Alex Rowlson’s article in Fab magazine about using racist, ageist, and body-fascist phrases like “no fats,” “no femmes” or “no Asians” on Grindr hasn’t just sparked discussion here at Queerty—it’s also started a battle between gay-porn bloggers.
Rowlson’s article asked men to question the basis of their racial and body-type preferences and suggested that such statements like “no blacks” may perpetuate hatred, bigotry and pettiness. The piece also indicated that gay men should open themselves up to new sexual experiences and choose partners based on an individual’s perceived sexual capacity rather than their outward appearance.
The Sword editor Zachary Sire called bullshit on Rowlson’s article, saying that statements like “no fats” or”no Asians” aren’t examples of prejudice—they merely express a personal preference.
But now Gawker’s porn site has joined the conversation. Cedric DeWittison calls The Sword’s response “whiny” and “clearly intolerant”:
[Sire’s] not wanting sex with women doesn’t make him a misogynist, because he’s a homosexual. Naturally he’s not attracted to women. That can hardly be compared to a gay man who refuses sex with a well-built dude and his penis because of the shape of his eyes or hue of his skin. There is no anglosexual or afrosexual terminology anywhere in the scientific tomes on human sexuality. What men consider “visually stimulating” isn’t “hard-wired into our brains,” as the writer at The Sword believes. What we find desirable is a result of years of societal and media conditioning, regardless of our sexuality, rather than something in our genes, as sexuality is…
Bottom line, men with preferences need to stop being so damn defensive about it, throwing tantrums of “goddammit, we are not racist because we like whites only. Waaaaaa!” As the Fab article mentions, guys can clearly state what they prefer instead of posting which men they don’t want to fuck with the blatant terminology of the Jim Crow era. Sure we can have black or Asian friends, and not want to fuck a black or Asian guy (or a white guy for that matter). It’s okay. That’s cool. No one really thinks you’re out flying the Confederate Flag while wearing a white sheet. You are not racist. We know. But let’s be tactful about it. Because no matter what the situation is, sexual or otherwise, posting “no blacks, no Asians,” even though a preference, is exclusionary, backwards, insensitive, ignorant and tacky.
So according to Fleshbot, it’s okay if you don’t respond to blacks, Asians or chubbies on Grindr— just don’t be obvious about it.
Or rather, focus on what you do want rather than what you don’t.
For example, a kinder Grindr profile might say, “I like white, hairy jocks in their 20s” as opposed to “No Latinos, no fatties, smooth only, no one over 30.”
Here’s a crazy thought: try just not responding to people you’re not personally attracted to.