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Eternity E Martis

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Why I Don't Sleep With White Guys

Posted: 07/25/2013 8:26 am

They say nothing comes without a price. However, in the case of being one of the only coloured girls in my city, nothing comes without a race.

I live in a predominately white city. Not by choice (I'm from Toronto), but to attend university. When I first got to the city, I thought people would be incredibly racist and I'd be excluded and snubbed by my peers. Well, the opposite happened.

Arrogance aside (I promise), everywhere I went, I was white men's object (emphasis on object) of desire. And it wasn't just white men -- all races of men I've never encountered, but white men seemed the most enthralled by my presence. But the initial adoration and my swelled ego soon subsided after I realized that men were not attracted to me for being just a "pretty face" -- I was being objectified, exoticized and sexualized for being one of few coloured girls in a sea of white men. I felt alone. And more importantly, I felt disgusted with myself.

Feminist, social activist and African American author bell hooks terms this kind of attraction to the 'Othered' body as "Eating the Other." This is the phenomenon where white men as well as the media view coloured women's bodies, especially black women's, as a site of difference. The coloured body is stereotypically everything the white woman's body is not: she is not "pure," "fair," or "docile." Rather, her body represents deviance, darkness, temptation, evil, and hypersexuality. This detrimental image generates a deep sense of desire and adventure within the white man -- a desire to colonize her body -- 'eat' it up, and use it to come to know himself.

Through fucking a coloured woman, the white man transcends his 'whiteness' and innocence, moving into more experienced and dangerous territory. Literally through her body, he learns what he is and what he is not. He gains access to cross the border into a dark territory that only he, of all his friends, has yet to venture to. But after 'consuming' her multiple times, he becomes sick and repulsed, as with any overconsumption of food, and spits her out.

I found hooks' theory to be overwhelmingly comforting. It came at a time when I was trying to make sense of what was happening to my body and how it was being perceived. It especially came at a time when I found out the guy I had been seeing had a white girlfriend and was sleeping with me to finally make his fantasy of fucking black girls come true (wasn't I lucky to be the first?). As a mixed-race girl, I also found it unsettling that the colour of my skin allowed people to label me as "Black," or as something tropical and exotic -- it was always one of the two. I was getting sick of being approached at bars by white men, changing their pick up line from "Are you an angel? 'Cause it looks like you fell outta heaven." to "I love black people. I have black friends, you know -- now can I take you home?"

Sometimes it was more of an excited squeal, a wide-eyed gawk, their hands shaking as they coyly tried to place their hands on my ass, exclaiming, "I've never danced with a black girl before," looking at me the same way one would attack a Quarter (Dark Meat) Chicken Dinner at Swiss Chalet. Dressing up in cheetah print made it worse. My skin colour and mixed heritage had given me a label I didn't like -- that "Black" girl at the bars, that "Island girl" on the bus. Nobody knew what I was, so I was immediately placed in a stereotypical category that both separated me from others and made me mysterious. I was always that girl, not just a girl.

After months of self-hatred, feeling dirty inside and out and wondering what I was doing wrong, I finally started to come to terms with what was happening around me. Being a racial minority female in a city of racially dominant men made me exotic. I was a hot coloured commodity in a rather colourless city, because they had so few "people like me." The exotification of women comes from being that racialized woman -- the Other kind of woman who does not carry "white" features or practices "white" culture.

It is not a compliment, because like eroticization, it sexualizes, objectifies and racializes the female body, jamming it into a tight space where hypersexuality, primitiveness, danger, temptation and difference are forced upon us. The exotification of the racialized body is a way for non-racialized subjects to, like hooks reminds us, come to know themselves. By casting coloured women as different, they maintain the status quo of race and sex dominance while marginalizing, sexualizing, and dehumanizing coloured women.

This is not to say I have become the mad mixed woman in the attic and have cast off all white men. It's also not to say that this can't happen with all races of men -- I just have yet to find an interracial relationship where my difference isn't at the forefront. I have yet to find that guy who hasn't used me to see if sleeping with me makes him a new man, or a guy who hasn't made the wretched "I love black people" disclaimer upon meeting me.

Maybe I'm just looking in the wrong place. But I am speaking to something more structural than just the colour of my skin and people's reactions to it; I am talking about privilege, racism, colonialism -- systems and institutions of power and hierarchy that allow for women of colour to be exotified and Othered; to be treated as sex objects and animals instead of humans. To be treated by non-coloured men as cheapened territory that becomes a game of conquering. Until I find that guy and regain my trust in white men, I've saved myself from being checked off someone's "To Do" list again. And although I could be missing out, it's a good feeling to know I'm finally in control. And it feels great.

This post originally appeared on Sex and Cola. Follow Eternity's blog The Mixed Chick Bible.

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  • Most women have orgasms from sexual (vaginal) intercourse.

    Wouldn't we all love for this one to be true? Many experts and studies have found that about <a href="http://www.marieclaire.com/sex-love/advice/sex-question-orgasm-problems" target="_hplink">70% of women do not have orgasms from (heterosexual vaginal) intercourse alone</a> (without external clitoral stimulation). This clearly contradicts all the sex scenes we watch on television or in movies where it appears that everyone can climax on demand. (Which is really a shame because that would be nice.) So if you have been wondering what's wrong with you... well, absolutely nothing at all. We are not built the same as men, but the lens through which we talk about sex (or see it) is often male. Many of us wind up feeling badly if our experiences don't match our expectations -- or we start to question the prowess of our partner (but that's another blog post altogether). And don't get me started on pornography -- it can certainly be entertaining, but hardly represents reality. That aside, yes, there are some women who suffer from medical conditions that make orgasm (and even intercourse) difficult or impossible. However, the majority of women are not experiencing sexual dysfunction; we just haven't been given great sex education.

  • Oral (or anal) sex doesn't count as sex.

    I always find it interesting that we seem to have a hierarchy of sex behaviors. Consider the rationalization:<em> I can have oral or anal sex but it's not really sex so I don't have to count it as having a sex partner. Or I can do this and still be considered a virgin. Or</em>... you get the point. And to complicate matters, depending on who you ask, that hierarchy may change. So here are a few thoughts: All forms of sex are sex. They are all intimate personal behaviors with the capacity for great pleasure and if practiced without protection, the potential for certain negative outcomes, too. Did I convince you? If not, try this: Sex is not just for straight people, which is basically what we're saying when we suggest that vaginal intercourse is the only true form of sex.

  • You would know if your partner has a sexually transmitted infection.

    In my eleventh grade health class, our teacher showed us photos of penises and vulvas (notice I did not say vagina?) ravaged by sexually transmitted infections. My health class probably wasn't unique. Lots of us were shown these photos as a means of curbing our sexual behavior. Did it work? Nope. It actually backfired. I remember my fellow students squirming in their seats. "That's disgusting!" they screamed as they looked at images of cauliflower-like warts and oozing blisters. While on the surface it may sound like a great way to scare us out of any or all sexual activity, it didn't (shocking, I know). What it actually did was incorrectly teach us that sexually transmitted infections have visible (and quite grotesque) symptoms. (They don't, most of the time.) The fact is, you cannot tell if a partner has a sexually transmitted infection just by looking at their genitals. The only way to know for certain is for you and your partners to get tested.

  • If your doctor needed to talk to you about sex, he or she would bring it up.

    In addition to not having enough time for conversation, doctors don't always know how to bring up sex in their short time with you. How do I know? I've conducted numerous medical school lectures in an effort to help future medical professionals in this department. But don't just take my word for it. In the last few years there has been some scientific discussion about about how our physicians lack the skills and confidence to talk to patients about sex. In a study published in the <a href="http://www.livescience.com/19230-sex-talk-doctor-office.html" target="_hplink">March 2012 issue of the Journal of Sexual Medicine</a>, researchers at the University of Chicago Department of Medicine explored how (and if) 1,150 OBGYNs (people who are literally handling our sexual and reproductive body parts) were broaching issues of sexuality in their practices. Even within the field of obstetrics and gynecology, only 40% of physicians routinely asked about sexual problems; 28.5% asked about sexual satisfaction. Pleasure, sexual orientation and sexual identity were discussed even less than that. In a <a href="http://journals.lww.com/academicmedicine/Fulltext/2010/08000/Medical_Student_Sexuality__How_Sexual_Experience.17.aspx#" target="_hplink">2010 study published in Academic Medicine</a>, researchers explored how experience and medical school education impacted medical students' comfort in talking about sexuality. Over 53% of medical students felt that they did not receive enough training in how to approach issues of sexuality with patients. So it is clear that while sexual health should be a subject talked about in the doctor's office, it is sorely lacking

  • If you fantasize about other women (or like lesbian pornography or erotica), you're definitely a closeted lesbian.

    No. No no no no, and no. But by the way, if you fantasize about other women and do identify as a lesbian, that's totally cool. Do we have to discuss (yet again) the role that fantasies play in our lives? I must admit, I'm getting tired of having to justify the fact that women have a myriad of fantasies -- some of which may not fit the good girl image that people may have of us. Nonetheless, thinking about someone or something doesn't mean that you want to act it out in real life; it's possible, but not definite. And by the way, I know many (let me repeat, many) heterosexual women who enjoy all sorts of lesbian erotica and pornography and are quite fulfilled by their heterosexual sex lives.

  • There are two types of female orgasms. Or maybe not. Who cares?

    So maybe this isn't a myth, but rather, a frustrating social commentary. It seems like we devote lots of science to demystifying the female orgasm. We contest how many types of orgasms there are, whether or not they even exist, where they may or may not come from and their evolutionary purpose; we even question women's experiences with orgasm if theirs doesn't match ours. While I do believe that science should explore all aspects of human sexuality, I often question how and why we choose to focus (quite frequently) on female orgasms. I find that what this conversation does is delegitimize what many women experience. Who am I (or anyone else for that matter) to tell someone that they didn't experience an orgasm in a particular way? Orgasms are subjective and there is no one (no one) who will ever be able to know what you felt and how or where you felt it.


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1 hour ago ( 7:39 PM)
Hmm...Well let me poll the white guys on this boards. Is this they way you think of black women?
1 hour ago ( 7:34 PM)
"Oh wait, you're serious.......".
1 hour ago ( 7:33 PM)
Why are rich black people so obsessed with race. When I was growing up I was the only white kid and I never once did I feel out of place. Even when I got my ass kicked and called a cracker or guedo it never made me think of racism. I just thought man that guy who kicked my ass didn't like me, I wish I wasn't so small. Never once in my life have I ever heard a poor black man or poor mexican worry about racism. But hey I'm just a kid who grew up poor with very little formal education what do I know about all of you rich people.
April Pells
1 hour ago ( 7:27 PM)
Do you think fetishizing is limited to white males? We all seek what is different for new experiences, whether it be food or sex or any other facet of life. Remember that the next time you decide to try a new Indian or Egyptian restaurant.
1 hour ago ( 7:26 PM)
White men make horrible fathers.
1 hour ago ( 7:21 PM)
You are over generalizing and stereotyping all white men as the same which they are not. Some may indeed be reacting to the factors you described whereas others may be attracted to women of all races and ethnicities, white, black, Asian, Hispanic, etc. etc. and so you as a black woman to a man like that are just a woman among many different kinds of women he's met and possibly slept with. You are possibly not as special as you would like to think you are to men like that.
2 hours ago ( 7:10 PM)
I don't think we are missing much, thanks.
I train people and rehabilitate dogs
23 minutes ago ( 8:21 PM)
Apparently neither are they.......
Why do we frighten you so?
2 hours ago ( 7:08 PM)
Way too much going on there. I can see no possible way for a guy to tap dance through that mine field. Good luck and see ya!
2 hours ago ( 6:39 PM)
I strongly suspect that white men don't actually want to sleep with you because you are black, but because you are a woman. They just use whatever pick-up line they think will work, limited by their inebriation. I know, amazing behaviour from drunk guys at bars, right?
Two 'alves of coconut!
2 hours ago ( 6:21 PM)
Some escort agencies and porn sites cater to people's sexual appetites for something different. Some people are xenophiles, they want to get to know you in the Biblical sense. And, people tend to have sex with other people outside their own race, especially if they're in a commingled social setting. Why? Love the one you're with. 
But, some don't do that way, and their preference is people most like themselves. To each, their own. There's no local, state, or federal law requiring you to bed-hop with anyone you meet who's of different extraction than you are, or for anyone of your own extraction either, for that matter. Further, if people in college(article written by a student) did less bed-hopping and more studying, then graduation day might come sooner, and feature better GPA. If you waste your college time with drugs, alcohol and bedroom antics, truly the only person you're really screwing, is yourself. Save the sexual antics for after graduation, when hopefully you'll find gainful employment with which to earn the wages usually necessary to deal with the unintended consequences, such as STD's, or children.   If you're in college, that's not a bad topic to talk about, children, the next generation. Today, there's been so much screwing worldwide, that we're all going to end up being screwed by the outcome.  7.1 billion people. That's a lot of people. That's REALLY a lot of people. That's so many people, that some are now starving, because the land they're standing on can't support their numbers anymore.  In India, couple years ago, something like 50 Indian farmers basically declared, 'We're screwed", and killed themselves.  Sad, but also sign of our times. 
I think mathematics is a good subject to study at the college level, curve analysis, exponents, growth rates, that kind of stuff, instead of the curves on the backside of your fellow students.  There's 3 curves currently heading up right now, CO2, national debt, and global population. 
Personally, I applaud your decision. The more people in college that can learn to keep their pants on in college and keep their minds on their schoolwork, the more likely we are to end up living in a world that still has food, water, and electricity, 20 years from now. It could all go south in a hot flash...or by degrees...we're all going to be 'hotties' 2 decades from now, possibly...global warming's out there. Is it hot in here, or is it just me? 
3 hours ago ( 6:08 PM)
I hope you meet a very nice man who wants to be with you for you. Never go against your instincts.
I was the only asian girl in a very white highschool. I was conveniently ignored for the first year, then SHOGUN aired and all of a sudden these white boys wanted to go out with me so they could feel like Captain Blackthorn. F-ck them! Never gave any of them the satisfaction.
3 hours ago ( 5:53 PM)
I guess the title should have been why I don’t sleep with white guys anymore. And a side note quite a few guys objectify women, not just white guys. And quite a few women talk about or go on this long diatribe about what they think motivates guys. Hint most of us are pretty simple.
3 hours ago ( 5:37 PM)
The main problem I see here is that the author seems to think she will meet an ideal man at a club/bar. Of course you are going to be hit on by sleaze balls, you are in the club!! The fact that white men are doing it is simply due to your location.
Tony Sez
4 hours ago ( 5:03 PM)
It is certain that you'll find the sort of racism you describe almost everywhere. But it seems very odd to me to be looking for nice men, in general, and relationship-material men, in particular, at single's clubs. Men are there for the meat-market and, frankly, novelty in a bed partner is what almost all men seek in that environment. If you're looking for more than a 'score' maybe you should go other places to meet men.
That said, I'll reinforce my support for your thesis--white men often want to sleep with black women BECAUSE they are black. True that.
4 hours ago ( 4:59 PM)
Here is some news for you: Men of all races objectify women of all races. You live in a patriarchy and essentially all men feel entitled to use the bodies of women. When you are young and pretty, you get hit on and approached and objectified by many men. None of them care anything about you as a person, they just want to use you for sex. In your case, there is the whole strain of racism that runs through the dynamic, but you are far off base if you assume that white and Asian and other women do not get treated as mere sex objects that exist only for the titillation and gratification of men.
2 hours ago ( 6:25 PM)
Don't make it sound so bad. True they want to use you for sex, but they are more than happy to be used right back. It's called "fun". Every interaction doesn't have to be a preparation for a long term relationship.
1 hour ago ( 7:26 PM)
I think she totally gets this...and even knowing that many men objectify even women of their own race, at LEAST there's not the racial in addition to that. I think she's attempting to limit the objectification as best she knows how to - and that's a pretty difficult thing to do given what all (even unattractive!) women are up against. I do hope that if she runs into a nice white guy she won't dismiss him.