Fu Man “Who?” – Understanding The Complex Emotions Of Being An Asian-American Man

In a lot of ways our computers, video games, and homework have all been a great distraction for us Asian Men. A porcelain tub we lean back in with eyes closed, dunking our cold and pale bodies as the water blurs our vision and capsizes our eardrums till we can’t hear or see the outside world’s bullshit. We log in, check out, and let all the voices of society silence themselves to sleep while we level up our way to emotional bliss. We escape the pain.

Asian guys are nerds who stay on the computer all the time.

AngryAsianMan-Laptop

I hate watching American sitcoms, they so rarely reflect the families us Asians grew up with. Most of us Whiz Kids were crafted in a factory that churned out star children; PhD machines who studied and calculated their way to an American dream that wasn’t even ours, but our parents’. It isn’t the dream we wanted but we still did it. Robots aren’t trained to think or decide for themselves. If you aren’t taught to value your own opinions and aspirations then what use is there in having feelings of your own? Feelings get you in trouble because feelings get in the way of The American Dram. You can’t do that.

My Asian ex-boyfriend never opened up to me.

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Asian American boys: the bastards of America. Our fathers are off on different shores in distant countries with wives and kids we never met, or up to their necks in TsingTao till their eyes turn red, or buried under a hundred other “gook” bodies that litter the the soils of the Korean and Vietnam War. So you take these fatherless children and expect them to become men yet you deny them the opportunity to see any Asian father figure on the T.V screen they’re cemented in front of. The screens they spend hours and hours in front of. To America it’s a mirror but to us it’s a screen that doesn’t look back. We keep looking but we still can’t find ourselves.

Why are Asian guys so weak and timid? They need to man up!

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What happens inside those tiny glowing screens? Like the sight of a thousand Chinese railroad workers hammering a steel nail into the ground the American message is simple and repeated over and over through caricatures and violent acts of racism: your father was no man, you are no man, and your kids will never be a man. Go home, little boy. You do not belong in the land of giants. Your voice does not matter because your voice isn’t loud enough.

This Asian guy I like won’t tell me if he likes me back. Why isn’t he speaking to me?

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The problem with being an Asian American Man is that you are stuck at a fork in the road but you’ve been told to stay still: while America tugs on your sense of identity and masculinity you want to push back and voice your concerns. But how do you teach a group of men to SPEAK UP when they were raised to politely raise their hands? How do you untangle these robot wires and let these men feel? We may ace and code our way to a middle-class but given the open floor beneath our feet where no one is willing to see us– not Asian women, not other men, not even Asians from Asia – what difference does it make what we think? It’s like we’re still on that railroad pounding away at the ground. This is our life.

I give up on Asian Men. 

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Asian Men are a complex and intricate group of individuals. Our own mental and emotional struggles are folded under our pillow by our unrelenting desire to succeed. To prove our worth to our parents that we can do it. That their efforts to cross those seas were not in vain. Dad, I can do it. Mom, I’ll make you proud. But when the the duty of your family pulls us to the right, the hunger to find our own identity yanks to the left, societal pressure drags us down, and the women who love us want us to stand up, we are bound to rip apart like a paper doll being fed into a room with paper shredders on all four walls.

I don’t understand Asian Men.

And you never will…

Because we don’t understand either.

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The Asian “I Love You”: When His ‘I Love You’ Is Different From Yours

I guess you could call me lucky.

DAT HAIR GAME DOE

DAT HAIR GAME DOE

Growing up, I was an incredibly tame yet cheerful child. I’m willing to wager that this was due to my close bond with my Mom. Even to this day, she’ll ask me to sit on her lap like some 160 lb man-child while she recollects stories from my childhood. The struggles we went through when our family immigrated and what a blessing I was in her life. Most importantly, she said and still says: I love you – and I’ll say it back.

I guess you could call me lucky because when you compare my warm upbringing to the one other Asian Americans and Asians experienced, like a debate over which is better, Pho or Ramen, the two are total opposites:

You could brush it off and say, well, that’s the culture! They say I love you in different ways! True. Very true. But when you’re an Asian American man dating interracially and your wife is, say, African American or Latina American and they are used to expressing their appreciation and love in a most verbose way, using carefully chosen words to convey their emotions, where does the Asian “I love you” factor into it all? What happens when verbal and non-verbal “I love you’s” collide?

"What the hell, man! Why didn't she swoon over my cover of Maxwell? I KNEW I should have given the final rose to the Black chick with the natural hair!!"

“What the hell, man! Why didn’t she swoon over my cover of Maxwell? I KNEW I should have given the final rose to the Black chick with the natural hair!!”

Each and every one of us regardless of culture or gender all possess a unique set of love languages: ways that we feel love. For many Asian cultures, love is shown through gifts and actions. That’s probably why the parents of your Asian boyfriend of 2 years haven’t said they love you but they always bring over food or give you plastic bags filled free slippers or apples. Random gestures that, in your western mind, may mean nothing but, to them, mean everything.

"Bai Li, I bought this Physics book at the garage sale so you can prepare for 3rd grade! WHAT? Not Interested?! YOU DON'T LOVE ME!!!"

“Bai Li, I bought this Physics book at the garage sale so you can prepare for 3rd grade! WHAT? Not Interested?! YOU DON’T LOVE ME!!!”

On the opposite end of the spectrum is Western love: it’s shown through words and touch. Peek your head into any sleezy nightclub and you’ll definitely see guys wording and touching their way into a girl’s heart via “let me touch your boobs.” See where things get complicated? See why interracial dating in the AMXF landscape can be so difficult? The way a person demonstrates love is often the method they expect to see it returned. A kiss for a kiss, not a kiss for a bag of persimmons.

So tonight, ladies and gentleman, when you go to bed next to your Asian boyfriend or Latina American girlfriend, make sure you show your love in a way they can understand. Be it a foot rub, a surprise cookie from Ms. Fields, whispers of sweet nothings into their ear, or a gentle kiss on the cheek. And maybe then they’ll close their eyes, kiss you back and think to themselves…

“How did I get so lucky?”

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K-Pop Changed My Life: How K-Pop Taught Me How To Be Asian American

In many ways, K-Pop has changed my life.

HOW

You see, K-Pop isn’t just a plate of abs that look like inverted ice cube trays or ridiculously stylish dudes singing god knows what. To me, it means more. To us, the Asian American community, it means much, much more. The arrival of K-Pop on American shores serves as a watershed moment in which Asian Americans were finally able to look down into a puddle of airbrushed idols and superstars and ask themselves…

Is that… me? Is that what I look like? Is that… who I really am?

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Growing up I never had Asian action figures. Mine were always beefy White men with marble sized eyes and noses shaped like arrowheads. I idolized the manliness of Don Draper from Mad Men and wished I were as tall and beautiful as Adam Levine. But I never thought about it from a racial point of view. I didn’t have to question it because I just accepted it. Because that was just what men looked like. That is what the hero looked like. That is what a masculine, sexy man did: he rappelled down a building, all 6 foot 2 of himself, and saved the day with his super White self. And I loved it.

So when K-Pop came around I was confused. I wasn’t used to seeing Asian people in such high production videos and films. I wasn’t used to them taking off their shirt, or kissing other women, or acting sexy. That’s not an Asian Guy! Where’s the Kung-Fu? Where’s his calculator? He’s the sidekick of some taller White guy – where that guy? Is this a mistake? It must be a mistake! To see nothing but effeminate Asian Men growing up was quite damaging. I saw it all and wondered if I was destined to be half a man, but what made it worse was the rest of the country seemed to agree.

AGA

It’s funny. If you look at this blog and go back far enough, you will arrive at a place where there are no photos of Asian Men or K-Pop stars. You know why? That’s before I knew about K-Pop. And why did that suddenly change to a bright splash of yellow? Simple: When I discovered K-Pop and realized the endless supply of people who looked like me, in non-stereotypical ways, with emotions and expressions and styles that represented who I was, I made a promise to use nothing but Asian Men in my photos. I don’t plan on going back either.

"Go back? BISHHH, SWERVE!"

“Go back? BISHHH, SWERVE!”

In all honesty, I actually dislike most K-Pop music. Not because of something inherent about Korean Pop, but I just hate most Pop in general. I’m more of a Jazz Man. Nevertheless, I will be forever grateful for those dancing and singing machines half-way around the world because for the first time in my life, they made me feel like I was something more. More than just a side-kick, more than just an owner of a Dry Cleaners, more than just a caricature. I can be the hero who rappels down the building, all 5 foot 7 (and a half!) of myself to save my girlfriend from a sneezing cold or my career from spiraling into an expected heap of Nursing, Engineering, or Accounting.

K-Pop changed my life, and the lives of many Asian Americans, not because it gave us a new standard, a new identity to aspire to…

K-Pop changed our lives because it wiped the white tile clean, painted it yellow, and said, “here… now it’s your turn.”

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This Is Why You’re Single: “I Can’t Date Someone Outside My Culture – They Won’t Understand Me!”

You know that strange sixth sense you get when you can feel all the eyes in a room watching you? Like a giant spider peering into your soul, the room grows silent and all you can hear are a thousand eyeballs moving as you think to yourself, “goddamn, what the HELL are you all looking at?!” I knew I was the only Filipino in that Vietnamese restaurant, but damn, did I look that out of place? Then I realized something: they weren’t looking at me – they were looking at my girlfriend…

My Black girlfriend.

But I’ll get back to that story in just a minute…

One of the laziest excuses I hear from people uninterested in interracial relationships is their need to satisfy their culture. “How can I date a non-Indian man? What about my culture? How will he like my food?” “But, I’m a Black woman! There are things that only a Black man can understand about being Black and I need that in my Black life! How the hell can an Asian man understand what I’ve been through?!” “Aye dios mio! Yo soy Mexicana! Esta chino? PORQUE, NO!”

I get it. I really do. You value your heritage and your connection with your culture is so tight not even a TSA agent with a latex glove and a bottle of Astroglide can get through. You know your religion and interests are important so you feel like dating someone of the same background will be easy. A stress free relationship where you don’t have to explain why you do the things you do to a person who, in your mind, simply cannot understand “your people.”

“OMG like how can I date a guy who won’t understand my passion for corny Bollywood films? I AM NOT WATCHING IT WITH SUBTITLES!!”

But you’re wrong.

Since when have ANY of your damn relationships been easy? Most of the shittiest relationships I’ve been with were Asian women themselves who I shared the exact same culture and heritage with. The problem with the culture argument is that it assumes all relationship problems exist for culture reasons when truthfully, it’s almost always a personal issue.

Many moons ago I dated a Filipino girl who had a Filipino mom, Japanese dad, she ate rice and liked listening to R&B slow jams – basically your standard Asian girl. Unfortunately, she cheated on me and my 14 year old self was overly jealous. It was an epically disastrous relationship equivalent to Satan shitting on the Hindenburg just as it fell from the sky. But guess what? All of those reasons had nothing to do with our culture, it had everything to do with her infidelity and my insecurity.

“It’s OVER, Tyler! I don’t care if you slept with my grandmother! How could you NOT like the Red Sox and Mayonnaise as much as I do?!”

Now ask yourself this: does the success of a relationship truly hinge on whether or not your boyfriend likes Salsa dancing? Will your relationship crumble if he doesn’t know how to properly roll a Pierogi and shop for deli meats for your Russian family? Is he less of a man because he can’t fully understand the struggles of being a Black woman in modern society? Will you care for and love him less because he can’t speak your native language?

No.

“I’m sorry, ridiculously chiseled and immaculately styled Asian Man that is making me hot and heavy, I can’t date a man that hasn’t even attended a single Barmitzvah! GO AWAY, COMMIE!”

Believe it or not, culture can be taught. We as humans can learn to adopt and learn to understand and learn how to cook the way your grandmother does. Those are things you can teach a man. But honesty, loyalty, a sense of humor, a taste for an unexpected road trip or a passion for corny scary movies? THAT is something you cannot teach. Those are the beliefs that make your relationship great. Those are the true values that erect the foundation for a healthy love that lasts. If you can find those key qualities in a man and he just so happens to be Asian, or Black, or Sri Lankan, why not go for it? Why let that ONE thing get in the way of an amazing relationship?

When I sat in that Vietnamese restaurant earlier today, with all eyes on my girlfriend as she masterfully rolled and ate Banh Xeo with all the veggies and fish sauce intact, I completely forgot that she was Black. All I cared about was, damn, my baby got skills. She may not look Asian or have experienced life as an Asian, but she’s willing to understand my life and my interests while also teaching me hers. Because at the end of the day I didn’t choose her for her culture or heritage, I chose her for her heart, her mind, and our shared love affair for trying something new.

Culture does not define you – you define it.

 

Asian Culture Tips For Non-Asian Girls: How To Do The Asian Head Bow

I get a lot of fan mail from my blog readers about how much they love Asian culture. They talk about how much of the Korean language they’re learning in class, and how good they are at chopsticks. Up front I congratulate them but deep down in the center of my cold Asian heart — where my future Tiger Father will soon flourish — I want to *politely and gently* slap them with all my might.

“Go away. I’m allergic to Weeaboos”

You see, Asian culture really isn’t that difficult to understand. Whether you’re a pro at it or you can’t tell the difference between Kimchi and Toyota, I have a handful of easy tips to place into your non-Asian bag of tricks. First things first…

Learn The Asian Head Bow!

Obama rockin’ the Asian head bow like a champ.

You know how in movies whenever an Asian businessman meets an American businessman for the first time there’s always that awkward handshake scene? Yea, don’t even try to bow to your hot Asian date. Why? First off, most younger Asian guys don’t even do that kind of bow and second, it would come off as racist if you do it to him.

How It’s Done:

In most cases, 15 degrees is perfect. Anything more and you better be meeting the president of Taiwan or Kim Jong Un.

1. Position your body like you’re ready to bow down

2. Bend from your neck/upper chest — kinda like you’re nodding your head.

3. Bend down only about 15-20 degrees.

4. You can maintain eye contact while bowing down if you want. If not, no biggie.

 

Why You Should Do It:

“I like my girls curvy, tan skinned, and raised to respect their elders!”

The Asian head bow is something that no one has ever instructed me to do, I just do it because I see other Asians do it. It’s basically a casual way of saying, “I acknowledge you and I respect you” — or whatever kinda of zen bullshit you wanna come up with. It’s essentially the non-verbal equivalent of saying thank you and can be used towards anyone.

When To Do It/To Whom:

If all else fails and you can’t score with your Asian date, bowing to the cute Asian waiter might catch his attention! YOU NEVER KNOW!!

Whenever you’re engaging in some sort of business transaction: paying the cashier at the bookstore, giving your credit card to your waitress, or thanking the Sushi Chef after you leave the restaurant, make it a point to do the head bow. It doesn’t have to be some grandiose spectacle that requires precise timing and background music — you just do it. It’s quick and simple, much like a head-nod or a thumbs up. You especially do this towards older Asian people.

 

How You Can F*ck It Up:

lulz

Timing, intensity, and location are key. You can’t bow too slowly or else you’ll look like you’re seeking attention, nor can you bow too low or you’ll just look like those awkward Americans who doesn’t know jack shit about Asian culture. Additionally, you shouldn’t just do it any damn time you like or you might run the risk of coming off socially awkward.

It should merely be the cherry on top — not the entire goddamn ice cream itself. So relax… it’s not that difficult.

AMBW Artists: My Interview with AMBW Romance Writer Nairobi K.

Blog Readers, meet Nairobi K. Nairobi, Readers. 

Now that we’ve gotten through the cheesy introduction, let’s get into it!

Ranier M: Congratulations on your release of “A Rose in the Desert”! Could you tell our readers what this is about?

Nairobi K: A Desert Rose: Snapshot Memories is my debut contribution to AMBW lit. It’s a compilation of short stories illustrating blasian love in a way that is intimate, sensual, unforced, and honest. There is no particular plot, but it was written with the intent that the reader can step into the role of the characters and really experience the moment as it happens in a series of captured memories that leave their imprint long after the moment has passed.

Ranier M:  I love the crafting of Interracial relationships in the snapshots. It doesn’t feel forced and it plays out much like a real-life snapshot: organic and relatable. Were these Interracial pairings intentional or did it just “happen” naturally? Do you think their ethnicities impact the characters themselves?

 

Nairobi K: This is a really good question! As far as intentional pairings, it definitely was intentional simply because I wrote this specifically for the AMBW community. But the stylistic flow of A Desert Rose was inspired by the uninterrupted, organic flow of life. As the saying goes, “Shit happens” and when it does, you wanna capture the beauty of that moment. I didn’t wanna craft a whole bunch of unbelievable interactions as I’ve seen with many other AMBW books that cater to the fantasy of meeting a famous Asian pop star.

As far as the ethnicities having an impact on the character, I love this question and I will say yes. Yes, because it effects how they appeal to each other in a physical way. Absent of any fetishes, the attraction to the physical features, acknowledging the beauty in the complexion, the hair texture, and facial structure is significant because that’s part of the sensuality, the romance, the gravitational force that pulls two equal and opposite forces together. That is something that can only be highlighted with an obvious difference in ethnicity. And yes, because if you look at it from the perspective of someone who is attracted to some one who is completely opposite of them culturally, linguistically, and of course physically, falling in love with that person opens up entirely new potential to not only get to know that person, but get to know love through something like a culture shock. And that can be a beautiful thing.

“Quite like the yin and yang, I think the unity of Asian men and Black women complement each other in a unique way and that’s what I hope to convey in these snapshot memories.”

Ranier M: Okay, let’s talk about the obvious: there’s a clear theme of intimacy and sex within these stories but it’s done in such a tasteful, non-cliche way. We feel like we’re peering into a peep hole of true romanticism that movies and music seem to forget. How did you come up with this concept? Were you in a particular part of your life that influenced this theme? Or was there a certain someone fueling this fire?

 

Nairobi K: You know, I’ve read a few interviews of authors and I don’t recall any of the questions being this damn good. I swear I really had to take a whole day to think about this. Hahaha, but that’s also because I’ve been writing since I was in 7th grade and my style has always been on the level of subtle sensuality, so I never actually had to force this style because it just came naturally.

“I like sexy, but I can’t stand it when authors just throw it in your face and leave nothing up to the imagination.”

I write exactly what I would be interested in reading and since I’m very particular about style and expression when it comes to romance, I decided to take matters into my own hands. I got tired of the cliché and predictable formulas of romance. I guess you could compare my writing style to foreplay because that’s where all the romance is. I get the readers all riled up before it actually happens so when it actually does, it’s like “oh God yes.” Ahahaha

Ranier M: There’s a clear lack of romantic interactions between Black Women and Asian Men in movies, music and television. Is it the same in the literary world? Are you influenced by any current artists or writers? If so, who and if not, what does motivate you to write about something no one else is doing?

Nairobi K: Exactly! There is a clear lack of blasian love in movies, music, and television. This is exactly what frustrates me! We all know it’s at the point where we’re gonna have to start kicking faces in to get ourselves represented in the media and literary world. But it’s one thing to get that representation individually; it’s a whole other beast to see us represented together as a power couple. And because AMBW is still so unique despite the growing online community, we can’t say they don’t wanna see it. I think they just don’t know that it exists. I still get looks of surprise when I’m getting all lovey with my fiancé in public. The stereotypes that people have about black women and Asian men just doesn’t seem to be able to fit in a whole new paradigm of love between two individuals who have been placed on the bottom of society’s most desired list (and who gives a damn about that list, I say). So I decided I would contribute to the brave few authors who have made the AMBW genre more accessible.

 

Before I wrote this, I literally typed into amazon the keyword “ambw” and was excited to find that there was a handful of books on there. I checked out the competition, looked at a few covers to get an idea of what the covers looked like and read the previews on the books. Now this is not to knock any of the hard working authors who cater specifically to the ambw community, but I was shocked at how some of the covers were actually perpetuating stereotypes. And here I thought the whole goal was to make these relationships seem just as normal as the more common black/white interracial relationships. But I found that by both the cover and the short book previews that the characters were still glaringly superficial and at times upholding the stereotypes and fetishes believed about both black women and Asian men individually. So I was very disappointed by much of what I saw, although there were definitely some in there that had great covers and were very good. So you know what I did? I took a short cut! I used my fiancé as the cover model for A Desert Rose.

Sneaky, I know. But I’m also very particular about the imagery because I know very well that covers are what make people actually stop and look. But again, I went for that subtle sexy look with the lights low and the orange glow and….im getting carried away hahahah. But since I had written A Desert Rose before even checking out other books in the genre, once I actually saw what was on the market I realized already that A Desert Rose was taking a unique approach and that really motivated me because I would like to inspire new authors like myself not to be afraid to write an unconventional love story that is natural and relatable.

Ranier M: I truly admire the fact that you don’t fetishize the AMBW relationship and you accurately portray them as normal, sexual and relatable. Do you have any advice for our readers that might be “virgins” to the interracial dating/AMBW world?

Nairobi K: Well I think the approach is quite common sense. Much of the attraction to Asian guys comes from the exposure to their culture and the most popular way is through things like anime, manga, music, and dramas. I’m a fan of all of these, and I may only be twenty one, but dammit I like to consider myself mature and I will not for the life of me try to speak to any and every Asian guy in Japanese or Korean (because those are the main two). In fact, my fiance is often mistaken for Korean or Japanese and he’s neither. The fact that his native languages are both Russian and Kazakh blows people’s mind and turns them in circles. He has had girls melt over him in Japanese and he looks at them like they have no eyebrows. If I hadn’t learned that same lesson early, I’m sure we would not be together. He just doesn’t tolerate such ignorance.

 

“In fact I have a friend who is totally borderline obsessed with Asian men and literally will not consider any other guy who isn’t Asian. Particularly Korean or Japanese, which is also something that really annoys the hell out of me with AMBW virgins. Sometimes they can see the crazed obsession in the eyes and steer clear (smart guys).”

The main expectation is for every Asian guy that crosses their path to be either Korean or Japanese and that seriously needs to stop. I think that is a huge reason some of these relationships don’t work; because of the stereotypes and expectations. And speaking to the ladies, if the guy is neither Korean nor Japanese and you come at him with that bull, you ruined ALL your chances. And frankly that’s just not the way to approach it. In my humble opinion, love comes first and ethnicity is secondary. You shouldn’t categorize Asian men and cross off men from the countries you wouldn’t date. You close off a lot of potential. When you fall in love, it should be that kind of love that just couldn’t explain itself. When people ask you why you like each other, don’t even mention “because she’s black” or “because he’s Asian”. Love doesn’t need cliché or shallow explanations. Too much of that happens in interracial relationships. Plain and simple, let it happen naturally. Keep it honest and sensual, natural and sexy.

For any readers that have any more questions or just want to contact me, you can email me at nairobi_k13@yahoo.com I’d be happy to hear from you! Thanks Ranier for the awesome interview and keep up with the amazing blog. I got you book marked 😀

For a copy of “Desert Rose: Snapshot Memories” buy it now on Amazon!

Asian Guy Confessions: I F*CKING LOVE My Black Girlfriend’s Natural Hair!!!

Oh, me from 2010. So young, so inexperienced yet so full of optimism.

I remember three years ago I wrote a blog called “Asian guy speaks: I think Black Women have Sexy Hair!” which became an instant hit. Black women from all over the internet came flooding my way to thank me for speaking my mind and being so candid about my feelings towards their natural hair. So what do I think now, now that I actually am with a Black woman who has natural hair? Are my opinions still the same or do I have any hidden secrets woven in between?

My Natural Haired Goddess

LOOK AT HER GORGEOUS HAIR! Now look at mine! Don’t our hairstyles make a cute couple? HELLL YEAA THEY DO!

This is my extraordinarily gorgeous girlfriend, Livi.

Livi has been all natural for most of her life and as her boyfriend I couldn’t be happier. I love the way her hair catches the light in the sun, the fruity smell from the products that she uses (well, most of the products at least) and I especially adore the variety of styles that she manages to pull off. You see, some guys don’t have the patience for the whole ‘girls spending hours and hours on their hair’ kind of thing. However, I’m an Asian guy who actually cares about not looking like William Hung so I devote my sweet minutes to curing and crafting my head of hair. I blow dry it, comb it, add product, style it more, add more product then top it off with hair spray. In many ways, Livi can actually be faster at doing her hair than me — which she teases me about.

Unlike me and my sacred hairdo ritual before school, Livi spends most of her time preparing her hair the night before. Jojoba oil this, argan oil that and a host of creams and butters that would make Paula Deen salivate. Sometimes it can get a bit messy with her products all over the counter but it’s not a big deal, I’m used to it. She truly does spend a good amount of time on her hair but I get it — natural hair is far more high maintenance than Asian hair and I actually respect the fact that she knows what she’s doing. Living with a natural haired woman might seem like it would eat up the time you share together but in reality, it’s no more than an hour each day.

Touching, Feeling And Playing With Her Hair

Livi enjoying a cup of “expensively rich and decadent” hot tea from IKEA.

Prior to dating Livi I was under the impression that I would be put into a headlock had I touched or THOUGHT ABOUT TOUCHING a Black woman’s hair. Hey, that’s cool! Back when I had Asian spikes, if you so much as grazed a single spike by accident, LORD HELP YOU because I would have dragon punched your spleen out. But with Livi, she made it clear from the beginning that she didn’t mind me touching her hair. Hell, I could even play with it if I wanted.

I‘d like to think I’m not alone on this but honest to god, I LOVE playing with my girlfriend’s natural hair. I love how soft her hair feels, the way the curls slide through my fingers tugging softly at my fingertips and the sensation I get from it. When we’re watching T.V together on the couch I’ll occasionally turn her back towards me and massage her head with my fingers, making her neck tingle as her shoulders relax and drop. This, to me, is incredibly sexy and is even relaxing for myself.

“Baby, your kitchens are like a lily pad floating on an ocean of happiness on a river bank…err…something like that…”

Though, my favorite thing to do is play with her kitchens. Apparently, kitchens are the smaller hairs on the very back of a person’s natural head that tend to grow in random directions, much like a cowlick, and are often shorter or more curly than the rest. This is my playground. It’s like I’m a child again as I curl, uncurl and even smell the damn thing. Kitchens are damn cute and curse you if you ever try to make them go away! LEAVE THE KITCHENS ALONE, DAMMIT!

The Straightening Of The Hair

It’s an unfortunate reality that the American job market is biased against Black Women. Livi has been on a number of job interviews and although it isn’t scientifically tested, we’ve noticed that most of the interviews that went well were when her hair was straight while the not-so-stellar interviews happened when she wasn’t. Now, we can debate the validity of straight hair vs natural in a job interview but when you’re trying to find a new job to pay for the things you need, hell, you’ll do anything to give yourself that edge even if it means frying your hair under a flat iron (no, she doesn’t relax it — thank god.)

It makes me sad that she has to straighten those beautiful curls and when she does, I feel like a part of her physical identity is temporarily removed and a more “family friendly” and “socially accepted” version is replaced. I know it’s still my girlfriend but I just can’t help seeing it a bit differently. It saddens me even more knowing that deep down, she doesn’t want to do it either.

On her 21st Birthday we went to Bouchon, a Michelin starred restaurant just north of Napa Valley.

On the other hand, there are moments when stylistically, she wants to straighten her hair. Moments when she’s going for a certain look — maybe it’s 60’s themed or perhaps she wants to sweep it to the side — and in those cases we’re not so sad. I still prefer her natural hair but luckily, she actually styles her hair damn well so I’m always a fan.

My Love And Hate Relationship With “The Bonnet”

Shower cap or bonnet? THE WORLD WILL NEVER KNOW!…. nah, jk, that’s a bonnet.

The Bonnet. Most call it a bonnet, I call it: a chef’s hat, an ice cream cone or a Princess Leia. The first time I saw her wear one I was like, “Waddahayl? Why do you have a shower cap on?” to which she replied, “It’s a bonnet! Black girls wear it to bed to protect their hair.” And when she says she wears it to bed I’m saying she wears it to bed EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT. Some days I think it looks like a silly little hat, other days it looks like a cute cupcake head and other nights, as in, those nights I feel a bit more strongly.

My girlfriend has gorgeous hair and seeing it tussle and move is a turn-on. So when we’re getting intimate, the last thing I want on my mind is a damn ice cream cone let alone Princess Leia with an ice cream cone on her head. It’s too damn distracting! Worse yet, bonnets seem to come in only three colors: black, hot pink and some ugly ass butterscotch color. How can I focus on you when I’m starting to think about some damn sweets?! Although, the most important reason why I dislike bonnets during these moments is that to me, bonnets signify that you’re done for the day and that you’re sleepy. So there’s competing messages between the actions being made and the bonnets being worn — catch my drift?

So yea, tip of the day: bonnets are cool except during intimate times.

But THIS is okay during intimate moments :oD

Natural Hair Is Beautiful Because?

Natural hair isn’t beautiful on Livi because of the style or the texture or the even color — even though they are. To me, natural hair is beautiful on Livi because natural hair is… (brace yourself)… NATURALLY HOW HER HAIR LOOKS! It appears exactly as it should and despite being hard to maintain and moisturize and style, she does it. She cares for her hair and it is a symbol of who she is, what she is and how she wants to be seen. And yes, her hair texture is very different from other black women but according to Livi, her hair used to be more fro-like when she was younger before it became color damaged. So her hair is part of her identity and history and if it means that much to her, if it means spending hours taking care of it and wearing bonnets and applying tons of product then HELL YES, it means that much to me too.

You see, I don’t have anything against Black women who relax their hair, straighten or dye it, wear wigs, weaves or braid it, I have no problem at all because I GET IT. I get that society has a fucked up expectation of beauty that has been developed over the years and unfortunately, natural Black hair isn’t always a part of that ‘blonde and beautiful’ story. So when I see a Black woman with relaxed hair or a Black woman with a weave on, it makes me sad. It makes me sad knowing that she has to do that to herself. She has to change part of WHO SHE IS and what is a part of her own genetics in order to feel beautiful, to feel accepted and to feel like herself. It truly does make me sad.

I see it no differently than Jewish people who try to remove the bump on their nose, Asians who pay for double eyelid surgery, pale White people that spend hours tanning or dark skinned brothers and sisters that try to bleach their skin. Sure, these are all things that can make you feel better and less insecure but the question isn’t about, “does it make them feel confident?” but rather, “why do they feel insecure to begin with?” And in my eyes, no one should have to feel like who they truly are and how they are born is anything less than perfect — especially Black women struggling with accepting their natural hair.

So to the 2010 version of myself, I congratulate you for writing that awesome blog and (hopefully) leading the way to more Asian guys falling MADLY IN LOVE with Black women and their natural hair. As for the 2013 version of myself, the one head-over-heels for a beautiful Black woman with luscious, delicious, beautiful, cute, sexy and perfect hair? What lesson should I give to myself? Well.. perhaps I’ll save my words of wisdom till Livi and I have cute little Blasian kids and I’m the one hunched over the couch combing my son or daughters hair as I cheerfully play with their kitchens.

After uploading an image of myself and Livi to this website, the site generated an approximation of what our future child “might” look like. I KINDA see it, yea?