Stop Treating Your Intimate Partners Like Bucket List Experiences

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I had just gotten back from China, when I found myself on a party bus with a guy I was seeing on my way to a formal when he said to me “I just feel like I really want to have sex with a Japanese girl.” Facepalm. I had a conniption fit. And in response to my conniption fit he said: “well don’t you have things you want to do, like hook up with a black guy?” Double Facepalm.

No, I told this granola eating, long-haired, alternative religion having, white male, I don’t reduce people to stereotypes or treat them like things I can collect and neither should you. I wish this hadn’t happened more than once, but it has. I’m in this weird nebulous space because I’m mixed and kind of ambiguous so I get the fine pleasure of hearing what the white men actually think behind my girlfriend’s of color’s backs and also I get them saying things to me like, “you’re too curvy for a white girl.” It’s a beautiful life.

But my point is, we have what appears to be an almost ubiquitous problem where we look at relationships the same way we look at Pokemon characters and we are all big kids now and should know the difference between real and imaginary.

Real: Loving another human being because they are funny and kind

Imaginary from the bad side of imagination land: Claiming to have an “Asian fetish” because their women are more subservient.


This is one of the more frustrating aspects of wokeness becoming trendy, rich white kids start thinking they are doing us super huge favors by slumming it with us by sleeping with us. We should pretend like we don’t know what’s going on, but this is the truth of the matter. The Upper Classes treat sex and relationships like a competitive sport where the person who gets the biggest trophy is the one who crosses off the most check boxes on the Marquis de Sade list or on the racial minority list and it is just gotten so old.

Just so we are clear, I have interracially dated, several times now. It never once occurred to me that it was abnormal or special until I had people tell me it was weird at Stanford. We all dated outside our race in high school and I’m not saying there wasn’t any pushback but we lived together and were in each other’s families so it kind of would have been rude if there was.

But I’m not going to wear this like a badge of honor, because it isn’t because they were people. And I would never and have never gone out looking for men of a particular race, because I don’t assume that men of any particular race behave any differently and because I don’t live my life like some kind of bucket list. Who you love isn’t one of those things you collect and its also not something you should try to control.



I interracially date because it would be really hard not to and not in fact, be racist, especially as a white woman, and also because I have been attracted to different people from different races, because people are attractive. Given that this is the norm in the community I’ve grown up in, it was a bit of a culture shock when I got to Stanford and it seemed like the only acceptable interracial couple was Asian Women with White Men.

I studied China, and like everything I study I fell in love with the place. So I lived there for three months while learning Mandarin and became really well educated in Chinese history. It gave me fantastic insight and perspective on the world to have such a wide range of knowledge. Now I knew American history, Chinese history, and European history, which was all part of my super secret subplot to be as much of an insufferable know it all as possible but it become problematic quickly because for some reason, this weird fetishization is so ubiquitous in this culture that it’s almost a right of passage.

“He’s just going through his yellow phase..”

“There’s a phase where you guys just get to be racist and commodify people? WHO GETS TO HAVE THAT PHASE?”

I started noticing that most of my classes on China were populated by white men and Asian women. Now, in mainstream American culture, Asian men are desexualized, this was a new experience to me, again because my high school was racially integrated and the segregationist plot to keep us separated so we refrain from falling in love with each other, was foiled. So the idea that there was something cultural going on was new to me when I hit college. And then I went to China.

In China, it didn’t take very long for me to realize that something was amiss. There were 22 of us in the program and 1 Chinese-American male and 4 white females. Within a very short amount of time ALL of the white men admitted, proudly, that they had “yellow fever.” Why anyone felt the need to say that to me in a bar is anyone’s guess, but I have a gift for making people comfortable enough for them to say horrifying things I can’t unhear.

The thought of “yellow fever”, by which white men have a strong preference for Asian females, just seemed wrong to me before I knew why this was happening. Again, because it is super weird to think of people this way.

Since I was being my sassy self, I decided, why not ask the source? And I did. I asked all of the men I hung out with in China why they had a preference. Universal answer: Asian girls are skinnier, more submissive and more ‘appreciative’ of white men and more willing to do ‘exotic’ stuff. I can’t make this up.

It was so horrifying for me that I started taking long walks around the Beida campus with my friend where literally every other sentence out of our mouths was, “fucking white people.” I stopped going to social events. I stopped talking to people. I’m very sensitive about this sort of thing, when I see people getting exploited, especially by people I know well, it makes it hard for me to stick around.

Here is what is wrong with this. For one thing: it is racist. I am sure that China has women that act on the full spectrum of human behavior, so saying they are all submissive is a weird colonial hold over from when we still talked about white man’s burden.

And don’t worry white men, you don’t have that burden anymore, it’s cool.

Shhh… we aren’t taking it from you as we speak.

Just relax….

I’m kidding of course, but my point is that Asian women are just as diverse as the rest of us and that also being sexually submissive doesn’t make you not amazingly strong and powerful and capable of gutting you like a fish later. BY THE WAY

Skinnier and appreciative are more on the line of sexism, where in this universe women are trophies, but not full human beings, they are there to serve the men. Skinnier is also racist and highly problematic, again because it eliminates the possibility for diversity in the whole human spectrum for Asian women. I thought the pressure to be thin was bad for me, I’d hate having to perform that. Gentlemen, if you really want these women to love you, I suggest lessening the burden of them having to meet your stereotypes.

I met women who fit that stereotype and women who didn’t, and women who were hurting themselves to meet that stereotype which doesn’t sound that different from being at Stanford. That those were the only answers means that these men, all of whom were my age, were looking for a shadow of a human being.

The sexual exoticism is both, it is the idea that men are entitled to whatever they want sexually, and that a woman is “better” (to be weighed and measured) if she will do what he wants, if her sexuality is defined by his.


The assumption that Asian women have a somehow different sexuality from any other race reduces them to objects. I am sure Asian women, like all women exhibit a wide range of sexual preferences from the vanilla to the more extreme, because that’s what human beings do, and they are human beings. It is ok as a white male to find an Asian woman attractive, you just can’t feel that way for racist and sexist reasons and you can’t impose hundreds of years of colonialism on the body of the person you spend your most intimate moments with, ever. For any reason.

Don’t you wanna know how good it feels to love someone for who they are? PUT THAT ON YOUR BUCKET LIST.

And this happens to other races too. It’s just that we sort of need people stop competitive sleeping around to begin with. It is part of a more problematic line of thinking among young men, which is that they are entitled to a sort of bucket list of sexual experience before settling down with a “respectable” woman. Instead of finding partners with equal interest in their sexual preferences they separate women out into objects to be conquered or gained in life experience before settling down to their desexualized and virginal wife. With this line of thinking, they think they are entitled to certain experiences and that wives are not supposed to want to explore their own sexuality, so they must do that first before marrying. Then they cheat when they actually are married, and this has been going for centuries. Women get reduced to points on a score card. And the women they do marry find themselves in marriages where they are never truly equal and full human beings, and where they will have had their sexuality sold out under them as one of their roles as wife.

This is what men my age tell me scares them about marriage, the loss of freedom and the fear of intimacy. And that is fine, that is human, I feel that too. Especially after getting divorced, I’ve returned to my normal, obnoxiously incapable of commitment pain in the ass self. AND THAT GIRL LOVES HER FREEDOM. But if they redefined the role of wife into one who is an equal partner, an equal explorer in this weird frontier known as life, then they wouldn’t “lose” their freedom and would experience greater and more secure intimacy because they would see the woman in this situation as less of a symbol of accomplishment. So in other words, gentlemen, you can be free when we are free.

Human beings loving other human beings because of their beautiful humanity, that is what this is all about.

I still believe it isn’t love unless it liberates you.


1 comments on “Stop Treating Your Intimate Partners Like Bucket List Experiences”

  1. Thank you so much for writing this. I’ve had several people, both non-Asians and Asians, imply that I was racist for treating those with “yellow fever” like they have the plague. As you mentioned, it’s okay for someone to like like Asian women for non-racist reasons, but I’m not going to stand for being reduced to a set of stereotypical qualities and a sexual conquest. That’s why I have such a problem with non-Asians who exclusively date Asians. They usually have this fantasy in their head that is nothing like reality, and it’s an insult to all other women that the guys don’t think they measure up just because they’re of a different race.


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