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Destroy the “Asian Geek” image!

May 27, 2010

“Asian men can kick butt, but they can’t have a kiss.”
-From David Pierson’s “Sex and The Asian Man,” Asian-Nation.org

Ever since I wrote this post about Asian men in February, I’ve had a steady stream of visitors, most of them from a discussion board on an Asian porn site. To summarize the post: I like and date Asian guys. Not just Asian guys, of course; I like to date guys from many different ethnicities. But there’s something about the AM/WF dynamic that intrigues me because it is so rare, almost like a dating “unicorn.”

In general, interracial dating is rarely discussed among us dating bloggers (although Simone Grant did discuss it recently). Even the outspoken dating coach Evan Marc Katz sidestepped the issue when he briefly commented on interracial dating in his post (get this) called “Women are Racist” (the comments should be required reading in sociology classes).

As I’ve said before, I believe a big reason White women don’t view Asians as potential soul- or even bed-mates is because images of Asian men are often de-sexualized. Very often, the Asian guy is The Asian Geek. And as far as tired movie conventions go, the geek never gets the girl. Name one kissing scene you’ve watched in an American movie, in which an Asian guy kisses the girl. Can’t think of any?

Well, here, let me help! I found one, and it’s too wonderful for words. Just watch and enjoy:

Oh, and please check out my favorite male Asian blogger Ranier at his site The Love Life of an Asian Guy. He’s the best thing since sliced bread. Or kimchi.

49 Comments leave one →
  1. May 27, 2010 2:52 pm

    Harold and Kumar! BURN!

    • Zoë Blue permalink
      May 27, 2010 7:29 pm

      That’s the movie that clip is from. I recently discovered that film, and the cumulative hotness of both Kal Penn and John Cho kind of made me melt to the sidewalk. Also, it’s a stoner comedy, a genre I really like.

  2. May 27, 2010 2:54 pm

    Sixteen Candles…Double Burn! LOL

  3. May 27, 2010 2:57 pm

    Jackie Chan!

    • Zoë Blue permalink
      May 27, 2010 7:30 pm

      I’m referring to more American (or English-speaking) films where the main actor is Asian and plays a leading role where he’s NOT kicking everyone’s butt. So that would discount Jackie Chan (who plays comedic and family film roles most of the time) and the late Bruce Lee (who played marital arts roles).

  4. May 27, 2010 2:58 pm

    I’m just funning with you. I totally understand your point. I know I will hit a roadblock in the very near future.

    And good on ya!

  5. May 27, 2010 3:00 pm

    Seriously though…when the Last Airbender is a predominently caucasian cast, something is obviously wrong with how Asians are portrayed in movies.

    http://contexts.org/socimages/2009/08/16/hollywood-discomfort-with-asian-lead-characters/

  6. The Falco permalink
    May 27, 2010 3:55 pm

    I was thinking about this topic today and I thought:

    Why is it that American media portrays all men of color (Black, Asian, Mexican, Indian, etc) as second to White men? I’m incredibly passionate about this subject but I’m starting to wonder: if Asian men are portrayed as “geeks/non-threatening” then why are Americans CONSTANTLY bashing Asian men? I’m beginning to wonder if White American Men are SO insecure at the thought of loosing “their women” that they need to resort to such petty tactics.

    I also think that one of the reasons why white women prefer white men over asian men is that in the media, women are lead to believe that “If you date a man of color, conflict is inevitable. You WILL have a clash of cultures and it will be a rough and bumpy road.”

    HOWEVER! If you take the reverse (White men dating colored women) then you have a completely different perspective. White men in movies are ENCOURAGED to get the colored woman. They are encouraged to find and sleep with china dolls, geishas, and princesses of far away countries. This is probably why White men go into these foreign countries with enflated egos thinking they can just bag any woman they want, from any country.

    Why isn’t this confidence instilled in white women? Why aren’t white women encouraged to travel to Africa, or Shanghai to find true love? There’s something going on…

    • May 27, 2010 5:23 pm

      Well, keep in mind that men aren’t encouraged to go over sees to “find love”. They are encouraged to bang women on forgeign soil.

      Women, in general, aren’t encouraged to bang anyone, let alone men in other countries (except Europe I suppose). In many of these countries, women having sex is taboo to begin with. So it is a far more complex than that.

      That being said, I think the perception is that Asian cultures are far
      less aggressive and violent than their western counterparts. Let’s face it, aggression and physical prowess has dominated women’s consciousness in terms of attraction for centuries in the west. Intelligence just wasn’t viewed as sexy. Even amongst white men, intelligence is less “desirable” than throwing a football.

      I’m not arguing this is right, just adding other information to the discussion.

    • Zoë Blue permalink
      May 27, 2010 7:43 pm

      You two are having quite the running commentary! OK, first I’ll respond to Ranier:

      “Why are Americans CONSTANTLY bashing Asian men? I’m beginning to wonder if White American Men are SO insecure at the thought of loosing “their women” that they need to resort to such petty tactics.
      “I also think that one of the reasons why white women prefer white men over asian men is that in the media, women are lead to believe that ‘If you date a man of color, conflict is inevitable. You WILL have a clash of cultures and it will be a rough and bumpy road.’”

      Ranier, how surprising. I didn’t peg you as a conspiracy theorist! :) LOL. OK, yeah, I think you may have an interesting argument here, one I hadn’t considered before. That said, I’m not sure Asian men are seen as threats in any way, since their perceived main contribution to society is “intellectual” not “aggressive” or “sexual.” And Asians aren’t the only overlooked group; most men of color are. The difference, however, in the portrayal of Black and Asian men is a stark contrast. While Black men are seen as aggressive/sexual, Asian men are not. That’s quite the difference. The media treatment of Latino men is similarly contrastive.

      But another interesting point you bring up is that women may be discouraged from dating men of color (any ethnicity) because of the clash. And THIS I agree with. Admittedly, I’ve never been told this explicitly, but upon dating a couple of Black guys in high school, my parents and extended family expressed some concern. Their rationale: Culturally, the differences might be too great. Hmm, funny thing to say to a girl who’s not committed to any culture.

      Oh, and one last thing, Ranier: Women DO take “sexcations” to different locations. Most seem to visit the more southern European countries like Greece, Italy and Spain. Some even visit Africa and Asia. I don’t know many statistics on this, I just know it’s become more and more common to do so…

      OK, on to Jay’s comments.

      “I think the perception is that Asian cultures are far less aggressive and violent than their western counterparts. Let’s face it, aggression and physical prowess has dominated women’s consciousness in terms of attraction for centuries in the west. Intelligence just wasn’t viewed as sexy. Even amongst white men, intelligence is less ‘desirable’ than throwing a football.”

      I agree with this. I think that there’s a very “macho culture” encouraged (instilled?) in many American men. And yes, women are also encouraged to welcome aggressive male behavior. Maybe the fact that I’m usually an aggressive person (getting numbers, initiating dates, and so on – although I’ve stopped doing this recently) has distorted my perspective. Also, I am very much a women of the modern century, and I like my men well-dressed, well-read and well-traveled. I could care less if they know how to toss a football, shoot a gun or beat up another guy. But that’s me.

    • Sefluaw permalink
      May 28, 2010 1:35 am

      In response to TheFalco’s first post that said this:
      >>>>>>”Why is it that American media portrays all men of color (Black, Asian, Mexican, Indian, etc) as second to White men? … White men in movies are ENCOURAGED to get the colored woman… Why isn’t this confidence instilled in white women? Why aren’t white women encouraged to travel to Africa, or Shanghai to find true love?”

      ^^^ To offer an explanation from sociology/anthropology, many kinds of group inequalities (whether it be political affiliation, culture, race, nationality, social class, religion, etc.) all boil down to one common thing : it’s a hierarchy of power.

      The fact that affiliations often shift depending on the circumstance — or time — shows that groups tend to be social constructions, formed by ringleaders (of one type or another) to reap the benefits of being in a group, and to be on the dominant side over others. And these allegiances are abandoned when they no longer prove useful. For example, the concept of a united “white workforce” in the US didn’t really come about in history until blacks, Asians, Mexicans, etc. began competing for jobs (formerly, the Irish, English, German, Dutch, Italian, etc. in America saw each other as hugely and fundamentally different from one another) .

      And the groups that are dominant and wield the power — by definition — eventually become seen as more desirable/attractive/worthy than other groups. For example, during the Roman Empire, the Romans saw people from Britain, France, Germany, Scandinavia, etc. as funny-looking and unattractive. Of course, as some of those formerly oppressed European peoples later went on to form colonies and dominate the world (and as the US became a world power), they and their descendants became seen as the most attractive group.

      Now, as for the different things that white men and white women are conditioned to think of dating other races, it is a product of the racial AND gender hierarchies of society. Men have historically dominated and wielded power over women, and therefore women are socially conditioned/pressured to desire the men who are in power, and to NOT have liberal sexual tastes by going out with other men. Once again, this serves the power structure of society (men over women, and white men over non-white men). By these rules, a white woman (the “top woman”) liking an Asian guy (the “bottom man”) is like the ultimate slap in the face to the dehumanizing power structure of society, lol. =P

      So in closing, a white guy is no more insecure than any other race of guy. It just depends on who’s holding all the chips.

  7. The Falco permalink
    May 27, 2010 3:56 pm

    Oh yea, nice blog :) From the bottom of my heart, I’m thankful that you post stuff like this. It’s nice to know that there are people rooting for us :)

    • Zoë Blue permalink
      May 27, 2010 7:45 pm

      Root, root! :)

  8. Ian permalink
    May 27, 2010 5:26 pm

    Go discover Bollywood.

    • Zoë Blue permalink
      May 27, 2010 7:46 pm

      I am, and I enjoy it! :) However, I should have clarified: I was specifically referring (in this post) to movies produced in Hollywood and North American/European/Australian/Kiwi film industries.

  9. May 27, 2010 6:23 pm

    Actually, there’s an interesting update to the article on Evan Marc Katz’s blog.

    http://www.evanmarckatz.com/blog/women-are-racist/

    And uh, hello, “Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story.” Hot Asian guy *totally* gets the girl *and* changes the world. Top that one! :)

    • The Falco permalink
      May 27, 2010 7:25 pm

      I read up to “the demographics of my clients are probably a bit skewed towards upper-middle class white people” and stopped.

      Perhaps I’m being a bit inhumane by saying this but….

      Often times, ethnicities are kinda like products in the supermarket. There are tons of them out there but only a handful get to be put on display (aka the media). We need more people willing to promote Asian male actors/singers/directors, etc. Based on what you see on the media, can you really compare brad pitt and jackie chan? sheez….

      At LEAST put Daniel Henney up against Brad Pitt.

    • Zoë Blue permalink
      May 27, 2010 7:51 pm

      Hi, Cat! Nice to see you here! I thought of Bruce Lee when I wrote this post (and the last one) but I guess my point was: When do you see Asian guys playing lead roles in which they AREN’T using martial arts? That’s part of the reason John Cho, Kal Penn and the “Harold and Kumar” series are so popular – because they all do work that represents the Asian community on equal footing with any other group of men. You’ve got to love them for that.

      Ranier, I too feel conflicted about Evan’s site. Although it’s clearly meant to be as objective as possible, he goes on, in another post, to group Asian men with fat, short and older men. I find that dodgy and nearly incomprehensible.

      But putting Daniel Henney up against Brad Pitt? *sigh* If only!

  10. Zoë Blue permalink
    May 27, 2010 7:53 pm

    Update: Turns out “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” has an interracial WF/AM relationship! With an Asian actor I’ve never seen before – Leonardo Nam. http://uk.video.yahoo.com/watch/3206760

    • The Falco permalink
      May 27, 2010 8:36 pm

      Here’s some eye candy for the ladies :)

      Unfortunately the audio has been removed but yea, Leonardo Nam’s character was AWESOME! He was a normal guy, in a normal relationship. He wasn’t the ASIAN guy, he was just the guy. I didn’t see the movie, but I did see this clip.

      *Spoiler Alert* Leonardo Nam is SUPER fit.

      • Zoë Blue permalink
        May 27, 2010 8:44 pm

        Yes. *fans self* I saw this earlier too. Where is Hollywood? Get this guy into a major leading role and fast! Also, he’s very global, got a cool accent (Argentinean/Australian) and yes – that BODY. I need a glass of water.

        I too liked that his character was presented without any comment on his ethnicity. THIS is exactly what I’m talking about. Too bad that movie stunk at the box office.

        While we’re onto sharing video clips, here’s one of an even rarer media sighting: A BW/AM couple! Gabrielle Union and John Cho (again – j’adore this guy) in “Flash Forward,” a series I haven’t seen but suddenly want to.

      • June 7, 2010 2:04 pm

        wow. he is yummy!

    • The Falco permalink
      May 27, 2010 8:52 pm

      I have that clip on my youtube favorites :)))

  11. May 27, 2010 7:59 pm

    great post zoe! AllI’m going to say on the topic is this: Not since moving to the united states have I ever been made more aware of peoples ethic backgrounds or race. Americans in my opinion have such hangups when it comes to races and ethnic backgrounds…..it always makes me scratch my head. Love who you love, be attracted to what you want, and enjoy the beauty that is everyone!

    • Zoë Blue permalink
      May 27, 2010 8:02 pm

      There’s definitely a “race discussion” in America that isn’t there in other places. When I lived in England, I had Black and South Asian friends who didn’t seem to experience as much in the way of prejudice / other people’s hangups as they do here. But who knows…? I’m a blonde White girl, so I’m sure my experience is vastly different than theirs.

      I agree wholeheartedly: If someone’s hot, it won’t matter who he is, I’ll be attracted to him. If someone has a mind or a laugh I could enjoy for years, I would be wildly attracted to that person.

      Thanks for the compliment, Katie. Coming from you, that’s high praise. :)

      • Matt permalink
        June 4, 2010 2:17 pm

        I agree with you. In europe, they are no stereotypes. Many will interracial date each other. It seems to be a big deal hear in America. For me I’m a minority filipino, and I’ve dated out of my race many beautiful women and it’s no biggie for me. It’s seems to the culture is what gets to me, I love their culture, I love learning about who they are what makes great people. Great discussion.

  12. May 27, 2010 8:59 pm

    This subject fascinates me so much. I’ve dated women of all different backgrounds and found that my preconceived notions were just that, societal ideas/biases that I’d accepted without thinking about it. The thing is, it’s hard not to buy into some of it. I once dated a wonderful young lady who just happened to be asian and who never dated asian men. She indicated that she found them to be less attractive and less masculine. To her credit, she did admit that she recognized that she had bought into the media portrayals, and that her perceptions were skewed. But, what could she do?

    Anyway, thanks for opening up the dialogue Zoe…oh, and I agree, Falco’s blog is pretty cool.

  13. May 27, 2010 9:00 pm

    You’re right, it’s nearly impossible to come up with a film that fits your criteria:
    “more American (or English-speaking) films where the main actor is Asian and plays a leading role where he’s NOT kicking everyone’s butt.”

    “The Lover” (1992) a story of an illicit affair between a wealthy Chinese man and a teenage French girl in 1929 French Indochina, featuring actor Tony Leung, comes closest. (And it’s in English, even if it’s a foreign film.) Also of note is that it was panned by most American critics as soft-core smut.

    Cue 18 years later and–though this isn’t about an Asian character, since Persia is now Iran– the summer blockbuster is “Prince of Persia” with no Persian prince in sight… Of course these days films are made by corporations, and all they care about is a recognizable name to justify the billions they spend on special effects and advertising…

    • The Falco permalink
      May 27, 2010 9:35 pm

      I haven’t seen “The Lover” but I heard it’s a good film. HOWEVER… the main character is a 30+ year old asian man and the French girl is 17.

      Perhaps I’m being a bit nit picky (and it WAS based off of a book) but is it too much to ask for a romantic film with an Asian man and a White woman of the SAME age group?

      Even my favorite movie: Shanghai Kiss (with Hayden Panettiere) features a 30+ year old Asian man with once again, an underage white girl. There’s always a twist…

  14. May 27, 2010 10:07 pm

    @The Falco — good point but how often does a romantic film pair a man of any race with a woman of the same age group?

    Instead we get, with only a few exceptions, some version of: Jack Nicholson, 61, and Helen Hunt, 35, in “As Good as It Gets.”

    Then again, how often do men in real life try to date within their own age group? Perhaps movies are simply reflecting social norms…

    • The Falco permalink
      May 29, 2010 1:42 am

      You do have a point. Men in movies are often much much older than their female coutnerparts. However, Jack Nicholson may be 61 and helen hunt 35, but she’s still “legal”.

      It’s kinda like dating in high school: If you’re 20 dating a 15 year old, it can be seen as pretty odd (by social norms). But if your 5 year age gap is say, 30 and 35, then it’s no big deal. For me, it’s the under 18 part that gets to me. It makes the Asian man’s character seem like some “animal preying on young girls”.

  15. May 28, 2010 8:43 am

    Really fantastic post Zoe, and definitely a subject that is not addressed enough.

    I lived in Asia for three years and was gaga about the local men. I think it was their hairless chests that did it for me. But for the most part, the western women there weren’t interested in dating Asian men. A lot of reasons behind that, but primarily the idea that they were too effeminate or too small (stature and penis size!).

    Going to quote The Plum here: “Love who you love, be attracted to what you want, and enjoy the beauty that is everyone!”.

    XKB

    • Sefluaw permalink
      June 2, 2010 2:25 pm

      Hey KB, I stumbled across your blog through this site, and I must say that you’re very well-spoken (er, well-written? lol). Anyway, you also said something there about your romps in Asia. Out of curiosity, have you ever been with an Asian guy? Because I’ve spoken with a few other women who’ve also spent time in Asia, and they said that finding a date was rather difficult there. But I dunno. Considering you said that the other western women weren’t interested, it seems that there would be all the more for you! haha

  16. May 28, 2010 9:13 am

    All of my relationships are interracial ones. I don’t know that I purposefully seek them out, but that’s what always winds up happening. I guess considering I am multiracial myself, that’s bound to happen. :) I once briefly went on a few dates with a Japanese man, but it never led to the passionate love affair that’s always been my little secret desire: I would LOVE to seriously date a hot Asian man at some point in my life. There was a resident physician I met in school once who I fell madly in lust with, but I graduated, and we maintained a friendship cross county first, then cross ocean. Sometimes I still fantasize about him…

    I really do think Hollywood is trying to expand in portrayals of interracial relationships. Look at any movie with Thandie Newton in it.

  17. May 28, 2010 6:39 pm

    Seriously, isn’t smart sexy? What woman doesn’t want that? Unfortunately during my dating years (which I’ll admit were few) the Asian dudes would not give me the time of day. Most of them hung out with other Asians in a big group (I grew up in the Bay Area in CA, there were a lot of Asians), it was common for most elasticities to hang together. I always thought it was sort of a missed opportunity to learn about different cultures.

    • May 28, 2010 6:41 pm

      Haha! I meant Ethnicities (spell check changed it to “Elasticities” automatically, sorry).

  18. May 31, 2010 7:23 pm

    Loved the video clip. And great post.
    Have to say, after Fast Forward I do have a bit of a crush on John Cho. My mom once told me I was blind to color. I took that as a compliment; even though, she feared it. Thinking back to all the dates I’ve blogged about, half were black, about 25% asian or latino, and then the rest were white. Although I’m so pale Casper’s my cousin, I have a European/Mediterrean look to me. So, as a result, I like my men with a little flare to them. the media isn’t going to sway that.

    http://www.ziazitella.wordpress.com

  19. Kelly Seal permalink
    June 2, 2010 5:53 pm

    So what I’m really curious about is…how many Inter-webbers have hit you up for a date from this post? We want stats, young lady…

  20. June 8, 2010 3:00 pm

    Thanks for post from Australia

    Jozefin

  21. June 18, 2010 12:53 am

    “Update: Turns out “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” has an interracial WF/AM relationship! With an Asian actor I’ve never seen before – Leonardo Nam.”

    Now you make me want to see the movie! but that means I have to read the book first :(

  22. Kaylee White permalink
    July 14, 2010 1:40 am

    Um, one reason I know of (and this sounds ridiculous and stereotypical, but in 99% of cases it is true and I GUARANTEE this) – they are really quite small ahem downstairs. I know that can be true for men of all races, but as an average Asian men are REALLY small MOST of the time. That is very superficial and I can hear you all screaming already, but I do know a few ladies who like them (they are often polite, considerate and respectful), however refuse to date them anymore as the sex life is always awful. And sex is very important in a relationship.
    Also, they are generally very skinny and not generally that good looking (again, dependant on taste), but that guy in your main picture there is definitely an exception!!!

    Anyway, I am not trying to have a go or be horrible, I am actually just trying to assist with your discovery, and these are reasons that I have heard/discussed throughout my time!

    • Sefluaw permalink
      July 24, 2010 6:59 am

      >>>>>>”Um, one reason I know of (and this sounds ridiculous and stereotypical, but in 99% of cases it is true and I GUARANTEE this)”

      And how exactly do you “guarantee” it? I have done work in bio-field research in the past, and I can say that ALL the supposed “research studies” on race/penis size correlation that I have seen spouted continuously online are either scientifically unsound or — flat out — made-up out of nowhere. Random numbers are mysteriously provided, and yet so few readers think to ask WHERE those numbers came from, WHO financed the study, HOW the data was collected, WHO collected the data, WHAT the sample size was (i.e. the number of tested subjects), WHERE the sample came from, the soundness of project design, etc. Those cited “research studies” answer almost none of these questions, despite the fact that these kinds of questions are the foundation of what makes a study/experiment trustworthy or not.

      One also cannot guarantee the truth of the stereotype based on personal testimonies; there are so many girls who can and do say from personal experience that the Asian stereotype is a lie.

      So in the end, the word about tiny Asian guys is circulated mostly by men — and to a lesser extent by women — who have never even had sex with a single Asian guy. It’s like the wildly infamous story in the 90s about how Timmy Hilfiger went on Oprah’s talk show and said that if he had known that black people would buy his clothes, he never would have made those clothes (at which point it was said that Oprah told him to leave)…. except that that interview NEVER happened. He had never even been on the show until years later. And yet the public who heard the story did not question anything, and they took it as truth, just because someone came up with the wild idea and told it to another.

      Gossip and rumors do not equal truth. They are, however, ideas. And indeed, ideas are like a parasite: they spread from one person to another, and once they infect their hosts, they are not easy to be rid of.

    • July 28, 2010 5:19 pm

      I didn’t want to reply to this comment but I must. The ignorance that pervades this society about men of different ethnicities is ridiculous, even more because we keep spreading these kind of stereotypes. Where you came up with this 99% number about penis size is obviously questionable, but my stomach actually turned when you said Asian men “are generally very skinny and generally not very good looking.” I can think of dozens and dozens of examples to refute this latter comment; obviously you’re not looking in the right places or you only have blinders for Asian men except for the ones who fall under your stereotype.

      To continue shattering myths: Not all Black guys have huge penises. I’ve personally known several white men who were much more well-endowed than black men I’ve seen. Not all black women have big butts. Not all blonds have more fun. :) And sex with an older man can be as good if not better than a young college-age buck.

      Go out and experience the real world a little with open eyes. Expect to be surprised!

  23. Matt permalink
    July 14, 2010 5:31 pm

    Who is that in the picture of the asian guy and white girl?

  24. Jaqbro permalink
    August 18, 2010 9:30 pm

    I just saw the movie Romeo Must Die and I couldn’t believe that they cast Jet Li as Aaliya’s love interest. They could have found a sexy asian guy that could fight and act. I was dissapointed. I was happy and surprised that the movie Ninja warriors has an asian male lead and a black female and they definetly had chemistry. (PS I am white dating an asian male).

  25. December 8, 2010 1:07 am

    Good evening

    Awesome post, just want to say thanks for the share

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