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Jungle Fever

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Apr. 6th, 2014 | 07:03 pm

In the car in Al-Ain, my boyfriend looks at me and says, “If we get stopped for being a man and a woman alone together, tell them I’m the driver and you get sick if you sit in the back.” Then he pauses and grins. “Tell them I’m your little nigger boy.”

I am so shocked I cannot speak. I am still bemused and aghast at bedtime, shaking my head in the mirror while I brush my teeth and he turns on the TV.

You can’t get porn in the United Arab Emirates. Not in a magazine, no access online, not even dating sites. Movies are censored for sex and drinking and the word “God.” Hit a link for a forbidden site and you are politely invited to fill out a form telling the government why you think this site should not be blocked, include your address and passport number please. No thank you. Thus, no porn.

Unless you have a Virtual Private Network. Twelve bucks a month or free if you’re good with computers, route the traffic through another country’s servers and watch anything you want.

And that’s how we end up with Big-Dicked Brothers on the wide-screen while we fuck.

He’s downloaded a bunch of movies, some low-budget pros, some amateurs with Flip cams, all of them black men with white women, mostly redheads like me.

On the screen, a woman writhes theatrically, oversize dildo in her hands, pretending to derive pleasure from sucking plastic. Enter the first Big-Dicked Brother, pants already off, no attempt at dramatic continuity at all. Is he here to deliver the pizza? Unclog the garbage disposal? Discuss blue-chip shares with a 12.5 percent return in the 10-year period? Who cares, let’s fuck.

Behind me, my own Well-Endowed UK Citizen Of Caribbean Descent says, “I love how your skin looks next to mine. I love the two colors together.”

In front, I say, “I love your big black cock,” and I can feel that it was OK to say that, it was a turn-on, maybe not truly OK but OK right now. Because underneath “black” he is male, and you can never go wrong with a penis compliment.

I wonder what else I can say that would be OK, that would be hot, that would not be a violation of his civil rights, whether civil rights apply here, in the home he owns, on the bed he bought, where I am invited to stay.

I tell my friends, “He’s perfect for me. He’s a dork in the body of a hot black guy.”

No-one says:
Jungle Fever
Mudshark
Coalburner
or uses the word ‘chocolate.’

Is it like loving blonde hair or big boobs or Photoshop-quality abs or a guy who will watch every episode of Game of Thrones twice and not spoiler a single twist? Or is it going against my dad, against the feeling of clutching my purse on the street when I pass a gang—no, a group—of young men wearing hoodies and low-slung pants and who are, no matter how far I demote this trait to the bottom of the signifier list, black?

Wanting a white guy with brown hair and blue eyes is a default. Wanting a black guy or an Asian girl is a fetish. Majority preferences are assumed, unstated and unchecked. Preferring a minority is suspect—aren’t you demeaning their personhood?

I tell my friends, “He lives in Dubai,” hastening to clarify, “He’s a UK national.” I clicked his profile on OK Cupid because he was black. I didn’t answer messages from Arabs or Indians. One white man’s profile said, “On a strict diet, no dim sum, curry, falafel, chocolate,” and I patted myself on the back for not responding.

My boyfriend and I walk in the old souk. I buy fourteen postcards of camels. While making change, the seller asks him, “Where you from?”

“London.”

“Where you parents from?”

Sometimes he will confess Jamaica, but right now he does not feel like playing that game. “North London.”

One day he comes through the door, loosening his tie, “I work with such a bunch of racists!” My heart sinks, I hoped that here, where he is light-skinned and thin-featured and wears a suit, where whites are a 6% minority, he might escape. But he goes on, “They finally figured out I wasn’t Indian and then they spent the rest of the day bashing Indians. Goddamn South Africans.”

Privilege is not a thing I take, it’s a thing I have. It maps the world for me, opening doors and laying red carpets. In bed with him is the one place I am uncertain, where being white is still a bonus but careless speech will kill us both. I don’t know what I can say. Neither does he.

I read Michel Foucault, the philosopher and social theorist who argues in The History of Sexuality that what we specifically crave is not the only thing that feels good. I don’t desire to go to the gym, but I sure feel good when I’m done. Does that mean I should have dated a Lebanese guy and found out?

In their essay “Fucking with Fucking Online: Advocating for Indiscriminate Promiscuity,” Michael Faris and ML Sugie suggest:

Interrogate your desire…Instead of negative terminology that describes what you don’t want, explain what you do want and deal with others as individuals. If you aren’t attracted to Asian men because stereotypes suggest they are smooth, you could write, ‘I like hairy men’ on your profile, not ‘no Asians’…being explicit with what you’re into is more inclusive. It might make things invisible and harder to discuss. But it still makes things more inclusive.

They go on:

Why is it so important that someone find a slim, masculine, hairy, buff man? Do you have some sort of vintage sling with a really low weight limit? A grand piano you’d like him to help you move after you fuck?”

I ask my boyfriend what he likes about being with a white woman. He sends a link to a Chris Rock comedy video, about black women intimidating their men, overpowering them physically and emotionally. Rock uses a football analogy, “A white girl will play her position. The black girl wanna play your position!”

My boyfriend writes, “That’s exactly what being married to a black woman was like,” with a smiley.

I go back to Foucault.

…craft a sexuality not on desire, but pleasure. Desire is heavily psychoanalyzed, but bodily pleasure much less so. One starting point for a less socially disciplined sexuality is to focus on the pleasures our own bodies receive in sexual play and the pleasures we feel when giving sex.

I want to cook dinner and suck cock for a financially secure man with visible abs who is physically stronger than me. Who can also quote The Simpsons and South Park.

He wants to clean house for and fuck and have his goals prodded by a strong, pretty woman with pale skin. Who makes him watch The Hunger Games three times.

He desires this white woman.

I desire this black man.

“Pleasure and power do not cancel or turn back each other,” Foucault concludes. “They seek out, overlap, and reinforce one another.”

We find pleasure with each other.




_________________________________________________
whipchick enjoyed the Green Room discussion about the MLK quote, “Nobody can ride your back if your back's not bent,” and how it could apply to civil rights or porn. Civil rights porn, check.





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Comments {77}

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(no subject)

from: faerie_spark
date: Apr. 6th, 2014 11:33 pm (UTC)
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Hmm...going to have to find that discussion of how the quote could relate to porn. :)

This is a powerful, hard-hitting, vulnerability-making personal essay. I found myself simultaneously turned on an intellectually stimulating (which happens to be my preferred combination of feelings).

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whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Apr. 7th, 2014 01:23 am (UTC)
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Starting with the second comment from porn_this_way, near the top of the Work Room :)

http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/723898.html#comments

Thank you - I'm so pleased you had that reading experience, that's exactly what I'm shooting for. And I'm relieved that so far readers seem to be not horrified and offended!

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similiesslip

(no subject)

from: similiesslip
date: Apr. 7th, 2014 12:01 am (UTC)
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More and more, I think it's important to go for what you want in a partner, regardless of how others might judge you. I'm glad you have found pleasure with each other. :)

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whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Apr. 7th, 2014 01:21 am (UTC)
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He's pretty amazing :) Thank you!

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waltzmatildah

(no subject)

from: waltzmatildah
date: Apr. 7th, 2014 01:05 am (UTC)
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Not only are the themes and the message inherent in this timely and poignant, it is also incredibly well written. It is entertaining and it is enlightening, which is a killer combination in my book.

Excellent work.

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whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Apr. 7th, 2014 01:21 am (UTC)
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Thank you very, very much. It's close to my heart :)

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tigrkittn

(no subject)

from: tigrkittn
date: Apr. 7th, 2014 02:24 am (UTC)
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I need to read this again, slowly and with care. I love the way you've broken down the questions of perspective and intent.

"a guy who will watch every episode of Game of Thrones twice and not spoiler a single twist" ♥♥♥ Bestill my heart! This made me literally LOL, as it happens to be how I spent my weekend, watching GoT in bed with exactly that guy.

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whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Apr. 8th, 2014 03:13 am (UTC)
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Thank you - and yeah, isn't it amazing to find the right match? :)

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Es'ka

(no subject)

from: eska818
date: Apr. 7th, 2014 02:55 am (UTC)
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Amazing.

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whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Apr. 8th, 2014 03:13 am (UTC)
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Thank you!

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blahblahblah, whatever

(no subject)

from: kathrynrose
date: Apr. 7th, 2014 05:51 am (UTC)
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I'm so glad you two are happy together.

That "is he here to deliver pizza?" line cracks me up every time.

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whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Apr. 8th, 2014 03:14 am (UTC)
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Thanks - I love porn tropes!

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i_17bingo

(no subject)

from: i_17bingo
date: Apr. 7th, 2014 09:39 am (UTC)
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Hit a link for a forbidden site and you are politely invited to fill out a form telling the government why you think this site should not be blocked, include your address and passport number please.

In Qatar, this will pop up unexpectedly for a very non-pornographic website, and I feel guilty anyway.

This was a thought-provoking essay, which featured the wordfuck a lot, which is my favorite kind of essay.

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whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Apr. 8th, 2014 03:14 am (UTC)
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Isn't that weird when it happens? I read a graphic designer stories blog called Clients From Hell, and that one's blocked, I think because "hell".

So glad you liked the essay :)

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Desiree

(no subject)

from: x_disturbed_x
date: Apr. 7th, 2014 10:49 am (UTC)
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I really love this one. I'm glad you found each other!

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whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Apr. 8th, 2014 03:15 am (UTC)
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Thank you - me, too :) I think it's the last relationship I'm going to be in!

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One Phil to Rule Them All

(no subject)

from: dslartoo
date: Apr. 7th, 2014 12:24 pm (UTC)
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He desires this white woman.

I desire this black man.


And that's all that matters. :) Nevertheless, this was a thought-provoking one.

I deal with a tiny amount of this since I'm white and my fiancee' is Mexican. Her family still refers to me as "that gringo" and remarks that I need to get some sun, darken up a little, but only jokingly. I know they don't mean anything by it, and am comforted. It's just how they roll.

cheers,
Phil

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whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Apr. 8th, 2014 03:16 am (UTC)
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Thanks :) Yeah - I'll take that kind of comment over my dad's racism any day! Thanks for reading - and I hope you and your fiancee are every bit as happy as I am, if not more!

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Teo Says

(no subject)

from: eternal_ot
date: Apr. 7th, 2014 12:51 pm (UTC)
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That's all that matters really..:) you are blessed <3... and yeah the whole thing pretty much got me thinking...:)...intellectual masturbation...if u allow me to say.

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whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Apr. 8th, 2014 03:16 am (UTC)
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Totally! Thanks, that's a great compliment :) It's funny, it's so much easier to see racism when it's not the racism I'm used to. In the USA, I miss a lot of stuff that sticks out in Dubai, but I'm sure it's still there back home.

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elledanger

(no subject)

from: elledanger
date: Apr. 7th, 2014 07:50 pm (UTC)
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Really great essay - and really nicely structured too. It read very fluently - and I'm now going to go and re-read some Foucault.

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whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Apr. 8th, 2014 03:17 am (UTC)
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Thanks! And I know you're an essay person, too, so that's especially nice to hear :)

I haven't had a lot of Foucault reading, though I hear him mentioned a lot, so it was cool to have a reason to look him up more!

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rayaso

(no subject)

from: rayaso
date: Apr. 7th, 2014 07:55 pm (UTC)
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I have read this twice now. I loved it, not the least because it made me wonder what it would be like to be a real government internet porn censor (not just automatic denials), reading people's justifications, etc. To be conscientious, would you have to look at all the porn sites? The best part was the writing about your relationship. Excellent job.

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whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Apr. 8th, 2014 03:18 am (UTC)
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Thank you! Yeah, that's gotta be a weird job. There are people on FB whose job it is to weed out porn and other horribleness, and they have to watch a LOT of terrible, terrible things. I can't remember where the article was, but I read a piece from someone whose job that was.

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kianna_leigh

(no subject)

from: kianna_leigh
date: Apr. 7th, 2014 11:25 pm (UTC)
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This was smart and sexy. Very well done.

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whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Apr. 8th, 2014 03:18 am (UTC)
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Thank you very much!

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Dan

(no subject)

from: muchtooarrogant
date: Apr. 7th, 2014 11:51 pm (UTC)
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Bless you, you did it, civil rights and porn in one fantastic entry!

"Is he here to deliver the pizza? Unclog the garbage disposal? Discuss blue-chip shares with a 12.5 percent return in the 10-year period? Who cares, let’s fuck."

I laughed, and laughed, and ...

I know it's a struggle sometimes, trying to figure out what's acceptable and what might not be, but IMHO that sounds perfect for you. You'd be bored otherwise. *grin*

Dan

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whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Apr. 8th, 2014 03:19 am (UTC)
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Thanks! I was glad to be able to put some funny in there :) And yeah, it's a lot more fun to dance on the edge than sit somewhere safe!

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Grey

(no subject)

from: beautyofgrey
date: Apr. 8th, 2014 01:46 am (UTC)
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This is pretty fucking amazing; there's so much you've unpacked here, all the insecurities and questions that arise - and yet, at the end of the day, it's about who you desire and who you love.

(Also I am so glad I waited until I got home from work to read this one!) :P

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whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Apr. 8th, 2014 03:19 am (UTC)
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Thank you! And yeah, maybe I should have put an NSFW on there... :)

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