From Monogamy To Open Marriage: Is The Swinger Community Racist? 

What is going on?

From Monogamy To Open Marriage is a weekly column devoted to the discussion of pursuing sex and love outside marriage. 


Last week a fellow hotwife contacted me on swinglifestyle.com. Her profile was well written. Her photos seemed to be current, and she looked like they type of woman I could be attracted to. She was also right around my age. I have been longing for more friends in this lifestyle, and if I could dream up the perfect friend, she’d be someone I could relate to: married with kids, high sex drive, lots of experience, spontaneous, bisexual. As we emailed through the website, I learned that she was all these things. And like me, she had an involved, supportive husband who enjoyed the lifestyle and was comfortable with her playing with others apart from him. 

Jackpot???

“May I ask your nationality?” was in her third message. 

This might seem like a perfectly innocent question. She saw my photos and most likely detected that my features are not that of the average Caucasian American. We were also discussing events and clubs in the local area while trying to decide when/where we could potentially meet for a drink or dinner. Inadvertently, I didn’t answer her question. 

As we continued to go back and forth, sharing experiences and opinions about the local scene, she asked again, “What is your nationality?” and this time, I deliberately skipped her question. People who are asked this question on a regular basis might relate to my reluctance. It never crossed my mind to ask her about her heritage, so I didn’t think it was a big deal to refrain from sharing mine. We decided to try and meet in person on the weekend. Later that day when I checked my email again to see if she settled on a location for us to meet, her message read, “Maybe dinner tomorrow. Nationality?” 

What is going on?

Three weeks before this, I received a lovely message from a man that ended with “I’d love to meet a woman who does not play outside of her race.” 

A month before that, someone told me that his wife wanted to know “where I’m from” because she has very particular tastes in women. Apparently, “I’m American” was not the right answer because I never heard from them again.

When I was out with a few other women recently, one of them said: “I love sex with black men, but I will never date or marry them.” 

The highest level of racial focus and fetishization is placed on black men. I can’t count how many messages I’ve received from men asking if I enjoy “BBC” (big black cock). I’ve been invited to “interracial” parties titled “Chocolate Lover’s Night” and “Mocha Weekend” and “BBC Lovers’ Getaway.” This concerns me. Why does the swinger community emphasize the color of the cock? (Hopefully, it’s common knowledge that not all black men have big cocks, but if it isn’t, now you know.) 

Why do most black men in this lifestyle seem to embrace this fetishization? While it works in their favor (if they do in fact have a big cock — let’s not talk about how this racial fetish ostracizes black swingers who are “average”) there is so much more to being a fantastic partner than the color and size of this appendage. Surprisingly, a vast community of people ascribe to the BBC category and use this as a primary way to identify and introduce themselves. 

What is all this? Is the swinger community particularly racist? 

Or are swingers just more inclined not to hide racism and racial preference? Can you imagine calling your friends and inviting them to an interracial BBQ in your backyard? How about a pool party “featuring” all of your black friends? Would you host an “Asian women and the men who adore them” dinner party? If you are a swinger who looks for events and parties to attend, you may be numb to the language that is used to emphasize that (gasp) distinct races will be present. This language is everywhere. 

After contemplating how to respond to the hotwife who e-mailed me, I was tempted to roll the dice and just tell her my nationality and possibly make a new friend and partner in crime. I know too well that sharing the details of my background is usually a prelude to at least one of three things: stereotyping, fetishization, or rejection. None of these appeal to me. 

Instead of replying with a “yes” to dinner and listing the countries my grandparents are from, I replied “If this is contingent on my nationality we may not be a good match."

I understand that everyone has personal preferences but my ethnic background becomes a subject of discussion nearly every single time I meet a new (Caucasian or American) person.

I wish that were an exaggeration. It's an awkward position to constantly be in — attempting to decipher the relevance for this curiosity and whether or not I will be shunned or fetishized based on my answer. Because my "nationality" (which in fact is not singular — my parents are from very different places) has always been in question, I have a natural aversion to people who demand my answer.

I have not heard from her since. 

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