TFG Thoughts:  Racism in Gay Porn
Feb201501

This topic comes up quite a bit on Grindr, which I think brought the issue to the forefront.  How many times have we seen “No Asians” and “No Blacks” on Grindr?  More than I’d like to, that’s for sure.

But I think there are a couple of issues here.  People who post that sort of text typically defend themselves by stating that it’s not racist, just a preference.  No different that preferring twinks to bears, blondes to brunettes, clean shaven to beards, younger or older, etc.  I do think there is some truth to that, and what makes it come across so callus is the lack of space on a Grindr profile to elaborate.  You can’t say it all in so little space, so short cuts have to be made, often at the expense of making sweeping generalizations.

I mean, I can’t lie… in terms of body attraction, I myself don’t tend to gravitate towards Asian or African American.  This is not to say that I have never seen any Asians or African American men that I found attractive… I have.  But they tend to be the exception, not the rule.  Does that make me racist?

Before answering, consider this… as a self-identified gay man, I don’t find myself attracted to women at all.  Does that make me sexist?

I think as human beings, we do have our preferences.  Most of us have idea what body type turns us on, what age, and what body attributes (for me, it’s feet… but I also have a thing for sexy eyes, eyebrows, and hands).  If those preferences generally exclude certain types, that’s unfortunate, but we can’t control how we’re wired.

We also have to reflect why people have a Grindr profile (this all applies to Recon, et al.).  Some people are only looking for hook ups.  If so, they why wouldn’t you state explicitly what turns you on or off?  You’re not looking for anything long lasting, so may as well have what you want up front.

However, if you are looking for a longer term relationship, you have to look past that and realize that your ideal mate romantically may or may not be your ideal mate physically.  And then you have to make some decisions about what’s more important to you.  Most of the time, this sort of person will be much more open to what they’re looking for, because it’d be about “in person” chemistry, and not just an image.  Problem is, we have both types of people mingling on the same platform, and a few can’t believe what the others are doing there.

Adding to the matter is the world of gay porn.  Let’s face it… the typical, “mainstream” gay porn is white.  Very, very white.  If you want to find racial minorities in porn, they’re treated like a genre, not unlike kink porn.  Something for a niche market.  Is this a reflection of gay culture in general?  I wish I knew the answer, but it does certainly seem that most gay men portrayed in the media are also white.

All I do know is who I’m attracted to personally.  And there’s nothing wrong with that.  I think it only gets us in trouble when we limit ourselves to our expectations.  While I do know my preferences, I always keep an open mind for whatever crosses my path, even if it’s not explicitly stated in a Grindr profile.

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