If you’re Asian American and male, you will experience a set of experiences that are unique to you, especially in matters of sex and love. This almost never gets talked about, and when it does, the dialogue often sucks. It’s either face-saving denialism (“Race doesn’t matter, dude! I’m not a whiny Asian guy like you!”) or bottled-up anger (“Man, fuck these sellout Asian bitches! Imma get my big-tittied blonde homecoming queen!”). That’s why Chris and Mark have started this sub-series that focuses on reflective personal narratives on this loaded topic.
The following are edited excerpts from “Guys, You’re Not Crazy”, the 8th episode of Plan A’s podcast, Escape From Plan A.
Something that’s really lacking within the Asian American community, especially with Asian guys, is maybe older guys who are still doing this dating thing and some kind of conversation with younger people. Because our dads couldn’t do this with us. My dad didn’t, and a lot of other second-generation Asian American kids, their parents don’t have this conversation with them. If you’re lucky, maybe you have an older brother. I never did, so I had to face this on my own. What’s lacking is this casual conversation.
Let’s be honest. Finding a partner, finding love, is a big part of happiness. It’s an elemental human need. I always find it fascinating, because I’m looking for the ulterior motive, when someone tries to de-legitimize the complaints about it by Asian men, from straight to gay, from black women, etc. It’s not a mystery why the conversation and topic comes up again and again. Because it’s so important, as humans.
In my life, everything from a hook-up to a serious relationship, I’ve been involved with pretty much every ethnicity/racial group, except Middle Eastern. And that’s not because of lack of trying. Actually, the first girl I asked out in college was Middle Eastern. But based on what I just said, it didn’t end up too well.
I was coming up against those barriers in America as an Asian guy, and I would try telling my [white adopted] parents about it, and they’d be like, “What are you talking about?” They didn’t believe me. So yeah, it was difficult.
The advice out there assumes you’re a white guy. Newsflash, the rules are different for Asian guys. Just establishing that baseline is so important. They’re different for white and non-white, but especially for Asian. There’s a particular set of experiences and things you’ll go through, that if you’re warned and told about before-hand, you’ll deal with it a lot better. Speaking from my experience, when you’re younger, when you experience this, you’ll constantly ask yourself, “Am I crazy? Am I seeing things?”
Everything that we’ve experienced in our dating lives, like “Damn, there is a handicap for Asian dudes,” is borne out by the data. So the apps aren’t this panacea that will solve the problem of dating. It’s just shining a light on what we knew was true, and almost amplifying those tendencies.