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?

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