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“I hear that black women are good in bed”.
I must have heard that comment at least a thousand times in my life. I’m a black woman and I grew up in Switzerland. When I moved here, I was 9 years old. The first time a white man said those words to me, I was only 13.
I had been sent to buy hair products at Africana — the only black beauty store in the whole city of Geneva at the time. It was located at the entrance to the Red Light district. As an insecure teenager, I’d gone there dressed in baggy pants and my older brother’s beige oversized sweater. At the time, I wore conspicuously brown framed glasses whose thick correction lenses magnified my already large eyes. My hair was styled in a short Michael Jackson like jerry curl afro — here I digress, but the fro was quite fashionable at the time. I willfully dressed in such a way as to not attract any attention to myself whatsoever, yet older white men still propositioned me, salivating over the prospect of sex with a young black girl.
At first, I was frightened, for nights on end, I had nightmares of being chased and sexually assaulted by these men. I was traumatized. As I grew older, like most women, black, brown, or white women, I began to learn how to deal with men that openly harassed me on the street. What I noticed, however, is that white men, especially older white men thought that they were entitled to having a piece of me. It was like: “How dare you turn down my advances?” There was something innately perverse about how they wrongly assumed I belonged to them, available to them like in an all-you-can-eat buffet.
It took me a while, but I developed my self-confidence and became outspoken enough to turn down their unwanted proposals. And I’m still doing that today. One of the biggest threats for women of all colors in the world right now is sexually frustrated men who have been in lockdown for over a year. They are even more aggressive than ever — the few times I have come across a pack of older white men in the last year, they’ve been a lot more insistent in their overt propositioning — medical masks, social distancing, and all.
When I got to college, I became an object of curiosity yet again. Young white college boys away from home for the first time wanted to experiment with the only black girl in the dorm. I was in a long-distance relationship with my then-boyfriend Pascal, and the obsession of these college boys became quite tedious.
Long-distance relationships not being the best idea while in college, Pascal and I separated for a bit. The news spread like wildfire through the dorm and the suitors lined up — except that they weren’t like the romantic ones you’d find in fairy tale books — these were only interested in a sexual encounter. I was interested in meeting someone who loved me for me, not someone who wanted to try me out or collect me like a trophy.
Fast forward to the workplace, and here again, I was surprised to come across that curiosity yet again. The college boys had become grown men, and those who hadn’t slept with a black girl in college, or who had and wanted more, thought that work could be another opportunity to try one out. For me, company parties or business trips were like the Hunger Games where they hunted me down, focused on their almost fanatical obsession of wanting to bed a black girl — albeit a woman now.
Some may say that I should be happy that white men are interested in sleeping with me. If that’s what you think, you are clearly missing the point. We live in a society that sexually fetishizes black women — there are many other ethnicities that are fetishized too, but here I’ll only focus on black women because I can speak to this from my perspective.
What sexual fetishization does is dehumanize a particular group, by reducing their existence to that of a sexual object solely put on earth to gratify the needs of the fetishizer. Contrary to popular thinking, sexual fetishization is not about love, it is about power and control. And anyone seeking to control a black woman’s body — or anyone’s body for that matter, for the sole purpose of their own sexual gratification, isn’t normal. Needles to say, I’m not referring to sex between two consenting adults here.
I’ve heard white men say: “I sleep with black women, I can’t be racist”.
Having sex with a black woman or man for that matter doesn’t make you nonracist. In fact, in many cases, white men that collect sexual encounters with black women are some of the most abhorrent racists out there. You can read more about that in one of my other pieces: White Men And The Sexual Fetishization Of Black Women
In response to the question I asked at the start of this essay: “Is It True What They Say About Sex With Black Girls?”, my answer is: no one group of people can be lumped into a stereotype. While some black women are good in bed, others are not. And the same goes for white men and white women and every sexually active person in the world. Being good in bed isn’t linked to the color of one’s skin.
It’s time we dismantled these stereotypes about the sexual prowess of black women — we already have so many harmful stereotypes associated with us: that of being the angry black woman, the emotional black woman, the demanding black woman, the malicious black woman, the drama queen, or the diva — one less stereotype would make our lives much easier.
Thank you for reading my perspective.