Racial “Preference” in Sex and Dating

It’s, at best, prejudiced and, at worst, racist.

“A couple sits on the ground laughing in dry grasses near railroad tracks” by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Humanity, we have a problem. Racial “preference” in sex and dating is not, as it certainly should not be, a thing. Do I think that there exists a natural development of comfort from or towards a certain archetype or culture? We’ll call it familiarity. Sure! I mean think of how when you’re raised eating a certain food then you grow up and you love it (or you hate it) because you had it all the time. However, unfortunately for some people who might disagree with me, people are not mac and cheese. Therefore, they should not be prejudged like mac and cheese. For the record, I am not a fan of mac and cheese.

Before we get into how racial preference is problematic, we should probably talk about race a little first. It doesn’t exist. Science says it. Psychology says it. Biology says it. Social race is something that humanity invented all its own. Maybe to feel special, maybe to form a sense of community, or maybe something else entirely. Whatever the reason, however, biologically, there is no such thing. It exists undoubtedly in other species, but not in us. The complications arise, of course, because this social construct has had such an impact on our lives that it can no longer be “not a thing.” Socially speaking, it’s institutionalized, and institutionalization isn’t dealt with overnight or simply logic-ed away. As much as most of us would like for it to be that easy, it takes time, patience, and a conscious effort from everyone.

So how does this play into sex and dating? How many times have you heard someone say they only date a specific race of person? Perhaps your family has scrunched its nose up when you bring someone home that’s not just like them. Or perhaps still, because we’re a modern society, you’ve booted up one dating app or the other and it says something like “sorry, no (insert race here).” This doesn’t just apply to those that are directly boxing out races either, it extends to those who only include certain races as well. Sounds like the same thing, but presented differently. Maybe you have a friend that’s really into anime so they dream of finding that perfect Japanese girlfriend. Perhaps you really like rap music so you only like black guys. How about being raised in a predominately urban area and growing weary of the “urban norm” so you wanna bag you a nice White one? Yup, even “positive” stereotypes can negatively affect those we meet. All of these situations, and more, are rooted in prejudice and sometimes racism.

Photo by Aaron Sebastian on Unsplash

I decided to write this after a friend of mine came to me feeling genuinely unattractive because people tend to look to them almost as a last resort in place of others. They’re Asian, and this particular friend is not the first Asian friend I’ve had to tell me this. I felt particularly perturbed because I know exactly how that feels. As a Black man, there are all the stereotypes and toxic fetishes associated with the color of my skin, but for this friend, there is so much more than even that. For instance, when someone decides to say they don’t like Asians, do they realize that Asian is a blanket term that applies to many groups of people from the most densely populated region of the world? That’s a whoooole lot of people to claim you’d never date or be sexually attracted to. In a lineup of headless torsos would you really be able to tell which person was specifically each race? Would you still be aroused if they checked off all the items in your “ideal body” list? What if we threw faces into the mix. Someone of a certain race doesn’t have the features or skin tone traditionally associated with that race, is your “oh snap that’s a White one” sense going to tingle so you’ll instinctively know to stay away? I doubt it.

“Black and white shot of male torso with tattoos with black background, Kyiv city” by Jake Davies on Unsplash

Look y’all, we all know that these race “preferences” are rooted in stereotypes, and it’s time to cut the BS. Love each other. Have fun with each other. The next time you find yourself thinking you may only be attracted to one race (or excluding one), ask yourself why? Is it a biological trait? Is it a swagger or attitude? Be honest with yourself and check your preferences and fetishes. Only dating bad ass Goth chicks is a preference. Only dating Black men because they’re rough and masculine with big dicks is prejudiced (and a little racist if one also assumes other races simply can’t compare to the Black man’s libido and energy). Only wanting to have sex while you wear leather is a fetish. Only wanting to have sex with Asian women because they’re submissive and attentive, is racist.

No one’s saying you can’t have a certain look you like, just make sure that look isn’t the result of some odd and toxic stereotype placed onto people by centuries of subtext, beef, and shitty type casting. If you do have a racial preference when it comes to dating, I mean do you, but maybe not wear it as a badge of honor. I’ve literally never met a person with a racial hang-up that didn’t sound even a little racist when they explained their reasoning to me. But hey, maybe you’re different. I’m open to hearing how I might be wrong on this one. As someone that has seen beauty in every race I’ve ever encountered, I genuinely would love to know what makes a person able to completely shut out an entire population’s worth of people.

Writer. Witch. If Garnet was obsessed with Evansecence's The Open Door tbh.

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