Calling All Asian Men: What Do You Love About Western Women?

(John and I, posing for our wedding photos)

This past week, a commenter named Centaur wrote:

Jocelyn and all the western women still reading this thread, maybe we should have a thread where Asian men can comment on what they love about western women.

Centaur, I can’t agree more! What a great way to honor the Western women in your life — or just honor us in general — during the month that includes International Women’s Day.

And even better, Centaur started it off with his own Top 10 List:

1) Your eyes. Deeply set, bright, shaded with long lashes, infinitely seductive. They can have so many colors — blue, green, gray, brown, … , and the color can even change with sunlight. If I stare into them, I’d forget what I was saying.
2) Your hair. Curly, soft, fine, always makes me want to run my fingers through it.
3) Your nose. Long, high, strong (no, I am not making fun of you). It gives your face so much character.
4) Your narrow cheekbones. Contrary to the typical Western view, we don’t find high cheekbones very attractive.
5) Your curves and long legs, they give you such a feminine look.
6) You know how to handle high heels.
7) You enjoy sex. You are open, evolved, and sexual.
8) You are affectionate and you love kissing.
9) You know how to put on makeup.
10) You like to work out and you age gracefully.

So to continue this, I pulled John aside and asked him what he loves most about me. And here are John’s Top 10: Continue reading “Calling All Asian Men: What Do You Love About Western Women?”

On My Negative Dating Experiences With Chinese Men, and Why I Still Kept Smiling About China’s “Dating Scene”

Jocelyn Eikenburg, smiling in a windswept
The winds (of China’s dating scene) didn’t always blow my way, but I still remained smiling, despite all my own negative experiences w/ Chinese men.

A few years ago, I remember stumbling across a post that linked back to me on the now defunct Shlaowai blog (which billed itself as “Shanghai Uncensored”). The post, written by one of their white female writers, was titled, “So, What’s the Dating Scene Like?” I can’t share any quotes from the post — unfortunately, the blog’s creators blocked archiving of their material, which means you can’t even dig up their original content through the Wayback Machine. Still, given that the post featured the infamous photo of a shorter Long Duk Dong with his head buried in the bosom of a taller white girl, you can guess what the author had to say about “the dating scene” in China.

I can’t recall her exact wording when she referenced my site, but I remember how I felt. That I somehow couldn’t be trusted to understand her experience. After all, I crossed the line she somehow drew there in Shanghai by dating and marrying a Chinese (and then daring to write something positive about it).

You might wonder, why do I even care about an obscure post from years back on a now-defunct blog? It’s because I’ve increasingly encountered a similar perspective in e-mails from some readers — e-mails that ask, in a suspect tone, why I’m not writing enough negative things about dating Chinese men? Continue reading “On My Negative Dating Experiences With Chinese Men, and Why I Still Kept Smiling About China’s “Dating Scene””

Ask the Yangxifu: On Married Men in China Seeking Extramarital Affairs With Western Women

A couple cheating in the background, with the words "Lies" written on the front
(photo by Akbar Simonse)

asks:

Now, I see a lot of positive things on Asian men here on this blog and I do appreciate that, but what about the not-so-positive ones? There is one thing in particular i’ve been thinking about for a while lately: the cheating and the tradition of having xiaosan [mistresses] here in China. I can’t even remember how many times I have been approached by married men or guys who have been with their gfs for 8 or 9 years! Not to mention the fact that dating someone is actually quite complicated because a good part of the guys in their late 20s are already married!!

I know a lot of foreign girls who do get in troubles eventually for starting relationships with men who are already taken and it just becomes a mess…

What do you think about this? Why is it that so many seem to prefer cheating than leave their ‘safety net’ (aka gf)? Why does it seem that foreign girls are their preferred choice when they look for xiaosan? Continue reading “Ask the Yangxifu: On Married Men in China Seeking Extramarital Affairs With Western Women”

Four Lame Reasons Why Western Women Won’t Date Chinese Men

Godfrey Gao
“You won’t date me because of WHAT? That’s lame.” (image of Godfrey Gao from his Flickr)

People just say the darndest things about dating Chinese men. Over the years, I’ve listened to a lot of reasons why Western women give the sons of Han a pass on dating — and sometimes, they’re the kind of reasons that make you go “Hmmmm” (and then think rather unprintable thoughts about the person who said them).

So here are four of the lamest reasons I’ve ever heard as to why Western women won’t date Chinese men.

Lame Reason #1: Effeminate

Whenever I hear people say this about Chinese men, they point to the most utterly superficial reasons — such as having “manbags”, or carrying women’s purses, or even height/body sizes. And they usually just back it up with anecdotes from expats/Westerners, or their own biased perceptions (so “scientific,” isn’t it?).

But in fact, this is nothing more than an insidious stereotype, which derives much of its power from the unflattering images of Asian men in Hollywood and the mainstream media.

Bottom line, it’s an incredibly lame reason to NOT date Chinese men.

Lame Reason #2: Penis size

First of all, this is a stereotype about Asian men that has yet to be proven by any cold, hard scientific evidence. And even if it were true, it means you value a guy’s alleged package size over his actual personality. Either way, you’d be exceedingly lame in my book for using this as an excuse to pass on Chinese men.

(See also this hilarious rant on the stereotype surrounding penis size and Asian men.)

Lame Reason #3: Too shy

I once read this in an article about the dating scene for foreign women in Beijing:

“Most Chinese guys are really shy,” Patterson said. “They work really long hours and don’t come out to bars and parties, which is where you usually meet people.”

I’m pretty certain, then, that some women out there actually use this as a reason/excuse why they don’t date Chinese men.

But Chinese men aren’t necessarily shy, it’s just a stereotype.

I get that some women out there think a “real guy” should just directly ask her out, and might label a Chinese guy “too shy” if he can’t do the same. But in fact, a lot of times Chinese men are just operating according to different “rules” for dating. They might approach us a little more indirectly, where they show their interest gradually instead of straight out just asking us on a date. It’s not a shy thing, it’s a “dating is a little different in their culture” thing.

Some women might also complain, as one foreign woman did in an op-ed piece, about a “lack of effort” on the part of Chinese men. But this perspective totally ignores the huge barriers that stand between a Chinese guy actually asking out a Western woman (see my reasons why Western women should consider pursuing Chinese men).

So when you think about it, it’s kind of a lame reason.

Lame Reason #4: Not attractive

When I first came to China, I was stunned by the people who just flat-out declared that Chinese men aren’t attractive. Seriously?

I get that people have their own preferences. But there’s something truly lame — and disturbing, for that matter — when someone dismisses an entire group of people as ugly. If you truly think there can never be attractive Chinese men out there, then apparently you’re either blind or blinded by your own biases. This is by far the lamest reason out there to not date Chinese men.

What do you think? What other lame reasons have you heard?

Yin-Yang: “A Headstrong Australian Girl…Humbled By China”

An Australian girl and her Chinese boyfriend, standing on a historical street in China
Huaiqian and Christi (photo courtesy of Christi)

When I first read Christi’s story — which shares some of the ways she and her fiancee, Huaiqian, balance their relationship — I smiled at the way she described herself as “a headstrong Australian girl…humbled by China.” Her words echoed much of my own experience with John — the moments when we realized just how differently we viewed exactly the same thing, the times when we learned to negotiate the differences. She brings so much heart and honesty to the subject, and I’m excited to share her story with you.  Continue reading “Yin-Yang: “A Headstrong Australian Girl…Humbled By China””

Ask the Yangxifu: The Guy Who Changed Her Mind About Dating Chinese Men

A Western woman with a flirtatious look in her eyes
(photo by Tjook, from Tjook's Flickr)

asks:

I am a foreigner and have been living in China for over three years now. I have gone through several boyfriends and relationships, all in varying degrees of intensity and situations. But each one shared something in common. Each one was a Westerner. I have always had a dislike for Asian men.

A couple months ago I met a young Chinese man that changed all that. From the first time I met him I was strangely attracted to him. As he was one of my students I met him regularly and got to know all about him through our many classes on an intermediate English level. Since this was a class of all young men, they often liked to talk about relationships, girlfriends, dating, etc. I thought I understood Chinese, but I never saw this side of China before. The more I got to know him the more I felt this “strange attraction” to this young Chinese man. He was strong, manly, assertive in an attractive sort of way, had opinions, was smart, etc. Suddenly I felt myself looking around and thinking, “There are so many handsome men here!” There arose in me feelings towards Chinese men I had never before experienced. I suddenly thought they were handsome, sexy and attractive. I began researching on the internet and found your blog and read about other women’s experiences.

Since that class ended I’ve been getting to know this young man. We spend time together every weekend. He’s always very cordial, offers to take my purse, pays for meals out, drinks, go to a park and spend hours talking together, etc. and I feel so comfortable talking, laughing and spending time with him. Originally our contact began for him to improve his English and I my Chinese, but I don’t know the real reason really. He has a girlfriend, who lives in another city and he often complains about her and about Chinese girls in general and some of their customs, (ie. making their boyfriend shop all day with them, carry their purse, throwing fits, etc.). In these ways, I, as a westerner, am very different from Chinese girls and I feel like he really enjoys my company and he always says we are friends.

My question is this, “Am I wasting my time? Is there any sort of future (as in gf/bf) or might he have feelings for me?” I have read about taking it slow and the oft’ times painfully dragged out process that can be with an Asian man, but I’m wondering if it would do any harm to at least be honest with him about this. Would it hurt for me to ask him if he likes me or if he wants to date a Western girl (me)? I just don’t know if it’s him being shy or that he thinks I would never be attracted to him in that way that makes it stall or if he truly just wants us to be “friends”. In my culture I would just be upfront about this with a guy, but I’m afraid of offending him or having him say something just to “please me” since Chinese have a hard time with being upfront about their personal feelings. I’m very new to this and dating any sort of Asians in general so please help me with your advice. Thank you! Continue reading “Ask the Yangxifu: The Guy Who Changed Her Mind About Dating Chinese Men”

Ask the Yangxifu: What Western Women Think of Shorter Men

Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes
Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise (photo by candykirby)

Anonymous Chinese Guy asks:

I have, in the past, been interested in getting to know and dating some western women, but I understand that quite a few may view my height as a glaring weakness. Can you give any insight on how important western women (or even foreign women in general) view height? Continue reading “Ask the Yangxifu: What Western Women Think of Shorter Men”

Ask the Yangxifu: On Placing Ads To Find Western Women

Australia Post ad
(Image from iVinay's Flickr)

Over the past few months, I’ve gotten a number of e-mails from Chinese men in China that go like this:

I want to find Western women to date, but I’m too busy and don’t really have the time/resources to go out and meet them like you suggested. I was thinking about placing an advertisement online to find myself a yangxifu. What do you think?

I’m all for anyone taking a step towards love, even if it means placing an ad online in an expat magazine like the Beijinger. But should you rely on ads alone to find the yangxifu of your dreams? Not unless you’re dreaming. Continue reading “Ask the Yangxifu: On Placing Ads To Find Western Women”

Why I Write About “Forbidden” Love in China

Forbidden entry sign
(photo by ilco)

Forbidden. That’s what someone once called my writing back in 2004 when I started sharing my relationships with Chinese men. It’s not as if I put some adult-store-version of my life out there, complete with salacious descriptions that would have everyone heading for a cold shower. Sex never even came up.

No, I just happened to write about my former Chinese boyfriends.

I broke with Chinese tradition, where you keep your past loves buried away in your heart (to be sure, I never used their actual names and changed some of their details, though everything I shared was essentially true). That comment shook me then — I never realized I crossed a cultural line in my writing. If my old files from that time are any measure — I steered clear of intimate topics for years — the comment impacted me in ways I didn’t even realize. Continue reading “Why I Write About “Forbidden” Love in China”

Ask the Yangxifu: More On Finding Western Women to Date in China

Three women in a club
A Chinese man in Guangzhou wonders, can he ever find another Western woman to love in China? (Photo by Jim Reilly)

Ken asks:

I went over to New York when I was 20 years old and I finished my BA and my MBA there. I also worked there for about one year before I decided it was time to come back to China with my classmate/girlfriend then who was from New York. I was able to make the decision of coming back to China because my girlfriend was very supportive of this decision, which, to be very honest, was really to my surprise because she never had been outside of the States except for going to Canada that one time. Continue reading “Ask the Yangxifu: More On Finding Western Women to Date in China”