This week for Role/Reboot I wrote about the always controversial subject of racial preferences while dating. It started because a friend (who is Asian) asked if I thought it was racist to not want to date other Asians. So began a long and fascinating conversation about trying to avoid people with similar neuroses, whether those neuroses stem from being Asian, whether “Asian” is too broad a bloc to eliminate (what about South Asians? What about fifth-generation Asians? What about adopted Asians? Will they all have the same neuroses we’re trying to avoid? Probably not…)
My perspective is that you can’t make assumptions about values, beliefs, experiences, or even appearance on race. Consequently, if you say ” I don’t date ______,” the thing you’re objecting to is the census category itself (which is pretty arbitrary…) That, to my mind, is racist. Here are my thoughts in a little more detail:
The feedback has already been really fascinating, and there is at least one major question I didn’t address in the original piece: what about when people of a minority or marginalized group prefer to date within their group for the purposes of solidarity and preservation of culture and traditions?
I left this out intentionally because I don’t really feel qualified to answer it, having never identified as part of a marginalized group (except for ladies, which is a moot point here). I don’t have a culture or set of traditions that it is important for me to preserve such that my dating choices would be affected. “Whiteness” is not a culture. Jewish and black friends (at least, these are the only two groups that have spoken up), both argued for an asterisk on my argument that recognized that, in the case of marginalized groups, there might be value in trying to preserve a culture or strengthen a community that might otherwise peter out if not sufficiently maintained.
What do you guys think?
Related Post: You guessed it, I’m a privileged white girl!
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Today’s Role/Reboot post comes to you inspired by the following Facebook exchange:
I realized after I posted this that it might not be a gendered issue, but I don’t date women, so I really have no idea. There are probably lady-monologuers out there, too. That said, I do think there’s something about the economics of dating (especially online dating) wherein men are encouraged to try to impress, and women are encouraged to sit back and be impressed. The thing is, I’m mostly impressed by curiosity, which gets lost if you’re too busy telling a twenty minute story about CrossFit.
Related Post: Why online dating sucks for men.
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Do feelings make sex better? Yes.*
*Yes, for me. How the hell do I know what makes sex good for you?
*Yes, but which feelings?
*Yes, but it’s a matter of degrees.
*No? Oh my bad, friend, sorry for making assumptions.
With the help of Facebook contributors and all you lovelies who emailed me with essays about your sexual hang-ups (thanks for that!) I wrote about the venn diagram of good sex and feelings this week at Role/Reboot. Sorry-not-sorry Mom and Dad!
Related Post: How to choose porn with a partner that is not heinously misogynist and embarassing
1. MUSIC: The sign-language interpreter steals the show at this Wu-Tang performance (Gawker).
2. DATING: If you’re familiar with the sniveling “Nice Guys” who are very upset that their “niceness” doesn’t make girls want to sleep with them, you might enjoy this bit of satire from Insert Literary Reference.
3. HEALTH: Why is a colonoscopy 26x more expensive in the U.S. than in Canada? It’s complicated, says Mother Jones.
4. BRO: What exactly is a bro? Venn diagrams to the rescue! And who is at the middle of it all? Lochte, of course.
5. VOWS: I thought nothing would top the wolf wedding announcement, but I was wrong.
6. BOOKS: Publisher’s Weekly explains some big name books in pie-chart form.
Related Post: Sunday 102 – Founding father pin-ups, rich kids of Instagram, authors annotating their first editions.
Related Post: Sunday 101 – Soldier portraits, cartoons about depression, Rihanna’s hairdresser
This was a tough one to write. I knew I wanted to talk about the idea of “the primacy of the couple” and different kinds of love. I knew I wanted to include some of Eric Klinenberg’s Going Solo research about the demographic trend towards solitary living. Fun fact, single-occupant homes are the most common domestic unit in America. Here’s another: the average American spends more than half their adult life unpartnered. There’s a lot more. Read the book.
Also, read my essay for Role/Reboot (title, as usual, not selected by me):
Related Post: How to make a bro friend.
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On the internet, I get a lot of pushback when I write about sex and gender from guys who say things like “It’s not fair, women can have sex whenever they want!”, “Women are the gatekeepers,” “You don’t have to work for it,” etc. If it were only dudes on the internet that spouted this rhetoric, I’d write them off as idiot trolls.
But it’s not just misogynistic commenters and entitled jerks online who think this kind of thing; I hear it from real guys too, the normal ones, the nice ones, the ones who I know to be decent humans. The thing I think they’re all missing is that finding any old someone who wants to get down doesn’t exactly guarantee any magic will happen. That’s not to say you can’t stumble on to awesome amazingtimez with a one-night stand, only that what many women want (need?) to enjoy sex isn’t what a lot of those one-night standers are offering.
Today at Role/Reboot I wrote about how “getting laid” might be easy, but “getting laid” is sometimes a pretty low, unappealing bar. It’s not hard to find someone casual who wants to get it in, it is hard to find someone casual who wants to get you going.
Related Post: A flow chart about first-date sex.
Related Post: Last week I reviewed a bootycall app.
1. DATING: Where do “missed connections” happen? In Illinois, on the train (duh), in Indiana, at home. Wait, what?
2. AUTHORS: Ugh. Ender’s Game was kind of my favorite thing for so so long. It still is, but I hate when the authors you love turn out to be raging homophobes. Dammit.
3. EDUCATION: This amazing investigative piece by WBEZ on the South Side’s Harper High School is incredible in basically every way journalism can be incredible.
4. KNOPE: NYMag has the inside scoop behind Amy Poehler/Leslie Knope’s amazing wedding dress.
5. SPORTS: For the very first time, a woman is participating in the NFL regional tryouts. Kicker Lauren Silberman will probably not play in the NFL, but that’s still pretty f’ing cool.
6. OSCARS: I would write about Seth McFarlane’s horribly sexist jokes, but Margaret Lyons at NYMag nailed it so hard I’d just be paraphrasing.
Related Post: Sunday Scraps 94: Bey, Connie Britton, Jane Austen and more.
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This week for Role/Reboot I “reviewed” a new Facebook app called “Bang with Friends.” In theory, it’s a discreet way to figure out which of your friends are down to hook up with you. In practice, I found it to be a quick reminder of why you don’t sleep with your friends.
I tested it with a willing friend, just to see what happens. We indicated we were down to bang each other (literally, the button you press per friend is “Down to bang!”), which opened up a little mini-messaging conversation that went like this:
Me: Hey baby, let’s get a little more comfortable.
Me: I would never write that. That’s what this silly thing made me do.
Him: mmmm, sounds good.
If you’d like to read more about my thoughts on Bang With Friends, casual sex, secret admirers, and FWB relationships, read on:
Related Post: Sex on the first date? I made a flowchart!
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