I am sexy, not a fetish

I am sexy, not a fetish


 

A Chinese ho reflects on the history and problems of the Asian obsession 

It is one of the most common fetishes in Western culture: “yellow fever,” a kind of fetish for Asian women. In Pornhub’s recent 2017 Year in Review, “Asian” ranked as the 11th most popular search for Canadian viewers, and Canadians viewed 58 per cent more Asian porn than the worldwide average. The sex industry is no doubt a lucrative field for Asian women. Back in 2013, researchers took data from the Facebook app “Are You Interested” and found Asian women to be the most sought after ethnic group in online dating.

As a woman of Chinese descent and an avid user of dating apps like Tinder, I am not going to lie — this fetish helps in terms of hookups and finding a date. Most of the best sex I have ever had was with men who admitted to having a “liking” for Asian women or “always wanted to be with an Asian woman.”

The way they wooed my body with foreplay and attention…. It is hard not to take it as a major ego boost. 

At the same time, the idea that they “always wanted to be with an Asian woman” did not resonate well with me. It felt like I was being objectified, like I was an exotic box for them to tick off. Two men I hooked up with were both eager to have me as their “first Asian experience,” and thought it was appropriate to ask if they could continue sleeping with me on the side while dating another woman. As if I was good enough to fulfill their sexual fantasies and vent to when their date would not put out, but not good enough to settle down with.

To my horror, I had men who would ask if they were able to satisfy me better than my “own men.” Like, don’t even think of using me to degrade Asian men and stroke your fragile ego!

A friend of mine told me about a white man she knew who only ever dated Asian women. He openly admitted that it was because he thought them to be more docile and easier to control.

This stereotype of the Asian woman as submissive and disposable stems from a dark part of history. It goes back to early writings like Loti’s Madame Chrysanthème (1887) and Long’s Madame Butterfly (1898).

Both portray a white male protagonist taking an Asian woman as a “temporary bride.”

It goes back to America’s military presence in Japan, Korea, and Vietnam. During World War Two, up to 200,000 women from across Asia were trafficked by the Japanese military and forced to work as prostitutes — they were known as “comfort women.” Following the war, the U.S. military took over some of these “comfort stations,” and the practice continued throughout the Korean War and Vietnam War. In 1965, 85 per cent of American soldiers reported contact with a prostitute. Given this history, it is no surprise that Asian women are still seen as submissive sex objects by the western male gaze.

Of course, it is not fair to equate interracial sex and dating to the horrific trauma “comfort women” faced.

I am merely pointing out that these stereotypes and fetishes do not arise out of nowhere. 

In my opinion, based on my past experiences and my current experience dating a white man, a little bit of fetish is fine, as long as you’re not bashing other ethnicities in the process and “preferring” one over the other. This kind of interest can provide intense sexual attraction and chemistry, which helps in having good sex. And it is possible to have a healthy, loving relationship that started off as a small fetish. I have not met one long-term interracial couple or pair of sex partners who did not make light jokes centering around these topics.

It’s fine as long as you are sure of a few things: 

1. That you are mature enough to not reduce your partner to racial stereotypes.

2. That you know your partner is a complex, three-dimensional person who deserves to be treated as such.

3. That the reason for you dating them is not based solely on their ethnicity.

4. That you don’t obsessively define them by their heritage, and make the effort to get to know their individual character.

5. That your daily conversations are not about how it’s so hot that you have an Asian girlfriend.

As long as this fetish stays in the bedroom, all is well.

Photo courtesy of Amazon via CC0

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