Fucking exotic men is a pastime. Or rather, my hobby lives on the brink of fantasy. As I’ve only had the “pleasure” of four “exotic” men, it’s clear that my intellectual curiosity rarely transcends into bodily action. To be clear, I define exotic as non-American, but not necessarily in appearance. Physically, Americans are composed of many different hues, shapes, and sizes. Thus, my attraction to non-American men typically isn’t something that I can notice at pure glance. Nor is it something that I want to see off the bat. I like ambiguous ethnicities and nationalities, particularly when routed in the African Diaspora.
I tend to only date men of African descent. It’s not necessarily on purpose as I find non-black men handsome too. I just find myself sexually drawn to chocolate skin, especially when it lies on a non-American man. I am fascinated and acutely turned on by the “foreign” nature of these black men. Some could even argue that it’s a fetish or politically incorrect. Each individual has his or her “thing,” and black men with foreign accents, languages, and non-American nationalities are mine.
I like to hear them speak, whisper, and hum when we hump each other. I like to listen to their non-American stories of childhood and conversations with their relatives. It’s the pronunciation of certain words, the pride of foreign cultures, and natural tongue execution of foreign languages. All of these characteristics of non-American men teach me something in real time.
I dated my first “exotic” man by pure accident. By physical attributes, he resembled a stereotypical African-American man, as many black men of West African ancestry look alike. He also spoke with a New York accent, adding to the ambiguity of his ethnic background. Then, his mother called and Spanish began to pour from his mouth into the phone’s speaker. I chuckled as I realized that I hit my fantasy jackpot without intention.
“How do you know Spanish?”
“I was born in Colombia”
“Interesting. How do you self-identify? Black? Latino?”
I knew the two weren’t mutually exclusive, but I wanted to test him. He looked me square in the eyes, smiled, and one word rolled off his tongue.
We proceeded to kiss and our hips collided in his downtown office. I was intrigued, as he represented another extension and transformation of old African cultures. We’d talk race politics in Latin America and he’d become my Spanish sounding board. I was a student of the language, thus, he served as a stone for two birds. I’d mumble a wrong pronunciation and he’d correct it. We’d laugh, sex, and he’d top it off with stories about his young emigration from Colombia. As it was rough adjusting to American society, he found it more painful to witness his mother transform into a religious zealot to gain a sense of community in the United States. Almost ashamed, he confessed that he was raised a Jehovah’s Witness. I laughed as we both sat naked after basking in “sin.” I found it funny. After slave ships, plantations spread across the Americas, shifted cultural practices, and new religions, here we were, as a people, reuniting in New York City. The irony.
I cut off my black Colombian man for reasons that I cannot remember. Eventually, my libido felt suffocated, so I started dating this black Native-American man. The sex wasn’t up to par, so I squashed that. I became celibate for a few months, focused on school, and realized that my pent up sexual energy was making me grouchy. Thank God for concerned girlfriends. I was introduced to a potential new “man” that had a reputation for performing in the bedroom. Armed with condoms (I’m not crazy), I finally met this wannabe rapper that supposedly would not reaffirm my low tolerance for bad sex.
He pulled up to my college dorm in a BMW two-seater convertible, blasting his hip-hop mixtape. I could dig it half way. It was a compilation of dancehall and rap music, with a little original flavor. As we drove to his apartment with a plan to “get to know” each other, I began to learn more about his non-American upbringing. This time, my girl gave me a heads up about his exoticism. While one of his parents descended from Panama, he was born in the Bahamas. He definitely possessed the features of West African ancestry; however, he had the hair of a coolie man, if you looked closely. At 17, he moved to New York after saving his money for years. He worked a regular 9-5 job, but also focused on his music career and other related business ventures. At the time, I was very interested in public relations, marketing, and the Internet. Our sex typically turned into business conversations. He showed me his Myspace artist page, and I replied unimpressed since Facebook was taking over the world. After little convincing, he made a Facebook page, but struggled to understand the functionalities. Eventually, he learned over time.
“Your hustle is strong for an American princess.”
At the time, I was holding down two internships in the fashion industry and going to school full-time.
“I know about you NYU girls. I used to date a NYU girl. I have a thing for smart girls.”
I laughed because I knew I’d never date him seriously. It had little to do with class and education, as I respect work ethic and hustle over both. As a writer, I knew two artists dating could bring imbalance. I preferred to leave our relationship at the strictly physical level mixed with a little business, even if his random outbursts of Bahamian patois were entertaining. The next morning, he dropped me at my 8am French class, and after a handful of additional meet ups, I got bored and cut him off.
I actually was sitting naked on his computer chair when I discovered, decided, and submitted my application to study abroad in London. There was no point in continuing our sexual relationship any longer. I was leaving and needed to grow accustomed to not having his penis there. To this day, he never knew why I stopped answering his phone calls. Indeed, he knew that I also was dating other people while seeing him, so he probably placed the blame there. I enjoyed his stories of walking barefoot to school and working odd jobs in the Bahamas to eventually taste the American dream. It was another consequence of the Diaspora and our experience was another outcome.
Months from my 19th birthday, I moved to London. I almost remained celibate my entire trip, but then I met “him” and he trumped all of my “exotic man” experiences. Upon meeting him, I could tell he was of east African descent. His lineage was far more complicated, though. He was a German man of Eritrean descent, living in London as an engineering student. He spoke four or five languages, looked like Boris Kodjoe standing over six feet, and stared at me with brown eyes and glowing caramel skin.
Since I met him toward the end of my trip, we only got to have sex a few times, but I still remember the German that would slide out his mouth mixed with another Eritrean language that I couldn’t recognize. Until recently, he had the most talented tongue that I had ever experienced. That, combined with a built physical frame, thick penis, and high stamina, gave me some of the best memories of London. We talked American politics in broken English and, in return, he entertained my questions about black life in Germany. In American history books, German people were blue-eyed devils responsible for killing the Jews. For some strange reason, it never occurred to me that the Diaspora would reach Germany. His family had emigrated from Eritrea when he was young. Both of his parents also spoke Italian, as Italy had invaded and colonized Eritrea in the late 19th century. To be honest, I didn’t even know Eritrea existed. And here, my exotic sexcapades had brought another living consequence of history in my bed.
Once again naked, I sat this time in his computer chair, fascinated with all I had learned through books and my body as an extension of the classroom. Eager for more adventures and intellectual stimulation, I put in my application to study abroad in Spain. I wanted these experiences to continue. I was not ready to go home. Like my sentiments toward the wannabe rapper, I would’ve continued to “do” the German man if I wasn’t leaving. Actually, I might have even dated him seriously. I left though, kind of unannounced. I wanted our memories to linger without any sad emotions. What happened in Spain was completely opposite from what I expected. I truly was celibate for the entire time and learned about Spanish culture through other “people to people” experiences.
While I happily date American-born men, I still appreciate non-American accents, cultures, and foreign languages. Regardless of my attraction, I still recognize that each individual has a distinct personhood, self-definitions of nationality, or personal connection with American culture. “Americanness” can be layered with ethnic complexity and I welcome those conversations. The stories and badges of this nation simply are not “birth on the soil” equals “validity.”
Flipping the mirror on myself, I’m a brown skin, black American girl with a kinky Afro, decently round booty, and slim hips. I don’t consider myself exotic physically or intellectually within a black American context; however, I’m sure that “exotic” is part of my description whenever I leave the country. My American nationality becomes a qualifier, perhaps, along with my blackness. Yet, since ethnic exoticism is my fancy, it doesn’t bother me, so long as my multidimensionality is recognized. I may have a fetish for the exotic, but it’s rooted deeper than physical curiosity. It’s intellectual stimulation, even when it intersects with my sex drive. It’s one thing to read. It’s another to feel, physically and cerebrally. These men remind me of the deep dimensions of the African Diaspora and put a face to my intellectual interests.
Wherever we are, people of African descent will continue to meet, sex, love, and learn from each other. The reunion makes our historical experience bittersweet.
How do you feel about dating “exotic” men? Is the attraction politically incorrect or an innocent symptom of curiosity? Speak on it.