Racism is alive and well when it comes to online dating habits, or so said OkCupid creator Christian Rudder back in 2009. He published data on his blog correlating response rate with ethnicity. A now defunct Facebook dating app called Are You Interested (AYI) riffed on these findings and ranked men and women from most to least dateable based on ethnicity. The idea that Asian women are “most dateable,” and Asian men are “least dateable,” has worked its way into our collective consciousness. Most people I’ve met even 7 years later are aware of this data and I hear it dropped into casual conversation about dating all the time.
I asked my friend Brian to share his experiences out there on the prowl as a “least dateable” Asian male.
Sarah: Did you know you were “least dateable?”
Brian: I didn’t! But now that I’ve been told, it isn’t that shocking I suppose.
Sarah: How do you feel about it?
Brian: Given the stereotypes out there about Asian guys, it doesn’t really surprise me but I certainly don’t feel least dateable! Haha!
Sarah: Please describe yourself and what you’re looking for in a date.
Brian: I have a couple of hobbies I’m really passionate about, I’m also really into a couple genres of music – my life seems to revolve around these things. I tend to look for a date that has similar taste in music – in my experience, women who enjoy the same music as me tend to also live a similar lifestyle and hold similar values to mine. I also try to look for someone who is deeply passionate about something – if they do, at the very least, they can relate to the deep passion I have for my hobbies and we can share them with each other. On a lighter note, I consider myself “white girl basic” most of the time.
Sarah: How do you get dates?
Brian: I just ask! People often give very long, complicated answers to this question and I refuse to believe that it needs to be. Just get over being rejected, it’s going to happen once or twice – or a dozen times? You need to keep moving forward (cue Disney soundtrack).
Sarah: Which ethnicities do you date the most?
Brian: Asian women. Specifically Korean and Chinese. I know I’m racist. I’ve had crushes on Caucasian women but it wasn’t mutual.
Sarah: Are you concerned that someone might not want to date you because you’re Asian?
Brian: Not really, usually the sentiment is mutual. It does come as a shock when an Asian woman doesn’t want to date me because I’m Asian, but I’ll save that psychoanalysis for another interview.
Sarah: Does it make you want to run away or do you want to somehow prove to them that their stereotypes are wrong?
Brian: I’m not one to shy away from confrontation and I always love a challenge – I don’t see it as proving them wrong, but if I can expand their mind and show them something new about Asian men, then I’d say its a win!
Sarah: Have you ever had the opposite experience where a woman wants to date you, particularly because you’re Asian (I like Asian guys because I have positive stereotypes. Asian guys are smart, nice, and family oriented)?
Brian: I haven’t – at least, not that I’m aware of. But I’ve had plenty of women say that I’m not like most Asian guys they know.
Sarah: When you’re out, how do you recognize when a woman might be someone who doesn’t date Asian men?
Brian: I have to flip this question around a bit – it’s all about attitude right? Rather than take a survey and cross off all the women who wouldn’t date me, I look for the women who would! It goes back to shared values and for me – music preference. Music is the language that everyone understands.
Sarah: What do women think they’re getting when they date Asian men specifically?
Brian: My friends and I like to joke about Asian guys being PAMs = Passive Asian Males. I think a lot of women think all Asian guys are PAMs. Majority of the time they’re not wrong! But trust me, the Asian guy that approaches you at the bar/club/coffee shop/on the street/at the park/while walking your dog is unlikely to be a PAM. They are more likely to be your coworker or your girlfriend’s lame partner. #justsaying
Sarah: What are some overtly racist things you hear on dates? Has a woman ever said to your face that Asians are cheap and have Tiger Moms, for example (most racist thing I could think of that I’m willing to bet some people believe)?
Brian: Wait, why is having a tiger mom a bad thing? Going back to what I said earlier about the Asian guy who approaches you in public not being the stereotypical PAM, I think the stereotypes I hear are much different from the ones that cover the general population of Asian males. The stereotypes I hear most are:
“Asian guys are too feminine/girly/or simply not manly enough”
“Asian guys are too skinny, I can’t be with someone who is skinner than me!”
“Asian guys can’t speak English/can’t understand their chingchonglinglong” (I hate this one the most btw)
“Asian guys are short”
“Asian guys are alcoholics”
“Asian guys are all mama’s boys”
“Asian guys have small penises”
“Asian guys only date Asian girls”
“Asian guys are good at math”
Sarah: Talk to me about penis size. I know some girls that think Asian guys have glue stick dicks. By the way, my ex was Chinese and his was really big. Has a woman ever commented on your Asian penis?
Brian: I hear it all the time from people trying to be funny. This stereotype sucks and I bet it has the most to do with the OKCupid stat you mentioned earlier. But at the same time, every Caucasian woman I’ve spoken to that has dated an Asian guy has said the same thing: “the Asian guy I was with wasn’t small.” Again, I think it goes back to what I said about the average Asian guy with the balls (pun intended) to approach you in public – chances are, he’s comfortable with his package. I’ve had women tell me their last partner was tiny – not sure if if this the same? But it hasn’t been an issue for me so far. And for the record, glue sticks will double in size – just twist the bottom!
Sarah: That’s really funny! Say more stuff about penis size please.
Brian: Real talk, some women just need a huge penis for satisfaction and if that’s the case, I think they’re gonna have a tough time finding someone with what they need regardless of race or ethnicity. I haven’t had anyone like me for my penis so I can’t really comment on that, but if we’re just talking about her enjoying the sex we had? Sure, that would totally make me like her more. Knowing that I was able to make her feel great is a definitely a turn on for me.
Sarah: Describe the best and worst date you’ve been on lately.
Brian: Personally, it’s all about the connection we have. If I have a great connection with the other person, it is difficult to hide it! Conversation will be very natural like two old friends who haven’t seen each other in a long time. I think there is a lot of excitement around discovering common values and interests another person shares with you. Sure the food was great, and many other things went very well also, but doesn’t that go back to sharing the same interests and values? The worst/awkward date I went on recently was at a whiskey bar with a girl who didn’t really drink beer or enjoy whiskey. She knew I liked beer and whiskey and that is why we ended up there. I totally had a great time, but I know she didn’t. We also never made a real connection that night so we didn’t see each other again either.
Sarah: Any dating advice you’d like to share?
Brian: It’s cliché, but just be yourself – let your freak flag fly and lay your crazy out for people to see. With the power of the Internet, it’s easier than ever to find a mate that shares your level of crazy. Embrace it! Own it! I think crazy is good. I personally gravitate towards the crazy ones – but now that I’m older, I realize it’s bad for my health. A psychology professor I had used to always say, “it’s the people who don’t talk to themselves that you need to keep an eye on.”
Sarah: Anything else?
I really hope “PAM” becomes a thing. I’m not sure when my friends and I started using the acronym or even if one of us came up with it, but it would be great to hear it from a stranger some day. If you’re a woman who thinks all Asian guys have small penises, just go sleep with a few of them and find out for yourself! Stop wondering! =)
I should also add, plenty of Asian women have told me the last Asian guy they hooked up with had a needle dick – so ladies, YMMV.
Stay tuned for this interview’s companion piece, “Most dateable?”