Sex Drive: Race, Sex, and Power Struggles

xiJkrHypek4f1ut6woDorpEso1_400Yesterday, two of my friends and I were discussing bedroom power struggles and how they relate to race and stereotypes. It seems that, for the three of us, we react to the stereotypes that society has placed on us, by exhibiting the opposite behavior, even in bed.
One of my friends in this discussion is Asian and bisexual, although I believe she has been exclusively with women for quite some time now. She said first became interested in women after she began to “top” men. In this case, she was referring not only to being on top of her men during vaginal intercourse, but also, and not limited to, strapping on a dildo and having anal sex with her dudes as well. More interesting than how she began sleeping with women is where her desire to top her guys comes from. The stereotype that Asian women are submissive and wish to be dominated and are easy to please in bed is in a large part the motivation for my friend’s acts of dominance over her men. Furthermore, she also chooses a position of dominance over the white women that she has sex with, unless she is very comfortable with her partner.

My other friend in the discussion is a straight, Jewish woman who tends to date men who are not Jewish. She also likes to have control in the bedroom. It seems to me that Jewish women aren’t given any real sexual identity in our society at all (which is almost as bad as being stereotyped, because it means they are being dismissed) and this might have something to do with her choice to be seductive. However, the stereotype of Jewish women being smothering and also obedient outside of the bedroom is strong (I confess that I’ve called my ex-boyfriend’s mother a “typical Jewish mom” before.). In order to fight against this, my friend tends to remain collected in her sexual encounters. She’s like a boardroom executive. She gets to say, when, where, how long, etc.


I am a Caribbean black woman and for the past few years I have been with mainly white men. I realized around when I was eighteen just how much black women are over-sexed in America, whether it is because we tend to have larger breasts and rounder hips and asses or because of that whole Jezebel rumor from back in the plantation days. Caribbean women are also often viewed as these near mystical creatures who can cast spells on men with the seductive movement of their hips and have their way with them. So unlike my two friends, I try to dispel my stereotypes by being submissive in bed. I don’t often take pleasure in ripping off my man’s clothes and pushing him down on the bed or pinning him up against a wall (although, I was able to enjoy that type of behavior a lot more in my most recent sexual encounters). Most of the times that I have taken control it’s been done from a position of being coy. On the other hand I love being held down, tied up and even slapped around.

I find it fascinating, that as women we carry the stereotypes placed on us into even the most animalistic of activities. I also think that in a compatible sexual relationship there should be no power struggle, just the continuous give and take of control. Lately I’ve learned that it’s exciting to tear of your man’s pants and have your way with him: it doesn’t mean that you’re a sex obsessed, whore. Furthermore, my submissive behavior may cause me to be viewed as a women who doesn’t have a mind of her own or as a boring lay, and I don’t want that to happen. It is nice to understand where my behavior comes from and I hope to seek more opportunities to have control or, rather, to share it.

Questions Ladies (and Gents):

Do you think that your bedroom behavior is a reaction to a stereotype placed on an aspect of your culture?

Do these stereotypes still exist if you are having sex with someone of the same cultural background as you?

What are stereotypes that generalize he bedroom behavior of men from different cultures?

Last 5 posts by Bobbi

  • regine

    people are who they are and experience sexuality in phases as they grow. it really has nothing to do with race and its about experience. minus the labels and the race and color and taboos- sex is sex. orgasms and inhibitions don’t come with a race, or a label, so why not just experience.

  • i have to disagree with regine on a point. yes our sexuality evolves as we grow, mature but everything we do, be it how we have sex, how we deal with authority, how we raise our kids, etc is influenced by our life experiences. that includes, among other things, our race, culture, and the stereotypes we have been exposed to. sometimes we are aware of the influence sometimes not.

    as for me personally, the only time i’ve felt i had to live up to the role of the hot & demanding caribbean woman with the crazy swivel hip action, were the few times i was with white men..they never said anything but i got the distinct feeling that i would disappoint them if didn’t run the show…with brothers i much prefer to dominated…hmmm…what does that really say about my issues with race & cultural stereotypes i wonder? i’ll have to think on that a bit….

  • Fa

    I am half Caribbean, but also Muslim so my bedroom behaviour (especially when I 1st became sexually active) is oftentimes driven by my religious rather than racial identity. Early on I would feel so guilty being with a man I wasn’t married to that it was almost as though I wasn’t participating in the sex which was less pleasurable and way more stressful. Now I’ve come to terms with it…I’m Muslim, not a virgin who has sex with non-Muslims. But that bit of guilt lingers. However, I’ve learned to not feel guilty in the heat of the moment- why ruin a good time I figure!

  • Maximus

    I’m a straight Black man and when I was a kid I was told by older men that when it comes to sex, I had to be dominant, I had to only fuck doggy style, never eat pussy, all types of wild shit. It all turned out to be complete bullshit, when dating a woman outside of my race I was open to sexually experimenting with different positions, public displays of affection and cunnilingus (which is my favorite)…all of which were taboo for hardcore black males to do. I’m happy I went to France that summer…believe me, a few women out there do too.

    Stereotypes are still there. I mean I’m no John Holmes but I’m no pee wee either but when intimate with very curvy black women the thought does cross my mind if I’m “big enough” but my experience and the fact I get very creative during the act, I take their passing out in a deep sleep afterward as the reassuring answer to my insecurities.

    I’m half Jamaican and Brazilian…I gets it in.

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