Words by Philip Samba | @IdiosyncraticXL  | Photo © GMFA

I couldn’t tell you how many times in person and on dating apps non-black men have been overjoyed to tell me how they “don’t usually like black guys” or how much they “love big black cock” or how much they have “always wanted to get fucked by a black guy.” 

Black men are, unbelievably, expected to take these things as compliments and give our bodies to anyone who feels entitled to them. Not only is it not complimentary in the slightest, but it’s insulting, it’s dehumanising and, believe it or not, it’s racist. We are seen as absolutely nothing besides our dicks. Is that all we are? Is that all we can possibly be?

If you are confused about how this could possibly be considered racist then please allow me to explain. Racial fetishism is when someone racially or ethnically stereotypes a person (or culture) from a different race or ethnic group to their own by objectifying their bodies to characteristics that are stereotypically connected to them. All of these preconceived notions are problematic and they may not even be true.

You could argue that this isn’t such a terrible thing because there is still an attraction there, but actually you would be very wrong. If a fetish is a sexual interest or desire in an object, material, or a body part, then herein lies the problem. The person’s race which you are obsessed with and desperately desire becomes an object and subsequently all you want is to do is fulfil a fetish.

You are not attracted by the person’s beauty or who they are, you are solely attracted to the characteristics associated with them. On top of this, at first we are so desirable for our features but the moment we say we are not interested because either we don’t find the guy attractive or mentally stimulating, or just that we can see that we are going to be racially fetishised, we are often then met with more direct racism. The N-word is thrown around because we exercised our right to say no.

Black gay men suffer enough racism on a regular basis, not to mention everything else we have to go through in our lives from the black community being notoriously rife with homophobia, being twice as likely to get HIV and being more likely to be diagnosed with mental health issues.

It’s so sad that we must face even more racism by being objectified in such a belittling way within the gay community where we are already a minority. This is especially bad because as gay men we should be able to understand what it is like to be treated unfairly and differently for something beyond our control and we should be striving to eradicate inequality within our community.

The bodies of black males have been depicted negatively since the early 1900s, initially portrayed as overly sexualised, animalistic and sexually aggressive with enormous penises in porn and print media. The focus on the black male penis allows dehumanisation of the man with a reduction of his entirety to a single body part.

To some extent, not much has changed today – within mainstream media and porn we are still misrepresented most of the time as hypersexual, hypermasculine, aggressive thugs with massive, muscular bodies.

Porn and racial fetishism are definitely interlinked and this type of problematic porn is a symptom of the fetishism in society because it works as a cycle – it misinforms whoever watches it, and perpetuates age-old stereotypes. What has been learned is inflicted on to others as compliments, then it’s watched again and the cycle starts all over again. How do we break this cycle?

Black men who enjoy being treated like a piece of meat need to stop reducing themselves to racial stereotypes with the belief that it gives them power, because it doesn’t. If you let this happen then you are a big part of the problem. You’re inadvertently allowing racism in the gay community to thrive and continue by encouraging this behaviour and not trying to stop it.

Non-black men who fetishise us need to listen to us and understand our frustration and anger, rather than not caring about what we have to say and going from one black man to the next.

Diversity in sex and relationships is a clear indication of how progressive society has become but if you are dating outside of your race because you think another race has particular physical characteristics different from your own then you need to learn that this is wrong. You should be attracted to someone because of who they are as a person and because you find them attractive regardless of their race. If this is the case and they just so happen to be from a different race then that means you genuinely respect them, care about them and find them beautiful.

Pornographic film studios need to make films that are more realistic and make us more human. Not every single black man is exactly the same mentally and  physically. We are not all thugs, we do not all have big black cocks and we do not all have muscles. We are  multidimensional, we have personalities, we have brains and we have emotions, just like everyone else.


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