80abf4a04315c8dc_2PM_elle_june2010_1

How can you NOT find these washboard abs irresistible? 

 

“Sarah you’re definitely going to have a Korean boyfriend when you move to Seoul,” my Korea-American friend would tease me back in 2009, as I was preparing for my semester abroad.

“No way,” I would respond, laughing. “I’m not attracted to Asian guys.”

How wrong was I? Within a month of living in Seoul, I was ogling Korea’s clean-cut men in the subway, and I had begun dating an ethnic (although not cultural) Korean guy.

Since then, my attraction to Asian men has grown substantially– I’ve traveled to China, Taiwan, Japan, the Philippines and Thailand, and I’ve seen attractive men roaming the streets in each and every city I’ve visited. So, before moving to Korea, why did I not realize the potential in Asian men?

Because for the first 21 years of my life, the United States had deceived me.

While growing up in a homogeneous white town, it was a standard perception that Asian men just weren’t attractive. I’m embarrassed to admit that I once mentioned to an friend, “Asian girls are so attractive, but I don’t find Asian guys attractive at all.” I can’t even believe I would make such a blanket statement about about an entire race of men, but now, I am fully aware that the American media vastly influenced my perception.

In Western pop culture and Hollywood movies, Asian men are often de-sexualized, usually fitting into one of three roles:

  • The asexual math geek or computer nerd.
  • The funny ugly guy with a thick foreign accent that everyone laughs at.
  • The badass ninja, samurai or any other type of martial artist in traditional Asian garb clutching a sword.

Why can everyone point out Psy and William Hung, but a very select few know about Daniel Henney, John Cho or Keni Styles? (Okay, granted Keni Styles is a porn star, but he is still f*cking sexy.)

In movies or on TV, I rarely see Asian men “get the girl,” especially a non-Asian girl, with exception to this one scene from Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle.

Now that I’ve been enlightened, I share the same sentiments with most of my non-Asian girlfriends in Seoul, but my friends back home still don’t quite understand why I date Asian men.

“Aren’t they all short?” some will ask.

“Not quite,” I’ll reply. In Korea, with exception to children and elderly people who lived without proper nutrition during the war, everyone else towers above me. In the other countries I’ve visited, young people still tend to easily top my mere 5’2″.

“Don’t they all have small penises?” It’s ridiculous to assume that every Asian guy has a small dick, but I guess that’s up for you to decide. (Before making any rash assumptions, check out this hilarious post about Asian penis size.)

I’ve also met several Asian-American women who stereotype Asian men. “Someone’s gotta love the Asian men! I only date white guys,” one of my friends said last year, after I told her about the guy I was dating.

What’s up with all the limitations? I understand that some people are attracted to specific types, but it doesn’t hurt to step outside the box every now and again.

No, I don’t have yellow fever (okay, maybe a little) and I don’t necessarily have a “thing” for Asian men. I’m not attracted to the Korean guys that wear BB cream and carry designer purses, but I do like smooth skin and silky black hair. There are beautiful people of every race and ethnicity, and good looks are obviously amplified by personality, a connection, and similar goals, ideas and personal values, but, you know what they say: When in Seoul…

Still not convinced? Jen Kwok may change your mind:

 

Have you ever dated an Asian man? Did you find yourself suddenly attracted to Asian men once you moved to an Asian country? What are your thoughts about the de-sexualization of Asian men in the Western media?

 

-Text by Sarah Shaw @ www.mappingwords.com. All rights reserved.

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