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Is it love or is it just a fetish?

Interracial dating is one of those topics that no matter what spin you approach it from, you're going to rile people up. Either you're going to marginalizing one group of people or grossly underestimating the intelligence of another. But we can't avoid interracial relationships and the impact they have in our culture. Interracial dating is a choice that starts within an individual; how they view themselves, how they believe society views them, and how they weigh the implications of dating outside of their ethnicity. There are so many examples one can look at to see how specific communities-at-large feel about interracial dating.

Although, majority of the vitriol around interracial relationships is directed towards black men and white women, they are actually a statistical minority. According to a 2010 study, of the nearly 300,000 new marriages recorded, 43% were white and Hispanic couples. Additionally, in that same study, white Americans were the least likely to marry outside of their race. So why then do we perpetuate the myth that "black men love them some [insert exotic ethnicity] women"?

To answer that question, you have to take into account that men in general are far more open-minded when it comes to relationships and dating. We don't typically segregate what we think is attractive based on race/ethnicity. Something else to take into consideration is many black and Latino men grew up with access to exclusive neighborhoods; exclusive in the sense of they were either a nearly non-existent minority (ie: rise of the middle class) or they're one of thousands which means they inherently have cultural variety. There is no middle ground. Because of that, their options may have been a bit more diverse than say an Asian or White man. When you have options, you're going to explore them.

A man's access will definitely play into what he gravitates towards. In a more simplistic explanation, whomever responds to his interests is who he's going to pursue. Sometimes that happens to be one of those exotic types. And that's where the controversy and frustration from people will surface.

When you, as a man, look at your win column in relationships and dating and see that you have the propensity to pursue a clear type, you have to be honest and admit that perhaps your desires could slightly be based on a fetish. People tend to view fetishes as something that only pertains to sex or the taboo. But it's actually easy to identify whether you fall in love with a certain type of woman or if you fetishize a group of women and hope to find love within that group.

I hate to do this, but I'll use Kanye West and Kim Kardashian as an example. I'm not saying that they don't love each other in a pure, honest way. He may think the sun rises and sets on Kim. Now, he's dated beautiful women before and likely dated black women only before he became the Kanye West. But you can listen to his most recent music, listen to how he talks about her in interviews, and it could be concluded that Kanye idolizes what Kim represents not who she is. To give you an example, Kanye raps on a record called "I Won":

I made it over NBA, NFL players
So every time I score it's like the Super Bowl

To look at the broad context, professional athletes tend to date women who have a very specific "look". If you strip them of their money and fame, those men may no longer have access to the same women. So then it becomes, is that type of woman just part of the package that comes with success? It's a catchy song and likely not one people read that deep into. However, you can't help but to think when a man wins that big, is the decision to fall in love really about love?

Every man wants to feel like they have a prize. It does something to your ego to know that you have the interest of a woman that could show interest in conceivably "better" men. But fetishizing a group of women limits your perspective. People like what they like. Attraction is a driving force in any lasting relationship. Dating is all about finding someone that satisfies the most important needs you have as an individual. And if they happen to be of another ethnicity, that should be viewed as an afterthought, not a bonus.

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