It’s weird, you know, being back in Thailand. There are enough White men with Asian women around for you to you raise your chopsticks and your eyebrows. Sometimes it’s the age difference that’s startling. Sometimes though you can’t really tell, as some men look older than their age, and the women look (and dress) younger than they really are. Often foreigners are trying to guess if the woman is a ‘lady of the night’ or a proper girlfriend.

Thais couldn’t care less. They are so over it.

So what’s the problem? I don’t know, but it seems like folks like to get out their measuring stick and wave it around like a flag. Consider this gem I found:

Men will defend their fetish for Asian women as an innocent preference. “I just like what I like” is really code for “I have sexualized my racism and bought into the stereotype of Asian women.”

I have sexualized my racism???

The funny thing is if you turn the argument around it doesn’t work anymore. What about White women into Asian men? Or White women into Black or Latino dudes? Or Black men into Asian women? And so on. There are Asian woman and Black man couples. There are Asian American men and Asian-Asian women. I can find every kind of mixed race match up in my Facebook or friend circle because the world is a lovely place in that way.

There’s also the idea that all the White men who come to Asia are into Asian chicks. Not so. I know plenty of White guys who ended up hooking up with other Saltine Crackers. Seriously. And make it last. I think people end up with who they are with for a multitude of reasons. Sure, it’s fun to smirk and feel bigger and better, but at the end of the hot day, I’m happy that my friends are coupled up.

I asked a friend why he moved to Cambodia, and do you know what he said?

“I’m into Asian guys.”

Thank you, dear, for being so honest. But I had to check myself. If a straight White male had told me he moved here because he was into Asian girls I’d be disgusted, right? I mean, that’s the correct and justified response as an Asian woman. Yet, what moron would have told me that to my face? White men have to slink around these days with their bellies on the floor because they are told they’re the cause of every evil known to mankind, etc, etc. I’m surprised they are still allowed to speak at all.

It’s okay, guys, I know not all you knuckleheads are baddies. I understand that evil comes in all colors. It’s called World History! But while we wait for reason to enter our lives again (hahaha), just remember: treat all women with respect or I’ll take out your knee caps.

I remember looking through a Bobby Brown makeup book and her stating, “I believe Asian women are among the most beautiful in the world.” But if a White guy says that, as opposed to Bobby Brown, a White woman, then it’s considered creepy or off-putting. This dude I dated said he thought the most beautiful women were from Vietnam and Argentina. Okay. We like what we like and as long as no one is being harmed, why do we feel the strong need to interject our morality into it?

I suppose there will always be the “why don’t you stick to your own kind” mentality.

asian and non asian couples

There is a distinction though that’s important here that I want to point out. I’m an Asian American with a White guy, but we met in Thailand. And for the purposes of this post, I’m not going to talk about gay relationships although that is huge here, and I’m specifically going to focus on the relationship scene in Thailand.

White guys into Asian women

This is a bit complicated for me to tackle because I’m not a White guy. However, over the years I get the sense that some of them seek a more traditional woman. What I mean by that is, someone who cooks and cleans and doesn’t complain about it. With women’s liberation, many Western women find old stereotypes restricting and insulting, and I’d argue that many Asian women don’t. This is changing though, as there is definitely a rise of independent, single Thai women.

If I look at myself honestly, there’s a bit of role play for me, too. I want a strong man, capable and able to fix stuff like guys are supposed to do. When I knew more about cars than my ex- I was put off by it. Without getting into the complicated conversation that is gender roles, let’s just leave it at that. There’s no denying that there is a wide spectrum of traditional versus modern roles that couples play out around the world.

There’s a bit of masculine versus feminine desires here, too. I would argue that most men want a woman who is rather feminine. Of course, there are exceptions. There are always great exceptions, but generally speaking, Asian women have a tendency to be feminine – that is to say, they like their makeup, and getting dressed up. Even the uniforms of Thailand are also this way, so you have bank employees in fitted skirts and heels, whereas in the States, you won’t likely have to wear a uniform and you’re probably going to go for comfort. We had our 50’s era already.

I understand that. Part of me liked it when girls looked pretty. Not the pajama era where women roll out of bed and into Wal-Mart. Girls used to wear red lipstick and put their hair in rollers. Men wore hats. There’s been a demise in classiness. The other part of me can’t part with the freedom of not having to conform to gender stereotypes. Wearing heels all day is cruel and unusual punishment and should be forbidden by the Geneva Convention.

This is related though, very much to the fact that some Asian women view dating White guys as not only a paycheck, but a job. It’s a deeply cynical view, but it’s there. For example, Thai women just want your money. White guys are going to use you and move on.

To be even more cynical, there’s even an element of “these guys would never get laid in their own country, so they come to Thailand” implying that they are incredibly ugly, or short, or whatever. And while, yes, sometimes I see a guy who has definitely leveled up in the partner department, I don’t think this is anything radically different than what you’d see in any country. We don’t want to be too cruel in our judgments, lest we be judged in turn. Ironically, even though this is a culture based on appearances, a lot of women won’t care if the guy is not conventionally attractive. Maybe ugly in one culture isn’t so ugly in another.

White women digging Asian men

There are surprisingly a good number of White women who have dated or married Asian men over here. What’s interesting is if you are a Thai woman who marries a foreigner, he has to pay a crazy large amount of money to get his marriage visa. On the other hand, if you are a Thai man and you marry a foreigner, she doesn’t have to pay anything. How’s that for a double standard?

When I started my first teaching job in Chiang Mai, my workplace was filled with White guys dating or married to Thais, and White women into Thai blokes. Truly. I even had the privilege of being present when two of my friends met for the first time. It was some sort of New Year’s holiday (Thais celebrate three), and we were going around the table, making wishes. I asked W what he wished for and he said a White woman. K was walking up to join us when I cheekily said, “Here’s comes one now. Will she do?” They eventually got married and have been living in Chicago for years now.

I asked my sister-in-law what attracted her to my brother, and I love her response, “He wasn’t the standard White guy from around here.” I mean, that’s just it, isn’t it? Folks are attracted to what’s different, what stands out, too. I could definitely see my sister-in-law looking at Larry and going, “Hmmmm,” cause he’s a good-looking cat.

My best friend from high school has a British mother and Japanese American father, and they met on a blind date. And like my sister-in-law also mentioned, “We just hit it off.” Chemistry is chemistry. But this is something we conveniently forget when we talk about dating different ‘races’. Often it is about personalities, having things in common, enjoying each other’s company.

When I asked my friend C about her man (they both live here) she said, “When I first met M, it was at a party and he was the only guy who wasn’t acting like a dick. He was super smart and decent, and I wanted to know this guy.”

And then I had to ask my mate Ingrid about her Thai guy, “He had a pink mohawk and face full of piercings. Contrast that with his sweet personality…He was different.”

male asian stereotypesIt seems the appeal for women is that Asian men are not the usual run-of-the-mill-Joes and maybe even a bit more substantive. White women are allowed to fetishize Asian men (or Latinos, or Blacks). They can be turned on by a group of men who the West has traditionally stereotyped as Bruce Lees or Long Duck Dongs. And I say this because many haven’t seen my friends’ husbands or Asian men who range from cute to hot, too.

Blacks and Asians, yup, they get together, too.

My friend Matt is half-Filipino and his wife is Black. He has thick curly hair and when he’s with her, he’s mistaken for being half-Black. But like a lot of mixed raced folks, he’s considered whatever depending on wherever he is. In Greece, they thought he was Greek.

But even as far back as childhood, my mom had a Thai friend with a Black husband. She owned a little grocery store near a comic book shop that we frequented.

Another friend, Katy, is half-Thai, her husband is Black, and when they’re together, people think she’s half-Black, too. Interestingly, when her husband, let’s call him E, met up with the “Blackpackers” (I love that, hahahaha) in Thailand, they were upset that he wasn’t with another Black woman. And when Katy shows her Thai ID card, Thais look at her like, “Really?”

asian and black couplesBy the way, did you know that Dave Chappelle’s wife is Asian? I love this quote:

“My wife is Asian, and my kids have somehow turned out to be Puerto Rican… My mother is half white. If I grew my hair out, you would think it was a Katt Williams concert.”

Asian on Asian action

Thailand gets a lot of flak for being a place where ‘sex tourism’ thrives. But guess what? Asians like prostitutes, too. And with the Chinese now leading the numbers of tourists who come to Thailand and Cambodia, you can bet your baht and dollar, some of the men are seeking out pink houses and paid company.

When we were in Cambo at a coffee house, my BF was watching an older Asian man discussing his age preference to a Cambodian woman. The number 13 stood out. My friend Isobel lives in an apartment building with such thin walls she memorized the questions her Korean neighbor asked his prostitutes every week. Thailand, though, is doing a lot to try to clean up this image as well as those places where men frequent for a good time.

Some Cambodians don’t like Chinese men because they have a reputation for being physically abusive. I think there have been too many tear-stained stories that have come back from Khmer women who married Chinese men. The BF lived in China and has horrible tales of witnessing domestic abuse. Now, to put the glass slipper on the other foot, it’s considered normal society for Khmer husbands to cheat and have second girlfriends. But the women do it, too. So, no boo-hoo-hoo.

This reminds me of what my mom told me when I moved to Thailand, “Never date a Thai man.” Believe it or not, many Asian cultures consider it okay for the man to play the field long after they’ve been married. In Thai society, I find it dreadful how soap operas portray gender roles. It’s very patriarchal.  Some have even argued that’s why Thai women look for a foreign partner: Western men are far less likely to be physically abusive or cheat.

But I didn’t bring this up to dog on Asian men, I brought this up because this is a very real phenomena that often is overlooked in the discussion of race and the bullshit of what color-is dating-what color. But here’s the thing, Asian American men also come out to Asia and look/find an Asian-Asian partner. Or, Asian American women find a partner who is not from their home country. I have people in mind when I say this.

Final thoughts

I’ve been told often enough that as an Asian American woman in Asia certain types of men won’t find me interesting. I suppose they are alluding to the guys who come out to Asia looking for the exotic, and I’m too – that lawn isn’t going to mow itself – Westernized. Funnily, I’ve dated White American men since I’ve been out here. True, my 6+ year relationship ended in Thailand, and there’s something about being out here that can break partners up, but that’s another story.

Often I get stared at. Ever since I left the comfort of Hawaii, I’ve been looked at as a curiosity. These days I’m assuming folks are trying to figure out what ethnicity I am. I guess I look mixed enough to make them openly gawk. My mom is Thai and my father Chinese. But because I’m so used to it, I don’t get offended. I don’t even look at them. I know they’re looking at me, and just continue on my way.

The BF, on the other hand, finds it really annoying when people stare at me, and at us. He gets defensive. I have to remind him I don’t care. And he reminds me that staring in any culture is considered rude. Sometimes I’ll speak loudly so everyone in the restaurant will know that I speak perfect English, not Mandarin. Other times, I do take in the judging eyes of a tourist couple and know that I’m not who they think I am. And I actually find great comfort in that.

When I see a White man and an Asian woman, I have to tell myself not to do the very same thing that others do to me. I do a quick look and try not to judge. Of course, some couples are simply too juicy to not let the imagination go wild, such as when you see a really old codger with a super young thing. Yet, I’ve gotten good at discerning Western Asians, figuring out if she’s Japanese or Chinese, and simply not giving a hoot over him and her.

However, a lot of this probably depends on where you’re at.  I’m not into the nightlife here or anywhere. I stay in family-friendly places. I know many mixed race couples. Seemingly mismatched pairs get along just fine. Superficially unattractive men can be nice guys. Regardless of how many times Western culture reminds us not to “judge a book by its cover” we do it anyway because our first impressions are usually physical ones, but in Thailand, you really are better off withholding your good opinion of others.

What do you think?

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61 replies on “What’s up with Asians and White Couples?

  1. That’s so interesting about the Thai marriage visas for foreign men versus women! It does seem very unfair, although I can see how such rules have probably evolved. Racial stereotypes…sigh, they are so many of them everywhere. This would make a very interesting topic here in SA, too, although I’m definitely not brave enough to write about it 🙂


    1. Ooooo. Now you’ve piqued my interests! But you could write about it through your perspective as an expat. I mean, as an American, I’m sure you are treated differently. Right?

      Yes, a racy issue. This blog post sat on my desktop for a while before I decided I was ready for the plunge. And went through some serious edits because this topic is a landmine.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m a Saltine Cracker 😂 who married a Japanese man. While this was not my reason for moving to Japan, it turns out that most of the men here are Japanese.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahahahahaha.

      Sooo how goes it? Do you feel folks treat you differently because of your partner? Back home or in Japan?


      1. Maybe not any differently but in both the US and Japan people are surprised my husband is Japanese. In the US they usually say “you don’t look Asian” when they see my last name and in Japan it’s looks of shock and surprise when they find out my husband is Japanese (before hearing my last name and after hearing it they are confused because I don’t look Japanese). Maybe because even today the Asian male/Western female pairing is still the biggest minority. If I was a Western male and said “my wife is Japanese” I think Japanese people would be less shocked. Also, many Japanese girls think I’m a little strange because they don’t like Japanese guys and would prefer a Western boyfriend. They can’t understand why I’d marry a Japanese man. Um because I love him. Yeah it’s fun all around.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Which reminds me, when I was in Kuala Lumpur and getting a Grab car, the driver confessed, I expected to see a white woman because of your name. Too funny. Nope, my birth name and not married.

        I’ve been around mixed couples all my life so it’s weird that people would act that way. So glad you both are there to surprise them. 😉 I love it when folks are not part of the typical account of what this or that is!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Great insight on various pairings of races. I think it’s great that interracial marriage and partnerships is becoming more and more common. It’s not okay to be attracted to someone ONLY because of their race, but it’s completely okay and encouraged to see their race as a big part of their identity and to be attracted to that. Although certain pairings are more common than others, as long as the relationship is healthy and consensual, I am a big proponent of interracial marriages.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Right? Me, too. I was a bit taken back when I was doing image searches and seeing a hateful one. And I deliberately tried to avoid reading negative and half-baked ideas about mixed raced couples. Although, it was amusing to come across a whole post/site dedicated to Black and Asian couples.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’d think in 2018 the stigma over mixed race couples would be dead and gone but I’m continually shocked that some people still think people should be with their own race. What nonsense!


      2. Well, Japan. Yeah, I’d imagine that’s a pretty conservative culture in that regard. On the other side of the road, when you go to Japan, you’re going to see Japanese. There’s not a lot of ‘melting pot’ action going on there. So, yeah, I sympathize with you.


  4. So I’m the white American woman with the Asian man, and yeah, there are a lot less of us than the other way around. Which is baffling, because, like your friend, sometimes Andy’s the only guy in the room not acting like a an entitled prick. You’d think more white American women would realize that Asian-American guys are more likely to be smart and decent because they didn’t grown up white and privileged.

    Unfortunately, Hollywood does push a “white men are the best, the most virile, the hottest, etc.” agenda, because it’s pretty damn self-serving, given the white men who make and finance the majority of films and television. Yes, it’s total white supremacist garbage, just like the fetishizing of Asian women and “yellow fever.”

    As you say, all couples are different and few fit the stereotypes perfectly. And maybe it’s changing now, but I have seen no shortage of documentaries on Thailand where white men say crap like, “Where else can you find a woman to serve you, give you a blow job, feed you breakfast, and smile as you slap her on the ass as you walk out?” So, yeah, a lot of white American male consevative crybabies aren’t happy that they can’t strut around and flex their privilege and misogyny openly here and head elsewhere. (Sorry, Thailand. At least we gave to Lani to balance it out?) And that colonial, patriarchal mentality is often prevalent whenever we white people head to nonwhite places. Unfortunately, just because it doesn’t enter into the equation for many couples doesn’t mean it’s gone. It’s like saying racism ended in America when we elected Obama.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I got to say I’m not a fan of the white = privilege narrative. The two major white males that I can immediately think of in my life grew up poor, and had shit happen to them that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. When I think of privilege I think about wealth, skewed economics and having opportunities that the normal crowd doesn’t have. I feel like folks have too much story behind them to assume one thing or another based purely on race.

      As far as Hollywood, I do feel like things are changing. Of course, I would have liked to have had Asian representation growing up. In social media circles we’re represented, but yes, we do have a long way to go. I wonder why we only have ‘room at the top’ for a select few actors and actress that we see continuously in blockbuster movies.

      When it comes to Thailand and those shows you talk about, I’ve got to laugh. Because while there are those types (they’re everywhere, sorry), there are other guys. TV shows and documentaries want viewers so they are going to perpetuate stereotypes and find the crustiest codgers who say the most outrageous things. It’s like ‘reality TV shows’. But I feel it’s simply not true to think that all guys (whatever color) that come over to Thailand or Asia are backward blowhards.

      There’s danger in generalizations. So I try hard to look over what I say to make sure that I don’t do that. And based on my years living in Thailand and Cambodia, I’ve got to say, men who I would have judged on the street or at first glance are not what they seem to be. I think that’s one of the reasons why I like living abroad, my perceptions are challenged.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Really? You don’t think white equals privileged in the U.S.? Well, I know in Hawaii, with its mix of races, there’s probably less. Obama even said that he wasn’t sure he would have been as successful if he’d grown up on the mainland, amid constant micro-aggressions and racism. He might have been shot by a cop for holding a phone, or had it constantly implied that he was only smart enough for basketball. There have been numerous studies showing that even preschool teachers show bias against Black children in the U.S., and they — and other marginalized communities — are recognized as gifted at a fraction of the percentage white kids are. Look at the pay gap. A Black woman makes 69 cents to a white man’s dollar. Black women with advanced degrees are paid less than white men with a B.A. or B.S. You don’t think those women worked as hard as the white men you know? You don’t think they also had horrors to contend with?

        You’re absolutely right that there is a danger in generalizations. Unfortunately, white people in the U.S. generally do reward whiteness in a million small ways. A Black man is shot twenty times for holding a cellphone, while white supremacist terrorists are apprehend alive.

        I am sure your experience abroad is different, and British or Canadian white privilege might be less pronounced than that of an American, thanks to slavery and Jim Crow. But whether you’re a fan or not, white privilege exists, and white male entitlement definitely exists. In fact, it fueled the rise of our current administration, and it continues to fuel the loud, white, violent supremacists while the administration looks the other way.

        The GOP loves to talk about how America is all about people pulling themselves up by their own bootstraps. But it’s not true. There are numerous studies showing that “Joe” will get more job interviews than “Jose,” and those candidates with ambiguous first names or initials will get more calls than those candidates with feminine names.

        Being male or white doesn’t necessarily give you talent or drive, but it will definitely put you at the head of the line. Repeatedly.


      2. I was trying to not pre-judge people based on their age, race or gender…Everyone has statistics or arguments to back why a certain group of people are xy or z. But I was talking about personal experiences, on the ground, with real people and giving the individual the benefit of the doubt. If you believe that a certain group of people are not worthy of the benefit of the doubt, then perhaps we can agree to disagree.

        I mean, you can have a perfectly loving couple, but to the outside world, he’s a sexpat and she’s a gold-digging hooker. It goes both ways.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Ah, prejudgment of an individual or couple is something entirely different from denying that white privilege exists. I would agree that you risk inaccuracy if you slot people into boxes before you meet them personally. On the other hand, for signers or celebrities like Colbie Caillat or Adam Levine, yeah, I am going to judge them as less talented or hardworking than other singers who made hit records and a) were not white, and b) didn’t have parents in the entertainment industry.

        While one person’s experiences might be interesting, that’s just one person. It can hardly be the basis for confirming or denying white privilege or institutionalized racism. Just because I personally never saw Harvey Weinstein sexually harass women while I worked in the entertainment industry does not mean I should discount the stories of scores of women who experienced it. And to ignore scientific studies or data because “everyone has statistics” in favor of one’s own experience is why we have so many people who discount global warming because they experienced a snow storm in March.

        Not all data is equal.


      4. My post isn’t about white privilege. However, this is seems to be an issue you are passionate about.

        Okay. If I bring up an individual or two that breaks the stereotype, are you are arguing that the individual doesn’t count and that the stereotype is indeed universal?

        Your quote, “While one person’s experiences might be interesting, that’s just one person.”

        So, Fredrick Douglass is not proof that slaves are capable of literary, by your logic, because it’s snowing somewhere doesn’t disprove global warming.

        So let’s take this further. Germans caused the Holocaust. Despite the number of Germans who helped the Jews, all Germans are Nazis.

        Is it okay to hate some people based on biology?

        I’m not denying that Black under-privilege exists. But privilege has come to mean being White and average. For example, you grow up with two parents. Privilege is something you can do without.

        Some White and non-White people are undeniability privileged. But not all White people are privileged by the dictionary definition of the word.

        You can’t say that the majority of people are privileged. The majority of people are average. The idea that you can be living paycheck to paycheck and privileged is ridiculous. You are saying that it’s advantageous to be White, nobody is denying that. But that advantage is nothing compared to real privilege.

        For example, in Thailand, it’s better to be Thai rather hill tribe or Cambodian or a refugee, but it doesn’t mean that a Thai farmer is privileged. But there are indeed millionaire Thais living in Bangkok, with their second homes, luxury cars, and who get educated overseas.

        Even if your application at Wal-Mart gets preferential treatment that’s not real privilege. That’s called an advantage.

        The majority is never privileged. By the way, I worked the graveyard shift at Target with Whites and Blacks when I was in my 30s. Lemme tell you, I don’t believe the Whites working there were privileged. We all unloaded the boxes all the same.

        If you are not poor, that doesn’t mean you are a tycoon. Where’s the middle ground? When you say that the average person is privileged, you take away responsibility and culpability from the ruling class and elite. Who are actually running the show. And when the bloody race revolution comes, they have a scapegoat and a human shield – average White people, like you.

        Privileged does not mean not-underprivileged. I don’t know about you, but I don’t fall under either category.

        What if you’re White, and you lost both parents, and you’ve been sexually abused. If that means privileged then what word do we use for the 1%?

        By the way, climate change allows for some areas to be colder. It’s the overall atmosphere that is getting warmer. Therefore an exceptionally cold winter supports a real understanding of climate change.

        Liked by 2 people

      5. Whoa, whoa, let’s not put words in my mouth and say that stereotype and privilege is all the same. What I’m saying is that there is, in the U.S., an innate privilege that comes with being white. Just by having white skin, you are more likely to get a job interview, get a job, not get pulled over by a cop, survive being pulled over by the police, and get a lighter prison sentence than someone black or brown. You are more likely to have doctors prescribe painkillers if you’re white. You make more money if you’re white and male than your female coworkers of any color. These are facts. Now, you might be working at Walmart, and not remotely privileged compared to the Trump family, but you are still being treated differently/ better based on your skin color. That is what I mean by privilege — and what the Black American community means by privileged. You can argue, of course, that “privilege” is the wrong word and “advantage” should have been used instead, but then you’re merely arguing over the semantics (over a connotation the already exists, whether you approve or not) rather than the reality that, yes, having white skin is an advantage.

        Liked by 2 people

      6. I think at this point there’s nothing else I can say. This wasn’t what my blog post was about. It seems like we are going to just recycle the same things anyway.

        What I don’t understand though is why you are lecturing me on this? I went to college in the 90s during the first wave of ‘political correctness’. These are not new ideas that I haven’t thought through. Thank you.

        You might consider having this discussion on political forums.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. No, you’re right, it wasn’t what your blog post was about. I pointed out that maybe white women like your friend liked Asian men because they weren’t entitled/ privileged like many white men and you disagreed with the idea of privilege and then we aired our different views. I apologize if I came across as lecturing and hijacked your post from its original topic.


  5. Another female saltine cracker married to a Thai guy – for 14 years at the end of April! (Holy crap!!)
    I met him while I was teaching English in Bangkok, and it’s like Pink said above, I met him because there are a lot of Thai men in Thailand, and all the western dudes were looking for Thai women. In 2001, being a western women in Asia was rather lonely. Until it wasn’t. What hooked me in with my guy was that he was familiar with Western culture, having spent nearly a decade living in the USA. Not only that, but the same state and metro area I’m from too. Talk about fate. He was (is) also atypical as a Thai male in that he’s a loyal and committed partner, doesn’t drink whisky nor gamble – all stereotypical Thai male traits. I think more western women would go for Thai men if they were like my husband! LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I had a friend who lived in Japan for a short time who only wanted to date Westerners and she was constantly disappointed to find that almost all the Western guys here were only interested in Japanese women. I kept telling her if she was not interested in dating Japanese guys (she definitely wasn’t), then she probably wouldn’t find a guy here to settle down with.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. My son, who was born in South Korea, but grew up in the States, returned to Korea, with the Navy and has built a lovely relationship with a strong Korean woman. She is lovely and independent, nobody’s fool.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes. There’s a very wrong misconception that feminine or “polite for Asian culture” gestures equals weak or submissive. Asian women can be incredibly strong. Good for your son.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Lani, this is one of those issues that are almost taboo to speak about with polite company – I should have known you’d poke this nest. I’m enjoying reading the great discussion in the comments. Like you, I also try to be openminded instead of expecting white man-Asian woman couples to be a certain way as I know many couples who definitely aren’t part of those stereotypes. You’re right that race doesn’t even come into how they got together; chemistry and personality are bigger factors.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Well, I had my suspicions when I asked White women why they were attracted to their Asian counterparts. You know, that they liked them because they were different. But if you flip that scenario the other way, then we suddenly feel icky or that it’s a fetish thing.

      I suppose it is a sticky subject made even stickier these days, but sometimes you got to dive in. I think we can do it without name-calling and with dignity. I mean, we’ve got to evolve and try, right?

      Thanks, Daisy 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. It’s refreshing to read an examination of relationships and race that isn’t just a regurgitation of secondhand knowledge gleaned from the same old sources, and with the same old foregone conclusions. I’ve always been partial to the anecdotal evidence, the first hand experience that is a wrench in the machine of whatever master narrative is being peddled, whatever the social engineering of the day is.

    I come away reminded that people’s relationships are much more complex, meaningful, and interesting than we can assume based on appearances. Who are we to presume that a person of race A is with a person of race B merely because of a fetish, racism, misogyny, etc., and not because of mutual affection, shared interests, and so on?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Well said. Better said. 555

      I’ve got to admit, I’m constantly wrong in my assumptions of people based on appearances. One of the great humbling lessons of living in Asia and abroad.


      Liked by 2 people

  9. Great write up on a very complex and sensitive topic. Bobbi Brown saying that Asian women are the most beautiful is quite a sweeping statement – and it is a matter of her perspective, from her judgement and context. You make a fair point about white guys saying that, and there would probably be quite a bit of outrage and people yelling out how not everyone submits to stereotype. It got me thinking – what is someone feel this way but just doesn’t voice it out? That they keep quiet their stereotypical thoughts on another person of different ethnic background and are very good at that? No one would be offended.

    When someone says ‘I want an Asian woman’ or ‘I want an Asian guy’ I often wonder why – is it because a desire to be with someone of a certain race, and do they realise the stereotypes that they perpetuate by making that statement. As you said in your comment to Autumn, there’s danger in generalisations. Some large-aged-gap couples might really be happy as they are – but then society will pretty much always judge. In this case the blame often falls on the former…because it can be hard to change what the status quo thinks is acceptable.

    I have to agree with Autumn that being white comes with a certain privilege, at least from how I see it in Australia. I found it interesting you thought there is a distinction between privilege and advantage…might have to think about that myself. In Australia, all kinds of interracial couples are common: AFWM, AMWF, Blacks-Asians, Asians-Asians…in the metropolitan area where I live doesn’t seem many bat an eyelid. Every relationship is different and you don’t know what each person has gone through to get together where they are right now today.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think we are all guilty of self-censoring, having those inner thoughts, but not voicing them. It’s natural and we shouldn’t beat ourselves up over it.

      Honestly, I have a lot of dark thoughts about myself. And I wonder why and if I wanted to I could really get down on myself for being this way. But I try to not give it too much attention. There’s a reason why we have a filter 🙂 and why some folks who don’t 😛 are either comedians or outcasts.

      No one is arguing against a certain advantage Whites have over minorities in the US or Australia. They were the majority until very recently. I believe I saw something about how Whites now comprise of about 50% of the US population and eventually they will be in the minority. It’s probably a global trend.

      So in that regard that’s sorta normal. I expect Thais to have the advantage over non-Thais in Thailand. And it’s really challenging for me to work in the EU because those who hold an EU passport have a huge advantage over me.

      I think Eric (see comments) does a good job of explaining privilege. I won’t get into it anymore. I just know the word has come to mean something other than its dictionary definition.

      Like ‘random’ and ‘literal’ are not used correctly anymore.

      Look, it’s like this. Would you feel comfortable with the statement, “All White people are better off than all Black people”? Because by that rationale, a homeless White person is better off than Kanye West. Or take an average White person, are they better off than Obama? a Black professional athlete? Or Chinese zilionaire Jack Ma?

      Unfortunately, White advantages has come to mean Whites are guilty at birth, defined by their biology and automatically to blame for everything wrong in the world. This is what is commonaly believed in the US.

      If you really want fun homework, Mabel, take a look at logical fallacies. Read about ‘straw man arguments’ or ‘hasty generalizations’. I say this with sincerity. I’m not expert. But it’s a good way to deconstruct hand-me-down narratives. And I apologize if this is something you’re already familiar with.

      But back to the blog topic, I’m glad metro Australia has such a wide array of couples. It is a complex topic and I don’t know what I got myself into! I just thought it was good to debunk some popular believes about Asian and non-Asian couples though my own experiences! Helllppppp!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yeah, we all are guilty of self-censoring. I’m guilty of that with every blog post I write and really almost every day in the real world lol. Sometimes that helps us get what we want and doesn’t provoke arguments.
        True. It seems the more everyone travels and moves around, the typical majority is seen more and more as the non-majority – roles are reversed in other words. There will inevitably be more and more interracial couples in the future and I wonder if all of us can learn to accept that since most of the time, we all have our own judgements and like to stick with that. Judgment is one thing, speaking out and acting on our thoughts is another.
        ‘All White people are better off than all Black people”?’ I don’t like this statement for it is a generalisation, especiall with the word ‘all’. It sounds ignorant. That said, there are some people who are ignorant. I’ve vaguely heard about straw man arguments, and it sounds something interesting and worth looking into again 😛

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Good point about everyone traveling and moving around more. Countries that are experiencing zero or negative birth rate growth will have to do something like opening up their borders or in Japan’s case, have the gov’t intervene and try to get couples to get married and have kids.

        Yeah, take a look at the fallacies. It’s good exercise for you brain 😛 and then you can decide for yourself if what you read about and hear is right or wrong or whatever. xo

        Liked by 2 people

  10. There seems to be some confusion about what common words actually mean. The dictionary is still the authority on that. The Cambridge Dictionary is fairly reliable. Let’s look up “Privilege”.

    1) an advantage that only one person or group of people has, usually because of their position or because they are rich.

    2) The way in which rich people or people from a high social class have most of the advantages in society.

    3) the special right that some people in authority have that allows them to do or say things that other people are not allowed to.

    And THAT is quite precisely what we all know the word to really mean, isn’t it?

    There you have it. “Privilege” applies to rich people in authority, or in positions of power, who have special rights above and beyond the general population. It does NOT apply to the average citizen who is not vulnerable to certain disadvantages suffered by a minority. Consider that if the problem is, as Lani said, “black under-privilege”, than the solution is to elevate blacks. If the problem is “white privilege” than the solution is to chop down whites.

    Thus, if it is a privilege to not be stopped by the police without due cause, than everyone should be routinely stopped by the police. If it is a privilege to have two parents, everyone should have only a single parent. If it is a privilege to get a lighter jail sentence, everyone should get a harsher one. If it is a privilege to be able -bodied, than everyone should be in a wheelchair. If it is a privilege to be able to see, than everyone should be blinded. Surely the goal of social justice is to remove these privileged so that we can achieve “equity”.

    Or, we could admit that some people are disadvantaged relative to the average, and seek to provide them assistance and a social safety net.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I’m in awe over the lack of reason and what’s been going on in the States. We’ve become an outraged culture targeting one specific group. It’s like a witch hunt and ‘off with their heads’ movement.

      I feel like we’ve entered upside down world. I think if you are truly privileged then it makes sense to blame other people and call them privileged. Thereby reaping all of the rewards and sidestepping the accountability.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Right. The truly privileged benefit from resentment being redirected away from ostentatious wealth and to average Americans based on race. Now, “privilege” is no longer yachts, private jets, and a vacation home in Martha’s Vineyard, it is the unconscious micro-aggression of the deplorable working class white male. No longer are people of all stripes and colors banding together to fight the amoral corporate takeover of America, they are doubling down on punishing the convenient scapegoat.

        To declare all white people “privileged” is an astounding achievement in the demolition of class consciousness and solidarity among the working class. Well played indeed. True privilege has been absolved of wrong-doing, and the target has been moved to people based merely on their skin color.


        Liked by 5 people

  11. That is cool that it doesn’t freak anyone out, those who voted, at least. I enjoyed the mixed couple snippets. Thailand sounds as diverse, if not more so, than some parts of the U.S.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh, right. I forgot I put a poll at the end of the post. A rather new thing I’m trying out. That’s nice indeed!

      I don’t know if Thailand is as diverse? Yeah, maybe Bangkok and some of the bigger cities. There are actually a lot of neighboring nationalities that work in Thailand. More job opportunities, I guess.

      Thanks for the correction 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I met my Chinese husband in the United States. I was attracted to him because he was smarter and more interesting than other boys I knew. Never a dull moment with Eugene. His mom kept trying to fix him up with rich Chinese girls, and he was stubborn enough to not want to be influenced my his mother.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Awww, I love that, “never a dull moment with Eugene.” How did you both meet? Is in somewhere in a blog post? 🙂 Did I forget?

      Liked by 2 people

  13. He had recently moved to my town for his first job out of college. (He was an engineer.) And the parish priest introduced us one summer. I was still in college, so he drove down to Seattle for our dates.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Wow, there’s so much to unpack here. This is a really comprehensive post! I think you did a good job of showing many angles of the situation.

    In Korea I saw many WM/AF couples; I believe most of those are teacher/soldier and native. I also knew several WF/AM where the woman was teaching and married a Korean. I myself dated only Koreans while there, but that wasn’t something intentional, it just happened that way.

    It’s such an interesting topic and yet I feel like such an outdated one too. I wish, like most people here, that we could reach a time when race is so invisible we don’t have to talk about stereotypes or privilege. I wish. I always feel awkward talking about it too since I am white and one of those ‘privileged’ people. Like, do I even deserve to have a voice? Which is still a race issue. But I can still get excited when I see minority groups or women in positions of power.

    Thanks for sharing. I think you started a really good conversation here. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you. The post originally was about Whites and Asians, as this was the search term on my blog, but then it became more. I started to think about all Asian and non-Asian couples and the sticky mix of Asians and Asians, too.

      Of course you have a voice. And you deserve to use it. There’s nothing wrong with the color of your skin. You are not guilty at birth. That’s BS. From what I can tell from our long private correspondence over the years, you are a good person. That’s what counts.

      Speaking of, I know I’m WAYYYY overdue for an email. I’m on the teaching treadmill. I know you understand. HELP. *gulp* xxoo

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Of course, I have to comment here. 😉
    “Wearing heels all day is cruel and unusual punishment and should be forbidden by the Geneva Convention.” Yea. 🙂
    Now, the other stuff… I probably have a ton of stereotypes about Asian women in different countries. For instance, I perceive Japanese modern in a general way still in the grips of still a patriarchical society in 21st century. The very fact that university /college educated Japanese women can’t advance very far through management and other professional jobs. For Chinese women they’ve been freer to become the best of themselves …despite domestic abuse, etc. and probably other residual chauvinism.

    I recall a guy from HK, in Canada said of dating Chinese girls: Whoa, just watch out.
    If you think about the self-expression on Chinese women is way more free, practically aggressive ..

    Life is what it is, in long-lasting chemistry and love between 2 people. Yup people make judgements about an interracial couple. There was a time when I wondered what people thought of myself and my partner.

    But with lines and bags around my eyes now, I might look just tiny closer to him in age?? Guess what age he is.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Guess what age he is! Egats. You’ve really put me on the spot. I’m going to go older rather than younger based on what I know about you two. Not on his looks because you both are healthy people and that shows. I’m going to say he’s in his sixties, but is often mistaken for being younger. Jeez. So, then how old are you? 😛


  16. You asked what attracted me to Eugene. (I’m a little late in answering.) He was smarter than other boys I knew. He had more life experience. He was interesting, never boring, a great storyteller. We had great discussions. And he had high ideals. Plus, he made an effort to take me out to nice places.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I appreciate your candor and discussing your specific experiences. Too many discussions about race result to the same old tired political arguments that are based on generalities rather than personal experiences, so I like your fresh approach!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Kate. I really appreciate it. I, too, have grown over-tired of the same ‘ol, same ‘ol rants. I wanted to say something different!

      Sorry for the late reply though. Been working too much and neglecting the blogging life!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sorry to have shocked you. We’ve been together for 25 yrs. Anyway he just finishing buying a new bike..


  18. Very thoughtful article. We get hung up on cataloging individuals based on appearance. But at the heart of the matter we need to consider how white is white, how black is black, and how Asian is Asian, and does it really matter? What I mean is that we are more influenced by our culture than our race/ethnicity. It seems to me that you have a very healthy attitude towards the relationships you’ve pursued.

    You may have a preference for certain physical characteristics of an individual, but in the end chemistry is the deciding factor on who your heart desires. I like the way you pointed out cultural characteristics and were careful not to turn these into accepted generalities.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. Yes, culture, culture, culture! More than ever I see how much it colors our views, and creates misunderstandings. Even in the current US political climate, our culture creates such a fascinating role that I feel many disregard as an underlying factor driving much of it.


  19. Some interesting thoughts here. When I see a mixed couple I do a quick look over to see what is going on. I think a lot of western men like girls in Thailand because there is an imbalance of economic power. I have many mixed race friends all over the world who married for love and are very happy I should add.

    Whenever I speak Thai, local people always ask if I have a Thai wife or girlfriend. Either my Thai is improving, or I look like “that guy.” One of those is a good thing, the other not so much 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think the imbalance of economics plays in to it, but as more and more Thais become ‘middle class’, I think other things have entered the dynamics.

      Not every guy has hooked up with ‘a poor girl from Isaan’, right?

      As far as looking like ‘that guy’, I wouldn’t take offense. Many men here do come for the women and it’s a logical assumption. But as I’ve said, I know plenty of white guys with white chicks here.

      Although at this point, I think I’m equally offended by how I’m perceived. 😛 Hahahahhaa.


  20. Lani, it isn’t just Asians with whites. Those whites are with Asians also, it’s a sexual taste for many white people.
    As far as yourself seeing many whites in Thailand want to be with Asians, that shouldn’t be a shock if you use logic.
    It’s statistically more likely for white men who like Thai type women to end up going to Thailand, rather than a white guy who has no interest in Thai people and thinks they are ugly or shit etc.
    Just think about it. It’s the same reason many Asians in the west also date whites, it’s because many Asians that went to the west are quite fond of white people to start with.
    Bruce Lee was fond of white people, far more than your normal Chinese person (that’s why he chose to teach white people the Chinese martial arts he knew, where as other Chinese masters refused to). It isn’t a shock that Bruce wanted a white woman, he himself said he never properly fit in with Asian people (you will find a lot of Asians that go to western countries are like this, they kind of like white people more than their own people).
    Not saying that is 100% of the Asians that got to the west, but at least 60% of them are like that. The remainder 40% appear to have gone there purely for economic reasons and exist in their own mini community like the Chinatowns etc. For these 40% or so, if there was no Chinatown or Asian group for them to be with, they likely wouldn’t have gone to the country to start with.


    1. It sounds like you didn’t really read what I wrote, or maybe you skimmed because your comment doesn’t make sense in light of what I said.

      I understand though, I think with a title like mine, and with the photos I included, one could easily assume I was wagging my finger and respond on the defensive.


  21. Lani, Interesting subject. My husband, he said he was praying for over five years (after his divorce) for a beautiful young little Asian women to fall in love with and raise his children with, but instead he ended up with me – I am as far from Asian as can be. I am his age, and Swedish/Polish. Now he says he got what he needed not what he wanted, lol! I guess you just like what you like. We are an incredible match for sure, and best friends. Never been happier in my life. Nice share – and an interesting life you are living. Heard Thailand is awesome and we will be going, hopefully next year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha! Love it. Most folks won’t be open about what they want, and then admit that they got what they needed, not wanted. I feel the same way. We, women, think we want a certain type and then we get someone different. And/or the type we think we like ends up disappointing us. It’s better to think of qualities because in the end, that’s what really matters. Thanks for stopping by!


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