Are Your Dating Preferences Racist?

Justin Singh

“You’re cute, for an Indian guy”
“Not into Asians, sorry.”
“Athletic white male looking for same”

Since the early days of Grindr, gas have been no stranger to exclusive dating. Are you interested in Bears? Twinks? Masc 4 Masc? Daddies? All the apps have you covered! Even in the heterosexual world, they have religious specific dating, and dating outside of your religion could be pretty controversial (this exists in the homosexual world too, but just way less likely).

People nowadays are more risqué with their preferences. They will put, instead of a bio, “I only date (insert race here) guys, sorry about that.” I mean, at least we got an apology, no hard feelings right? And we can’t control what other people are attracted to. We certainly can’t control our own attraction. So where is the problem? Dating is a complex game to begin with, why make it more complicated by trying to control your own or someone else’s attraction?

 @derence_anderson in JJ Briefs

Well, the more you think about it, the bigger the issue becomes.

Sure we can’t control who we’re attracted to, but we can control what we say. There is no reason to put down others. Being outwardly rude and ignorant isn’t going to look well to others in the dating field. You may just attract another disrespectful and brazen person, and in that case, best of luck to you. And thank you for waving the clear red flag of avoidance. Another approach may be to just message who you’re instantly attracted to. This may not solve the “problem,” but it can stop you from looking like a dick.

So where does this issue stem from? Is it really an issue if you can’t control it?

We as humans always seek out the familiar. When we aren’t comfortable, our defenses build up and we seek comfort elsewhere. Depending on the environment we grow up in, that can heavily influence what we are attracted to and our expectations when it comes to dating. If you grew up in Mexico, you may be more comfortable dating other Latin men. It makes things a bit easier culturally and mentally. If you were born in a more multicultural country like Canada or America, but grew up in a predominantly racial community, then you may lean towards that race.

@charanbangaram in JJ Swim Briefs

Families also have a strong impact on who you will date. Parents and grandparents from a previous generation who grew up in a more closed-minded world may impose those same ideas onto their children. For that, many parents may disapprove if their child dates out of their race or religion. Growing up in these environments have a strong influence on what you deem as a suitable candidate or not.

Finally, the media may have a strong influence as well. Movies, television, and social media influencers plastered all over our screen, and seeing who people swoon over, and who is just there for entertainment plays a huge role. When I was growing up, East and South Asian men were used as comedic tropes in movies, and were often mocked and ridiculed, while the strong white or handsome male lead was always the most desired. Seeing people lust over the white saviour can lead someone to think, “wow, this is what I want” and then go on to date white people primarily. On the flip side, however, those who follow up with K-Pop, Bollywood, and Asian stars getting lead roles in Hollywood, may think the opposite.

@adolphdias in JJ Crop Top

With all these underlying factors, does that make my dating preferences racist?

Because dating preferences come with familiarity, perhaps our dating preferences are stemmed from the inherently racist society we live in. A world where Asian men are laughed at, and Black women aren’t beautiful, and both live inferior to their white counterparts. But if we can’t control it, what do we do?

@manuelskyejourney in JJ Briefs

While dating specific races may not be controlled, don’t let it be your prime factor in choosing who to message on dating apps. When looking at someone’s profile, it may be good to also hone in on other aspects like hobbies, lifestyle choices, and area of work when it comes to finding the perfect match. Race may be one thing, but it shouldn’t be the only thing. On top of this, don’t let race limit who you decide to talk to because you feel you may not be attractive to them.

While dating apps may be a ground where people outwardly express their racial dating preferences, it could also be the key factor in interracial marriages and relationships rising across the globe. It’s easier to find people of other races with similar interests to your own, even if those interests may not be as common within your own race.

Everyone deserves love, no matter race, ethnicity, or interests. Don’t preferences and ideals discourage you from what you deserve in life. Just remember to keep everything respectful and honest, and never lose hope.

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