It was Thanksgiving Eve, 2017, and I was out at a bar with my friends.
My intentions weren’t to meet anyone that night, but I did. We danced and I got his number. He was a white male, Italian, which I guess you can call my type based on the guys I’ve dated in the past. “Mamacita” he would say consistently throughout the night. Text messages would read “you’re my Spanish mami.” He would say how he never made out with a Spanish girl and he should’ve a long time ago.
I never had a sexual experience with him — thank God — but I am not a prize or a check on your bucket list. Make love with me or kiss me because you want to, not because of my race.
I grew up in Staten Island which has a 17.3 percent Hispanic population and a 75.7 percent white population — 34.7 percent of which has Italian roots. Finding a partner that isn’t white can be difficult because of these demographics hence why I’ve come to prefer white males. My high school is one of the most diverse in Staten Island, but it still has a 20 percent gap between white and Hispanic students; 47 percent are white, 27 percent are Hispanic and 11 percent are black.
There is nothing wrong with interracial sexual partnerships, relationships or marriages. It is 2019, and society is more accepting of them. Although we are more accepting, statistics show a small percentage of Latinas in an interracial marriage. In 2017, Pew Research reported 27 percent of Hispanic newlyweds married someone of a different race.
When I came to Stony Brook, the demographics were totally different. According to the 2019 Factbook, 12.6 percent of students are Hispanic while the Asian and white population is almost identical, with Asian students at 39.9 percent and white students at 40.3 percent. It’s still a small population, but there are also 17,552 undergraduates enrolled compared to the 3,369 students at my old high school.
I’m currently dating a white male; but, before him, I did have sexual partners who were not white. Those not white were encountered after I graduated high school, except for one.
From this, I realized that having a person of color as a sexual partner puts fewer questions through my mind. He’s not white, I’m not white. It can feel a little bit more comfortable.
I feel comfortable with my white partners, but the question of whether a racial kink will slip out or their face will reek of disappointment if they don’t see massive curves carving out my body still lingers.
All of my boyfriends have been white — a blessing and a curse. It’s a blessing because there’s temporary or long-lasting joy; but, I always have the constant fear of being a check mark, or them expecting me or my body type to mirror the hyper-sexualized version of a Hispanic woman that society has created. I’ve been called “mami” before and after the idiot at the bar. No, it wasn’t the mommy kink that some guys like. They called me mami emphasizing the “I” like a Hispanic would say it. I’ve also been told, “Wow I never hooked up with a Spanish girl before, it’s different.”
I will admit, I sometimes ask if they have been with a Spanish girl before. My fear of not being liked or wanted for who I am as a person drives me to ask this to reassure myself that it’s me they like — not just my race. I constantly expect something. There are times where they say yes without the stereotypical connotation.
The trend carries on to dating as well. I’ve written about an ex-boyfriend’s father who made remarks on my ethnicity. I’ve had another ex who supported President Donald Trump after he called Miss Universe, Alicia Machado, “Miss Housekeeping” because of her Hispanic culture, but dated me because “this is different.”
Refinery29 reports accounts from different Hispanic women who have been stereotyped in the past. Luna Diaz, 21, claimed white partners asked her to speak Spanish during sex and called her exotic. Stefa Marín Alarcon, 28, said she had a man ask her why she doesn’t look like a Jennifer Lopez poster and wanted her to show off her curves more.
I am not your “mami,” or “spanish mamacita.” I am 5’2” who’s overall a size small in everything, except my bra. No, I do not have a butt as big as JLO or curves like Penelope Cruz. I am not having sex with you to fulfill your race-specific sexual fantasy. I am a Latina woman, who likes all races of men, but tends to prefer white dudes. I like what I like and you should too, but don’t expect any specifics during the sex. I will not talk Spanish to you, heck, I’m not even fluent. I will not expose a super curvy body or let you call me names that targets my race.
Also, I’m not exotic. I’m just me.