Translators? Tour Guides? Teachers? More Mistaken Identities for AMXF Couples

Last week, I shared my experience of having a foreign man in China mistake me and my husband for being “mother and son”. (Though, it wasn’t entirely surprising because I’d once had a woman working at a cash register in the US wonder if my husband was my foreign exchange student!)

Well, readers took to this blog and social media to share their own experiences of mistaken identity as part of interracial couples of Asian men and non-Asian women (AMXF). The comments were fascinating, highlighting a number of “mistaken identity” situations that I’ve either heard of or experienced myself.

AMXF couples are still a rare enough sight in China that people often don’t assume you’re actually husband and wife when they first see you. (And sometimes they don’t even believe you when you tell them that, yes, you are in fact a couple, which once happened to me and my husband.)

Here are a few common themes, inspired by your comments. (Note: A big thank you to Ana Hudson (IG: whitechocolateplayer) for permission to run the her photo with this post, featuring models Justin Zhang (IG: NoobStrength) and Marina Bruzadin (IG: marinabruzadin). You can see more of these photos in the post 13 Sexy, Fun ‘AMXF Deadpool’ Photos to Make You Smile.)

Is he your translator?

One fellow on Facebook chimed in with what must surely be the No 1 thing that comes to mind when people in China happen to see Chinese men walking around with a woman of a different race: “I have been considered as her interpreter more than husband ????”

This actually happens all the time to me and my husband as well — so much so that I’ve come to expect it from people in China, particularly when we’re in places like banks or stores!

Is he your tour guide?

Similar to “Is he your translator?”, a “tour guide” is another form of mistaken identity frequently experienced by AMXF couples together here in China. Especially if you happen to be together at any tourist attractions in China. As a woman commented on Facebook, “When we were young people thought my husband was a tour guide ????”

Is she your teacher?

As everyone knows, English teacher is the most common profession for foreigners in China. Well, when some folks in China see a Western woman walking with a Chinese man — two people who are actually in a couple — they might assume she’s his English teacher.

That’s what happened with one woman who commented on Facebook, noting, “My husband is always asked if I’m his English teacher but actually he used to be my Mandarin teacher!”

And more…

A Chinese man and a white woman, who were husband and wife, walked into a restaurant…but – no joke here — the staff didn’t take them for a couple, as one woman took to Facebook to share: “I get this constantly when we eat out together. ‘Is this one check or two?’ – to which my response is always, ‘Since he is my husband, yes I will be paying the check for us together.’”

Then again, speaking of jokes, sometimes the best response to all of this is a smile and good sense of humor.

Have you ever been mistaken as something other than a couple?

Guest Post: 13 Sexy, Fun ‘AMXF Deadpool’ Photos to Make You Smile

Enjoy this AMXF Deadpool photo collaboration by Ana Hudson, a new model and photographer hitting the scene. This is part of her portfolio titled “Project Justice”, which includes her previous post: 9 Powerful ‘AMWF Superman’ Photos to ‘Save’ Your Day.

What superhero would you like to see Ana feature in her next photo shoot? Let us know in the comments!

If you are an AMXF couple in the Los Angeles area, Ana Hudson would love to offer you a free/donations accepted photoshoot. To find out more information about planning a photoshoot you can reach her at [email protected]


While reflecting on this Deadpool photo shoot, I realized that sometimes the things that seem so horrid in our lives can be the best transformative experiences of all time. There have been a lot of things that I’ve seen in the news about people falling upon hard times, fearing for their safety and for the safety of their loved ones. Sometimes. we wake up and feel like life is a dark, cruel joke played upon us. And who are the ones who are laughing? Our oppressors? Who can laugh when no one wins?

That means one thing: sometimes we need to laugh at the world to get back at it. Not everything is going to go our way. There will always be something sad to hear or something that makes us sicken with rage. But there is no rule that says we cannot churn our rage into passions and create war with our minds and talents. Go forward, create, and laugh as your enemies waste away in their waste. – Ana Hudson, WhiteChocolatePlayer

Credits:
Photographer: Ana Hudson (IG: whitechocolateplayer)
Models: Justin Zhang (IG: NoobStrength) and Marina Bruzadin (IG: marinabruzadin)

If you are an AMXF couple in the Los Angeles area, Ana Hudson would love to offer you a free/donations accepted photoshoot. To find out more information about planning a photoshoot you can reach her at [email protected]


Speaking of China is always on the lookout for outstanding guest posts! If you have something you’d like us to feature, visit the submit a post page for details — and then submit yours today.

Is It AMWF Relationships? Or AMXF? Or WWAM? And Should We Even Label Ourselves?

In 2009, when I first began blogging about my interracial relationship – and how it wasn’t so common in China – I wasn’t aware of any acronyms to describe it.

Then I discovered AMWF, AMXF and WWAM. Nowadays, these acronyms have become powerful connectors and tags that have given rise to new communities.

That of course, leads to new questions. Such as, what’s the right one to use? And should we even bother with all the labels?

AMWF relationships

AMWF (Asian Male, White Female) relationships

I’m not exactly sure when I learned about AMWF, which most people refer to as Asian Male, White Female. But what I do know is this — AMWF is probably one of the most popular acronyms out there to describe the very relationship I have with Jun. He’s an Asian man, I’m a White woman.

So it’s not surprising, then, that many people have blogged about AMWF relationships.

One of the most popular was penned a few years ago by Grace of Texan in Tokyo, who wrote about the good, bad and ugly of our relationships. Blogger Anna Reco has shared many love stories of AMWF couples, including this one advising other couples they’ll need patience, understanding and the will to go on. Meanwhile, Laura, who blogs with me at WWAM BAM, penned a post about the influence of race in our relationships, and Autumn at When West Dates East even devotes an entire tag to whether couples like us “can survive the parents”.

And of course, AMWF relationship hashtags abound (Instagram and Twitter, I’m looking at you), while you’ll find tons of videos on Youtube.

Now, on this blog, I’ve diverged a bit when interpreting AMWF relationships as being “Asian Male, Western Female.” That’s because the perspective can be a little different over here in Asia.  I’ve developed a camaraderie with many women from Western countries around the world dating and/or married to Asian men. That includes women who are not White and also women who are Asian themselves but born and raised in a Western country (like my friend Michelle Guo, who is Chinese American and married to a man from China). For us, it’s issues of culture that often come to the forefront of our relationships.

But if AMWF relationships doesn’t work for you, here’s another option:

AMXF instagram
A screenshot of an Instagram search using the term “AMXF”

AMXF (Asian Male, Non-Asian Female) relationships

Enter AMXF, which stands for Asian Male, Non-Asian Female, and describes a wider range of women in interracial relationships with Asian men – including Black women, Latinx women and White women. While the acronym appears less often in internet searches, you can find it in a number of online spaces — from discussions in Reddit groups (on the idea of being woke in these relationships to reasons why there are fewer of these couples)  to forum posts to hashtags on Instagram to even Youtube videos like this.

AMWF relationshipsWWAM (Western Women, Asian Men) relationships

So, just when you thought we couldn’t possibly stir up the alphabet soup of acronyms to describe our relationships, here’s another: WWAM (Western Women, Asian Men) relationships.

The term WWAM first emerged a few years ago when it became attached to the name of a virtual community in China, uniting women from Western countries who happened to have Chinese boyfriends or husbands. The community grew and so did people’s identification with the label (some even calling themselves WWAMs).

Later, the term WWAM inspired the name of our group blog WWAM BAM (Western Women, Asian Men – Breaking All Molds).

As I mentioned above, we gravitate toward the term “Western women” because cultural differences often loom large in our relationships.

Is it AMWF relationships? Or AMXF relationships? Or WWAM relationships? And does it matter?

But now that we have three acronyms in play, is it better to say AMWF relationships or AMXF relationships or WWAM relationships? What should you use?

I personally feel it depends on your perspective and what feels most comfortable (and descriptive) to you. There’s not necessarily one right answer.

But then again, does it even matter? Should we care about labels – or identify with them?

Not everyone wants to categorize their relationship with an acronym like AMWF. After all, just because your relationship looks similar to others, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to have a lot in common.

If you’d rather ditch the labels and find your community elsewhere, then I say more power to you. Nobody has to wave an AMWF or AMXF or WWAM flag in their lives, even if they happen to be in a relationship like that.

However, I’ve embraced AMWF and AMXF and WWAM for a very simple reason – because they allowed me to connect with other people who share many of the same experiences I’ve had. Whether that’s cultural differences in how people show their love or meeting the parents or even handling negative comments about our relationships. Some of my closest friends have come from the community. We meet up, chat, support each other in difficulty and even blog together.

Knowing them doesn’t mean I don’t have other “tribes” as well, circles of people who share other interests of mine (like reading books or hiking in the woods).

But when I think back to my first steps into China —  a time before the rise of social media, blogs and even video calling — I remember feeling so isolated as the foreign girlfriend of a Chinese man. I couldn’t even share it with my foreign coworkers (who actually said some openly racist things about Chinese men around the dinner table).

After years of that, finding the community was a revelation, the most universal and comforting of all. Finally, I wasn’t alone.

What do you think? Do you prefer AMWF relationships or WWAM relationships? And does it even matter?

Should You Leave Behind Facebook and Its AMWF Communities? – Pub’d on WWAM BAM!

The group blog WWAM BAM! just published my post titled Should You Leave Behind Facebook and Its AMWF Communities?

While I’ve been following the news on Facebook and Cambridge Analytica, I was particularly inspired to write this post after hearing the most recent episode of the NPR show On the Media. They invited a number of experts on the show, who highlighted how Facebook, not Cambridge Analytica, ought to concern us more.

Then I started pondering how I’ve used Facebook to connect to the community — and whether or not I could leave, turning into this post. Here’s an excerpt:

Unless you’ve been taking a social media detox or avoiding the news, you’ve probably heard about the recent scandal involving the Facebook data leak. But while much of the spotlight has been on Cambridge Analytica, many experts are saying we should be far more concerned about Facebook.

So what does this have to do with the relationships we write about — such as AMWF (Asian Male, White Female), AMXF (Asian Male, Non-Asian Female) and WWAM (Western Women, Asian Men)? The many, many connections I’ve made on Facebook through the community.

I don’t know about you but I’ve long turned to Facebook to connect with many people in the AMXF/AMWF/WWAM communities.

Head on over to WWAM BAM to read the full post.

How about you? Have you thought about leaving Facebook?

Is Interracial Dating Easier for Asian Men in Non-English-Speaking Countries?

(Photo by Eleazar via Flickr.com)
(Photo by Eleazar via Flickr.com)

When I recently shared my classic HuffPost piece Why Won’t Western Women Date Chinese Men? some of you spoke up to tell me I missed something.

Here’s what one anonymous e-mailer had to say:

… I have heard from a multitude of sources that places like Bali, France, Holland, Russia (and other eastern European countries) as well as various Latin American countries have the disparity between Asian men paired with local women vs vice versa as either being near equal or vastly skewed in favor of Asian males. I just wanted to point out that our dating situation is not so extremely pathetic in every part of the world as your article may make us out to be. From what I hear amongst Asian male travelers abroad is that the dating scene for Asian men is most bleak in Anglo nations. [Emphasis added]

Comments like this reminded me of the following quote in a piece in SFGate on interracial dating for Asian Men:

Any sexual imbalances that exist due to the unique alchemy of sex, race and class in the United States fade in the face of a globalized world; one in which the playing field is different, and so are the players and rules. In the Caribbean, for instance, intermarriages between black women and Asian men are relatively common. In fact, asserts AznLover member David Nghiem, a globetrotter who recently completed an epic bicycle trip across the entire length of Latin America, “Outside of the ‘anglosphere’ — North America, England, Australia and New Zealand — things are completely different. Asian men are in general seen as dateable, sexy and interesting. Most of the world has their own media, in their own languages and subtleties, and Hollywood’s attempts to spread stereotypes about Asian men and their sexuality literally stops at the anglosphere’s edge, simply because the rest of the world doesn’t understand it and doesn’t care.” [Emphasis added]

So, is the interracial dating scene friendlier to Asian men when you leave the Anglosphere, the English-speaking world? There’s some tantalizing anecdotal evidence in support of this.

In a post on Reddit titled The dating situation for Asian men in the West, someone noted:

…it seems that French women seem to have a thing for Asian men…. I’ve also noticed that Russian women don’t seem to dismiss Asians as easily as most other white women, maybe because of Russia’s proximity to Asia. In general, it seems that the worse that women speak English, the nicer they are to Asians….

In another Reddit thread, titled Where in the anglosphere is the best living opportunity in terms of how Asian men are treated? a commenter called out France as a great place to be:

Come to Paris, I’m french and with a little bit of introspection I had it easy…. Girls are open minded and you stand out a lot for breaking the stereotype if you’re Asian, funny and outgoing with above average game!

And I’m not even from Paris but the countryside. I’ve been on a weekend with the Gf in Paris and we’ve spent the entire day in China town and I kinda missed standing out because I was far from being the only Asian with a white girl like I’m used to. I also saw a lot of mixed group of friends with both Asians boys and girls with people from other race which is nice….

Here’s yet another interesting thread from Reddit called A reminder that Asian men are valued as husbands/boyfriends by women outside the Anglosphere – excerpts from the Polish community:

…It’s not a coincidence that women outside the Anglosphere view Asian men differently.

I came across a post of a Polish woman who had asked other Polish women if they had any experience with Asian men as she met an American Chinese whom she liked very much, but she wasn’t sure if our two cultures were compatible. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive!…

These women praised Asian men on many dimensions, from being “wonderful and sexy” to “playful, romantic, sensitive, responsible, honest, handsome” – you can read translated excerpts in the thread and also the original piece in Polish.

In Hey-Ai, a poster singled out a number of places he considered friendlier to Asian men, including France, Germany, Austria, Estonia, Sweden and Denmark:

…But overall, I think French people are very tolerant about Asian people….

Germany seems to be a very good place for Asian men. I was approached by pretty german girls in Munich, Budapest and NYC. And I often have very good relationship with german people usually.

I’ve just been in Austria a few days, but the perception of asian people seems the same….

Tallinn, Estonia. Asians people are almost non existent, there are very few tourists, so we are very rare. I felt very welcomed by Estonian people (men or women), they want to know more about you and some girls may flock you…

Northern Europe. I think that Sweden and Denmark are very open toward Asians people. They are very tolerant, polite and sometimes curious. I think a lot of people from Scandinavia have an interest about Asian culture. In fact, I met so many Swedish people when I traveled in Asia….

There’s also this article on Happier Abroad, which mentions:

…Large areas in Eastern Europe, in particular, the Baltic countries of Estonia and Lithuania (currently EU members), have shown to be very accepting and friendly to American Asian males, and is a place where a growing number of such travelers have been able to find incredible opportunities for social life and romance….

Belarus is another country where Asian men, even those who are not American, have been able to feel accepted, and where they have enjoyed good treatment and many new possibilities for abundant “romancing”.

Parts of Russia and other CIS countries (outside of Moscow and St. Petersburg) have also been described as very good for such Asian men…

Parts of Brazil, according to some sources, have proven to be excellent, and some Asian men have been able to mingle freely with the local population and date beautiful women there.

France is another country in which Asian men (those who can speak French- a necessity there) have reported that they have been treated quite well by the local females….

I would stress these are only personal reports. Still, unlike what I’ve laid out in my Huffington Post piece, these anecdotes suggest a more hopeful picture of interracial dating for Asian men.

But I’d love to hear from you too. What do you think? Do you have any stories or other evidence of how Asian men fare in the interracial dating scene outside the Anglosphere? Sound off in the comments!

Saluting Other Blogs by Non-Asian Women Who Love Asian Men

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I’m continuing the celebration of International Women’s Day with a post saluting outstanding women with blogs on AMXF (Asian Male, Non-Asian Female) relationships. Woo-hoo!

As you know, I just updated my list of blogs by Western women who love Chinese men — and it’s well over 50. It’s an inclusive list, but keeping up with all of these fabulous ladies is no small task. I spent nearly a day on that post. Yes, an entire day! Still, I’m happy to do it because the women in this community rock. We have a unique perspective on life — whether that’s life in Asia, our home countries, or elsewhere in the world — and that deserves a shout-out once a year!

But I’ve come to realize we’re not the only ones with a huge community. You should have seen the many blogs I discovered just by white gals in Japan blogging about their mixed-race kids and families! And I realized that if I were to simultaneously keep up with all of the communities in Japan, Korea, India and beyond…well, my head was spinning at the thought.

So here’s the deal — to keep things simple here, I’m highlighting the major AMXF blogs in the community authored by women in this post. They’ve attracted a decent following, fill an important niche, or are written by prominent women (including authors). Either way, chances are you’ll enjoy them as much as I do.

That said, if you know about another AMXF blog, by all means please let me know! While it’s impossible for me to spread the love in this post to every single other AMXF blog out there, I’m always happy to give them a link back.

And if I’ve missed a blog that deserves a spot in this post, share it with me in the comments and tell me why I ought to feature it.

So without further ado…here they are!

Asian Man White Woman Magazine. J.T. Tran, The Asian Playboy, may have founded this magazine, but its heart and soul are the women who love Asian men — Heather, Sarah Ann, and Brooks as well as guest writers (including me). This blog has a lot of great posts on AMWF interracial relationships, but the classic remains “Once You Go Asian, You Can’t Go Caucasian!” (or why White Girls think Asian Boys are Better!). (Disclosure: J.T. is an advertiser on my site.)

Black women Asian men. The ultimate blog for the AMBW (Asian men/Black women) community run in part by a Black woman in a relationship with an Asian guy. It’s regularly updated and loaded with gorgeous photos of AMBW couples as well as their love stories. As if that wasn’t cool enough, the blog offers links to AMBW meetup groups around the US, as well as lists of AMBW books, movies and music videos.

The Blasian Narrative. This unique group blog (written in part by Black women) is “dedicated to exploring (whether academically, casually, or creatively) the world of Black women and Asian men.” Fans of this blog will love their Blasian Culture category featuring posts on AMBW relationships, as well as their treasure trove of interviews with folks in the community.

Diary of a White Indian Housewife. Years ago, Sharell left behind her unremarkable life as an accountant in Australia for the wonders of India — and has never looked back. She met her husband in India and carved out a successful career for herself as a travel writer (she manages the About.com India Travel page). These days, she focuses more on her work for About.com than her blog, but the site is still filled with outstanding posts (such as on whether Indian men like white women and how her parents reacted to her relationship) and she promises to update us every now and then. Don’t miss Sharell’s inspiring memoir about her journey to India, Henna for the Broken-Hearted.

English Wife, Indian Life. Sometimes it’s the smallest decisions in our lives that change everything — like how Lauren was on a vegetarian forum and just happened to respond to someone messaging her (something she never usually would do). That conversation introduced her to her future husband. Last year, she officially left her pharmacy job in England to move to India, where the couple married and now live happily ever after — while Lauren, of course, grapples with this foreign country and culture. It’s fun to read Lauren’s posts because they’re so immediate, filled with the excitement and frustration that comes from such a huge life change. Best of luck to this lovely couple!

Fusión LatinAsia. A blog en español and English by Sandra Santiago (who is based in Texas) especially created “for the Latina stricken with the yellow fever.” This site offers lots of great posts on relationships between Asian men and Latinas (such as Would a Latina girl like an Asian guy like me?) and has even helped support readers in their quest for romance (see I want an Asian Boyfriend…case closed!).

The Good Shufu. Once upon a time, Tracy Slater (a self-described highly independent feminist) had the academic career of her dreams, teaching writing at a Boston-area university and living in the city she adored. But when she fell in love with a Japanese man, all of a sudden she began contemplating a life together with him in Japan, which meant letting go of her career and the life she worked so hard to build for herself in Boston. Once moving to Osaka, she became an illiterate housewife trying to build the very family she never imagined she wanted. It’s an incredible transformation — and not surprisingly, she’s turned her story into the forthcoming memoir titled The Good Shufu (to be published in 2015). Tracy is such a gifted writer and I eagerly await what is sure to be one standout book.

My Husband is Asian. ShaSha LaPerf is an African American woman who just tied the knot with her Asian sweetheart Shen (what she referred to as “When Geeks Marry”), but she’s been blogging about Black/Asian pop culture and Blasian love for years, from her relationship to advice on dating Asian guys and the time she spent living in Japan. Some of her most popular posts — including 10 Things Asian Guys Should Not Say to Black Women — will definitely interest many of you.

My Korean Husband. Nic from Australia is married to Mr. Gwon and she has grown a huge following through her funny comics, videos and other posts about everything from their marriage (such as this how we met video) to life in Korea and even the odd K-pop-related conversation. It’s a delight to visit and read/watch, so it’s no wonder this is easily the most popular (and most entertaining) blog on this list. Nic has a comic book in the works about how she and Mr. Gwon met and more, so stay tuned for that!

Linda Leaming. During her travels through South Asia in the 1990s, Linda discovered the Himalayan wonderland of Bhutan — a country that, in her words, “would rather have Gross National Happiness than Gross National Product” — and that one trip turned into a lifelong love affair on many levels. She met and married a Buddhist artist there and they adopted a girl as well, but most importantly she found the happiness that comes from following your own heart. You can read all about it in her fun memoir Married to Bhutan. And if you loved that book, don’t miss her forthcoming A Field Guide To Happiness: Twenty-Two Things I Learned in Bhutan.

Loving Korean. Oegukeen, who is from Europe, started this blog to discuss her relationship with “the Kimchi Man” — and she went beyond the usual “how we met” to become a source for everything you ever wanted to know about dating Korean men. Unfortunately, their relationship ended recently. But what I find incredibly courageous is that she continues to blog about the aftermath and is currently working on a plan for what’s next. The site still remains a great resource for the community.

Texan in Tokyo. Grace Buchele Mineta — an American woman who just married her Japanese sweetheart and has moved to Japan to live with him — has crafted some of my all-time favorite posts on AMWF and interracial relationships, especially AMWF Relationships: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly (Asian Male, White Female Couples) and AMWF (Asian Male, White Female) Couples: An Unfinished Wikipedia Article. For those of you who love visuals, she also draws comics and her posts are always heavy on photos, particularly gorgeous shots of her and Ryosuke (the camera truly loves them!). For those of you who addicted to wedding photos, check out her recent wedding announcement!

What blogs did I miss? What blogs would you like to see on this list and why?