On Being A Gateway Asian


J seemed nice. Not particularly my type, but a 25 year old who worked in advertising and wanted to take me for drinks all felt very Mad Men, so I thought, ‘fuck it, why not? Who doesn’t want their very own Don Draper affair, right?‘ He met me at the station with an umbrella – cute – and we walked to the local pub, chatting about my thesis on the way. The pub couldn’t have been further from Mad Men if it had tried, but I’m a student, a free drink is a free drink (and three free drinks I got).

J was from Oxford and had gone to Oxford. He was a middle class white boy who sounded like the cast of Made In Chelsea. I could not take him seriously, and had no issues telling him so:

Me: You do sound kind of twatish…

J: Oh, I’m actually really self-conscious about sounding like a twat. ‘Cause people don’t really like it, do they?

Me: Middle class white girls do.

J: I like that you’re not a posh English girl with a Biblical name. I find you incredibly attractive.

And then I knew.

Me: Do you have any, like, Asian friends? Black friends?


Me: Wow.

As an Indian girl, I have come to realise that the majority of men who get with me do so because I am Indian and that’s their thing. Sometimes personality comes into it, but if it’s casual, who really cares about personality, right? Boys don’t see an alright looking face, they see an alright looking Asian face. And there’s nothing wrong with that. People have types. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t predominantly attracted to white boys. It’s no great revelation that people are attracted to what’s different to them. It’s not taboo or politically incorrect to say that there’s little more different than different skin colours; physically, it makes a difference. It’s not racist and it’s not insensitive; it’s attraction. What I’m getting at is that the boys that I get with are usually already aware that they like Asian girls, and have already probably got with many. Never had I so knowingly dunked someone into the Asian pool.

So, as it often goes, we ended up back at his. Never had anyone paid me so much attention. You may be thinking, dear reader, ‘that sounds great! Let him shower you with praise and pleasure!’ But I was so acutely aware that I was so different for him, that I felt almost uncomfortable. He was obsessed with my breasts. And, trust me, I have known some hardcore boob men in my time, but this boy was on another level.

J: I love your nipples.

Me: ’cause you’ve never seen brown ones before.

J: You’re fucking gorgeous.

Me: No, I’m a novelty.

The words had left my mouth before I could stop them. He didn’t seem to mind, but again, I was acutely aware of it. I had never felt so naked and brown. Sex is a time when you shouldn’t be thinking anything other than, ‘fuck, this feels great‘. So it’s definitely not a time to be thinking, ‘fuck, I haven’t shaved, I’m not representing Asian women fairly‘. It then dawned on me that I’m barely a real representation of Asian women anyway. I’m light skinned to the point that men I’ve been with who do actually like Asian girls have told me I’m basically white, I have shit curly hair that will never look anything like a Bollywood heroine’s luscious locks, and I’m 5’8″, which is at least a good 5 inches taller than the majority of Asian women. I was the perfect gateway Asian; an easy toe-dip into tepid waters before eventual submersion into the brown pool.

Before you start saying, ‘no, you’re reading too much into this, he liked you for you,’ let me direct you to this conversation:

J: I think it’s a travesty that I’ve never kissed an Indian girl.

Me: Well, maybe that’s just not your type. There are loads of guys who only really get with Indian girls.

J: But I think you’re fucking hot. What if I should be one of those guys but I just don’t know yet?

I think it was pretty clear.

J has indeed text me since that night – the next day, in fact – and why wouldn’t he? I’m amazing. But alas, I did not text back. Even if I could get on board initiating him into Indian loving, he made sex faces like a cross between Tyrion Lannister and a demon. Happens. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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Anya Apple

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