There was a long conversation happening over at feministe in the comments section of a post called "Sex, Lies and Fetishizing Race" by Anna Lekas Miller. The primary focus of the conversation is, as you may guess, about the fetishizing of race and ethnicity. It's a very interesting conversation, and it's started to explore where the line between "harmless fetish" and "racist fetish" is.
Also, it reminds me of several conversations I've had with people in my life about race and sexual attraction. At some point, I think, a lot of white Americans run into someone who has some kind of fetish for people of another race. With the sort of people I hang out with--people heavily steeped in geek culture (including video games, comic books, and animation)--it's not particularly surprising, I'm sure, to learn that I've known people who have a particular fetish for Asian women. It's very much a geek cliche that college age white geeky guys have a "thing" for Asian woman. It's the sort of thing that I always found vaguely weird, but it took me a long time to put words to why.
I've also known people on the opposite side of the spectrum (is it a spectrum?); I know people who will say things like "I'm not interested in (insert race here) people" or "I just don't find (insert race here) people attractive."
Which... bothers me. A lot.
I've had long conversations about it with people, because saying something like "I'm just not attracted to black people" sure seems racist to me.
Because so much of sexual attraction isn't intentional, though, I've sometimes found it really hard to put to words what, exactly, bothers me about it. You don't really choose to be attracted to people or not. At least, I've certainly never found it to work that way. So, if you think back and you find that you've only ever been attracted to people of a particular race, or you find that you've never been attracted to a particular race... what does that mean?
That thread is helping me roll the thoughts around in my head, though. Obviously, you can't help who you're attracted to, but that doesn't mean that there's not value in thinking about the whys.