I'm not going to comment on whether or not it's legitimate to include race in a list of one's "types." I have trouble sorting out my thoughts about that.
I'm not sure, however, that the language of "I have a thing for " is inherently problematic. Possibly this is a case where context is important? If I say, "I have a thing for guys with Scottish accents" (I do), does that imply that I think of those guys only as things?
I think everyone should be sensitive to using such language about marginalized groups because of the legitimate sensitivity to such topics. But I don't necessarily think no one should ever say they "have a thing for" some attribute. Whether it's okay or not just depends what the attribute is.
“I tried to ask if she had ever checked herself for possible prejudice where her sexual desires are concerned.”
I’d say this is a fairly reasonable reason to shut down a conversation.
I also think that Dan is a little too harsh on the gf. Did you two ever discuss your sexual preferences and attractions? If so is what she said still out of context? (Did you ever tell her you find Latinas or Asians attractive? Did you not tell her that because you feel guilty about it?)
Maybe she's just feeling safe to share with you some of her sexy observations, regardless of her intentions to act on them or not. This could be something she was accustomed to while in HS or college. Not very mature, I agree, yet far from being malicious.
Second letter sounds fake to me. Maybe the white couple is the same in both!!!??? (Shyamalan plot twist!)
On an unrelated note, is anyone else sick of hearing illegal fireworks in the distance? My less charitable side hopes their eyebrows burn off.
I just can't believe the second letter is real. First of all, are we to believe that this man, who lives in a big city and walks around naked and masturbates in front of his open window on an extremely regular basis, has never experienced gawkers and/or legal repercussions? Speaking of race fetishising, this letter honestly sounds reads a fantasy written by a kinky white guy who exclusively watches BBC porn.
And if the letter is real and genuine, why exactly is DANGLE to believe that the gawkers are anything more than gawkers-- like when the entire cast of "Friends" congregates by the open window to check out what Ugly Naked Guy is doing?
Something just seems off here.
The second letter may not be a fantasy, but it reads like one. If it's not, he's already made plenty of 'first moves'. I would advise him to leave the next moves up to them.
About Stings...I'm a white liberal woman who dates outside of my race, but without a specific type or preference for race. I'm attracted to this: smart, sexy, attractive, fit, healthy, good in bed, interesting, nice cock, fun and successful. However, I often find that there are hidden tripwires when it comes to interracial dating. For example, it's like if I ask where someone is from out of genuine interest in their home country....I just try not to anymore because people act like I'm about to report them to ICE. Like, just how much foriegn dick does a girl like myself have to suck before it can be said I am no more or less biased than anyone else? Privileged, liberal, high-income people often talk in terms of bias, race construction, or gender identity- particularly in academic settings. However, regular, everyday people express things in everyday slang terms about ass and tits that they like, no academic nuances about basic need for sex. Plus, blacks on blondes is a huge porn genre. Get over it...people get off on taboo and naughty sex that crosses social boundaries because it's forbidden fruit. Sexualizing identity is not limited to race- plenty of non-racial porn categories like nurses, teachers, poolboys, yoga instructors, construction workers, prison guards. Doesn't mean they are reduced to only that one identity; just means people sexualize and enjoy it. I'm not saying it's something admirable to treat yourself to some blacks on blondes porn, only that it doesn't make you a racist she-devil to admit your preferences for physical attraction- as long as it's in good fun and you are respectful to the person or people you wanna fuck.
I think Dan was too Harsh on the girlfriend as well... Saying you have a thing for certain characteristics is not implying you think they are inanimate or not worthy of respect... That said, sometimes I feel like if he doesn't come down like a ton of bricks for any questions involving race he'll be castigated and flamed into no tomorrow...boyfriend is way fucking insecure and insecure isn't sexy...
STINGS' letter to Dan reminds me of a heated SL discussion thread from years past, mainly between two LWs who identified themselves as Loves White Women and Loves Black Women (in Dan's Savage Love book, c.1998, a compilation of past SL columns, letters, and responses). Wouldn't using the "I" statement (i.e.: STINGS' GF: " I love white men, and think Asian guys are sexy, too.") as Dan had then suggested to the LWs to help settle the debate--and possibly also nix any feelings of suspected prejudice, and sexual insecurity---work here, too?
"You know I'm a liberal white guy who believes, as Dr. King said, that we should be judged not by the color of our skin but by the content of our character, right?"
"Sure man, I want to live up to that, too."
"I'm worried about my girlfriend's racism."
"Wait, if you think she's a racist, why are you still with her? I mean, if you want to judge people by the content of their character, and her character is racist, then it seems to me that..."
"Let me finish. I'm worried my girlfriend's racism is SHRINKING MY DICK!"
I've had relations with men of many races and I find all sorts of guys attractive. But I admit that I tend to favor darker skin, especially now that the men I fancy are older. I just think darker skin ages better, and I don't think red/pink skin is attractive and a lot of white guys turn red/pink when they are older, in the sun, working out, etc. Now attraction is not rational, so as soon as I say that, some pink skinned wrinkled old man will catch my attention and I'll find him super hot. Sounds like this woman has natural preferences, but they don't appear to cause her to date in any prejudiced way or else she wouldn't be with the white guy right? I mean, a conversation is fine, but seems much ado about nothing to me.
I have a male friend who likes light skinned white women (he's south Asian himself and fairly dark). I asked him about it once, since all his dates had been white, and he told me he just doesn't like the look of dark skin. It struck me as racist, sure. But then, some people like big tits, some like height, some like big butts, some like muscles- I mean, people have their attractions, and while some examination of things is well and good (since our attractions developed in our lives and WE LIVE IN A SOCIETY), I also think you really can't overthink these things or dig too deeply at them.
What matters is how the gf behaves, things she says, etc. If there is other problematic behavior, yeah then it's a problem.
As to the second guy, could be fake- but I interpreted it to mean he was in a high rise. A lot of times people don't pull the curtains on their flat windows if they are high enough up there that no one can really see in anyone- that is unless they are directly across the way. But since he talks a lot about the other couple going in and out, Im not so sure now. If he's in plain view of everyone, yea maybe stop jacking it in front of the window.
@1, I agree saying "I have a thing for x" doesn't necessarily objectify someone or reduce people to x. Like the woman who has a thing for men with deep voices in the last sllotd.
Wow, did Dan edit out the beginning of DANGLE's message to take out the "Dear Penthouse Forum, I never thought this would happen to me..."?
Expressing a "thing" for people of a certain race is per se to fetishize race. People do express this in gradations, but at the point someone is expressing exclusive interest in dating people of a certain race, that fact isn't deniable. Is such a fetish always borne of racism, perhaps not, but unlike ethical kinksters who are sensitive to the fact that they engage in play that would otherwise be domestic violence, otherwise vanilla people fetishizing race may not be as in tune to how they express or explore their racial preferences for sex partners.
Ms. Sting isn't at either end of the this spectrum of fetishizing potential sex partners, but it does sound like she has not been very thoughtful about her sexual preferences, or about how she articulates them. STING obviously has a hangup about his white girlfriend having sex with a black man, and given that issue, he broached this topic with Ms. Sting in an unhelpful manner.
@7/girliegams: "Plus, blacks on blondes is a huge porn genre." Yes, but it is a porn genre that actively plays on racist ideas, which supports a conclusion opposite to your point. Also people choose to be nurses, teachers, poolboys, yoga instructors, construction workers, or prison guards, can change careers many times; people do not chose their race or wear it like a costume.
DANGLE, presumes an awful lot, with a dose of wishful thinking. Color me skeptical that this woman was reaching up her thigh in some conscious or unconscious move to touch her pussy. If he's been strutting around naked and masturbating in front of his window, he's done everything to flag his sexual interest other than set up a big neon sign. It's two on one, and if this couple has taken notice of him in the way he hopes and has any interest in any sexual pairing, one or both of them would have made a move. Couples interested in fucking their neighbor would not hesitate to express interest at this point. DANGLE should focus his sexual energies elsewhere.
STINGS, it is "possible"? Ya think? You are the one who projected all those racial stereotypes onto her attractions. STINGS, the clit wants what the clit wants, sometimes it is that simple. Or perhaps she just likes variety. (She's dating you, a white man, isn't she?) If your girlfriend's being attracted to a feature (dark skin) that you do not possess threatens your masculinity, break up with her, for her sake. I disagree with Dan that you should stay with her and continue to both judge her and make her responsible for curing your insecurities.
DANGLE: Dear Penthouse...
On the off chance you're not a white man fantasizing about what it would be like to have a big black dick, buy some curtains. Problem solved.
Calliope @1, I agree completely regarding the phrase "I have a thing for." All it means is "I have a particular attraction to." I too thought the scolding of the girlfriend was unwarranted. Hell, if you're going for problematic language, why not scold STINGS for calling the -woman- he is dating a "girl"? Isn't that misogynistic? Ms STINGS, if there's a lesson to be learned here, it's that unless you're dating a bi guy, don't be so open about the other men you're attracted to. Keep those thoughts for sharing with your female and/or gay male friends.
Girlie @7: "For example, it's like if I ask where someone is from out of genuine interest in their home country....I just try not to anymore because people act like I'm about to report them to ICE." As someone who emigrated, it can be annoying to be asked where we are from. If it comes up naturally in the course of conversation, fine. If it's the first thing you say to someone when you hear an accent, you're annoying them at best, othering them at worst; and if you are white and they are not, there can be racist overtones. So let them bring it up. Thank you on behalf of immigrants everywhere.
Notworthy @8: I agree with your thoughts on why Dan scolded the girlfriend.
EmmaLiz @11: DANGLE says "I live in a basement apartment on a narrow street in a large city." Someone at street level would be unlikely to get a clear view of this guy's bathroom, from the setup he describes.
I find it disappointing that Dan, who is usually a staunch defender of letting people have their preferences - vanilla or kinky, straight or gay, skinny or fat, weird fetishes, whatever - suddenly goes SJW when the criterion is race. No one is entitled to any particular person's sexual attention. If I don't find someone attractive for whatever reason, I don't have to justify that. If I notice a pattern in who I find attractive or not, I don't have to justify that. And if someone told me to "check for prejudices" in that regard (or to question whether my preferences are "actually mine", for that matter), I'd tell them to go fuck themselves.
And it seems that the girlfriend of LW1 is doing it exactly right - even though she noticed a pattern of not finding Asians attractive in general, she's open to the possibility that there are exceptions - how is that not being "attracted to individuals"? What else can you reasonably expect beyond giving everyone a chance?
Finally, if my wife told me she had a thing for black guys, it would raise all kinds of alarms, but not because of possible racism. Instead, the question would be, what kind of message is she sending me by explicitly telling me she's into guys who are obviously not like me? And depending on the relationship, some insecurity may be justified here.
I have just had a nightmare vision of all the men writing into SL to ask, 'how can I approach to seduce?' and all the women asking, 'how can I let him down without getting beaten up? etc. How can I escape with my life?'.
STRINGS is insensitively asking himself the wrong question. Why is his new gf saying she's attracted to men other than him? Either particular men, like his close childhood friend, or categories of men, like black guys? There are lots of possibilities--but her reaction to his taking the issue up with her, that he's trying to control her, makes some likelier than others. Is she trying to assert her autonomy? Saying that she has other sexual options than him? (Well, they both have other sexual options). Is she scoping out his feelings about threesomes? And this has gone wrong, and she has become defensive? Are they in such an early stage of the relationship that she's heady about sex, saying she finds this sexy, that sexy, without filter? Why doesn't he just ask her why she's bringing up her attraction to guys of other races?
Another line would be that he says they're both liberal, and 'liberal' is often a synonym for 'well-educated'. But neither, to put too fine a point on it, come over as that smart--or even emotionally smart, good at defusing their conflicts. She doesn't say, 'I'm not demeaning individuals of a certain race by finding their racial characteristics attractive'. She says, 'you're trying to control me'. He should back off at this point and ask, 'do you think I dominate you or seek to control you in this relationship?'
As for DANGLE, can he break the ice by saying 'hello'? I would say he could. I think many straight white men would be curious to see a black man jerk off without it meaning they wanted to have gay sex. But this is made up--or is it? If it's made up, I doubt it's made up by a black man.
@14. Sublime. I think sexual desire itself is 'fetishising', is depersonalising or dehumanising. One isn't attracted to someone--to a stranger--because of their kindness to various aunts, or their judicious choice of which Muriel Spark novels they reread, or their nuanced takes on identity politics. No. We don't know those things. Even if those things indicate the broad scope of someone's whole character. Instead, we like our objects of desire's lovely café au lait skin, their massive racks, their 'big tits round asses', their deep voices, their youth and tautness and fullness. Of course we /treat/ people as human beings. We say, 'I want to get to know you'. And we do get to know them--and this can inform, moderate, deepen (stiffen?) or make us lose our hard-on for them. But the motive for treating them as human--besides everyday decency--is sometimes very unreconstructed. I don't think desire at this level is accessible to ordinary moral judgments--like 'fetishising', 'race-fetishising', 'gender-prejudicial'.
"When someone describes their attraction to a certain group, racial or otherwise, as "a thing," that usually means they see members of that group as things..."
Wait, it does? It's just a phrase that means the speaker finds them attractive. (In the phrase the word "thing" refers to the attraction within the speaker, not to the target of the attraction, for pete's sake.)
As for LW1, people are attracted to what they're attracted to (including "types"), which he seems ignorant of. Prejudice and objectification can underlie them, but just as likely does not.
As for LW2, I have a difficult time believing this letter isn't fake since he neither uses curtains nor has been arrested.
There's definitely a primal element of "opposites attract" when it comes to skin tone and racial mixing. No, biology isn't everything but it's something.
Totally disagree that the phrase "a thing," means someone is objectifying the target of their affection. That is not the standard use of the phrase, nor is it a Freduan tic. It's just how people talk about their desires.
I'm disappointed that Dan felt a need to tell a middle age black man who masturbates toward his open window that he should be extra concerned about the police. Things are bad enough in this country without having Dan project his "oh my gawd the police are such racists" life view on to a story where nothing racial was even vaguely suggested.
That said, I used to live in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago, which is quite nice. One winter evening I was walking to my car which I had parked a couple of blocks away. I saw a light in a window, one guy sorta walking his dog and another guy across the street smoking a cigarette. I looked up to the window and saw a very muscular 40ish black man slowly applying lotion to his body as if he'd just gotten out of the shower. Clearly, this was a frequent show... lol. I didn't stay long enough to see if it had a happy ending, it wasn't really my thing.
Oh, and... if the guy with the girlfriend who sorta digs black guys goes all WOKE on him, I hope she DTMF. No one needs a lecture on racism from their small dicked white bf.
Thanks BDF. I missed that- just thought of close together buildings in cities, narrow streets where you look out the window and see the window of the building next do you- missed basement somehow.
I think having a thing for a particular race COULD BE fetishizing. That's definitely a thing that happens. It could also simply be an attraction to certain features. In either case, again it's the way the person actually behaves, how they treat others, how they communicate with others, what they say, etc, that actually matters.
I disagree that sexual attraction is always dehumanizing or depersonalizing. You may not be thinking of how nice someone is to their auntie or whatever, but certainly sexual attraction very often includes quite a bit of things you like about this personal human you are with- and it's not just all physical. Also Harriet is giving very specific examples. I doubt very seriously that anyone jumps in bed with someone because they replaced their aunt's lightbulb or read one particular book, but absolutely it's very common for someone's attraction to someone else to include things like intelligence, shared interests, shared ideology, shared values, the fact that the person is well-liked or social or family oriented, that they are thoughtful, charismatic, like the same music, etc.
It seems like you are confusing sexual desire with physical attraction. Sexual desire is more complex.
Let's say I had the opportunity to meet Jason Momoa. I think he's very hot. If in the course of a conversation with him I discovered he was a dead beat dad or that his favorite book is Atlas Shrugged or that he was a segregationist, or more simply and more likely, he simply was terrible at flirting and couldn't focus on anything, then sure, I'd still say that's one physically attractive hot man, but no he would not be sexy AT ALL. It wouldn't be that I was making a choice not to hook up with him on ethical grounds, it would just be that sexiness is about interaction and style - how someone talks, how they lean, how they smile, how they flirt, the larger mystery of their life (which if you reveal too much you have the chance of blowing up), etc. Sexual desire is not the same as physical attractiveness.
For example, I think Brad Pitt is physically a very attractive man. Or at least he was when he was young- I haven't seen him lately so I don't know how he aged. But I don't think he's sexy at all. He seems like a frat boy thug to me. The sort of guy that would laugh with his mouth open over dinner and show you the chewed food on his tongue. That would guzzle beer and fart. It's not sexy, no matter how nice his physical features are.
@3 - this is the first time a Stranger comment has made me literally laugh out loud.
The thing about the gf that makes her seem more likely to be racist to me is the combination of her thing for black guys while also not normally being into Asian guys. There is definitely a stereotype that black guys are masculine, athletic, strong, etc, while Asian guys are weak, feminine, small, etc. If she mostly lives in a white bubble she's not gonna realize there is as much variety among black and Asian guys as there is among white guys. When race comes into play like this there are stereotypes and societal prejudices that mean a person should definitely interrogate where their ideas come from. Especially when there is a group that is often fetishized or over sexualized (black men) and a group that tends to be categorized by our society as unattractive or not sexual (Asian men).
I can also understand the guys insecurity. Not specifically as he describes it, but bc his new gf has brought up other types or guys aside from him she's attracted to and she is unwilling to either discuss this or say "I've already thought about this". The beginning of a relationship is not a time when you've had a chance to feel secure yet. I would also want to know that the person I was getting into a relationship with was willing to reflect on possible prejudices. It sounds like he brought up his insecurity in the conversation to take responsibility for the fact that he could be thinking these things bc of his insecurity and to try to not seem like he is blaming her. It doesn't sound controlling to me like it does to some others. Open communication is important in any relationship and keeping this to himself would show a lack of trust that he could be open.
@28. Emma. Maybe 'dehumanising' and 'depersonalising are the wrong terms--I was trying to tease out what was involved in the negative implications of 'fetishising'. Let's say something like 'projecting' or 'fantasising' then.
I don't think all desire is like this. Just a primal sexual urge towards a stranger. After two dates, one's desires are oriented towards human particularities. An example of what I mean by fetishistic / depersonalising could be how, fifteen years or so ago, many women had the hots for George Clooney on the basis of his performances in ER. They knew he wasn't like his character--but didn't care; his desirable qualities like capability, kindness, sense of responsibility, social conscience, success were idealistically divorced from any kind of more complicated reality. There's no difference, to me, between this kind of fetishistic simplification and a het guy's witlessly raving over 'natural blondes' or 'massive racks'.
L-dub 1 and many (most?) posters... fetishizing a race of people is racist. It just is. It's more or less the definition of racist. That said, it's also insanely common, incredibly human, and I'm going to argue... ok.
We are intelligent apes. We and the 'civilized' world we've created are not capable of being fully ethical. That's just the human condition. Better to accept that and do what you can to be as ethical as possible while cutting yourself some slack for the unethical things we want/need/do and trying to keep those things as benign as possible. I.e. being sexually attracted to a race of people.
Trying to justify race fetishization as ethical (or moral or just non-racist) just makes you insufferable, self-righteous and a bad logician. How about accepting that (like everyone) you suck a little and this is an ok way to suck?
STINGS: Almost all your white female partners have a "thing" for black guys. It's well known. Both the very woke and very racist enjoy fucking black guys. The middle make you work harder.
DANGLE: You should put a sign in the window that's something of a knowing wink. See if they reciprocate. Then put a picture of hot coffee in the window. Perhaps you'll hear a knock one of these days.
DANGLE's letter is faker than a pair of FFFs.
LW1, don’t take it personally. She’s with you right now, and yes she still has eyes and attractions for other men. Don’t you have attractions for other women, and what attributes do you like.
Racism to me is judging others because of their skin, their biological self, before they speak or do anything.
With sexual attraction, it’s not judging the person for who they are, not putting them down or locking them in cages. It’s saying, no, I’m usually not attracted to so and so, and it’s perfectly legit. I don’t get this horror around sexual attraction or not to race. I don’t dare utter a word about it because one is immediately told, like LW1 thinks, that it’s racism. No. It’s about body types and shape and features and skin colour. It doesn’t involve hate based on these attributes, that is racism. Sexual attraction is not about being pc, and it’s not something one has control over. Our hateful thoughts based on race, those we have control over.
M?? Harriet - You really ought to set up as a specialist on All Things OS; you're quite convincing. (At least Ms Fan is safe.)
Why did you choose Dame Muriel; is there really that much variety in her novels? I have long thought that so much of, say, A Far Cry from Kensington could fit neatly into The Girls of Slender Means or The Ballad of Peckham Rye - or that Aiding and Abetting, The Abbess of Crew and The Finishing School are equally likely to have one mixing up which of the three is the source of a particular almost-remembered quotation. The Mandelbaum Gate may stand out a bit, but, if I were going to pick for variety, I'd probably go with Mrs Woolf.
What I notice with Asian men in my country is they don’t seem attracted to white women. Many white men though are attracted to Asian women. Is that racism and/ or culturalism.
The only problem re letter 1, is the woman shared with him. Then he made it all about him and felt so justified he’d found a reason for his discomfort, her racism, and wrote to Dan.
Yes LW1, your response was controlling and it will only teach this woman not to share her truth with you.
LW2, how very sad that Dan’s first words were about safety.
Good fantasy though, and I too think it’s fake. Shouldn’t he be putting that up on fet’s erotic story group, it’s better than a lot of those there. He needs an ending, and what could it be.
Ms Cute - You know technical terms that I don't. I was just explaining to someone on YouTube why I use the G-word as a noun instead of an adjective, and wanted a word for something that is close to a tautology. What is the term for an adjective-noun word pairing in which the noun is unnecessary, because everyone/everything to whom/which the adjective applies is also included in the noun?
@38 In America, Asians are coded as strongly subservient (and the men, therefore, desexualized) which is used to explain the same attraction deficit. Is that true for Asian-Australians (that is, native-born australians that have assimilated a large degree of the culture and are of east asian descent)?
Ms Lava - Here's to hoping that right Australian (Ms Barty) wins tomorrow rather than the wrong one (Mr Kyrgios). I am rather depressed by the new umpiring policy. They should have gone the other way, and added "Mr" to male players instead of deciding to call women by just their surnames
@40 Redundant? Not a technical term, but accurate, I think.
Don’t know Sportlandia @41, because Asians pretty much keep to themselves, or they did when I lived in a city. Not many where I live now.
I don’t perceive Asian men as subservient, then I’m not privy to their intimate culture.
Poor Nick, he’s a worry. I hope they both Win, Mr V.
I was mainly attracted to “dark guys”. Black hair, dark eyes, bronze skin. they could be Latino, Greek, Italian, black, middle eastern even Black Irish...of which I dated a few. The heart wants what the heart wants. Or maybe it was because my dad was a “dark guy”.
@44 yeah I didn't know about the stereotype until recently but there seems to be broad agreement here that it exists. I've met a few asian men from Sydney or Adelaide etc - I assumed that there'd be at least as many chinese people in Australia as America at this point, but I guess not?
Oh yes, we have many Chinese Australians, Sportlandia. They arrived here during the gold rushes, so like us whites, they are early colonisers
Chinese Australians, men and women, ones who have been here many decades, they don’t look subserviant to me. The students though, the citizens of China, they are monitored over here. China tries to interfere when the Dalai Lama visits, so it’s hard to know with Chinese. They keep it very close to their chests and when ever I interact with any Asians, they are polite, yet guarded.
Our indigenous Australians, our black people, they are growing stronger and stronger, it’s beautiful to see. The invaders have been such barbarians to them and their cultures, nearly wiped them out.
Happy Fourth of July United States. Day is half over, here. I read there’s tanks rolling into Washington.
Harriet, I don't mean dating and getting to know someone decently well- but we generally interact with people we fuck, even during hookups. You talk a bit, you like the way someone moves, you flirt, you share a drink, someone's attitude before and after the actual moments of fucking is either sexy or not- and yes those things are personal and humanizing. Part of the excitement of being with a new person is that they are hot and interesting and fun to be around. Even if it's only for a few hours. I generally like people in real life so maybe Im skewed a bit here, but when I played the field more widely, I tended to think of dudes as a very special guest star. I didn't actually want to know them, but the more they played along, the better. It's why I think I'd be a good sugar mama if I ever get to that point in my life which as things are going now seems unlikely.
On the flip side, fetishizing and objectifying someone is likewise hot in certain circumstances- to see someone simply as a body, or to see yourself as a body- just sex with nothing personal or humanizing.
And of course there is fluidity between these things. I'm just saying that I definitely disagree with the idea that sexual desire is always dehumanizing or can usually be reduced to a list of physical features. Sexiness is about a lot more than that. Most of the time anyway.
Lava, I don't know if this is true or what sorts of Asian you are talking about (most of the world is Asian), but among the Asians I know (mostly from the subcontinent) it's received wisdom that the difference is that white men are interested in Asian women at higher rates than white women are interested in Asian men. So it's not that the Asian men aren't interested in white women, but rather that their interest is less likely to be reciprocated than that of Asian women.
I'm sure these things change by demographic and location and age and a million other factors, and I wonder if this is true at all- but it's one of those things people say. Sort of like how gays always say everyone's a bottom.
However it plays EL, I’ve never felt an Asian man look at me with sexual interest. I can’t believe that’s only because they believe I wouldn’t look at them with sexual interest. I sense they don’t find white women attractive. Big boned people we are, loud mouthed women.
To correct my above statement, Australia has many black communities these days, immigrants from Africa. Always was always will be Aboriginal land.
venn @40 Pleonasm.
Lava, again I have to point out that the majority of the world is Asian (what, like 4.5 billion people across the largest continent on the planet) so it's really foolish to say such things without clarifying what demographic you are talking about. Your perception of your interactions with immigrants between the ages of X-Y from countries A,B,C who have lived in city Z in Australia for between 1 to 10 generations, etc...
I think a more likely explanation (even without knowing any specifics) is that different cultures show sexual interest in different ways and perceive the sexual interest of others differently, etc But set all that aside and let's go with your interpretation- it still jives with what I said.
I'm telling you that it's basically a trope among Asian immigrants in the US (at least in Houston, one of the most diverse cities in the country, and at least with SE Asian immigrants who are the ones I'm around the most and have known intimately for my entire life) that white women mostly are not interested in Asian men. I don't know that this is actually true in reality, but the perception that it is true is definitely there- and something that Asian immigrants grow up with. So it would alter the way one behaves, however it plays, as you say.
But I can flip it on its head and ask, what are your experiences with approaching Asian men? I think this would be a clearer assessment of trends- if you've approached or flirted with them and you are rejected each time, then you have something more to go on.
I’ve found with flirting, it’s usually instantaneous. Both give a recognition, of sorts. My experience with Asian men is they didn’t even see me, talking as a young woman here. No eye contact, no nothing.
My point is, I believe many people have racial and cultural preferences in their choice of sex/love partners and that doesn’t make them racist.
@49 LavaGirl: It's a pity about DC, isn't it? What a fraudulent waste of taxpayers' money! Hopefully no tanks ever roll into Washington State. I wouldn't mind a tank rolling over Trumpty Dumpty, though. The commander of the rolling military vehicle flattening the world's biggest shit-spewing blimp would instantly become an international hero / heroine.
@56 LavaGirl: Amen, thank you, and bless you.
Who's up for this week's Lucky @69 Award? Tick...tick...tick...
re DANGLE: I'm glad that although I live in a ground floor apartment, I have Venetian blinds, my high windows face a brick wall on the east side of my building and a parking lot three floors up, and only if anyone in the narrow courtyard outside looks downward in a certain angle or from an adjacent upstairs unit can anyone see Griz in her birthday suit.
@59: At least, I haven't heard any screaming yet after 15 years in the same unit.
I will echo EmmaLiz. It does seem like there is an assumption to be overcome that white women will not be interested in Asian men. I think that this has much to do with country of origin and with whether or not we are discussing if they are first/second/third generation immigrants (also, I realize this has been said, but Asian is a SUPER broad term). I have noticed that Asian guys who are born in America seem to have way fewer qualms about approaching white women. There can also be some strong cultural objections to dating outside a specific culture. As for Asian women, I think that there has been a lot of fetishization over the years (at least in America) so it is not surprising that they would be approached more frequently.
I agree with @17 and @31. I would be WAY more concerned with the fact that she is talking about other guys (including his friend) that she finds sexually attractive that early in the relationship then I would that she might be displaying racist overtones. It's possible that she is testing the waters in some way (maybe she just wants to let him know that she is open to discussing attraction to others and isn't jealous), but no matter the reason it does not appear to have been received well. This definitely seems like a situation where LW needs to learn to use his words, although I doubt that it will matter for them.
Also I really think that we (I mean society, not us specifically) all need to take a step back when it comes to discussing attraction. There was a UK game show where a man mentioned that he had felt unattractive, then lost a ton of weight, and now no longer finds larger women attractive because they remind him of how he felt beforehand. This was a statement about personal attraction, but the show was blamed for fat-shaming and there were numerous scathing articles and posts about how despicable the show itself was. I do feel that we have lost the ability to simply talk about what we find attractive without it having some overarching societal implications.
For instance, if the LW had been rejected by his girlfriend because she "has a thing for black guys" and would not consider another partner option unless that one box was checked, then I think that is a call for racism. Simply stating that you tend to find some attribute attractive does not necessarily mean that you are suddenly dehumanizing people. I have a few different "types", but all that means is that I am more likely to take initial notice of someone if they meet those criteria, that's how attraction works.
Kitten @31: You, too, may be reading too much into this. Perhaps Ms STINGS's "thing for black guys" stems from the taboo. Particularly if she is from a state where this could have led to a lynching in the past. The forbidden is strongly enticing. There is no such taboo about white women and Asian men so they don't hold the same draw.
Venn @37: Eh? Most of what Harriet has said on this week's thread makes no sense to me.
Lava @38: "The only problem re letter 1, is the woman shared with him. Then he made it all about him and felt so justified he’d found a reason for his discomfort, her racism, and wrote to Dan." Nailed it. And Dan fell right into the trap.
Lava @44: Nope, I've also never heard of a stereotype of Asian men being subservient. Women, yes, because many ignorant dickful thinkers think all Asian women are geishas. Dick size is the only negative stereotype I've heard about Asian men. Though I'm a bad one to ask because "less masculine" is a positive for me. Less body hair! Yay, bring the East Asian men! (I say "East Asian" because here in the UK, if you say Asian, you mean Indian/Pakistani.)
Polite, Lava @48, yes. That does not mean subservient. Polite people can be passive aggressive back stabbers!
I guess these stereotypes kill my business idea of mail-order husbands from China for lonely American women dead in the water. ;)
Savage @61: Exactly. He used the wrong words. He should have told her it was rude to talk about the other men she's attracted to in front of him, not accused her of racism. Perhaps she was indeed testing the waters for how open he'd be to an open relationship. Perhaps she is just young and naive.
@37. venn. The thought that would have been going through my head was that there were subtle but significant differences of quality within a carefully limited range. Like you, it seems, I find the early work better and more capacious.
@50. Emma. Maybe I just mean re the choice of whom to approach in a nightclub.
It's possible that women can never think as clitfully as men think dickfully, because if they did, they would choose casual partners unwisely and get beaten up. But there's a line that says men think with their dicks, and women with their brains or whole persons--and I'm suspicious of this. Your initial response was to say you had racial preferences for people, but this was only a matter of averages--since individuals could always buck it; and it only pertained to desire, not to how you related broadly to persons of different races. I thought this was correct (as a description of what people are like), rather than feeling any urge to regret it or wring my hands over it, like some commenters.
@56. Lava. The 'it doesn't make you racist' point is clearly true. It's as true to me as 'being a gold-star gay doesn't make you a misogynist'.
@62. Bi. 'Most'!? Is this a higher or lower proportion than usual?
@61. Savage. It's hurtful for someone to hear, 'I'm not attracted to you because you're an X'. Maybe we all need thicker skin in this regard.
Bi, you anticipated what I said about DANGLE and agreed with, even recapitulated, what I said about STINGS, so I'm at a loss to know what you didn't understand.
I was teasing, Harriet. Truth be told it's Venn's comment ("At least Ms Fan is safe") that I didn't understand, and indeed Venn's posts that I'm least likely to find comprehensible. Your exchange with Emma is a bit esoteric, but your posts otherwise do make sense, and you haven't invented any backstory to these letters as you sometimes do. Your post @18 proposes questions, hypotheticals; it doesn't jump to conclusions. This makes me happy and I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings.
Mr Venn; I didn’t realise Nick’s match was with Nadal.. now I agree with you.
@1 as someone with a Scottish accent, someone saying they have a 'thing' for people with Scottish accents creeps me out because I feel interchangeable with every other Scottish person. Doubly creeped out if it's not a flirty conversation and I am not interested in the person who's made the comment. Having said that, the context is a lot less fraught than with racial differences and while accent discrimination is a thing, it doesn't compare at all to the different treatment/experiences of POC who have to contend with all kinds of other objectifying and stereotyping crappiness. Perhaps for a proper comparison you'd have to ask a POC from Scotland which kind of objectification they dislike more.
Also, yeah, L2 is as fake as a tartan Loch Ness Monster.
@67. Lava. Beyond patriotism, do like Kyrgios (not sure about spelling) or not?
@68. Bi. Oh, esoterica is my stock-in-trade. I didn't understand his remark either--that I could make no claim to understanding you at the level of generality, in that you're not straight? But why you, especially? I previously wasn't trying to come up with backstories, but to make jokes, as I saw them, about non-excluded possibilities.
@68. karaspita. Speak like they do in Trainspotting and the whole of America will politely ignore you.
Congrats, Harriet, on the sixty-nine. May you take a licking and keep on Ticking!
Ms Fan/M?? Harriet - This is why there is only a rumour that one person I never met managed to solve one of my acrostics. I thought it was only too obvious. What was entirely convincing about M?? Harriet's posts was the passion for capacious [rhymes-with-stack]s, which I assumed Ms Fan would see with a flash of relief.
Ms Muse - That would be accurate, but I have a nagging memory that there's a more specific name for it, although, of course, I could have dreamt the whole thing.
I once made up the word "pfutz" as both a noun and a verb to describe the conduct of the husband of a Jewish couple who are among the slower pairs in my bridge game because they play at a normal pace and he takes about three to five minutes a round to instruct her (he knows more about the game but she makes fewer mistakes than he does). They also play as Husbands and Wives with another couple; the two wives and the other husband knew immediately what I meant when I told the first husband to stop pfutzing. Later, another player told me she thought there actually was such a word.
Ms Lava - I'm glad I saw your revised post; the first one surprised me. I was all set to post something like, "Patriotism Uber Rafa?". Sr N has been quicker off the mark as I post this.
@68 I would never say to a Scottish guy that I have a thing for guys with Scottish accents. I would absolutely anticipate that being received poorly. My social anxiety and issues with my weight also makes me currently allergic to flirting, anyway. The only situation in which I can remember telling someone about my "thing" is after a cute guy came into the store and I had a brief exchange with him (where I noticed his accent) in which he said he was just browsing and didn't need any help. (At B&N, Booksellers are required to ask every customer possible if they need help finding anything.)
After he had left, and out of earshot of any other customers, I said to my friend/coworker "It's a pity he didn't need help. He was cute, and I have a thing for guys with Scottish accents." It really hasn't come up in my life in any other situations.
I would never want to even risk making anyone uncomfortable. I was merely expressing my disappointment to my friend that I couldn't spend a couple minutes assisting a customer I had a passing attraction to. I would never have done anything to even imply to him that I was attracted to him. Not only would it be unprofessional, it would be rude and could weird him out.
On another angle, would you be made uncomfortable by any language used to express an attraction to Scots, or is there something about the phrasing of "I have a thing for..." that makes you uneasy? Just curious, as this example only came up as an illustration of that phrasing.
(I can totally, understand, by the way, feeling lumped in and de-individualized by such a comment. I am uneasy when I hear things like "I have a thing for big women" - online, no one has ever said anything like that to me in real life - because I feel like they wouldn't be attracted to me for myself, just my fat. But my unease is due to my own feelings about the topic in general, not because I think the phrase "I have a thing for..." is inherently depersonalizing.)
@73 Yes, the word is "putz." It is Yiddish/Yinglish. The noun means a stupid or worthless person, and the verb, usually used in the phrase "stop putzing around," essentially means to waste time.
I remember a past conversation in which gay men were complaining that not being white limited their chances on online dating. Assuming you are in a white majority country (which most of the world is not, but most of Dan's readership and most Tinder/Grinder users likely are), the assumption that Asian men find it more difficult to date white women (than the other way around) makes sense, even if the stereotype that white women do not find Asian men attractive does not. What I mean is, most people tend to date within their demographic groups (ethnicity, class, etc) and women are generally more discerning than men, especially if we are talking about dating outside of your social group (online for example, or flirting with strangers in public). Since Asians are a minority in the places we are discussing - and not just a minority but a very small minority in many of them- then in makes sense that the combo of these two factors would cause Asian men to feel that white women generally are uninterested in them.
As to cultural differences, again I can only speak of SE Asians (subcontinent specifically) but what's the norm is for guys that aren't assholes to not cold approach in public in the first place. This is because it's so fucking common to the point of normalized for men to harass women in public - even groups of them. I've experienced street harassment in many countries in the world, but nothing compares to what it's like in Indian cities (of course I haven't been everywhere). In my experience, places that have a bad rap according to female Western tourists (like Marrakesh or Bangkok) are cake walks compared to what it's like to travel around India. Most Indian men, being appalled by this behavior and generally respectful of women and also fearful of being accused of harassing a woman, then will respond by being mindful not to show attention to young women at all- or to stand from afar and stare as if they haven't the faintest idea how to behave appropriately otherwise. Then combine this with the fact that Indian social networks are intense and intricate, and there's really no reason for a smart, social respectful Indian boy to start hitting on women in public- he probably has loads of friends already and can always get an arranged marriage if dating in his own social network / work-school batch doesn't work out.
Bring those same young men to the US where they likely already have friends and family and where they'll likely also live in a community with other subcontinentals, and you have young men who dont really know how to talk to women from outside of their own extremely social networks. Combine this with the fact that they are aware of the stereotypes both in how a very loud minority of them are violent street harassers and also how white women generally don't want to date them- and you end up with men who might come across as nerdy or shy or uncomfortable talking to women they don't know. I have far less experience with Arab or Persian immigrants, but I suspect they experience the same thing. In the US anyway (I know the UK is different) subcontinental Asians seem to face the dual stereotype of being considered nerdy (doctors, good at math, socially awkward) and insular (staying in their own communities) while on the flip side being considered loud/vulgar/backwards/threatening/smelly/sexist. For young men, it's a harder line to walk since young women aren't ever considered a threat. If they are quiet and shy, they are nerds. If they are more direct or outgoing, they risk being seen as threatening, giving unwelcome attention, especially in a time in which white supremacy is on the rise in most white majority places.
However, I can also say that a stereotype that says subcontinental Asians are not interested in white women is new to me. It seems the opposite of what I've always heard- that they think white women are easy and therefore are eager to date them. As BDF says, all of this starts to change depending on the generation we are talking about. And I don't interact much with E Asians so I suspect that's very different.
Regarding attraction to race/accent- I just suggest not saying it out loud to the person, just like if you were into women with big butts you would not say to a big-butted woman "I love your ass" until you were quite certain such a compliment would be welcome. I like accents, and I think it's been pretty well documented that many women are turned on by voices. Also most of us like new experiences. But it's a bad approach to start conversations with someone with stuff like "ooh I love your accent". Where are you from is fine of course, but if someone tells you where they are from and it doesn't jive with your pre-conception that they don't look like they are from that place, let it go and don't push them to tell you their whole life story.
Just in general, I highly recommend that everyone date people of different races and different countries as often as they can if they are not narrow in their preferences (I'm not saying date someone you find unattractive obviously). It can be a lot of fun and you can learn a lot about other cultures this way and - at the least- get some good experience with other food, music, etc. Especially if you live in one of the big Western cities in which you have people from all over the world- you will learn more of your own city as well.
Harriet if you just mean what makes someone swipe on someone's pic or approach someone they see from across the room, then yes I agree.
Mr. Ven, I can't think of such a word, beyond Registered European's ~pleonasm~ but I'll start searching around.
There is a Yiddish word, "futz," which means a worthless person, and I've always heard/used "futzing around" to mean wasting time or to act in a foolish manner.
But "putz" is a vulgar word for penis, akin to "dick." It's a harsher condemnation of a person than "futz," and acts the way "dick" does when we use it to refer to a person.
As far as the "---ing around" constriction goes, where "stop dicking around" can be close to "stop futzing around," i.e. "stop screwing around," I've never heard a person say "putzing around" in polite company. It would carry a stronger, more negative connotation.
I think Americans like accents from other white-majority English speaking countries just generally. The stereotype is that English accents "sound smart" (at least a sort of RP type accent) and that other regional British accents "sound witty". But it does seem that the Scottish accent is singled out as being one American women typically find sexy. There was even a study recently that came across my social media that says that American women find Scottish accents to be the sexiest in the world so regardless of what we might think of the word choice, it's definitely "a thing". I blame Sean Connery. He does have a very nice voice, even without the accent- and this is the only explanation as to why a couple generations of American women found him attractive since he's also overweight, has bad skin, has big ears, bald and beats his wife. It's on its way out now- young women don't care about Sean Connery or even know who he is, and I'm curious to know if the "thing" for Scottish accents is also in decline now? There are some Americans who are really into their Scottish heritage- they are all descended from William Wallace and know what their family tartan is, etc. I wonder what it is that makes some language accents just sound nicer than others?
Among very young people (like my sci fi nerd niece) they were very into David Tennant a couple years back, mostly because of Doctor Who and he doesn't use his natural accent then. I don't think it's the accent they like- I think it was the cute clean shaven thin appearance- he was neat like a boy band singer and young girls often like that, sexy and not at all threatening. Maybe Gerard Butler is the younger generation's Sean Connery- another guy that looks a bit rough, big bodied, hyper masculinity, booming voice?
@79 I have heard "futzing around." certainly more often that "putzing around," but I have never heard "futz" as a noun. And yes, "putz" refers to the penis. So do many other insults in Yiddish, "schmuck" being foremost in my mind. But I disagree that "putz" is vulgar. My parents, both children of Yiddish speakers, called me a "putz" when I was being annoying (not as often as they called me a "nudnik," but still), and I have heard it in other contexts used lightly. It never occurred to me, despite its origins, that "putz" would be anything other than a standard Yiddish insult, though I suppose it is sometimes used as such. The first usage, for a stupid or ineffectual person, in the noun entry in M-W says "informal," and the second entry, for penis, says "vulgar slang."
For "putzing around," see the verb entry and example sentences here:
"To futz around" comes from a phrase that literally means "to fart around."
@80 Indeed, I think my "thing" for Scottish accents comes from a little obsession I had with David Tennant for his roles in various things (in some of which he does use his native accent), including Doctor Who. He is considerably too old for me (I'm 24), but I still think he's very sexy and get excited to see him in things, especially if he's not putting on an accent.
I know who Sean Connery is, but I have never seen him in anything.
RE: Asian guys -- I know he's a cartoon character, but Shang from Mulan was my first crush as a kid. Not sure what that says about me.
Harriet, you follow tennis too? Yes, I do like Nick. He’s a brat boy for sure, and I hope he sticks with his tennis and grows up.
I like David Tennent too, CalliopeM even though he’s such a slender dude.
I think a love of David Tennent is pretty universal. I'm pretty sure it's impossible to not like him.
@Harriet, I am aware that it can be hurtful to say "I'm not attracted to you because you're an X", so perhaps the game show example was not a good one. Although that is a terrible way to put anything outside the confines of the game show. The game show in question is literally about physical attraction and nothing else, which I why I found it so funny that people were up in arms about someone admitting what they were physically attracted to. Although I do think that everyone could use a thicker skin, what I was trying to say is that it should be totally acceptable to state what you are/are not attracted to without an implied statement that everyone else is ugly.
I just wish that statements could be taken as "I do not find this particular trait physically attractive TO ME, but it is understood that many other people do and it is just not for me", but instead people hear something along the lines of "I don't find this particular trait attractive and therefore society needs to know that anyone with said trait is utterly disgusting."
Is it time to bring "Oriental" back, since now in America there are large enough communities of South Asians as well? In my mind, I kind of divide asian immigrants and their American descendants into "working people" and pro-westernization asians. The former includes Filipinos, SE Asians, Muslims, and poor South Asians; the latter being Chinese, Korean, Japanese and Malay people. Obviously there is crossover, there are plenty of working Koreans and rich Indians. The class distinction seems to be more important than skin color or national origin, although they do hate dark skin, even their own darker-skinned relatives.
What's the best shorthand to differentiate these groups?
@Lava Do you have European-exclusive traits? Are you tall, blond, blue eyed, light-skinded?
@81: My parents would have probably defined "futzing around" as "goofing around," which is probably akin to "farting around;" they would never, ever have called me a putz. They called me a nudnik or a vonce. They rarely called anyone a putz; you'd have to be a real asshole with a high amount of imbecility for that--which is why my father always referred to George W Bush as "that putz in the White House."
My grandparents were multi-lingual, but Yiddish was their first language; my parents learned enough of it to be able to figure out the secrets the grownups were trying to keep from them. They can understand it better than they speak it. I have the usual second-generation vocabulary, buttressed with having pored over Leo Rosten's "The Joys of Yiddish" endless times. So your knowledge is likely greater than mine. And perhaps my parents were more repressed and easily shocked, language-wise, than yours!
@69 Harriet_by_the_Bulrushes: Congratulations on scoring the highly coveted Lucky @69 Award!! I second DonnyKlicious's perfect congratulatory comment (@71). I couldn't say it better.
@71 DonnyKlicious: Thank you for your brilliant congratulatory comment to Harriet. Are you up for the Hunsky? Big hugs and an Aack-oop to you and Mr. Bill.
Sportlandia, oriental.. not sure that’s gonna catch on, again, It sounds very problematic.
Who hates dark skin?
I’m of English and German heritage, don’t know how many generations have been born in Oz, at least three that I am aware of.. No, not tall, yes fair skinned, and blue eyed and brown haired, with grey happening round my temples, now I’m old. Not cut short though and four or so dreads mingled in. Made ‘em myself, all you have to do is not brush or comb and voila, a dread is born.
Six more comments to the Hunsky!
@91 nocutename: Interesting definition for the term, putz. The one most recent use of it that I have witnessed was made by an internationally known, well-off film composer who also teaches at a private film school in our region. He made the reference to himself. He strung me along about my own composed music making it successfully in the film industry, that he'd get back to me, repeatedly telling me to keep "giving him a little nudge" by phone or email----only to be a rude, obnoxious asshole over long distance when I couldn't afford moving to Seattle, paying the average rent, or funding the cost of annual tuition. What price Hollywood.
Venn @72: It is neither a relief nor accurate to assume that men aren't attracted to me because I don't have a "capacious rack." (Thanks.) Possibly one less thing (two less things?) to objectify, sure. But many years ago I was commenting to a close bi male friend about how one positive thing about my having been deprived of breasts is that men talk to my face, not my chest. Oh no, my friend said, size doesn't matter, men gawp at your boobs too. I laughed him off but sure enough, later that week I was at a club and a male acquaintance was talking to my boobs. Harriet's examples were just that.
Venn @73: Agree with others that you seem to have merely conflated the noun putz and the verb futz.
Kara @68/Calliope @75: Yes, I can't imagine feeling anything but creeped out if anyone said directly to me, "I have a thing for [insert desired characteristic]". Perhaps if it was someone I was already dating it might come across as endearing? As a general statement, sure; as a pickup line, no.
EmmaLiz @78: "Where are you from is fine of course"
I disagree. (See @16.)
"don't push them to tell you their whole life story."
THANK YOU. If you -are- going to lead with an othering question like "where are you from," be very mindful of any reticence in answering and do not push them to have the same conversation they've had hundreds of times and are sick of having. A more welcoming question is "so how long have you lived here?" That sends a message that, while it may be obvious they are an immigrant, you think of them as someone who belongs Here rather than someone who is Not From Aroun' Here, Are Ya? Honestly, don't "where are you from" someone with an accent unless the conversation is leading in that direction anyway.
Unless they are obviously Scottish. I've never met a Scot who isn't proud of their heritage and happy to talk about it.
Calliope @82: David Tennant is cute af and definitely not too old for a 24-year-old to have an unrequited crush on! :)
Calliope @84: I've read that the makers of Crazy Ex Girlfriend deliberately cast an Asian man in the role of the dreamboat crush to combat the stereotypes of Asian men as being unsexy. I reckon it worked.
Lava @87: Hmm! Could it be we've found the new Brad Pitt, a guy everyone finds attractive regardless of their own personal preferences? :)
Savage @88: "It should be totally acceptable to state what you are/are not attracted to without an implied statement that everyone else is ugly." Yes!
Sporty @90: Given that Asians find the term "oriental" offensive, no. In the UK we say East Asian and South Asian, which seems easy enough without making stereotypical assumptions about whether someone is "working," wow.
Griz @94: Have I reached hunsky in the time it took me to type this mammoth post? Let's hit post and find out...!
And now I'm a bit depressed because I'm the same age as David Tennant and don't like to think of myself as "considerably too old" for anything. Thanks Calliope. :P
The other sexy thing about Scottish men, I reckon, is the kilts.
David is like the good dad, the solid citizen. Brad, he’s a honey. I’d say he’s a good dad as well, though must be hard to sort things with his ex, Angelina, the weird one.
Ms Fan - Not-P did not imply Not-Q. (The assembled company may perhaps think that I invited the inference, but I couldn't possibly comment.) You assumed the unstated second half of the sentence incorrectly. Had I finished it, it would have been "safe from the knowledge of certain attraction". Now, I'll grant that I invited the inference that that would not be to your taste (which could be incorrect), but at least this way you can play it in either direction. If you do not want to attract M?? Harriet, you can be glad of avoiding the initial gaze, and, if you do, you are doubtless more than capable, which is more than I ever was, but I do not grudge it.
Ms Muse/Ms Cute - It's difficult sometimes, as I can never be quite sure sometimes of whether I've remembered something or dreamt it up. I always had a clear vision on my word as definitely being spelled with a "pf". It was conceived with a design to put a Jewish spin on the way the husband in question reminded me of Lucy van Pelt, that supreme fussbudget. The other couple had their own little story, as about a dozen times over the course of a year or two I said casually that Husband #2 should give Wife #2 a diamond tennis bracelet, and finally he did. I claim at least as much credit for it as Emma did for the Westons' marriage.
Ms Lava - Well, that was invigorating. And today we see the debut of a new pairing between Mr Murray and Ms Williams, S in the mixed doubles. Apparently the offer came from her camp. Mr Mouratoglou has confirmed that Ms Williams (who is low on match play, which may be how they got the idea) will NOT drop out if she goes deep in the singles, as Ms Graf did to Mr McEnroe once they reached the semifinals in 1999 (as Ms Navratilova warned Mr M would happen). That concern was why it took Mr Murray almost a day to agree.
Ms Fan again - I wonder whether Mr Tennant will age well. He reminds me a little both of Mr Eccleston, who didn't, and of Mr Selby, who did.
@93 Asians - especially Chinese but it's pretty common everywhere - have a strong dislike of dark skin that doesn't exist in America (it's much better in America to be a dark-skinned Mediterranean who is white than a very light-skinned black person. Think of how it was possible that Rachel Dolezal was able to fool people for so long)
@96 I usually go with "Where are your parents from" or "where is your family from". The thing you want to avoid is putting a person into the "non-american" box. People from every corner of the globe are fully American.
Venn @100: Congrats on the hunsky!
I did not interpret Harriet's post as what -they- fetishise, but as what a stereotypical het male fetishises. I have no idea whether Harriet would find me attractive, or vice versa.
Sporty @101: Two different types of people get asked where they are from:
1. People with accents, who are indeed from a different country, but who may well think of themselves as having "gone native" and don't want to be reminded that their foreignness is still obvious
2. People of colour, who don't have an accent, and therefore are "from" America, and therefore it's racist to ask -them- where they're from.
I agree with you that Americans who are non-white are more likely to identify as American than Americans who are white, who are more likely to say in a 100% pure American accent that they are Irish, German, Polish etc. This amuses people who actually -are- from those countries to no end.
I've never found Brad Pitt attractive...
I'm often more interested in where people are currently living, for which I used to say, "Where are you from?" because, at least in my region, it is common to say "I'm from X town." After much confusion, especially with people of other races or national origins, I now simply ask, "Where do you live?"
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