Does race play a role in who you choose to befriend or date?

I grew up in a moderately racists family. To be honest, there were not a lot of minorities around me when I was young, and I can remember actually being afraid the first time I touched a black kid. I thought that the black would actually “rub off on me”. (The things adults tell kids.)

My father was the worse, and constantly used words like nigger, jigaboo, spic, and chink. Knowing I was gay at an early age, and hearing the condescending words used towards gay people, I had the sense to know that if I didn’t like being called faggot, then it did not behoove me to use derogatory language towards others.

I have always been the most open-minded, multi-cultural person in my entire family. I have not only eaten food, read texts, and listened to music from all over the world, I have also had the greatest number of multi-racial friends and sex partners.

My gay uncle, my father’s brother, is about 27 years older than me. He once told me that he did like black men, but that he would never date a black man. So in other words, he’d sleep with one in the privacy of his own home, but never been seen with one in public. Quite a shame, really.

I’m not that way at all. If I like a man, his race is irrelevant to me, and I would not be ashamed of his race in any way.

Strangely, though, race does not affect WHO I am attracted to, but it does reflect HOW I am attracted to them. Let me explain: I like big, strong, muscular black men, but I don’t like the thin, slender, boyish types. However, with white men, I don’t like the big, strong ones, but prefer from lean and muscular to thin and whispy. For Hispanic men, I can tolerate a little more body fat, which I don’t generally like, than I can in the other two types. For Asian men, I prefer the tall, thin, and whispy types. However, my sexual response to these types also differs. I almost have a fetish about race types.

However, the one point I want to discuss in detail here is the difference between religious and non-religious people towards interracial dating and marriage.

My observations have been that the religious types (and other conservatives) are quite often hostile to interracial dating and marriage, while reasonable people, atheists, and liberals are not. I also think that income influences this as well. Among the prosperous, there seems to be very little interracial dating. Stand outside one of these affluent, white-collar churches, and you’ll never see mixed couples coming or going. Though, I don’t think you’d see a lot of that at low-income, minority churches either.

What have been your observations on this? Does race affect who you choose to socialize with, or who you sleep with? Would you feel comfortable in an open, interracial relationship?

Tags: african-american, asian, bigotry, dating, latino, marriage, nationality, race, sexuality

Views: 542

Replies to This Discussion

OOPS!! Sorry, dr kellie.. *blush* Well, its a very small picture!
Yep, anyone can be an oppressor of another, be it through skin colour, gender, sexual orientation, you name it. As a white woman, I can see how a straight black man might look at me and see an oppressor, because of the privelege my skin colour affords me. It means I am likely to get served first in many stores, and it means I don't have to watch my back or worry about police threatening my life because they suspect me of criminal activity, on top of a whole bunch of other things. But I think it's important to acknowledge as well that I might look at him and see an oppressor based on his gender and sexual orientation. As a woman, I have learned to watch my back, too, because of sexualized violence (physical or psychological).

I'm white and this entails privelege that I automatically benefit from. Though I'm bi, I'm femme, so I pass for heterosexual, and this means I put up with less crap (heterosexist hostility) in some ways than women who aren't such girly girls. And that also means that in some ways, I put up with more sexist crap. I was telling Blackman that of all the women I know well enough to have these kinds of conversations with, pretty much ALL of us have experienced sexualised physical assault*, many of us repeatedly over the years. This does not count verbal assaults or creepy stares, which probably all women have gotten at some point. And I am aware that whatever I've been dealing with as a white woman, it's likely WAY less crap than a First Nations or Black woman probably would deal with simply because of the intersecting cultural margins they are located within. This is a bit of a tangent, but for me it relates to the idea of race and relationship choices too.

Blackman and I have been talking off the board by the way. I don't think he sees me as the "Feminist Thought Police" anymore, but I don't want to assume or speak for him. We have all experienced oppression in some way and it's not a contest of who is more oppressed than who, or who is the worst oppressor, but it is something to be angry about. The point in talking about it is to learn something about others' experiences and to look with awareness at the way we live and interact with others on this planet, to be aware and accountable, and hopefully, stand for something better.

*Referring to everything from unwanted touches or grabs to rape. It seems to be just part of growing up girl a lot of the time. FYI here are some stats, which I would call lower than the reality: http://www.metrac.org/programs/info/prevent/stat_sex.htm

K.. 'nuff said. That was definitely getting bigger than the topic. Stepping down from the soapbox now.
As sad as this may sound, I have for a long while now wanted to date a woman of a different race, because all I've ever been involved with, whether it was dating, romance, or sex, was white women. I think I would particularly like to date a black woman, light skinned or dark, doesn't matter. And then after that, I would say an Asian woman.

My problem is that I've never really had the opportunity. I was taking Evolutionary Psych one year and there was this completely gorgeous black woman in the class (Shari), and she was highly intelligent, too, which just made my crush 5 times worse. She wanted to be a forensic psychologist. But I could never work up the courage to say anything to her, and just assumed she had a boyfriend anyway. Or that she wouldn't be interested in me.

I guess I've always felt that black women were either not really interested in white men or just never really seriously thought about it; that's another major thing that prevents me from being with a black woman. Of course, I know there are exceptions to those thoughts, even if I'm right, but that's the conception of things that I've formed. Dani reminds me of Shari......
But I could never work up the courage to say anything to her...

You amaze me. As good looking as you are, and that you would lack courage... :)

You make me think I should just crawl in a hole and never come out. :P
Wow, so many interesting comments to reply to, sorry I'm late :)
At this phase of my life, 35-45 coming to a close, I must admit I am almost exclusively attracted to black men. But this needs much clarification!

Background: I am from small town eastern Québec, 2800 people, 1 Laotian family (from the 70s exile), one Haitian family (from the Duvallier exile), and on anglo family, mine. I only met members of those 2 families while in high school. Everyone else was white and francophone, not recent immigrants, all old Acadian stock, "Pur Laine" as folks say in Québec (100% pure wool). My only knowledge of interracial relations was Sesame Street. I had not one negative preconception of race, because I had no real experience of multiculturalism.

At Montreal's '76 Olympics, I remember being absolutely fascinated by the Jamaican sprinters. The fact that they were NOT skinny like all the white athletes, they had big thighs and big muscled tummies, and they ran so relaxed and happy.... Wow.

I got to college in '83, and as Rikki stated, I do not 'date' I either hook up or go steady after hooking up, but dating always seemed like a pain to me. Easter holiday '83 a bunch of us bused down to NY and were dropped off, 13 17/18-y/o white kids, on 44th st. We exited the bus and for all of us, it was our first time being a colour minority. Wake-up! In my 2nd year of college there were 2 black guys in my class, and I hooked up with both of them, regularly :) That's when I was first accused of reverse racism, because I was preferring interracial over white!

About Canadians in the old days being 'less' racist (excluding first nations and Chinese, completely another discussion) I would say it's entirely possible; NOT out of us being 'nicer people' but in the simple fact that coloured and religious minorities in Canada were so few and spread out, they did not generally form 'communities' or 'ghettos'. Canadian minorities were 'integrated' either into wasp or wcath, Western or Eastern Canada. The last decade has brought change. Minorities tend to huddle closer together, especially black people, muliticulturalism is approaching its nasty point, the point at which people ACTUALLY experience each other's cultures, not simply looking at superficial aspects.

Oddly, living in the Eastern Townships, for the next 15 years, I barely noticed black people, they were few, and I had developed a Latino fetish. (Québec also collected a bunch of exiles from S.America's dictatorial days, especially Chileans). All my trips abroad were to Spanish speaking countries, I tan easily quickly and easily spoke spanish, cuz of my French schooling, so 'latinoness' was like a 2nd nature to me. After 14 years, I realised that not once had a latino lover been satisfying in bed, which really really mess with me cuz they were SOOOOOO efficient before bed.

Must confess, my fetish for black men returned when I worked on yachts in the Caribbean. Having known black men from Africa, the USA, and the Islands, I now make a real distinction among blacks and encourage people NOT to lump all blackness into one genre, not that you would anyway right? After many many hookups, one nighters and short relationships, and not so short ones. I have developed a theory regarding our fetishes for interracial dating, and more specifically for black/whites.

I separate my experience of black people into 5 larger categories (please don't kill me!)
1. Those living as small minorities, relatively well integrated in western countries, such as England, France, Canada
2. Those with a long heritage of large organised minorities, like in the USA (discounting people like Obama)
3. Islander culture
4. French colonial Africa
5. English colonial Africa

When my racist friends try to set me up or get me married with a black man, they are totally not looking at any regional diversity. Being black is one thing, but the culture VARIES :)

I like the cat-3 males, cuz they are superhumans and laidback. I am postulating that Islanders have in one small way benefited from slavery. Slavery was the ultimate trial for evolution and survival of the fittest. Those who survived the horrendous ocean passages, and then survived generations of slavery, I put to you, were the strongest and most intelligent. So when pop culture fetishes about black men being 'well endowed' I think that's an islander consequence (as well as ex-slaves in the USA).

My fascination with black men is not solely about genitals. There are many many distinctions between the physiognomy of black islanders (male and female) vs Western culture Caucasians. Big musculature, tall, big lips, one shade lighter than totally black skin, long hands, strong, low fat%, little body hair, incredible teeth, beautiful curling lashes, long nailbeds, the coolest dance moves and hip action, amazing forearms/traps/delts/gluts, did I mention muscles? MUSCLES!!!

Porn doth teacheth us another thing about evolution: big strong man little female, being the ultimate matching fetish. It is a known trick used in porn to use little women to make men look larger. With the male standing and looking down onto the female, whether facing or doggy style, as he looks down at the copulation act, it is 'pleasurable' to see 'big' inside 'little', makes the male feel bigger and happy with himself. This is also true in part for the woman, having a large man to support her. THIS IS OF COURSE PURELY AT A NAKED ANIMAL LEVEL, our 'highly evolved Western culture' tends to see itself above and outside such base instincts ;) (sarcasm)

African black people come in all sizes, just as white Canadians come in all sizes, but culturally, there are notable variations between colonial countries and ancient tribal traditions, and war traumas.

As for USA blacks, it's a mixed bag, some are of slave descent, some are straight from Africa (Obama), some are islanders (most SE Floridians) some are 'pure', some very pale. These factors affect their lifestyle, and whether they become mainstream accountants or entrepreneurs, or famous athletes.

Tho my avatar's a frog, I don't look like one, but I am a big girl and islanders and Africans DO enjoy big girls best. I don't fit into the wigga thing cuz that's all about a certain gangsta rap (I don't like white gangstas either so that's the same) culture. And as I said, I prefer islander culture, mixed with a little of the sexy dancefloor hip hop.

A long time ago, I used to dump on white men who preferred submissive pliable little Asian girls. I don't anymore cuz I think I understand the primal urge that drives us in that direction.

To end this sexy subject, may I suggest some new music for you...

Atheist, rational squad, RAPPER, physics doctoral student, Greydon Square

If your mind is open to political rap, you will enjoy this, if not, try him anyway, you may just be surprised, LISTEN.

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