Jul 29, 2011 9:53pm

I always wondered if ethnicity played a role in our choices. I am not suggesting stereotypes based on race or color but asking if we as individuals make loaded choices


Jul 29, 2011 11:35pm

Of course people have preferences in that area. Some more than others.

More interesting question to me is how people come to those preferences - oftentimes it comes from cultural stereotypes, inherited bias and simplistic thinking, rather than carefully thought-out personal experiences.

(I changed the "ethnicity" field on my profile here last year to "undeclared", because while I don't have any personal racial preferences, I don't want to be sought-out by people who do.)




Jul 30, 2011 12:02am

I definitely have my preference. I don't find anything wrong with preferring a race over another, but likely that's just because it applies to myself. Being asexual, if I'm not planning on having sex with someone, I'd damned well better find them aesthetically pleasing, and I just so happen to prefer certain people. :P


Jul 30, 2011 7:10am

Damned bigots. Probably have the same kinda feelings 'bout species.


Jul 30, 2011 8:42am

People have preferences when it comes to hair color and nobody cares.

People have preferences when it comes to skin color and they're bigots.


Keeping species on human is preferable. If you allow that, next thing you know gay people will be getting married in New York.


Jul 30, 2011 10:26am

Due to my slightly abnormal pull toward deathly pale skinned women, I'll have to vote yes.  Definitely not set in concrete, though.


Jul 30, 2011 11:17am

Due to my slightly abnormal pull toward deathly pale skinned women, I'll have to vote yes.  Definitely not set in concrete, though.

I agree. Pale skin doesn't look anywhere near as attractive
sunk in concrete - I only do that with darker skin.


Jul 30, 2011 11:32am

I'll add, while I do prefer a certain race for my own partner, that does not include all of that member, nor does it mean I believe that race is superior over another. I think it is when the superiority issues comes into play is when the racism issue comes together. Again, I still could be wrong.



Jul 30, 2011 1:06pm

Well, many of the responses I've read here seem to be based on two assumptions that I can't even agree represent, let alone approximate, lived reality - that human beings aren't influenced by context and just randomly generate individual preferences and that there is zero subtlety or grey area in how to judge any given individual's response to lived experience.

I mean I've been participating in sexuality related discussions sites online for almost 20 years now and I can summarize all the responses that the OP is likely to get to this question based on the many iterations of it that I've seen in that time. I think we already have examples of all them here. After this it will just be a flame war between defensive people and self-righteous people with a few people arguing a more subtle approach to understanding the situation while the other two groups ignoring everything said that doesn't fit into the idea of "it doesn't matter, of course I've risen above this; other people are the problem" or "it doesn't matter, racism and historical context aren't even real, my preferences have no implication in anyway."

What people would be better off discussing is the influence of specific experiences in their lives, how those are culturally influenced, and how they make sense of those things without the black and white thinking of "you are either above operating in context or have no self-agency" and "ethnicity, race, culture, and racism are completely irrelevant to anyone's experience and if it's not you racist by implication of acknowledging their existence."


Jul 30, 2011 2:04pm

I'll add, while I do prefer a certain race for my own partner, that does not include all of that member, nor does it mean I believe that race is superior over another.... Again, I still could be wrong.


You are wrong. You believe that white makes right.


Jul 31, 2011 6:03am

When about the age of most commentators here, but in a different world then, I exhibited prejudices that were nationalistic rather than racist: On the other hand, I've never bee a racist as such. However, I used to harbour, and even build-on some ridiculous notions that went something like this:–

Canadians are the poor-man's Americans, and also the poor-man's speakers of French

Cypriots, the poor-man's Greeks or Turks

Turks, Iranians, Pakistanis, Palestinians, etc are not the real Arabs

Argentinians, the poor-man's Chileans

The Baltic States, Poland, The Ukraine, Bulgaria, and Romania are no more than the Milk Countries

The Danes are not the real Scandinavians

The real Scandinavians are superior to the Germans

The Germans are superior to the Austrians


And I couldn't have been the only one who thought in that misguided way. Even recently, on satellite television, I've seen Arte, the Franco-German cultural channel, sub-title French-Canadian films, as though to imply the latter isn't quite literate. And on the main Greek channel, I've seen Greek-Cypriot movies treated similarly. There seems to be so much of such thinking about that probably it does affect us in romance


Jul 31, 2011 6:27am

And I think I've seen such some attitudes in Germany

The pride in their Hochdeutsche may cause some Germans to look-down on outlandish types, such as  speakers of Schwiizertüütsch: and, in TV interviews from remote parts of Switzerland, they'll broadcast them with a complete set of 'translated´ sub-titles, even when unnecessary


Jul 31, 2011 6:35am

And then there is attitudes that have little to do with race, which are bound to affect us in relationships. For instance, it's a German tendency to think of the Austrian universities as not quite up-to-standard, especially in scientific or techncal subjects; and though I think they like the British, I've more than once heard them refer to the English as the Island-Monkeys. See what I mean?


Jul 31, 2011 6:56am

RigB, allow me to cut in here. People from deep Bayern and parts of Die Schweiz are basically unintelligible to those speaking Hochdeutsch. That's why they need subtitles even for what can nominally be termed the same language. There's still some belittlement there, but the subtitles I totally understand.


Jul 31, 2011 7:42am

Germany is based more on its separate states than may seem to be

Jokingly, they'll tell you that Bayerisch is the worst dialect, but without an understanding of its different components. And I would not pretend to. Then would come Schwäbisch, from the region of folks whose life is said to be ruled by cupidity; and thirdly Sächsisch, with its mean-sounding accent and weird vocabulary. Well, maybe it is all the same thing – and that's tribalism 

And as for the subtitles, MoSEaO –

I think they're shown too often – perhaps when it isn't entirely necessary for an understanding of what's been said. And sometimes, when it is, they fail to show them, maybe for politic reasons


Jul 31, 2011 3:28pm

I think as a choice, it depends on commonality more than anything else. And the expectations we are raised with.

Skin is a very visual and easy filter. Where I was raised, there were not many different cultures. There were some, but definitely in the minority. Skin tone I am familiar with is white.

Then there is the cultural to consider. We in general are more comfortable with similar cultural backgrounds. Get past the color filter to find those. The few black  men I would have been interested in dating were of the mainstream culture, like myself. We had similar experiences, cultural references and so on to build upon. Religion and ethics as well as custom and traditions were similar.

And then the familiar influence. I'm just one generation away from the civil rights strife.  One of the worst things she ever said that I know about was in response to a friend of my brother who asked her how she would feel if I dated a black man. She said that she hoped I would have more sense than that. I responded that whoever I chose, she would have the tolerance to accept my choice. She explained her answer that she knew that such relationships had a harder time because of other people and she did not want to see me go through that conflict. My ex was a bigot, but I didn't get to see that side until his niece had a baby by a black man. He cut both mother and child out of his life and insisted that I have nothing to do with them at family gatherings. His mother didn't care and loved both mother and child, taking delight in her great-grandchild.

It is an understandable filter in looking for partners and nothing wrong with it. It is when it becomes blind and insistent that others "stick to their own kind" that it wrong. Being I am of mixed blood myself and knowing that while Amerindian/European mix is more accepted, I know that there are some out there who will treat that as something to not like in me as if culturally I wasn't mainstream US, but something else. My ex was not comfortable with it, in the end, so far down bigotry he went.




Jul 31, 2011 4:18pm

Then there is the cultural to consider.

Far and away, this is the big one for me. Not so much
the comparative pop cultures (I really find those pretty
unpleasant even from my own background) as just not
having contact with a lot of females outside my own
background/tastes. Even males have been pretty far
between, but at least there I've met a couple with 
SOME commonality - not so much with females.


Jul 31, 2011 10:31pm

Nice comments people, would love to explore the formation of choice without starting a flaming war.


Aug 1, 2011 12:53am

I don't personally think anyone has to stick with the familiar in order to be happy, but I also know that is most people's preference in this world.


Aug 1, 2011 2:10am

Nice comments people, would love to explore the formation of choice without starting a flaming war.

What flame war? The closest thing here is cal screwing off, and I think most everyone knows at this point not to take that too seriously.

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