White liberal (gay) guilt and my friend Henry's big black dick
Let me begin with an anecdote:
When I worked at a university hospital, a lesbian hospital manager, Cate, was taking my work group on a little tour. The group consisted of me, the technical writer and de facto English as a second language teacher of the group, and a number of Taiwanese and Japanese-American radiologists and software engineers. Cate jokingly asked the group "What's white and 10 inches?" to which of course the punch line is "Nothing." It's a phallus joke (amazing in a way that this was being told at an East Coast university since this was in the 90s and was probably already legally actionable workplace harassment by this (white) lesbian against a group of socially conservative, mainly immigrant, Asian men). I never asked Cate, with whom I was on good terms, about her joke. I am thinking however that Cate may have been a "pure" lesbian, who had had little or no experience of penises. She had heard that white penises were smaller than black ones, and had somehow confused this with white penises being smaller than "penises of color" generally. So to a group who probably didn't have a dick over 5 or 6 inches among them, she had made this joke.
Like my friend Cate, I have to assume that MetroWeekly columnist Sean Bugg writes the things he does because of the limits of his experience and imagination. In a recent column, Bugg, a cute guy who claims to have once been libertarian-leaning but now writes only the most off-the-shelf "liberal" commentary, decries the near racism of people placing personal (i.e. sex) ads who specify the race of their desired paramour. That's not exactly precise. Bugg decries white men who post ads saying they only want to have sex with whites, and sheds his liberal tears for the poor blacks and Asians and Latinos who must read these ads and feel shut out of the sexual opportunity our modern society offers. He doesn't actually demand that whites on sex sites give sexual submission to men of color, as some black men demanded in the 60s when they told anti-war women they could serve the movement "on their backs" (leading to the founding of the old radical feminist newspaper Off Our Backs [http://www.offourbacks.org/]). Though it is the conclusion of "liberalism's" statism and Procustean egalitarianism.
What's even funnier is the hidden racism in Bugg's worldview. He thinks this is a hierarchy. Desirable whites aren't sharing themselves with the men of color. Bugg reports he has an Asian husband and may feel he has a superior perspective to parochial white people like the Southerners he so often complains he grew up among and has now transcended. (Note that Bugg in his story below feels personally implicated by another white gay guy's rude behavior, as representing the collective of white Volk.) But I wonder if this isn't in a way like Edina inAbsolutely Fabulous suddenly excited about becoming a grandmother when she learns it will be to a mixed race grandchild, "this year's most must-have fashion accessory."
Perhaps Bugg can be forgiven for not knowing what type of ads people are posting on line, since he is married. There are some ads from white men ONLY looking for men of color, or for men of specific colors. There are lots of ads from men who specify only certain type of white men (blonds, redheads, Jews, Italians, etc.). There are a few ads from black men who only want to date other black men and a few from black men who are only looking for white men. If anything whites seem to be the O- blood type of the dating world, the universal donors (with Latinos being a close second): most gay blacks, most gay Latinos, and most gay Asians will date white men. But unlike the heterosexual world, where black men marrying Asian women is not unknown, black gays rarely seem to want to date Asian gays, and vice versa (from what my eyes and my personal conversations with black gay friends tell me).
Which brings me to another personal anecdote:
I have a friend named Henry, who I mainly only see at gay Democratic events, or now, since I abjure Democratic events, the gay and lesbian film festival. Henry is African American and is high in his field in one of those nominally private multinational corporations that sponsor Sunday morning political talk shows. He is extensively educated at private universities and graduate schools just below the Ivy League, and owns homes near D.C. and on the Delaware beaches. There is no reason he cannot date most people he'd want to take out. Some years ago Henry told me he was going to attempt to stop dating white men, because he was so very tired of apparently always having to hear at some point in a relationship, "give me that big black dick." (For a whole blog post by someone traumatized by encounters where someone wanted his BBD, see http://dlconfessionssequel.wordpress.com/.)
I think Mr. Bugg's article is based on his own assumptions about the world. He is on the precipice of calling it racism when people place sex ads and then provide a wish list of dos and don'ts. I find it rather easy to imagine that what is going on specifically when white men place ads saying they only want to go over to the home of a stranger to have quasi-anonymous sex with another white man (or perhaps a white and/or Latino and/or Asian) man, is that they are saying they are more comfortable, in this potentially awkward situation, with dealing with what they imagine to be a more known quantity. I think that explains why we see men sometimes dating a broader range of ethnicities (and ages, classes etc) as they age (as Bugg sort of notes) -- they are just more comfortable and familiar with a wider range of situations. (And very likely there is the same motivation when men of other races place an ad only for their "own kind.") (Parenthetical joke: a white family tells their son it's just easier if one marries one's own kind, and after college he brings home a (black) male friend and tells his parents that is just what he has done.)
If anything modern "liberals" have themselves to blame for this. Under our current "Cry racism!" culture if you are white and go to meet a person of color for a date, but then don't want to stay the night (as it were), you run the cost of being accused of racism. I am reminded of the time in my youth I went to the old Dupont Circle dance bar Badlands, and ended up dancing with a tall gorgeous blue eyed brunette, who came home with me. I thought I had won the lottery. Turned out gorgeous was both a borderline rapist and a whiny baby, because I did not want to engage in the specific sex acts he seemed fixated on. In the bar and on the dance floor the din had prevented me from hearing him well. Back at my place it turned out he had an accent, and as it happens, was from Mexico. A very pale, blue eyed Mexican, less dark than my own black Irish/Scottish/Cherokee mix. He was such a jackhole I insisted on his not staying the night (and ended up providing him a ride to his home 2 counties away). This pale skinned, blue eyed, upper class boy whined at me that NO ONE ever let him stay over, and what was it, "discrimination because I am Mexican!" I suggest that the sex ad posters Bugg is writing about are trying to avoid the same situation, where they do not want their decision that a cup of tea or a beer is as far as a date will go embroil them in defending themselves (even in their own mind) against the charge of being racist.
It might be good for people on the leftover side of the spectrum, when they aren't busy rounding up poor black and brown kids to sell to the educrat cartels for campaign donations for Democrats, to think about how their easy resort to racial guilt tripping affects African American's (and other minorities, including gays') chances in getting a job interview or a job, when it is viewed as a mine field should one not hire a "protected class" or have to let them go when downsizing.
Foolish Thing Desire
For gay men, the intersection of sex and race brings out the worst in a small number of people, who then make headaches for everyone else
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