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Love vs. Asian Fetish
By: Editor, AsianParent.com

Among my many Asian female friends and acquaintances, about a third are married to--or in relationships with--white males. This could be attributed to the simple fact that the San Francisco Bay Area is such a melting pot of different races and cultures and various people meet and fall in love. But since the ratio of Asian females with white males is indeed higher than that of Asian males with white females, it is understandable that the terms “Asian Fetish” and “Yellow Fever” are deemed by some to appropriately explain the phenomenon.

My spouse happens to be non-Asian, so I find the terms Asian Fetish/Yellow Fever disagreeable if not insulting. I'd rather believe that my husband asked me to marry him because I had exhibited some desirable qualities to him during our courtship, and not because he needed an Asian woman to fulfill a fetish of his. If a term must be used to label this type of romance, I would be okay with “preference.” Having a “preference” for Asian women does not sound negative. But as an added bonus for me personally, my husband didn't even have a preference for Asians when we first met.

I met John in the late 1980's as Freshman in College. He came from Denver, and can vaguely remember two Asian kids in his entire High School. His only association with anything Chinese was white rice and Hot & Sour soup, which he dislikes even to this day.

His best friend in College on the other hand had a definite preference for Asian girls, and quickly attached himself to my Asian college roommate. So, naturally John and I became the third and fourth wheels in my roommate's and John's best friend's turbulent 3-year-long relationship. John was in love with his high school sweetheart at the time and carried on a long distance relationship with her during our freshman year. This allowed us to develop a pure friendship without those awkward boy-girl moments. His relationship fell apart in our second year, and I served as his shoulder to cry on as he spent an entire quarter getting over her. He then promptly asked me to be his girlfriend. But the previous few sobbing months with him were too gloomy for me. I preferred to spend my free time with happy people. So I turned him down in favor of going to parties with my bubbly girlfriends. To my surprise, John took the blow as hard as his recent breakup. But nevertheless, for the rest of our college years, we carried on a sometimes caring and sometimes bitter friendship.

We spent little time together in our Senior year, as my roommate and his best friend finally ended their drama-filled relationship for real. I was also in a relationship in my senior year, and John didn't waste anytime bragging to me about his new girlfriend who adored him and was a model for a local jewelry company, a Lutheran like himself, and a freshman.

Shortly after graduation, we moved to different cities, and both of our respective relationships had ended. He came to me again with another offer to be his girlfriend. I turned him down again. This time I planed to travel and work overseas. I packed my bags and left the country at the end of that summer.

After spending two years overseas, I returned ready to get my career started. John was happy that I came back and often flew to the city where I was living to visit me. He declared his love for me again for the third time, and this time produced a positive response. I was ready to settle down.

We dated for the next four years, and were happy. I admire the passion he has for his work, and learned that while he is a frugal person, he was always generous with me and others. And he learned that it is better to let me win our fights.

John and I have now been married for 9 years. While occasionally I will complain about his hours, I still support and admire his work ethics. At home, John is not great about taking the initiative on chores, but he always performs all the tasks I assign to him without complaining. I have become an efficient task assigner. We hardly even argue now, as John tolerates my quick temper better than anyone I know. He also came to the conclusion that there is no point in arguing, since I still have to win in the end.

It is understandable that the world sees us as an Asian-white couple, but to me, he is my husband, who happens to be white. Once, on a rare occasion when our different races were in my thoughts, I asked my husband if he has now developed an “Asian Fetish” since he has been with an Asian woman for so long. Without looking up, he shot back, “Guys with Asian Fetishes want an obedient and submissive Asian woman, YOU are a tyrant”.

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