

    And women/men who would be offended at YOU (or anyone else) wanting sex from them because of their race (visually interesting or not) are offended because it’s racial objectification.

    In short, treating human beings like fuck objects is (wait for it)

    offensive.

  123. ArielNYC
    ArielNYC July 9, 2012 at 10:14 pm |

    @pheenobarbidoll

    “Your t&a are visually interesting, let’s have sex”, they’ll get a slap in the face, figuratively if not literally. I don’t suppose that invalidates attraction to t&a as a reason to have sex with someone.
    Gives the target all available info before making the decision to consent to sex though doesn’t it? And that’s inconvenient for people like you.

    Cavemen oozing out their id in its filthy unfiltered glory to unsuspecting women in bars? I truly dread my chances.

  124. ArielNYC
    ArielNYC July 9, 2012 at 10:21 pm |

    @pheenobarbidoll

    Just don’t impose it on unwilling people (hence being decent person).
    You mean, by withholding the fact you’re only wanting to jump someones bones because they’re a different race? Because that’s imposing your racism onto them, and denying them the ability to CONSENT TO IT.

    Somehow you casually skipped the part when I mentioned “honest” since that would interefere with your little diatribe . So yes, you treat your racist Asian fetish like any other kink or medical condition or whatever. You don’t introduce yourself as “Hey, I’m Bob, I got a fucked up kink/weird disease/condition/syndrome whatever.” But you’re an adult enough to lay your cards out soon after you start dating and give your partner a real choice.

  125. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune July 9, 2012 at 10:31 pm |

    You don’t introduce yourself as “Hey, I’m Bob, I got a fucked up kink/weird disease/condition/syndrome whatever.”

    On the other hand, a disease is something you (general you) have, racism is something that you do or say or believe which only ever negatively affects other people and does not, in a vacuum, harm you. So it’s more along the lines of neglecting to mention that you’re a date rapist (which, unlike someone’s childhood leukemia or awful case of allergies, directly emotionally, mentally and SEXUALLY affects your partner) because you want your partner to give you a “real chance”.

  126. ArielNYC
    ArielNYC July 9, 2012 at 10:33 pm |

    @macavitykitsune

    It just smacks too much of sexual repression, and that’s something I think should be relegated to pedophiles and other inherently pernicious behaviors.
    Right. Racism isn’t an inherently pernicious behaviour. Noted.

    Please, continue to educate us poor coloureds about how A-Okay your racism is because you’re just so SPECIAL AND DIFFERENT.

    I dunno, is flagellating someone with a whip a pernicious behavior? Does condoning this behavior as part of consensual S&M a way to condone violence against unconsenting individuals? Does some fucked up but consensual racist role-playing behind closed doors equate to condoning racism against unconsenting individuals? I’ve already said this and you conveniently ignored it, but yes, if you can’t contain your racism to your little tiny sandbox but actually need to inflict it on strangers, then look for counselling, just like anybody who feels a compuslive need to handcuff strangers on the street and gag them with red ball or whatever.

  127. cfc
    cfc July 9, 2012 at 10:36 pm |

    I am a POC in an interracial relationship now and some of the comments in this threads have me grateful that my white partner’s views on race an sex are as “normal” as I’ve seen.

    I used to use Craigslist’s casual encounters frequently and there is no place that practically enforces racial fetishization like it. White is assumed to be the default color, and people are very specific in what they’re looking for (“white man looking for his black ‘queen'”, “hung black guy for ‘snow bunnies’ only”, “white female for white men only”, etc.).

    One one hand, it’s a little depressing to see so much casual fetishization, on the other hand it there is honesty there. I’m not sure I could find the same kind of honesty in traditional dating sites like match.com

  128. konkonsn
    konkonsn July 9, 2012 at 11:04 pm |

    Does some fucked up but consensual racist role-playing behind closed doors equate to condoning racism against unconsenting individuals? I’ve already said this and you conveniently ignored it, but yes, if you can’t contain your racism to your little tiny sandbox but actually need to inflict it on strangers, then look for counselling, just like anybody who feels a compuslive need to handcuff strangers on the street and gag them with red ball or whatever.

    You inflict your racism on your partner, without their consent, just by proposing the racist sexual play. So, like, you have an Asian woman for a partner, and maybe you’ve been dating for awhile and maybe you get along great. And then one day you propose, “I have this fantasy of an Asian woman being totally submissive to me in bed. Can we do that?”

    Bam! You were just racist to her WITHOUT her consent. And maybe she agrees to the play. But maybe she doesn’t. Do you think, either way, she isn’t affected by what you just proposed? If she doesn’t agree to the sexual play, do you think she can go back to dating you or being ok around you? Go back to a time when she realized you didn’t have these racist preconceptions about her? She thought she was safe and a human being when she was with you, and now she has to deal with the fact that there’s just one more person in society that has expectations of her because of her race.

  129. thinksnake
    thinksnake July 9, 2012 at 11:19 pm |

    sex with the full rainbow of humanity

    You keep using this phrase. Time and time again, as if it’s completely impossible to disagree with it.

    It’s really coming off to me as if you’re trying to fill out a colour chart. Not treating potential sex partners as humans, but purely listing them against others, so you can decide whether to pursue or not.

    And since the rainbow is all about colour, you’re surprised when people think you’re fetishising PoC?

  130. ArielNYC
    ArielNYC July 9, 2012 at 11:25 pm |

    @konkonsn

    By this logic, legit s&m is impossible. You were dating, then he said he likes rough sex where he spits on you, smacks you on the face, and pulls your hair. You feel scared and unsafe. He violated you by putting his kink on the table. You can’t go back to the way things were. Therefore, nobody should ever propose rough sex to anybody who is more physically vulnerable.

  131. Matt
    Matt July 9, 2012 at 11:31 pm |

    That applies to any sex act though. Like a facial. A facial isn’t inherently racist, but its inherently humiliating. If you ask a woman about your fantasy of giving facials, you are imposing your belief of how a woman should act on her without her consent just as if you proposed race play. Sure you could argue that race play is more offensive, yet murder is worse than stealing and this doesn’t make stealing okay.

    A better comparison might be cissexual sadomasochistic activities. Many people here argued that even non race play racial preferences are incredibly racist, are all of you opposed to to BDSM? Given the many posts here by Clarisse, I would say not.

    I’m don’t have an opinion on fetishes really, I am not into either race play or bdsm, but it seems like a weird and arbitrary disconnect.

  132. Suzanne F.
    Suzanne F. July 9, 2012 at 11:56 pm |

    The many “fetishizing someone because of their race is fine, as long as you don’t do it in a RACIST way” replies in this thread are Why We Can’t Have Nice Things.

  133. Nadine
    Nadine July 10, 2012 at 12:53 am |

    @126 you have a “right” to prefer whatever you want but you don’t have a right to have it. Why would any category of the rainbow spectrum want to cooperate with your fetish? If white people are less visually interesting why do you think poc should be interested in them?? POC don’t exist just to service the fetishes of white people.

  134. Li
    Li July 10, 2012 at 1:11 am |

    This was ages ago but I want to go back and touch on it because I think it demonstrates something important (and also it’s like super fucked up).

    You talk like a right-winger who claims they’re trully, totally, unquivocally colornlind and anyone who isn’t like that is the real racist. Well, I do see color. I do see diversity. And I like diversity just fine. Your sexual mind doesn’t factor (or so you claim) people’s appearance as interesting by itself but rather as an incidental, minor trait, and that makes you feel superior and judgmental.

    So, the problem with the “colorblind” or “I just don’t see race” argument isn’t actually that people don’t identify physical differences between people, it’s that race has a power element and thus completely ignoring it means ignoring a power differential that has massive impact on people’s lives. That’s why it’s so beloved of right-wingers. Not because they don’t lurve the rainbow of human whatever, but because refusing to consider race helps them refuse to consider racism.

    But since race involves a power differential and not just physical difference, fetishising race means fetishising a power differential. Macavity not using race as a way to get her rocks off is totally fucking different to right-wingers who refuse to account for racism because.. wait for it… being truly aware of the nature of racial difference means not treating people’s oppressions like a packet of fucking skittles.

  135. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll July 10, 2012 at 1:18 am |

    But you’re an adult enough to lay your cards out soon after you start dating and give your partner a real choice.

    You should be adult enough to lay it out front the get go. That’s what prompted you to approach them in the first place, and if there’s nothing wrong with it, then why wait until they’ve wasted time and energy in dating you?

    No one has an issue with saying Hi I’m Bob and I would really like to get to know you and see if there’s something here worth pursing.

    Why? Because you’ve humanized the person instead of turned them into a set of features. Like ass. Or eye shape. Or hair texture.

    You won’t. It wouldn’t lead to dating or sex.

    And that’s the real issue here isn’t it?

    You don’t want to hear No.

    This thread is an example. People have flat out told you how it makes them feel objectified, but instead of respecting that , you try to tell them why they shouldn’t.

    It’s akin to white people insisting that the Indian mascot for their football team is meant to be an honor and respectful. No matter how many Indians tell them they don’t feel honored or respected, they keep shoving their intent as if it matters.

    Your intent doesn’t matter. The affects do.

    Your “visual interest” and preferences make people feel like shit. And it STILL turns you on.

    So, the only question I have is what the ever loving fuck is wrong with you?

  136. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll July 10, 2012 at 1:21 am |

    If you ask a woman about your fantasy of giving facials, you are imposing your belief of how a woman should act on her without her consent just as if you proposed race play.

    The bigger issue would be ” why the hell am I getting off on something inherently degrading” instead of ” how can I get someone to willingly let me degrade them”.

  137. Li
    Li July 10, 2012 at 1:29 am |

    Can I just call bullshit on the “facials are inherently about humiliation” thing? They’re not. Many people find them humiliating, some of those people get off on the humiliation; many people don’t find them humiliating, some of them get off on them anyway.

  138. Matt
    Matt July 10, 2012 at 1:34 am |

    Indeed but they still let Clarisse post BDSM threads on this site. So clearly Feministe is okay with humiliating sex practices. Why is racialized sex any different? BDSM talks a lot about consent and asking partners if they are into kinks, general kink does this as well. So why is asking for sex involving racial aspects inherently different?

    A certain group of feminists gets a lot of shit for being against BDSM and porn. Is it just the intensity of the issue that makes this different?

    I’ve seen some people that do race play say that its up to the oppressed group member to initiate race play.

  139. Mxe354
    Mxe354 July 10, 2012 at 1:48 am |

    Indeed but they still let Clarisse post BDSM threads on this site. So clearly Feministe is okay with humiliating sex practices. Why is racialized sex any different? BDSM talks a lot about consent and asking partners if they are into kinks, general kink does this as well. So why is asking for sex involving racial aspects inherently different?

    Becaused racialized sex is inherently racist. BDSM, however, has nothing to do with bigotry. Also, as macavitykitsune has pointed out, the kink perspective of racialized sex is invalid in the context of social justice.

    You can’t compare the two.

  140. Matt
    Matt July 10, 2012 at 1:50 am |

    Well Schwizzy once tried to argue that facials were about making the male feel clean, because sperm is considered gross or disgusting or w/e.

    You still haven’t said why its not degrading, you just said it isn’t, an argument which can be made for race play too.

    A lot of people say intention isn’t magic, so it doesn’t matter if you don’t see yourself as racist, you still are. So similarly, it doesn’t matter if you don’t see facials as demeaning, they are.

    And again even if some women are okay with facials that doesn’t make it okay, just like its not okay to call poc niggers just because you have one friend who is cool with it.

  141. Li
    Li July 10, 2012 at 2:00 am |

    Well, firstly, Feministe is not a hive mind.

    Secondly, because of the nature of BDSM negotiation (the use of terminology like subs and doms), it’s much simpler to avoid microaggressions on some things than others. That’s not to say that BDSM culture can’t be super sexist (women are often assumed to be subs and that’s pretty fucked), but that negotiations around race play, because of the way they draw directly on really harmful and pervasive sexual stereotypes have a particular risk of crossing over from the kink context into “seriously, not another fucking person who wants me to be the submissive asian”.

  142. Matt
    Matt July 10, 2012 at 2:06 am |

    Racialized sex is inherently racist but sadistic sex isn’t inherently sadist? Please.

    Sexual desire is mostly a conflation of hormones and the brains pattern recognition system, as well as just random environment stuff interacting with the two. Its perfectly possible that a race fetish has nothing to do with being racist.

    Either wanting to be the sadistic partner in sex is wrong AND wanting a person of a specific race to play to a racial stereotype is wrong, or both are not necessarily indicative of a problematic view of the world. You can’t have it both ways.

    This whole issue almost exactly parallels the increasing acceptance of BDSM. The arguments against it are functionally identical to the arguments of early feminists against porn and BDSM.

    I know that someone said its inappropriate to ask about race play because it makes someone feel unsafe, but that same issue applies to BDSM too!

    Its just a little bit ironic I guess, regardless of if you support BDSM or not and race play or not and porn or not.

  143. Li
    Li July 10, 2012 at 2:58 am |

    Sexual desire is mostly a conflation of hormones and the brains pattern recognition system, as well as just random environment stuff interacting with the two. Its perfectly possible that a race fetish has nothing to do with being racist.

    This is pretty much just 101 level anti-racism fail. Racism isn’t essential. It isn’t something you are or are not. It’s a broad set of behaviours, beliefs and power dynamics. Attempting to parse out racial fetishism, which is based at its core on racist stereotypes, from some kind of authentic over-there racism doesn’t work.

    And this ultimately is my problem. Even if hypothetically I were to accept that racial fetishism doesn’t necessarily equate with a wider racist worldview, I’ve yet to meet anyone with a racial fetish, or indeed anyone just defending racial fetishes, who haven’t betrayed their broader racism when interrogated about that. You may insist that there are special snowflakes out there who have somehow managed to combine racial fetishism with a true commitment to anti-racism, but I’ve yet to find evidence of them.

    The same isn’t true of BDSM culture. There are a lot of shitbags out there in kink communities, but there are also people in those communities with the kinds of politics that I can actually believe them when they say that their interest in particular kinds of play doesn’t necessarily translate to their broader social interactions (and who in fact are suuuuper fucking careful even in interrogating systemic patterns when it comes to play).

  144. Alexandra
    Alexandra July 10, 2012 at 3:12 am |

    I’m white, but I’m also bisexual and on dating websites, and I get a fair amount of messages from people asking me to be their “third” — because, as a bi woman, I automatically get pegged as either poly or … a slut, I guess, particularly since there’s hints here and there that I’ve had some kink experience too. It’s deeply irritating to be seen by people not as someone with whom you’d want to have a relationship, but someone who’d be a fun temporary addition to an established couple’s sex life, or else a playtoy for a “bi” woman in a straight relationship who wants to fuck a woman without any emotional baggage or wevs.

    So, right, there’s nothing inherently wrong with being in a het relationship and one or the other partner wanting to bring in a bi person for threesome fun. There’s nothing inherently wrong with a couple seeking a bi person (almost inevitably a woman) to form a poly triad, or what have you. But because I am bi and also obviously sexually open-minded, people assume that I’m either poly or available for threesomes. And it gets FUCKING OLD.

    I’d add bisexuality to the list Donna started of things that get fetishized that, like one’s race, are aspects of one’s personhood and not simply elements of costume (like latex or red hair, I suppose).

    I think “race play” or “racialized sex” or wev is highly analogous to roleplaying rape/”consensual nonconsent” etc — both are high exaggerations of pernicious bigotry (racism and misogyny respectively) which people have fetishized. People fetishize the dangerous, the forbidden, the morally heinous, the loathsome, the shameful. Some stuff doesn’t have “political” content in the same way — a scat fetish is disgusting (sorry, scat fetishists), but it’s apolitical. Fetishizing rape or race, however, is inherently political, and that’s where it gets tricky.

    I don’t think you can get rid of a fetish, frankly, if it’s really a fetish and not just a “gotta catch ‘em all” attitude toward fucking “ethnic” women or, “I watched some rape hentai and it was hot, maybe my girlfriend will let me roleplay that with her.” Let’s please distinguish.

    Okay, we’ve distinguished. So, I’ve had rape fantasies since I had sex fantasies, and I’ve explored said fantasies a bit. And IMHO the shit it unleashes is so potent and dangerous that I think I will keep my messed up “ravished by Julius Caesar” fantasies as fantasies, and try to keep my kink fun and light-hearted and honest. Particularly since I was actually sexually assaulted, trying to figure out what is an actual sexual desire native to me even prior to being assaulted, and what is me trying to re-enact and somehow take control of a traumatic part of my life is difficult. And it’s not worth it. No matter how hot IN THEORY rape roleplay might be, it’s fucking dangerous — not just in a physical sense, but primarily in an emotional sense. The feelings that kind of stuff unleashes are scary, scary, scary.

    So my advice out there to all of the well-meaning, sincere, “I have purged all racism from my heart” race fetishizers out there is, keep it in your head. Wank it into old socks. Don’t try to do it for real. It will not be as good or hot as it was in your head, and it is dangerous, not only for you but ESPECIALLY for the person who is being fetishized as a race object (or a rape object).

  145. Matt
    Matt July 10, 2012 at 3:42 am |

    When you say racial fetish, you mean the privileged person right? Would you argue that say, The Perverted Negress, or other poc kinsters are racist for participating in race play?

    Again a lot of people would say they haven’t met anyone who is a sadist who hasn’t betrayed their general sadism in other aspects of their life. How is your personal experience indicative of all people?

    Most fetishes for blondes or redheads are based on a belief about how that set of people behaves in various aspects of their life. Similarly for fetishes about tattoos or being really muscled.

    About defenders of fetishes, I haven’t really been defending racial fetishes, just asking why they are so much farther beyond acceptable that other problematic fetishes, but do you think I am racist for not believing that racial fetishes are in a league of their own compared to other kinds?

    I feel that certain other posters who admitted to defending racial fetishes were racist, although I think that one or two aren’t.

  146. Li
    Li July 10, 2012 at 4:16 am |

    Racism isn’t essential. It isn’t something you are or are not.

    There’s not much point my discussing things with you if you aren’t going to read what I say.

  147. Li
    Li July 10, 2012 at 4:19 am |

    And for the record, PoC get to make their own minds up about participating in race play. It simply isn’t my place to make that call.

  148. Matt
    Matt July 10, 2012 at 5:32 am |

    Well you said that people who are into, or even just defend, race play, betray broader racism. This implies that people who don’t do this betray less racism in their activities.

    So if you really insist on that terminology when you know perfectly well what I mean, do you think my posts display broader racism?

    This is another interesting feminist characteristic that I have noticed. A person who insists on specific language is attacked by feminists as setting a trap, but they when they do it and you assume the same rules apply to vagueness, its because you can’t read.

    I suppose your defense is that feminists aren’t a monolith?

    Still I am happy to play along. Using the exact terminology that you used regarding people who aren’t instantly opposed to race play in both a real and hypothetical sense, or just people who don’t recognize the distinction between sadism play and race play, do you feel that I am betraying my broader racist tendencies?

    Also as regards pocs involved in race play, you specifically said that you have never met someone who managed to combine racial fetishism and a commitment to anti racism. You didn’t specify if poc can do that. Given your current desire to be very specific, do you or do you not believe that a poc can successfully combine an interest in race play, and a commitment to anti racism?

    Quite a few such people have said that they are treated as race traitors for this activity, so certainly some other poc don’t think they can do so.

  149. tmc
    tmc July 10, 2012 at 6:22 am |

    Given your current desire to be very specific, do you or do you not believe that a poc can successfully combine an interest in race play, and a commitment to anti racism?

    Why the fuck are you talking about POC like we’re not even in the fucking room? Fuck off.

    I’m black and kinky. My husband is black and kinky. You know what I don’t like? Playing or fucking someone who then makes some comment about my “black girl ass.” You know what my husband doesn’t like? Getting private messages from people looking for “big black cock” even though he explicitly says on his profile that he hates that shit and will not fucking touch you if you come at him with that bullshit.

    I did a scene a few months ago that unexpectedly ventured into racial edgeplay. It was so very difficult for both me and the white woman who topped me, but it was also very, very good in the sense that it let me release a lot of tension about the microaggressions that I have to fucking swallow every day. We did a lot of talking about it afterward and it was very, very hard on the woman I played with to play the role that she did.

    I don’t seek out raceplay at all, and I don’t have any particular desire to feel the way that I did during that scene again. But I can understand why POC might seek it out.

    But see, she didn’t and doesn’t fetishize my race. We played with race, for sure, but it’s not like that’s the only reason we partnered in the first place. She actually is fairly open about her white privilege, inside as well as outside of kinky settings, and is dedicated to not being a racist chucklefuck (and I wish I could say the same for some posters on this thread).

  150. tmc
    tmc July 10, 2012 at 6:42 am |

    You didn’t specify if poc can do that.

    She specified that as a white person, it’s not her place. Which is damned accurate.

  151. Jade
    Jade July 10, 2012 at 7:23 am |

    I get the biggest kick out of the topic of my personal race/ethnicity. My race/ethnicity are what one might call ambiguous. I’m mixed race, but I don’t even know what my bio father’s race is. I only know that my mother has a very light skin tone and I naturally look like I have a light to medium tan without tanning. The many guesses I’ve heard over the years have kept me in stitches and I love to play with people who ask because the truth is that it’s none of their business.

  152. cherrybomb
    cherrybomb July 10, 2012 at 8:10 am |

    I love to play with people who ask because the truth is that it’s none of their business

    When people ask me (often in from of my son, like he’s not there) “what is he?” I usually smile sweetly and reply “a first grader.”
    Most people seem to realize how inappropriate the question is and don’t try to pursue it beyond that, and it’s hilarious to see that confused look they get when they think I don’t know what they’re asking.

  153. unacomplished
    unacomplished July 10, 2012 at 8:11 am |

    And for the record, PoC get to make their own minds up about participating in race play. It simply isn’t my place to make that call.

    isn’t that true of… anybody?!

  154. ArielNYC
    ArielNYC July 10, 2012 at 8:36 am |

    You should be adult enough to lay it out front the get go. That’s what prompted you to approach them in the first place, and if there’s nothing wrong with it, then why wait until they’ve wasted time and energy in dating you?

    Because not all people who like s&m or any other kinky sex or just plain vanilla sex only look for one night stands? Because some stuff you can only bring up with someone you trust and are close to? Because in addition to being a kinkster you have feelings? Because bringing up kinks unprompted on first introduction in a neutral venue is not socially acceptable?

    As to the point about visual interest, if my desire to engage sexually with as many physically diverse people as possible, be it race, color, ethnicity, etc , somehow offends you, because how dare I appreciate varied beauty for its own sake, then you might as well ask yourself what the fuck is wrong with your own head.

  155. tmc
    tmc July 10, 2012 at 9:09 am |

    This shit about experiencing the “rainbow of humanity” is so fucking gross. I’m not a goddamn Pokemon for anyone to collect for their spank bank.

  156. Angel H.
    Angel H. July 10, 2012 at 9:10 am |

    Because in addition to being a kinkster you have feelings?

    But fuck the feelings of the one you’re fetishizing, right?

    As to the point about visual interest, if my desire to engage sexually with as many physically diverse people as possible, be it race, color, ethnicity, etc , somehow offends you, because how dare I appreciate varied beauty for its own sake, then you might as well ask yourself what the fuck is wrong with your own head.

    Yeah, pheeno! We should be fucking *grateful* that white people even look at us, let alone find us attractive! What’s wrong with you?

  157. Angel H.
    Angel H. July 10, 2012 at 9:11 am |

    I’m not a goddamn Pokemon for anyone to collect for their spank bank.

    I don’t know whick part of this sentence I love more – “POC Pokemon” or “spank bank”! :-D

  158. Angel H.
    Angel H. July 10, 2012 at 9:16 am |

    I love to play with people who ask because the truth is that it’s none of their business

    Apparently, I have an usual accent due to being raised in a military family that had to move around so much. When my hair is relaxed or I have it wrapped, people always make guesses as to my race.

    When I was in fifth grade, my parents came to school for some sort of program or PTO meeting or whatever. I turned to my classmates and said, “See? I told you I was Black!”

  159. ArielNYC
    ArielNYC July 10, 2012 at 9:19 am |

    @Angel H.

    Yeah, pheeno! We should be fucking *grateful* that white people even look at us, let alone find us attractive! What’s wrong with you?

    Wow good catch. By actively seeking out partners outside my own race and community, I’m asking for adulation, gratitude, and a Nobel peace prize to boot. Excellent. Truly well argued.

  160. Angel H.
    Angel H. July 10, 2012 at 9:26 am |

    Wow good catch. By actively seeking out partners outside my own race and community, I’m asking for adulation, gratitude, and a Nobel peace prize to boot. Excellent. Truly well argued.

    How else is should one feel when you say that your goal is to “sexually with as many physically diverse people as possible, be it race, color, ethnicity, etc” and when you tell one of those “physically diverse” people that something is “wrong with [her] own head” for being offended by that?

    I don’t think they make cookies that big.

  161. Kathy
    Kathy July 10, 2012 at 9:29 am |

    With that caveat, it is interesting how some places, and among some people, old habits die hard, even in 2012. My boyfriend is white

    Anglo-Saxon Protestant, and his 92 year old grandmother only found out this past Christmas my Italian last name. At the Christmas dinner, she proceded to ask if I spoke Italian (I don’t, beyond curse words and “manga manga”), if I make my own spaghetti sauce (I open a jar like 90% of Americans), and that when we go to Christmas church service it will be done “differently from YOUR church” (I have been to Catholic mass about 5 times in my life). Although she was polite and inquisitive, she very clearly had an “off the boat” mentality when talking about my ethnic ancestry, even though I’m the 4th generation of my family to live in America (3rd actually born here).

    I’ve had similar experiences being a hyphen-American, while still falling under the umbrella of white. My dad’s parents were from Italy, but my mom’s family (or at least her mother’s — the one I grew up with) were “Mayflower,” or pretty damn close, Americans. (I live in the not-so diverse Midwest, by the way.) I got a lot of jokes from my mom’s extended family about my dad’s crushing grapes with their feet (my grandpa did make his own wine, but he had a press), and thinly veiled contempt about those “eye-talians.” I’ve never known really how to parse that, or where my experience fits on the spectrum since I still have all the privileges that come with being seen as a white person in society.

    (I actually do make my own pasta sauce, but I taught myself from cookbooks and years of trial-and-error.)

  162. Kathy
    Kathy July 10, 2012 at 9:30 am |

    Ugh. Blockquote fail.

  163. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll July 10, 2012 at 10:01 am |

    As to the point about visual interest, if my desire to engage sexually with as many physically diverse people as possible, be it race, color, ethnicity, etc , somehow offends you, because how dare I appreciate varied beauty for its own sake, then you might as well ask yourself what the fuck is wrong with your own head.

    What’s wrong with my own head is this weird little thing I have about wanting to be a person, not some symbol of beauty that someone gets off to.

    What happens after you ask and discover the person just experienced that as racism? Is it just an oopsie, sorry you just experienced racism!

    You appreciate beauty for it’s own sake, but that’s not appreciating people.

  164. ArielNYC
    ArielNYC July 10, 2012 at 10:12 am |

    @Angel

    “Because in addition to being a kinkster you have feelings?”
    But fuck the feelings of the one you’re fetishizing, right?

    I don’t do race fetish/essentialism/role playing and I don’t condone deceiving people or fucking with their feelings. But to your point, are you saying that not introducing yourself as Kinky McKinkster to a total stranger you just met at a random bar makes you deceitful? That people with weird kinks must not have feelings or not respect the feelings of others? I’d imagine that bringing up a potentially offensive kink with somebody you met like 5 seconds ago is an excellent way to upset them.

  165. Andie
    Andie July 10, 2012 at 10:20 am |

    I know that someone said its inappropriate to ask about race play because it makes someone feel unsafe, but that same issue applies to BDSM too!

    Here’s a major difference.. I might understand that in BDSM, a good deal of the negotiations may take place outside the bedroom or whathaveyou, in a context where the sub would be safe to say no, as they are not right there in the moment and if they are not interested, or indeed, not at all interested in subbing they are free to walk away and are NOT in any immediate danger.

    Asking someone, for example, to play act as any given racial stereotype, is going to be shitty regardless of the context of where the idea is proposed.. whether it’s right there in the bedroom, or in a coffee shop somewhere over some java and a scone.

  166. ArielNYC
    ArielNYC July 10, 2012 at 10:33 am |

    @pheenobarbidoll

    You appreciate beauty for it’s own sake, but that’s not appreciating people.

    I get the point you make. Is casual sex by itself dehumanizing?

  167. Angel H.
    Angel H. July 10, 2012 at 10:37 am |

    But to your point, are you saying that not introducing yourself as Kinky McKinkster to a total stranger you just met at a random bar makes you deceitful?

    Having a race fetish is not the same thing as having a kink. tmc already explained this earlier:

    I’m black and kinky. My husband is black and kinky. You know what I don’t like? Playing or fucking someone who then makes some comment about my “black girl ass.” You know what my husband doesn’t like? Getting private messages from people looking for “big black cock” even though he explicitly says on his profile that he hates that shit and will not fucking touch you if you come at him with that bullshit.

    There’s a difference between saying “I’d really appreciate it if we could do things this way” and saying “I’d really appreciate it if you’d perform this racist stereotype.”

    Also, here’s something else that you, Matt, and Tony don’t seem to realize: This shit does not exist solely in the bedroom for us. You seem to think that as long as it’s behind closed doors, then it’s perfectly fine. But once we POC leave that room, we still have to deal with that shit on the regular. There are no safewords, no “I love you”s, no “It’s just a game” for us. It’s LIFE. There are people perpetuating those stereotypes who WANT US DEAD. And you really think that it’s *our problem* that we find this offensive? Really?

  168. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll July 10, 2012 at 10:39 am |

    If you’re objectifying the person and turning them into a thing/idea/symbol. Yes.

  169. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll July 10, 2012 at 10:42 am |

    I’d imagine that bringing up a potentially offensive kink with somebody you met like 5 seconds ago is an excellent way to upset them.

    So you recognize it’s potentially offensive, and grok that it’s a good way to upset someone…..but you’ll take your chances at offending them and upsetting them later as opposed to sooner. And that makes it better?

    Offend me now or in 2 weeks, I’m still offended. Timing doesn’t change that.

  170. EG
    EG July 10, 2012 at 10:47 am |

    You were dating, then he said he likes rough sex where he spits on you, smacks you on the face, and pulls your hair. You feel scared and unsafe. He violated you by putting his kink on the table. You can’t go back to the way things were. Therefore, nobody should ever propose rough sex to anybody who is more physically vulnerable.

    Can I just say, that if I were dating somebody who had given me no indication that he was into S&M, to whom I had given no indication that I was into it, and then one day out of the blue, he said “I want to spit on you, smack you across the face, and pull your hair during sex” damn straight I would feel scared and unsafe and wouldn’t be able to go back to the way things are. Nobody who is so socially inept as to think that just whipping that out with not preamble or signal or exploratory lead-in should ever propose rough sex to somebody more physically vulnerable.

  171. With Love
    With Love July 10, 2012 at 10:48 am |

    my desire to engage sexually with as many physically diverse people as possible, be it race, color, ethnicity, etc

    Race, color, and ethnicity?

    You keep talking about “the full spectrum of the rainbow of humanity,” so I keep trying to give you the benefit of the doubt. Like, maybe you mean people of different sizes and shapes, people with different kinks, people from different parts of the country, people from different countries, city people, country people, fat people, bodybuilders, poor people, politicians, farmers, everyone!

    But, no. You apparently use the term “rainbow” specifically to mean color, like you want to mark all of the different shades off of a list. How could that not come across as racist?

  172. Li
    Li July 10, 2012 at 10:51 am |

    Well you said that people who are into, or even just defend, race play, betray broader racism. This implies that people who don’t do this betray less racism in their activities.

    So if you really insist on that terminology when you know perfectly well what I mean, do you think my posts display broader racism?

    Not to go the whole “let’s actually pay attention to what I said” route again, but can anyone spot the difference between how you misrepresent what I said above and the following?

    Even if hypothetically I were to accept that racial fetishism doesn’t necessarily equate with a wider racist worldview, I’ve yet to meet anyone with a racial fetish, or indeed anyone just defending racial fetishes, who haven’t betrayed their broader racism when interrogated about that.

    If you noticed that I said “racial fetishism” and not “race play”, congratulations.

    And yes, Matt, I think your posts here are peppered with racefail.

    As to the point about visual interest, if my desire to engage sexually with as many physically diverse people as possible, be it race, color, ethnicity, etc , somehow offends you, because how dare I appreciate varied beauty for its own sake, then you might as well ask yourself what the fuck is wrong with your own head.

    Race, colour and ethnicity you say! You know it is possible to sleep with a bunch of different people and not be super creepy and racist about it, right? That you don’t have to turn being attracted to people from a variety of ethnic backgrounds into taste-the-fucking-rainbow?

    She specified that as a white person, it’s not her place. Which is damned accurate.

    Just for the record, my preferred pronouns are “he” or “they”.

  173. With Love
    With Love July 10, 2012 at 10:57 am |

    By actively seeking out partners outside my own race and community

    Here’s what I don’t get. You’re interested in the “full spectrum of the rainbow of humanity,” but it sounds like you’re only interested sexually. You go “outside my own…community” for your rainbow of sexual partners, but are you making any effort to broaden your community to include this rainbow in your nonsexual daily life? If you’re so interested in the rainbow of humanity that you’re “actively seeking out” sex partners, are you also “actively seeking out” friends? Because the fact that you have to go outside of your community to find this rainbow makes it sound like there’s no color variation among your regular community. Which suggests that you like to have sex with people of color, but not friendships.

  174. ArielNYC
    ArielNYC July 10, 2012 at 11:20 am |

    @Angel H.

    There are people perpetuating those stereotypes who WANT US DEAD. And you really think that it’s *our problem* that we find this offensive? Really?

    No, I find it offensive too. That said, what are you going to do? police people’s bedrooms for racist roleplaying? Criminalize some forms of consensual sex? Shame Tony hard enough to give up his sexual fetish?

  175. ArielNYC
    ArielNYC July 10, 2012 at 11:29 am |

    @EG

    Nobody who is so socially inept as to think that just whipping that out with not preamble or signal or exploratory lead-in should ever propose rough sex to somebody more physically vulnerable

    .

    And I totally agree. But if there’s a right way to cajole someone to getting smacked in the face, then it’s not inconcievable there’s a right way to suss out whether somebody is into racist roleplaying or any other fucked up fantasy in the bedroom. An no, I’m not into face smacking or racist roleplaying or fucked up fantasies in general.

  176. Angel H.
    Angel H. July 10, 2012 at 11:31 am |

    That said, what are you going to do? police people’s bedrooms for racist roleplaying? Criminalize some forms of consensual sex? Shame Tony hard enough to give up his sexual fetish?

    What are we going to do about misogynists? Force them all to read “The Feminine Mystique”? What are we going to do about racists? Foster them out to a POC family? I don’t know. You tell me. You tell me what the point of social justice is when you’re just going to give up and say “Fuck it. X-ists are going to be x-ist, so why does it matter.”

  177. Mxe354
    Mxe354 July 10, 2012 at 11:47 am |

    That said, what are you going to do? police people’s bedrooms for racist roleplaying? Criminalize some forms of consensual sex? Shame Tony hard enough to give up his sexual fetish?

    If you think that criminalization and shaming are the only possibly social justice tactics, then I feel sorry for you.

  178. umami
    umami July 10, 2012 at 11:51 am |

    But if there’s a right way to cajole someone to getting smacked in the face,

    I’d love to give the benefit of the doubt that this choice of verb is just a language error, rather than an unpleasant self-revelation.

    But based on the comments so far, I can’t. Ugh.

    Because it apparently needs saying: there is no right way to cajole someone into getting smacked in the face.

  179. Saorsie Kenney
    Saorsie Kenney July 10, 2012 at 12:01 pm |

    As a diagnosed crazy person, as far as I’m concerned, you can go right on using “crazy.”

    Seriously, people, shouldn’t the point be NOT using words like “crazy” to describe mental illness and ONLY using them to describe actions that are….well… crazy?

    Jesus.

    As a legally crazy person (according to the Federal Gov’t) I have to say I agree with you.

  180. tmc
    tmc July 10, 2012 at 12:02 pm |

    Just for the record, my preferred pronouns are “he” or “they”.

    I’m very sorry, I should not have assumed.

  181. tmc
    tmc July 10, 2012 at 12:09 pm |

    Here’s what I don’t get. You’re interested in the “full spectrum of the rainbow of humanity,” but it sounds like you’re only interested sexually. You go “outside my own…community” for your rainbow of sexual partners, but are you making any effort to broaden your community to include this rainbow in your nonsexual daily life? If you’re so interested in the rainbow of humanity that you’re “actively seeking out” sex partners, are you also “actively seeking out” friends? Because the fact that you have to go outside of your community to find this rainbow makes it sound like there’s no color variation among your regular community. Which suggests that you like to have sex with people of color, but not friendships.

    Yeah, that did not escape my notice either, and I completely agree with your assessment here.

  182. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune July 10, 2012 at 12:09 pm |

    That people with weird kinks must not have feelings or not respect the feelings of others? I’d imagine that bringing up a potentially offensive kink with somebody you met like 5 seconds ago is an excellent way to upset them.

    Uh, here’s the thing. Racism is not a fucking kink. Racism is not a fucking kink. Racism is not a fucking kink. Racism is oppressive and dehumanising and victimising. Racism is sick and unnatural and insidious poison. What else is racism? Treat POC like some sort of fucking checklist you get to tick off as you work your way down our “full rainbow spectrum” of bits. Treat POC like they’re invisible in this thread and whitewash the many, many POC who are talking directly to you. Make this about casual sex, kink or whatthefuckever when what it is is ABOUT RACISM YOU FUCKNUT.

    Disingenuous dipshits like you are exactly why I fucking freak out every time I hook up with a white guy as a third. Exactly why my wife winnows first messagers without letting me see and has let eight people in just the last four months go with a “fuck you” because they sprang racist bullshit about me. Fuck you. Seriously just fuck you.

  183. tmc
    tmc July 10, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
    the sight of brown skin against white skin isn’t all that interesting unless you don’t have any friends who are people of color.

    Sure, if you rub naked with your racially diverse friends all the time, this image will be pretty trite.

    And this bugged me as well. I hug my friends, I shake the hands of people I just met, etc. If seeking out POCs for the explicit purpose of rubbing against them sexually is the only time that you ever come into contact with POCs…well, that says a lot about you (i.e., that you are a racist white person who is also more than a little creepy).

  184. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune July 10, 2012 at 12:20 pm |

    As to the point about visual interest, if my desire to engage sexually with as many physically diverse people as possible, be it race, color, ethnicity, etc , somehow offends you, because how dare I appreciate varied beauty for its own sake, then you might as well ask yourself what the fuck is wrong with your own head.

    You’re coming in here arguing that we should all be so very happy to be racialised and turned into some goddamn rainbow of humanity that you’re “experiencing”, you colonising dipshit, and then claiming something’s wrong with OUR heads?

  185. ArielNYC
    ArielNYC July 10, 2012 at 12:22 pm |

    @Mxe354

    If you think that criminalization and shaming are the only possibly social justice tactics, then I feel sorry for you.

    If you’ve discovered a way to cure people of offensive kinks, I hope you share them with Tony.

  186. tmc
    tmc July 10, 2012 at 12:23 pm |

    Uh, here’s the thing. Racism is not a fucking kink. Racism is not a fucking kink. Racism is not a fucking kink. Racism is oppressive and dehumanising and victimising. Racism is sick and unnatural and insidious poison. What else is racism? Treat POC like some sort of fucking checklist you get to tick off as you work your way down our “full rainbow spectrum” of bits. Treat POC like they’re invisible in this thread and whitewash the many, many POC who are talking directly to you. Make this about casual sex, kink or whatthefuckever when what it is is ABOUT RACISM YOU FUCKNUT.

    Um, WORD.

    Disingenuous dipshits like you are exactly why I fucking freak out every time I hook up with a white guy as a third.

    Yeah, I’ve been burned waaaay too many times with white partners. These days I mostly stick to POCs, and only play/fuck white people if they have sufficiently demonstrated their committment to not being racist fucksticks.

  187. ArielNYC
    ArielNYC July 10, 2012 at 12:25 pm |

    @macavitykitsune

    You’re coming in here arguing that we should all be so very happy to be racialised

    Where did I say that?

  188. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune July 10, 2012 at 12:30 pm |

    I dunno, is flagellating someone with a whip a pernicious behavior? Does condoning this behavior as part of consensual S&M a way to condone violence against unconsenting individuals? Does some fucked up but consensual racist role-playing behind closed doors equate to condoning racism against unconsenting individuals?

    Okay, oh the tidal wave of bullshit. First off: if you find yourself a PoC who wants to engage in raceplay, that’s their beeswax and you know what, go for it. Second: No, consensually whipping someone is not half as pernicious as pedophilia or racism. The fuck is the matter with you?

    But you’re not talking about any of that, are you? Because you’re personally not into raceplay. What you are is into plain old-fashioned vanilla exoticising. And that is racist. So don’t fucking conflate consensual BDSM with you spewing your racist figurative-jizz all over the internet in the face of people trying to point out that your attitudes are wrong, and then accusing people randomly of being insane or sex-negative or poopyheads or whatever because they had the temerity to disagree with your assfluence. Okay? tmc, pheeno, Li and Angel have all been explaining pretty damn well enough that you should have the point by now, even if you don’t want to listen to me.

    And somehow “don’t worry, sweetie, the racist stuff will just stay in MY head, okay?” doesn’t reassure me as a tactic. Just saying.

  189. tmc
    tmc July 10, 2012 at 12:30 pm |

    Could you stop being a creepy white person for like two minutes and actually LISTEN to what the POCs here are telling you?

  190. With Love
    With Love July 10, 2012 at 12:34 pm |

    I hug my friends, I shake the hands of people I just met, etc.

    Exactly!

  191. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune July 10, 2012 at 12:36 pm |

    @Ariel,

    exploring similarities and differences with as many diverse people as possible while keeping an open, unprejudiced mind is very rewarding.

    Right there.

    But oh, maybe you mean we don’t even have to be happy about being racialised, we just have to shut up and deal with it, then? The rewards aren’t for us? Only for the white person whose horizons we’ve broadened, clearly.

    …and now I feel offended on behalf of my white wife. Awesome.

  192. ArielNYC
    ArielNYC July 10, 2012 at 12:37 pm |

    @tmc

    I hug my friends, I shake the hands of people I just met, etc

    I hug my friends as well. What does that have to do with sex? There’s this weird sexual policing on this thread along the lines of “why are you turned on by sex with somone who looks nothing like you or anyone you’ve been with before? Why this visual enjoyment? Don’t you hug people from other races, it’s just the same!” Really don’t know what to say to that. I guess we’re talking past each other and we each bring our own sexual psyches and baggage.

  193. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll July 10, 2012 at 12:37 pm |

    But if there’s a right way to cajole someone to getting smacked in the face

    There is never, ever a right way to cajole someone into doing something sexually.

    Fucking. Ever.

    Period.

    Ask? Sure. After NO is spoken you shut the fuck up about it.

  194. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll July 10, 2012 at 12:43 pm |

    If you’ve discovered a way to cure people of offensive kinks, I hope you share them with Tony.

    I don’t give 2 shits about curing Tony. I care about his victims and preventing then from experiencing his racism.

    And you do that by insisting people like Tony lay their racism right out in the open, right up front.

    And I don’t really care if that means Tony or you get the fire slapped out of you or care if that means you never get laid again. Racism is YOUR problem and you should be the only one suffering the consequences.

  195. tmc
    tmc July 10, 2012 at 12:45 pm |

    We’re not talking past each other. In fact, this is the first time you’ve even addressed me. You’ve ignored everything that I’ve said to you entirely up till now, and it’s just to say some bullshit about how we’re misunderstanding each other?

    Fuck off. No, seriously. Just fuck off.

    Me not taking your racist shit =/= “baggage.”

  196. Suzanne F.
    Suzanne F. July 10, 2012 at 12:50 pm |

    Uh, here’s the thing. Racism is not a fucking kink. Racism is not a fucking kink. Racism is not a fucking kink. Racism is oppressive and dehumanising and victimising. Racism is sick and unnatural and insidious poison. What else is racism? Treat POC like some sort of fucking checklist you get to tick off as you work your way down our “full rainbow spectrum” of bits. Treat POC like they’re invisible in this thread and whitewash the many, many POC who are talking directly to you. Make this about casual sex, kink or whatthefuckever when what it is is ABOUT RACISM YOU FUCKNUT.

    DOUBLE WORD.
    I don’t know why this is so hard to understand. I really don’t.
    *headdesk*

    [macavitykitsune, you are my new hero]

  197. ArielNYC
    ArielNYC July 10, 2012 at 12:53 pm |

    @macavitykitsune

    @Ariel,
    exploring similarities and differences with as many diverse people as possible while keeping an open, unprejudiced mind is very rewarding.
    Right there.

    But oh, maybe you mean we don’t even have to be happy about being racialised, we just have to shut up and deal with it, then?

    Yes, I racialize people by trying to keep an “open, unprejudiced mind”. You also forgot to quote “There’s also the curiosity of how people from different cultures and subcultures approach sexuality.” Do you take offense with that as well? If my approach is wrong, and there’s a right way to sexually explore every culture and people on this Earth, white, black, green ,purple and beyond, do tell.

  198. tmc
    tmc July 10, 2012 at 12:54 pm |

    Being ignored by racist white people while they address almost everyone else is a fucking pet peeve of mine. Having that same racist fuckjewel dismiss everything I’ve said as “talking past each other” because of “baggage” after ignoring me for the entire thread just tops the fucking cake.

  199. IrishUp
    IrishUp July 10, 2012 at 12:56 pm |

    Cosign pheeno! Equal partners navigate, explore, negotiate. Cajoling is coercive. Coercion is antithetical to equality.

    ArielNYC, the baggage doesn’t belong to the POC objecting to the bullshit. They’re not bringing it – they have it thrust upon them every where they go. Your refusal to see that your behaviors or Great Rainbow Thought Experiment (if in fact it is not your behavior, which is it anyway?) is pushing more racist baggage into all of our hands.

    To riff off mac @184, context fucking matters, context fucking matters, context fucking matters. You can’t float “visual enjoyment” arguments and claim that’s not objectification, or pretend it’s not dehumanizing. You can’t put that asshattery out there without being seen as an anal milliner.

    Well, I guess *you* can. Which gets back to my point above about actively maintaining ignorance.

  200. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune July 10, 2012 at 1:03 pm |

    There’s this weird sexual policing on this thread along the lines of “why are you turned on by sex with somone who looks nothing like you or anyone you’ve been with before?

    No, it’s “why do you assume that sex with someone who looks different is “new and exciting” and think that race=culture?” Jesus, you don’t…you genuinely don’t get it, do you? Race is not culture! Or even subculture! If you’re equating cultural attitudes towards sex with racial attitudes towards sex and wrapping it all in “but fucking around diversely is just so rewarding and new and exciting!” you are being a racist. Period.

    And yeah. Lay that shit out on the first date. If you’re lucky, you’ll find someone who’s either into raceplay or if they’re unlucky, you’ll someone self-loathing enough that they’ll take it for real. Anything else is fucking betrayal. But, you know, what do you care? It’s just so…rewarding for you.

  201. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune July 10, 2012 at 1:09 pm |

    Yes, I racialize people by trying to keep an “open, unprejudiced mind”.

    You’re racialising people right now, so clearly you’re failing.

    You also forgot to quote “There’s also the curiosity of how people from different cultures and subcultures approach sexuality.”

    Except I asked you like three times if you thought race=culture and you clearly referred to skin colour each time, not culture. I can experience, like, sixty different cultural approaches to sexuality with just bi German women. I don’t need some “rainbow spectrum”.

    Do you take offense with that as well? If my approach is wrong, and there’s a right way to sexually explore every culture and people on this Earth, white, black, green ,purple and beyond, do tell.

    Lol….to quote Matt Bors, “You know an issue is entirely about race when white people start trotting out purple people for their thought experiments. ”

    In answer to your question, have you tried not being a racist? It works for, like, every non-racist in an interracial relationship…

  202. IrishUp
    IrishUp July 10, 2012 at 1:14 pm |

    And I also want to push back on the bogus “can’t be cured of kink” shit.

    You full well *can* change your behavior AND your thoughts and feelings. You can bloody well change relationship to your thoughts and feelings. There are whole fields of successful, empirically validated therapies that involve changing these dynamics (ACT, CBT, DBT &etc). If you’re running some asshat behaviors which result in treating other people badly, that you can’t control, there is shit you can do if you want to.

    Anecdata; I had some kinks as a younger person. Then I started really getting into feminist thought. Which lead to interrogating my thoughts and feelings, including my sexuality. Lo and behold, some of the kinks that sat on misogyny stopped being arousing or attractive. And I wasn’t even trying. Introspection, it’s a thing yo.

  203. Chataya
    Chataya July 10, 2012 at 1:15 pm |

    Yes, I racialize people by trying to keep an “open, unprejudiced mind”. You also forgot to quote “There’s also the curiosity of how people from different cultures and subcultures approach sexuality.” Do you take offense with that as well? If my approach is wrong, and there’s a right way to sexually explore every culture and people on this Earth, white, black, green ,purple and beyond, do tell.

    This is some of the creepiest shit I have ever read on this site. You obviously don’t realize how incredibly objectifying this sounds.

    There is no such thing as green and purple people. There are real people who have experienced some of the worst of humanity because of the color of their skin. And you talk about them as if they are just some exotic food you haven’t tried yet.

    Congratulations, you have made me feel really fucking glad to be asexual for the first time.

  204. fifthpevensie
    fifthpevensie July 10, 2012 at 1:16 pm |

    Uh, here’s the thing. Racism is not a fucking kink. Racism is not a fucking kink. Racism is not a fucking kink. Racism is oppressive and dehumanising and victimising. Racism is sick and unnatural and insidious poison. What else is racism? Treat POC like some sort of fucking checklist you get to tick off as you work your way down our “full rainbow spectrum” of bits. Treat POC like they’re invisible in this thread and whitewash the many, many POC who are talking directly to you. Make this about casual sex, kink or whatthefuckever when what it is is ABOUT RACISM YOU FUCKNUT.

    also want to add my resounding “HELL YES” to this.
    I think this thread is one of the grossest I’ve ever read on Feministe. I mean, I thought that we were all pretty unanimous that racial fetishizing is a shitty thing and PEOPLE SHOULDN’T DO IT, but now it’s “shaming” if we tell someone that their ignorant/offensive ideas of how people of different races act is RACIST and not okay, no matter how aroused they are?
    pheenobarbiedoll, tmc, macavitykitsune (and others I might have missed), I am really sorry you have to put up with this, it’s so not okay.

  205. Tony
    Tony July 10, 2012 at 1:21 pm |

    If you’ve discovered a way to cure people of offensive kinks, I hope you share them with Tony.

    I don’t actually *have* this kink. Esti brought it up @ 84 and we ran with it, but it was always part of a hypothetical discussion. I’m sorry if that wasn’t made clear. Actually I have very low sex drive and consider myself asexual or demisexual. I have done erotic role play once, but it wasn’t even remotely sexual.

    With that said, other than Matt I haven’t seen anyone here actually cite *real* examples of racial fetishes or role play that could be deemed “okay” and non-offensive. Ariel, your approach isn’t an example of a non-offensive racial fetish because the problem with using race or ethnicity as a proxy for cultural diversity or any kind of diversity has already been pointed out lots of ways in this thread: race or ethnicity isn’t a proxy for culture. Even at a physical level, it’s only a very small aspect of physical diversity.

    On the other hand, the thread is littered with POC and non POC bringing up examples of racial fetishes or other personal fetishes that are offensive, come off as dehumanizing, or tiring, including Anna’s example in her OP. My first post in here was also about thinking through why racial fetish in practice is generally wrong by trying to come up with an example where it might be “okay.” I thought it might be “okay” if it was owned, identified, and compartmentalized, but several posters brought up that it could still be problematic and hurtful. Neither coming clean about your fetish early, nor coming clean late, nor never coming at all, can guarantee that you aren’t hurting the person that you’re with. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible to live with a racial fetish, only that there isn’t a guaranteed way that you can ensure that it doesn’t hurt someone else. At the end of the day, the privileged person doesn’t get to decide if what they’re doing is hurtful or not. The recipient– the POC involved, do. Continuing to try and argue the point here when POC and others in a similar situations (like bisexuals) have said that it bothers them means you’re not listening.

    Saying something is problematic doesn’t meant that something should be criminalized or that you have to be ‘cured’ of it– it is just admitting that it’s problematic, and shitty.

    But the main issue is that 99.9% of racial fetishization *isn’t* the hypothetical ideal that we might be able to think of as being “okay” or non-hurtful. It isn’t usually someone with an incurable sexual preference, usually it’s just straight up racism, expressed sometimes in a sexual context. Most of it happens without even a second thought– like the “is it true what they say about Latinas?” OK Cupid message. I dont think that guy had a fetish– he was just buying into a racist stereotypes and trying to flip that into a sucky pick-up line. That’s the problem.

    We’re getting distracted debating some miniscule potentiality over the vast majority of obviously problematic racial fetishization out there.

  206. cherrybomb
    cherrybomb July 10, 2012 at 1:22 pm |

    In answer to your question, have you tried not being a racist? It works for, like, every non-racist in an interracial relationship…

    I don’t think Ariel thinks it’s possible to have sex with someone else without the sex being about her partner’s ethnicity. Apparently sex with another person isn’t as sexy as sex with a stereotype.
    “I don’t like you… I just like my idea of you and what you represent to me. Now let’s get nekkid!”

  207. fifthpevensie
    fifthpevensie July 10, 2012 at 1:25 pm |

    also, I’m trying to (but not too hard because I’m already feeling stabby) picture what dating someone like Tony would be like…

    Tony: honey, tonight in bed, can you act like an Asian woman? I think that would be awesome.

    me: … um… I’m not sure what you mean…

    Tony: you know, an Asian woman!

    me: like… J (Filipino, archaeologist)? you want me to be an archaeologist who likes wearing formal shorts?

    Tony: you know what I mean! Asian!

    me: okay… well M’s half Japanese and she’s a really good rower… also she does show jumping! I am bad at horses, but we could get a canoe I guess…

    Tony: no, just be an Asian woman! it’ll be really hot!

    me: I used to take ballet with this girl who was Chinese-Canadian, she made her own clothes and they were amazing, I always thought she was really cool! She was the best dancer in our class, too. I think she dances in Toronto now!

    etc.

  208. shfree
    shfree July 10, 2012 at 1:26 pm |

    Okay, here’s the thing regarding sexual preconceptions regarding race. Yes, many of us white folks have them, and they SHOULD be examined, but not in terms of “woo, let’s explore our desires!” but in terms of “why the hell do I have these preconceived ideas, this is fucked up, and how can I work to get past this bullshit?” Just like any other expression of racism. When we have preconceived notions that all African Americans live in poor neighborhoods and listen to hip hop, don’t we try to get rid of that nonsense from our minds? Why is it any different from how they supposedly are sexually? Shouldn’t we be working on getting rid of that bullshit stereotype too, instead of “exploring racial play?”

    And as a fairly promiscuous person, at least in my past, while I have been interested in gathering an assortment of people, it was because I was more interested in the relative physical yumminess of the individuals for fooling around for a night or two. Later, their generalized awesomeness as human beings are more important if a relationship is going to continue to occur on a more than physical level. I’m sure on some level race plays a role here, I’m white, so it’s inescapable, but I have never deliberately sought out a lover to fill out a checklist or expected one to meet a particular stereotype. (Although I did have one African American man ask me about his relative penis size compared to other white men I’d slept with. That was REALLY weird and uncomfortable.)

  209. AthenaH2SO4
    AthenaH2SO4 July 10, 2012 at 1:35 pm |

    In answer to your question, have you tried not being a racist? It works for, like, every non-racist in an interracial relationship…

    THIS. For whatever reason, I’ve dated several Asian guys, and frankly it was just because I was attracted to them and liked them…was their culture part of their lives and what made them the people I liked? Of course…but then, my Swedish-American cultural background is part of who I am. The only time race was ever an issue was when dipshits would make weird comments that implied that Asian men aren’t manly or have small penises (newsflash, morons, human males from any given population group have the same average penis size as human males from any other given population group) or something…and then the racial issue was between us and the stupid racists, not between the white girl and her Asian boyfriend. As for “experiencing the range of human beauty” or whatever, how about just sleeping with people you like and not assigning them to some stupid color wheel?

  210. cfc
    cfc July 10, 2012 at 1:35 pm |

    Yes, many of us white folks have them, and they SHOULD be examined, but not in terms of “woo, let’s explore our desires!” but in terms of “why the hell do I have these preconceived ideas, this is fucked up, and how can I work to get past this bullshit?”

    Yes, exactly. I don’t know why some white people think they don’t need to explore these questions and stop hiding behind the “it’s my preference”when it comes to sex, as if sex was completely separated from our social, cultural and political realities.

    (Although I did have one African American man ask me about his relative penis size compared to other white men I’d slept with. That was REALLY weird and uncomfortable.)

    this is one other way racial fetishizing hurts everyone involved. It can be really destructive to be so invested in stereotype.

  211. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan July 10, 2012 at 1:39 pm |

    Racism is oppressive and dehumanising and victimising. Racism is sick and unnatural and insidious poison.

    Yes, definitely. But okay, cards on the table I’m a white woman, and I’m still not groking how racism is different than misogyny in this case. Misogyny is also victimizing and even murderous, but I still consider “misogynist” kinks and role-play to be legit forms of sex. So am I race-failing (which is perfectly possible) or do I just personally draw a different line in the sand when it comes to how sexy pretend dehumanization can be? Because I think that some power differentials can be sexy, such as sex or gender power differentials, so why not race?

    I do think that race-play would be fraught as fuck, but I’m not seeing why it’s worse than playing with rape fantasies or age-play or whatever (none of which I’ve actually done, for the record.) If anyone still has the spoons, I’m really appreciating reading y’all’s opinions on this.

  212. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune July 10, 2012 at 1:43 pm |

    That doesn’t mean it’s impossible to live with a racial fetish, only that there isn’t a guaranteed way that you can ensure that it doesn’t hurt someone else. At the end of the day, the privileged person doesn’t get to decide if what they’re doing is hurtful or not. The recipient– the POC involved, do.

    And Tony gets it. Woot.

    Also, I don’t think I called you out by name, but I wasn’t aware your scenario was a hypothetical, which I read up the thread now and figured out it is. It’s still a rather…problematic hypothetical, but I get it now.

  213. fifthpevensie
    fifthpevensie July 10, 2012 at 1:55 pm |

    sorry, Tony, I was in mod before you posted!
    seconding macavitykitsune that it’s a problematic hypothetical though, so just read “hypothetical Tony” in place of “Tony”.

  214. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune July 10, 2012 at 2:03 pm |

    I do think that race-play would be fraught as fuck, but I’m not seeing why it’s worse than playing with rape fantasies or age-play or whatever (none of which I’ve actually done, for the record.)

    All right, let’s have a go at this. Age-play is pure fantasy in that no one in the room is actually a child (if you’re doing it non-creepily, anyway). If I were playing an age-related scene, I wouldn’t actually be domming anyone underage, I wouldn’t actually be engaging in pedophilia or ephebophilia or whatever other distinction the cool sickos are making these days. (tl;dr “No real children were harmed in the making of this sexytimes.”) I would not be drawing upon the forms, slurs or historical background with which centuries of persecution, humiliation and destruction have been unleashed on innocents. As for rape play, it’s the same: no actual people are being raped in the course of this sexytime.

    However, saying “I want to pretend I’m a Nazi and whip you” to some unsuspecting Jew kinkster would be incredibly racist, simply because there’s such a huge historical background of similar abuse. (In the same way that asking a survivor of childhood sexual abuse to engage in ageplay, or a survivor of sexual assault to engage in rape play, is over the fucking line.) As I mentioned above, though, if survivors want to engage of their own free will, because it’s cathartic for reasons related to the abuse or just plain hot outside of it, it’s no one else’s place to stop them.

    What Ariel is doing, though, is the equivalent of approaching a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and going “hey, so I see that someone raped you when you were a kid…want to pretend you’re a kid and I’ll pretend I’m raping you?” Racial fetishising isn’t even comparable to ageplay by itself: it’s comparable to engaging in ageplay specifically with survivors, only with survivors, because they’re survivors, and being uninterested in examining why your pantsfeelings focus only on pretending to rape someone who was raped for real might just be a problematic thing to do.

  215. Li
    Li July 10, 2012 at 2:21 pm |

    Yes, I racialize people by trying to keep an “open, unprejudiced mind”. You also forgot to quote “There’s also the curiosity of how people from different cultures and subcultures approach sexuality.” Do you take offense with that as well? If my approach is wrong, and there’s a right way to sexually explore every culture and people on this Earth, white, black, green ,purple and beyond, do tell.

    I just have this horrible image in my head of a someone dressed as a Sexual Explorer, complete with pith hat and safari suit.

  216. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune July 10, 2012 at 2:24 pm |

    I just have this horrible image in my head of a someone dressed as a Sexual Explorer, complete with pith hat and safari suit.

    *giggledeath*

  217. Matt
    Matt July 10, 2012 at 3:36 pm |

    I do follow why race play is problematic. I am, like Tony, talking hypothetically. But what I still don’t understand is this:

    In the case of a women being submissive, isn’t the history of misogyny historically of a similar level of horrible, I say similar to avoid arguing which is more horrible, that engaging in activities which are predicated on a stereotypical view of the way women should behave, equally as problematic?

    For instance in dom/sub with 2 heterosexuals, where the women is the submissive partner, that is an expectation that women have to deal with every day from people who believe that is how it should be. What is the distinction between fetishizing race and fetishizing gender in problematic ways?

    The descriptions of this from poc engaging in race fetishes that I found made the same arguments as BDSMers about consent and trusting the person involved. They did also state that they only did this when they were the ones who brought it up. Does that occur with subs as well? I know one of the issues in BDSM is male doms/tops assuming that a women is a sub. But one kinkster said that she refuses to do it with someone who asks even if she knows they know that she does race play. But in the case where a female sub knows that the person asking knows she is a sub, it doesn’t seem like there is the same issue and generally the standard is to just say no if you aren’t interested and no one is necessarily a sexist piece of shit in this interaction.

  218. ArielNYC
    ArielNYC July 10, 2012 at 3:46 pm |

    @macavitykitsune

    What Ariel is doing, though, is the equivalent of approaching a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and going “hey, so I see that someone raped you when you were a kid…want to pretend you’re a kid and I’ll pretend I’m raping you?”

    Mock my quixotic quest to shag every corner of earth all you want. But this? WTF. What I said was if you’re a sick fuck who can find a consenting fellow-minded sick fuck to engage in your sick fuck fantasy and leave the world alone without inflicting your sick fuckness on unconsenting people, then do whatever the fuck you want. So no, I don’t condone preying on anybody, but I do condone consent. And that includes consenting to doing fucked up shit beyond my cognition, or, for that matter, yours. Either you’re confusing me with other people or you’re just obtuse.

  219. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll July 10, 2012 at 4:29 pm |

    Either you’re confusing me with other people or you’re just obtuse.

    Guess Ariel doesn’t find your different culture thing so sexy macavitykitsune, when it means standing up for oneself instead of laying back and thinking of England.

    Gosh. Just imagine my shock.

  220. Partial Human
    Partial Human July 10, 2012 at 4:33 pm |

    mac @ 217- you’re amazing. You, pheeno, tmc and every other WOC who’s patiently dealt with idiots JAQing off, and splattering their racism all over your faces, you’re more than this place deserves.

    This whole thread is fucking gross. It should be permalinked on the front page under “Why do many WOC reject feminism?”,

  221. Alexandra
    Alexandra July 10, 2012 at 4:40 pm |

    Frankly, I don’t think there’s THAT much difference between race play and male dom/female sub het BDSM relationships. See also: why I don’t want to sub with a man any more, if ever again.

  222. ArielNYC
    ArielNYC July 10, 2012 at 5:00 pm |

    “There are real people who have experienced some of the worst of humanity because of the color of their skin. And you talk about them as if they are just some exotic food you haven’t tried yet.”

    Well, yes, sex is a pleasure, like food. Not you, but to most people, including women. And these very real women have their own desires and autonomy and right to consent or not to whatever to they want. I’m not even sure what your argument is. WOC face socio-economic iniquity, therefore white people have no right to feel attraction to them or desire to hook up with them?

  223. Alexandra
    Alexandra July 10, 2012 at 5:01 pm |

    …way to miss the point, Ariel. This is CLASSIC objectification. Of course women have a “right” to explore sexually, to be free consenting agents in the pursuit of their desires, but people have moral obligations beyond following their bliss, and one of those obligations is to not treat people as trophies or items for consumption.

  224. Matt
    Matt July 10, 2012 at 5:11 pm |

    Alexandra, since your one of the few people who said they don’t see that much difference:

    Why do you think that feminism and/or BDSM is more accepting of one than the other?

  225. IrishUp
    IrishUp July 10, 2012 at 5:13 pm |

    Brilliant, more notes from Ariel’s ladyboner.

    No one is saying you can’t be an asshole on the inside.

    We’re saying stop using your outside voice to be an asshole.

  226. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune July 10, 2012 at 5:22 pm |

    What I said was if you’re a sick fuck who can find a consenting fellow-minded sick fuck to engage in your sick fuck fantasy and leave the world alone without inflicting your sick fuckness on unconsenting people, then do whatever the fuck you want.

    Um…. people engaging in rape play or ageplay are not necessarily sick fucks. I was pointing out an equivalency of thought to Bagelsan’s question, not accusing you of anything, okay? She asked how your racialised play was more fraught than anything else, I replied. It’s not real complex. It wasn’t about you personally – how could it be? You said you weren’t kinky. But thanks for playing.

  227. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune July 10, 2012 at 5:23 pm |

    Mock my quixotic quest to shag every corner of earth all you want.

    Holy fucking ew. We’re your quixotic quest objects now?

    Um, modly ones, I think I’ve about hit my limit with this…

  228. ArielNYC
    ArielNYC July 10, 2012 at 5:37 pm |

    @macavitykitsune

    I

    it wasn’t about you personally – how could it be? You said you weren’t kinky

    Sure, you only accused me of condoning a predatory behavior and unconsenting emotional sadism. Keep on being obtuse.

  229. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll July 10, 2012 at 6:13 pm |

    Well, yes, sex is a pleasure, like food.

    BUT PEOPLE ARE NOT.

    You are equating PEOPLE to food. NOT SEX.

    Use the word obtuse one more fucking time.

  230. Lauren M
    Lauren M July 10, 2012 at 6:19 pm |

    Wow, just wow. I just had to de-lurk and say that reading all this just makes me sad. I was willing to let myself think (for a nanosecond) that what Ariel originally put up was “I like all types for sexytimes.” and happened to be totally objectifying and dehumanizing about it and didn’t realize it, but obvs that was not the case. When people are repeatedly saying to you, “what you are saying is hurtful.” It’s not very “open-minded” as Ariel had claimed to be so many times to come back with the equivalent of “so sorry you feel that way” NO that’s not how it goes. What kind of a decent person goes right along with their same actions and continues to defend them after they have been repeatedly told that they are extremely hurtful in the very least and even incredibly dangerous? Yeah, it hurts to be smacked in the face with the reality of your privilege, but when that happens, if you truly are an open-minded and loving person, the correct response is to say you are sorry. Maybe try not to do/say that hurtful thing ever again. Maybe you can take a little time for introspection…

  231. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune July 10, 2012 at 6:19 pm |

    Sure, you only accused me of condoning a predatory behavior and unconsenting emotional sadism.

    …which you clearly believe racialisation isn’t, so why are you even talking to me? Move right the fuck on.

    @Pheeno,

    POC are friends, not food!

  232. Partial Human
    Partial Human July 10, 2012 at 6:27 pm |

    Oh, WOC as objects for consumption. That’s not a tired old trope that’s been done to death or anything…

    Fuck. Me.

  233. IrishUp
    IrishUp July 10, 2012 at 6:34 pm |

    Ariel, flatly ignoring boundaries of people you’re hurting, insisting on your entitlement to others’ bodies, taunting people you’ve harmed, and equating human beings to food and colors and exotics for your consumption IS PREDATORY BEHAVIOR.

    So it’s not so much *accusing* as OBSERVING and giving it a name.

    FFS.

  234. IrishUp
    IrishUp July 10, 2012 at 6:34 pm |

    Ariel, flatly ignoring boundaries of people you’re hurting, insisting on your entitlement to others’ bodies, taunting people you’ve harmed, and equating human beings to food and colors and exotics for your consumption IS PREDATORY BEHAVIOR.

    So it’s not so much *accusing* as OBSERVING and giving it a name.

    FFS.

  235. Chataya
    Chataya July 10, 2012 at 6:56 pm |

    Well, yes, sex is a pleasure, like food.

    No, pheeno and Partial Human got the analogy right. You aren’t treating sex like food, you’re treating people like food.

  236. umami
    umami July 10, 2012 at 7:08 pm |

    Brilliant, more notes from Ariel’s ladyboner.

    Why are people assuming Ariel is female? Did I miss a comment somewhere? I have an (admittedly vague) association of the nym with “male/not feminist/”pick up artist”/disingenuous wanker” and the thread certainly seems consistent with those associations.

    Apologies if I did in fact miss something, and I’m getting Ariel confused with some other disingenuous wanker.

  237. ahmm
    ahmm July 10, 2012 at 7:18 pm |

    I feel like I’m going out of my mind. Racialicious literally devoted hundreds of thousands of words to deconstructing this issue and did it beautifully. Why not read it before you post? Same with the gentrification post. It’s like the earlier works and voices of POC don’t matter. Especially POC with less white privilege than you. Is it the conceit of youth? Or do you just not give a crap? Just rehashing your first thoughts on an issue is really not interesting or relevant. Why not do some research and come back with something useful?

    I think you better get to making those mixed race babies because you won’t be helping achieve world peace any other way.

  238. gratuitous_violet
    gratuitous_violet July 10, 2012 at 7:47 pm |

    Even though 1. it contributes exactly nothing to embiggening the discourse and 2. I’m not particularly fond of Pandagon for reasons everyone’s probably familiar with, I seem to remember a commenter there awhile back having occasion to say: “Crap, did Ariel show up to talk about his wang again?”

    I thought this thread seemed awfully familiar.

  239. Alexandra
    Alexandra July 10, 2012 at 8:47 pm |

    I don’t know why it’s so surprising to you, Matt, that there should be an intersection between BDSM and feminism. There are people who try to blend the two whom I respect, and people who I don’t, as with all things.

    Let’s keep a few things in mind — a vanilla heterosexual marriage will inevitably struggle with misogyny and the expectations of patriarchy, even when both partners are committed to an egalitarian relationship. All intimate relationships where there’s some kind of power differential will involve negotiation about privilege and about internalized bigotry on the part of the person with privilege and the person without.

    BDSM is especially tricky, because — as I mentioned upthread — while some kinks are apolitical, or nearly so (I mentioned scat, but obviously there’s milder stuff like a foot fetish or a tickling fetish), many kinks are not, and are fetishized precisely BECAUSE they are politically charged, and taboo. I remember on livejournal years ago there was a poster who had been active in anti-racism/social-justice conversations who turned out to be a major Nazi fetishist. People were appalled, and they had a right to be. But I think something that a few of the people on this thread aren’t getting – like the people talking about curing kink through CBT, lol – is that for many people, the shameful and forbidden aspect of kink is the turnon, and the more you tell them how rotten and shameful it is…

    I don’t want to do Dom/sub powerplay with a man again because I have not been able successfully to divorce the “play” from the actual sexism in my life. I have lived with abuse in my family and I have been sexually assaulted, and I just can’t do it – I can’t. Other stuff – bondage and pain – is still okay with me because it doesn’t have the same emotional content. If someone calls me a whore within a scene, I want to punch them in the fucking mouth, and that’s not hot – it just makes me angry and scared and defensive. I suppose I might do it with a woman if the right one came along, to see if the dynamics were different.

    I am sure there are people out there who have worked out ways to have race play or rape play or other exaggerated misogyny in their kink that works for both of them and that leaves both happy and emotionally sound. But the thing is, this stuff makes people really angry and scared, because it’s emotionally potent. I think some of the people requesting that those into kink disclose on a first date are being a bit unreasonable, but I DO think it’s reasonable to say that a white person with some sort of race fetish should not bring it up — should not act on it or seek it, and should accept that this is the kind of thing htat can in fact be harmful and upsetting for people to be exposed to. In much the same way, I think that people who are into BDSM need to be discreet with those in their personal lives, something most kinksters seem not to get in my experience…

  240. EG
    EG July 10, 2012 at 9:41 pm |

    “why are you turned on by sex with somone who looks nothing like you or anyone you’ve been with before?

    I realize that this is the least of the problems here, but I want to take a moment to flag how weird and racist it is to equate “person of a different race than me” with “person who looks nothing like me.”

    Seriously? There are lots of people of color with whom I have physical traits in common. Hey, I bet there are some people of color even reading this thread to whom I might bear a superficial resemblance: any non-white person out there with dark curly hair and a big nose who is skinny and has long limbs? Congratulations, we look something alike.

    And “or anybody else I’ve ever slept with”? Again, people of color are not a different species from white people. It’s actually pretty easy to find a bunch of resemblances. The guy I’m seeing these days is not white. And amazingly, he does not look nothing like anybody else I’ve ever slept with. Actually, he’s slim, not very tall, has straight floppy hair, and has some other features in common with this guy I dated some years ago, who was white as white can be.

    The idea that racial difference is equivalent to wild, unbridgeable alien-ness of looks is itself racist. Plenty of white people look like plenty of people of color, and vice versa.

  241. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune July 10, 2012 at 9:51 pm |

    ey, I bet there are some people of color even reading this thread to whom I might bear a superficial resemblance: any non-white person out there with dark curly hair and a big nose who is skinny and has long limbs?

    Lol, exactly! I would even argue that it’s possible to have one fairly specific physical Type and still date across races. I mean, for example, pretty much every major crush/relationship my wife’s had has been with dark-haired, dark-eyed guys – which rules out very few ethnicities or races, really, when you think about it. Even liking light-haired or light-eyed people isn’t a bar; there’s lots of Indians, even in my own family, who have light eyes, and one kid’s even a grey-eyed brunette who could pass for white/mixed, even though she’s full-blooded Indian. Variety, it isn’t even transracial.

  242. Lauren M
    Lauren M July 10, 2012 at 10:19 pm |

    Again, people of color are not a different species from white people.

    THIS. And agreement to the rest of what EG said. There is a common thread among all my partners that I only realized recently, because I was never actively seeking it out (at least not consciously) I have dated and hooked up with white guys and nonwhite guys and they are all shorter, small athletic build, oblong face, dark eyes, heavy brow.

  243. peonysung
    peonysung July 11, 2012 at 6:26 am |

    The solution to racist, colonialist bullshit is for people to stop being assholes; mixed-race people shouldn’t have to bear the burden of being Peace Ambassadors Because Everyone Else Is Clearly Racist And You Must Behave Better Than EVERYONE OR ELSE.

    Totally agree with this, would also like to add, that it really fucks me off when people, after discovering that culturally the parents are not that different, still romanticize the relationship and resulting children. In particular the non-white half, no one ever wants to know where the white comes from, they want to know about the yellow, or black, or whatever.

    That being said, I’m a product of a weird melting pot of cultures, (Hong Kong Mum adopted by Italians who immigrated to NZ, and an atypical Kiwi dad) and despite some of the weird stuff people say to me, I still play it to my advantage and happily so. You have some crazy-ass ideas about what being half Asian means? Great! I can totally use this to justify my weird obsession with kpop. I don’t give a fuck about what you think about my family or my Mum, because I know the truth and it is awesome, 3 hour dinners at my Nonna’s is awesome!

  244. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan July 11, 2012 at 10:45 am |

    Macavitykitsune, I appreciate your response. It’s helpful to me, even though I’m still not 100% understanding the difference between misogynistic play (sometimes okay) and race play (never okay.) It seems like both specifically tap into existing power structures as part of the “hotness” of it, unlike perhaps other more general kinks (I don’t know of many people who are oppressed for having sexy feet, for example.) Maybe neither misogynistic nor race play should ever be suggested by a man or white person respectively.

  245. tmc
    tmc July 11, 2012 at 11:12 am |

    But we’re not talking about race play. We’re talking about race fetishism. I’ve done race play once and it was certainly a worthwhile and cathartic experience, although I would not seek it out again.

    Racial fetishism is not something I have ever consented to.

  246. ArielNYC
    ArielNYC July 11, 2012 at 11:42 am |

    “insisting on your entitlement to others’ bodies”

    I said my preferences are not an obligation on anybody. I said
    Everyone has a right to give or deny consent. I said your hypothetical kink is not something you impose on others without communicating with them appropriarely and receiving consent (or not). I can keep saying this until I’m blue in the face and some reading-challeneged commenter will scream at me that I think the world owes me something.

    Anyways, I do regret bringing up the whole rainbow thing. I do stand by the point that enjoyment of a diverse set of partners, even if for purely superficial reasons, doesn’t call for racailiaizing them, essentializing them, prejudicing yourself, not treating people as individuals, or not treating people with respect.

  247. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll July 11, 2012 at 11:47 am |

    I do stand by the point that enjoyment of a diverse set of partners, even if for purely superficial reasons, doesn’t call for racailiaizing them, essentializing them, prejudicing yourself, not treating people as individuals, or not treating people with respect.

    Even when the people who would be the targets of that “enjoyment” tell you it’s not respectful to them.

    What fucking part of that do you not get?

    When I, as a POC, fucking tell you it’s not respectful, what part of that is confusing?

    When I, as a poc tell you it’s racializing, WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU TO TELL ME I DON’T KNOW WHAT I’M EXPERIENCING?

    Every single POC here is telling you the same thing.

    It’s not respect when we don’t feel respected.

    It’s racist if we experience it as racism.

    YOU do not get to decide what is racist against us. We do.

  248. Dan_Brodribb
    Dan_Brodribb July 11, 2012 at 11:54 am |

    I’ve been reading the comments, and I’m discovering I’m unclear on the distinction between fetishism and play.

    Would someone who knows about such things be kind enough to clarify?

  249. IrishUp
    IrishUp July 11, 2012 at 12:10 pm |

    “Everyone has a right to give or deny consent. ”

    – which you subvert by being dishonest about your intent in the first place.

    “I said my preferences are not an obligation on anybody. ”
    – but you want to “cajole” them into compliance.

    Color *me* a shade of deeply jaundiced unconvinced.

    @umami – Thanks for pointing that out! That is my bad. I *had* made an assumption, realized I was in fact unsure as to ArielNYCs gender/preferred pronoun, and reread the thread to see if I could find it out. I meant to edit that sentence (actually I thought I had), but obviously I posted w/o editing appropriately.

    @ Ariel: I am sorry I failed to edit correctly before posting.

  250. ArielNYC
    ArielNYC July 11, 2012 at 12:17 pm |

    @pheenobarbidoll

    Scenario 1: hey you’re x. I hear y about x. Are you y? Please do y
    Scenario 2: the person you’re hooking up with is attractive. The fact that this individual person is also different in some fashion from your prior partners adds more spark to the attraction. Not what you’re projecting on this person. This actual person.

    I think you’re talking about 1. I’m talking about 2.

  251. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune July 11, 2012 at 12:26 pm |

    It seems like both specifically tap into existing power structures as part of the “hotness” of it, unlike perhaps other more general kinks…

    Hmm, well…the thing is, as someone who has done misogynistic play and found it incredibly cathartic, I find that personally, working through my own uninhibited, primal reactions to victim-blaming bullshit is a useful tool towards breaking down the ill-effects that victim-blaming caused. However, I think there’s a huge level of trust required, and an active lack of misogyny in both partners, for the play to work at all, and if there’s misogyny in either partner it WILL out during play. That said, Bagelsan, I specifically didn’t gender my statements about rape fantasies, because they aren’t gendered, in my experience. Known a lot of guys with rape fantasies (from the “victim” end), so I wouldn’t say that rape play or ageplay is strictly only misogynistic.

    I would argue that race play isn’t…quite the same, as it doesn’t cross gender borders in the same way, and because, as a WOC, I find that racism is insidious in a way that misogyny isn’t – misogyny’s a lot more upfront and in-your-face, sexually, whereas someone could conceivably fuck a racist asshole like Ariel for months without realising the crap going on in hir head.

    Maybe neither misogynistic nor race play should ever be suggested by a man or white person respectively.

    Yeah, I think that’s safest, personally. (Again, differentiating between rape fantasies and misogynistic play; misogynistic play doesn’t have to involve rape roleplay, rape fantasies don’t necessarily involve misogyny. I mean, I’ve done Horny Pirate And Reluctant Maiden genderbent scenes with cheesy glee and it didn’t need any misogynistic language or actions…) In the vast majority of cases I would find a white person who actively loves doing race play and seeks it out to be… pretty much always flaming racists. It’s the equivalent of someone who can’t have a NON-rapeplay scene with a woman, or who has, say, Gorean affiliations – I’d consider them every bit as much a misogynistic fuckhead.

    (Bagelsan, you’re vanilla, so if you look up Goreans, please let me reassure you: they’re fringe fuckwits, the whole scene doesn’t seem to be like that.)

  252. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune July 11, 2012 at 12:32 pm |

    I think you’re talking about 1. I’m talking about 2.

    Yeah, except you’re talking about 3. I find you attractive because you’re different and your culture must have this whole other idea about sexuality because reasons and fucking you would just be so rewarding to me and how dare you consider my race fetishism to be anything but flattering?

    do stand by the point that enjoyment of a diverse set of partners, even if for purely superficial reasons, doesn’t call for racailiaizing them, essentializing them, prejudicing yourself, not treating people as individuals, or not treating people with respect.

    I’m going to differ from pheeno and say sure! That’s cool! Except that is patently fucking NOT what YOU are doing. Your words and actions and dismissal of POC perspectives and slurs towards POCs’ intelligence have amply demonstrated your internal issues. In the case of a non-racist person making that statement, I wouldn’t blink twice, but YOU, Ariel, are in fact a racist, sorry. You are not ‘enjoying’ dating someone of a different race; you’re enjoying sampling some exotic food product that happens to come with a person attached, lol. I guess curry couldn’t give you blowjobs, so you had to graduate to trying actual people-products of the “rainbow of humanity”.

    I know it’s hard to tuck the defensiveness away and listen to us at this point, but you are in fact coming off as a racist, fetishising, exoticising bullshit-mongerer. Stop, check the white privilege, read over the goddamn thread and really look at how you come off.

  253. Esti
    Esti July 11, 2012 at 12:32 pm |

    @ArielNYC

    Scenario 2: the person you’re hooking up with is attractive. The fact that this individual person is also different in some fashion from your prior partners adds more spark to the attraction. Not what you’re projecting on this person. This actual person.

    You may be talking about scenario 2, but you’re talking about it only with respect to race. That’s what people have been reacting to. Every time you’ve discussed wanting to “experience” all of the types of people that are out there or “taste the rainbow” or whatever else, you have discussed experiencing difference only in terms of race (or by using race as a proxy for culture, which people have already pointed out is messed up). When you talk about “race, color, and ethnicity” as if they are the only ways people are different from one another, and then you fetishize difference, you are fetishizing race in a very specific and disturbing way.

  254. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune July 11, 2012 at 12:37 pm |

    But we’re not talking about race play. We’re talking about race fetishism. I’ve done race play once and it was certainly a worthwhile and cathartic experience, although I would not seek it out again.

    Racial fetishism is not something I have ever consented to.

    Good point, tmc. I was responding specifically to Bagelsan’s question about race play, but that isn’t what’s going on in this thread; this thread has been about racial fetishism from post 1.

  255. ArielNYC
    ArielNYC July 11, 2012 at 12:43 pm |

    @Esti

    I did mention culture specifically and pushed back against the notion that I equate race with some specific sexuality or sexual attitudes. So yes, race is only one dimension. Should have made that clearer, and that’s my fault.

  256. tmc
    tmc July 11, 2012 at 1:25 pm |

    I’ve been reading the comments, and I’m discovering I’m unclear on the distinction between fetishism and play.

    Would someone who knows about such things be kind enough to clarify?

    Play is something that you do with another person (or persons). You might role-play with each other, you might stage an abduction, you might have super hot sex while experimenting with power dynamics. There are endless ways to play with someone. It’s just another word for having a scene with someone(s). Race play is play in which racial tropes, themes, and/or power dynamics are explored, subverted, or acted out by the participants.

    Fetishizing is something that you do to someone (which is not okay because it’s dehumanizing) or something (which IS okay because objects are not people and can’t be oppressed), not with someone. You are essentializing a certain characteristic (race, weight, disability, etc) to an entire spectrum of people and basically saying that “I like X characteristic, and all Y people have X characteristic, therefore I love all Y people,” and in the process you are objectifying those people by reducing them to a single characteristic (that any individual from that population may or may not actually have).

    So when you think to yourself “All cis black men have big cocks, and I love big cocks, therefore I love cis black men” and then start pursuing every cis black man you find under the assumption that they must have big cocks (which is a dangerous stereotype that feeds into the racist myth of all cis black men being oversexualized brutes/rapists), that is objectifying and fetishizing. Especially when you do that to people like my husband (who is actually not cis and does not identify as a man, but is usually read that way), even after being explicitly told that it’s not cool or okay.

  257. Dan_Brodribb
    Dan_Brodribb July 11, 2012 at 1:47 pm |

    Thanks, tmc.

    I think I get it now.

  258. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll July 11, 2012 at 2:19 pm |

    Yeah, except you’re talking about 3. I find you attractive because you’re different and your culture must have this whole other idea about sexuality because reasons and fucking you would just be so rewarding to me and how dare you consider my race fetishism to be anything but flattering?

    This.

  259. unacomplished
    unacomplished July 11, 2012 at 7:35 pm |

    It’s not respect when we don’t feel respected.

    It’s racist if we experience it as racism.

    but there is no collective we
    both of those opinions are specific to the individual, not a group of people.

  260. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan July 11, 2012 at 9:00 pm |

    (Bagelsan, you’re vanilla, so if you look up Goreans, please let me reassure you: they’re fringe fuckwits, the whole scene doesn’t seem to be like that.)

    I’m not sure if I’m vanilla yet (mostly I’m just a virgin at the mo’ :p) but I’ve heard about the Goreans and omg don’t worry I don’t mistake them for anything but ridiculous!

    Re. the play vs. fetishizing distinction, that makes a lot of sense. I think I was thinking “play” when people were saying “fetish” and that was part of my confusion.

  261. Nadine
    Nadine July 11, 2012 at 10:56 pm |

    I did have one African American man ask me about his relative penis size compared to other white men I’d slept with. That was REALLY weird and uncomfortable.)

    White guys do that to me all the time, even when I’m not sleeping with them and even when I have never indicated any interest in their penises.

    Afaik a fetish is a consumer product that’s worth is divorced from its use-value, the problem with fetishization is that poc are people. And it is not possible to confine fetishization to “the bedroom” because you will have to approach a lot of people before you find 1 who will agree to go along with this and those creepy unwanted approaches are what the post was about in the first place.

  262. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll July 12, 2012 at 10:01 am |

    I bought the first Gor book, because I thought it was run of the mill sci-fi fantasy.

    I threw that piece of crap across the room about half way in.

    Whoever wrote 50 Shades of Stupidity must have taken notes from Gor. Shitty ridiculous writing, offensive sexism, stupid fucking concept.

    And the dudes online who roleplay that crap actually take it seriously. Like, to a level a work of fiction should never be taken to. Ever.

  263. EG
    EG July 12, 2012 at 10:33 am |

    Fun fact about the dude who wrote Gor: he’s a philosophy professor who specializes in, wait for it, ethics.

  264. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan July 12, 2012 at 11:18 am |

    And the dudes online who roleplay that crap actually take it seriously. Like, to a level a work of fiction should never be taken to. Ever.

    I know, Scientology is seriously effed u– oh, right, Gor. ;D

  265. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune July 12, 2012 at 11:42 am |

    Fun fact about the dude who wrote Gor: he’s a philosophy professor who specializes in, wait for it, ethics.

    Are you fucking kidding me.

  266. EG
    EG July 12, 2012 at 11:53 am |
  267. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune July 12, 2012 at 12:22 pm |

    o_O Jesus fuck me. *argleblargle*

    I mean, the misogyny/racism rampant in his books aside, the man is just a shitty writer. …at least he doesn’t teach English. Small mercies.

  268. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan July 12, 2012 at 12:40 pm |

    Macavitykitsune, you should lurve him! Don’t you know your natural plaaaace as a wooooman??

  269. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune July 12, 2012 at 12:56 pm |

    Macavitykitsune, you should lurve him! Don’t you know your natural plaaaace as a wooooman??

    *sobs in contrition and promptly becomes a submissive heterosexual*

  270. shfree
    shfree July 12, 2012 at 1:41 pm |

    Oh for the love of the flying spaghetti monster, why did you all have to remind me that those people exist?? Now I have to take about three dozen showers.

  271. Giant Comfort » Sex, Lies and Fetishizing Race

    [...] Remember to post your comment [...]

  272. eleanor
    eleanor July 13, 2012 at 5:29 pm |

    @ Henry

    Read the article you linked to–it made my stomach turn and I kept hoping there would be a “gotcha! this is sarcasm to get people talking about this issue” but no she seemed to be very serious and proud of her blatant stereotyping and fetishism of black men. Her line about “these men are not the marrying kind” made me fall out of my chair. Reminds me of the people I’ve met who will date out of their race to feel rebellious or piss off their parents but would never consider marrying outside of their race. I’m the product of an interracial relationship and my parents respected each other and saw each other as the sum of all of their attributes and life experiences, not as a stereotype of their race or ethnicity.

    Thanks for linking the article to this conversation. What a great example of exactly the issue Anna put forth.

  273. GLG Weekly Round-Up « girls like giants

    [...] being sexually assaulted in broad daylight and “walking while female.” Anna Lekas Miller writes about the fetishization of race at Feministe. Amy Poehler, Best Person Ever, debuts a new [...]

  274. Brandon
    Brandon July 16, 2012 at 5:22 pm |

    As a white guy, I plead guilty to having certain preferences in women which people often construe as racial fetishization, but I don’t really see it that way. Let me explain…

    I like certain physical features commonly found in women of West and Central African descent, so the women I find physically attractive are typically black. However, race isn’t my sole criterion when evaluating potential partners: for instance, I don’t find overweight, elderly, or immoral women of any race attractive. Furthermore, cultural stereotypes about black women actually offend me. For these reasons I consider my case fundamentally different from the creepy fetishism discussed by the OP and in this comments thread.

    Would you still consider me a fetishist?

  275. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune July 16, 2012 at 9:08 pm |

    Brandon,

    I’d have to actually watch you fuck to bestow the requisite Anti-Racist Interracial Dater Badge on you, but no, doesn’t sound like you’re fetishising anyone to me.

  276. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune July 16, 2012 at 9:14 pm |

    To continue my comment above… you’re interested in certain features/ qualities, same as pretty much anyone. It doesn’t sound like you’re fixating on these women as sexual OBJECTS as much as… people you’re attracted to. And your sexual attraction isn’t intrinsically tied up in your partners performing stereotypes, or in their being “new and exciting” (fuck, until Ariel in this thread I hadn’t thought those words could piss me off so fucking bad).

    So, yeah, no. From what you’ve described, you’re a guy with a type, not a guy with a fetish. And pretty much everyone has types.

  277. Donna L
    Donna L July 16, 2012 at 10:11 pm |

    immoral women

    Would you like to share with us your criteria for deciding that a woman is too “immoral” for you to be attracted to her?

  278. Brandon
    Brandon July 16, 2012 at 10:55 pm |

    Would you like to share with us your criteria for deciding that a woman is too “immoral” for you to be attracted to her?

    Sorry, poor choice of words on my part. I simply meant a woman who was generally an unpleasant human being who doesn’t treat others very well.

  279. Donna L
    Donna L July 16, 2012 at 11:27 pm |

    OK, thanks.

  280. Red
    Red July 19, 2012 at 10:23 am |

    @ Brandon

    I, as a white female, understand where you are coming from. I also mainly date interracially mainly because I find certain features very attractive that are typically associated with other ethnicities than white. If I had to rank (solely based on what I am attracted to, not personality) I would put white men at the bottom of the list I am attracted to. That being said I am not bashing white guys (I dated one for 4 years) I just don’t find them as attractive (in general b/c there are a few I do find attractive) personally. Ever since I started dating interracially and realized that that is what I am more attracted to, I have thought a lot about the fetishization of poc and have dealt with those consequences with ppl using that as a way to make me feel bad about dating outside my race. It certainly is not easier dating outside your own race, by both the racists and the non-racists that try to seem like they understand by reverting to stereotypes and making awful, awkward jokes about it (the big penis jokes b/c I mainly date black are the most annoying!!! Especially b/c it allows people to assume I only date black men b/c I am a slut). I could go on about this but I will leave it at this for now.

    Also, side note I am a redhead, so I also get fetishized by men b/c of my hair. Generally I get questions/statements similar to the one shown in the article above except geared towards the stereotypes of redheads, so I can empathize (to an extent obviously!) at how irritating it can be when you know you are just being targeted for one feature and nothing else about you matters.

  281. LC
    LC July 20, 2012 at 9:51 pm |

    Brandon and Red — Yeah, there is a world of difference between “X is a type and I’ll always take a second look because there are elements that attract me there” and that gut second glance being the ENTIRE and SOLE reason someone finds you attractive.

  282. Link Love (21/07/2012) « Becky's Kaleidoscope

    [...] “It’s work. Some organizations and companies care about having the input of several different backgrounds in their work. Others simply want to appear to be upholding the tenets of affirmative action, all the while keeping their hierarchies alive and well. In the media world, there is a frequent fetishization of having writers from a variety of different backgrounds, who, like the men who want to fuck an ethnic girl just because she is ethnic, are wanted for their (our) race or ethnicity before our talent.” Sex, Lies and Fetishizing Race – Feministe [...]

  283. kia
    kia July 22, 2012 at 5:20 am |

    Do you remember that thread on feministe when 1 blogger wrote about the pressure on women to conform to unrealistic breast standards and some guy interrupted to inform all the readers that he actually prefered small breasts and all the white feminists immediately took offense? You “non-fetishists” can stop patting yourselves on the back. I agree that some white features are not attractive, so why tf should I care if people with white features think I’m attractive or not?? Some of the least attractive white features are high-lighted on this website, I don’t know why I bothered to write this comment…

  284. EG
    EG July 22, 2012 at 7:43 am |

    I don’t know why you did either, given that the whole point of that thread was that men’s preferences regarding women’s breasts were not important when it came to discussing beauty standards and the burdens they place on women.

  285. DonnaL
    DonnaL July 22, 2012 at 9:09 am |

    I don’t even understand the comment. What unattractive “white features” are highlighted on this website? Small breasts are supposed to be a typical attribute of white people that aren’t found among people who aren’t white? What?

    I’d actually like to know what other physical “features” this commenter thinks are “white,” that are supposedly shared by all people who are generally perceived to be, or self-identified, as “white,” whether their ancestors come from Norway or Spain or Sicily or Greece or Syria or Russia. The answer is: there aren’t any, including pale skin. “White” is a construct that certainly doesn’t equal Northern European.

  286. cherrybomb
    cherrybomb July 22, 2012 at 3:53 pm |

    some guy interrupted to inform all the readers that he actually prefered small breasts and all the white feminists immediately took offense?

    yeah, that whole debacle was totes about how angry the white, big boobed feminists were that a random dood came along and denounced our big boobedness as not giving him a stiffy.

    It wasn’t that a whole lota variously sized feminists were annoyed that he totally missed the point of the op and decided he needed to share his boner notes. (Cause we were all dying to know!)

  287. Chiara
    Chiara July 22, 2012 at 3:56 pm |

    yeah, that whole debacle was totes about how angry the white, big boobed feminists were that a random dood came along and denounced our big boobedness as not giving him a stiffy.

    is this even a thing? that white women have bigger boobs than black women?

  288. kia
    kia July 22, 2012 at 5:20 pm |

    FFS. Do you remember all those threads wondering why woc don’t want to be friends with you? This is why.

  289. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune July 22, 2012 at 5:38 pm |

    FFS. Do you remember all those threads wondering why woc don’t want to be friends with you?

    Whuuuuu? I don’t get what you’re responding to, and I’m a woc…

  290. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune July 22, 2012 at 5:43 pm |

    Do you remember that thread on feministe when 1 blogger wrote about the pressure on women to conform to unrealistic breast standards and some guy interrupted to inform all the readers that he actually prefered small breasts and all the white feminists immediately took offense?

    Uhm, a whole whack of WOC feminists took offense, too, myself included. And if you’re going to go off about generalising by white feminists, don’t fucking generalise about women of colour and THEIR breasts, thank you very the fucking much.

    You “non-fetishists” can stop patting yourselves on the back. I agree that some white features are not attractive, so why tf should I care if people with white features think I’m attractive or not??

    Aww, I’m glad racial fetishising is a-okay and not a problem for you. What the fuck are you doing on this thread again, then?

    Some of the least attractive white features are high-lighted on this website, I don’t know why I bothered to write this comment…

    *plummy announcer voice* “This comment was brought to you by kia’s boner.”

  291. whitney
    whitney July 26, 2012 at 9:57 pm |

    This fucking post needs to be deleted. I’m so fucking tired of white feminists always trying to justify their racism, and I’m tired of non-white feminists falling right behind them

    Fuck the whole lot of you

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