An Asian woman found herself at an impasse with her White boyfriend who was not on the same sexual wavelength.
She was insulted when he asked that she alter her bedroom persona into one that is associated with the Japanese subculture of cuteness.
She visited the Relationship Advice subReddit to ask strangers how she should confront him about the request that made her feel uncomfortable.
The Original Poster (OP) started by explaining her objective.
“My (27 F[emale]) boyfriend (27 M[ale]) asked me to ‘act more kawaii’ in the bedroom. I’m asian and he’s white. I don’t want to shame his kink but I don’t want to be fetishized.”
“We’ve been together for a little over a year now and it’s been going well! We met at college through a club and hit it off then reconnected a couple years later. He’s always been really kind to me and gives me compliments all the time and we generally have fun together.”
“We’ve been quarantining together and have been having a lot of sex, which I love, but it’s been getting a little weirder, I guess?”
“He sends me a lot of hentai [Japanese manga and anime pornograpy] and says he wants to try things out that are depicted in it which is fine. But he’s also been buying me outfits (which I do appreciate) and they’re very much like anime themed? Japanese schoolgirl, cat-girl costume, etc. etc.”
“I know he’s being more open sexually with me but it all feels kind of… gross? Like he wants me to do all of these things because I’m Asian?”
Things went too far when her boyfriend made a request based on a misinformed assumption.
“Anyway the other night he asked me to ‘act cuter’ in the bedroom and to speak Japanese to him in bed. I was really offended by this because while I’m Asian I’m not Japanese.”
“I’m Taiwanese, but born and raised here in America. I firmly told him no and the night went on alright but he was a little quiet afterwards like I’d scolded him.”
“I don’t think he means anything weird by it, but I want to tell him I’m not okay with the things he’s been doing but also I don’t want to shame him for being more open sexually with me.”
“I just want to feel like he wants to be intimate with ME and not with Asian Girl #7, if that makes sense. I don’t know how to explain this to him though?”
Redditors got the message and suggested the OP start with an open dialogue with her boyfriend.
“You’ve explained it well enough to us so use that as a basis. Explain what makes you uncomfortable and why. Turn it into an open conversation.” – CuckyMcCuckerCuck
“I think OP needs to figure out whether the fantasy is secondary to her, or if his fantasy comes first.”
“Does OP’s boyfriend love and respect her, and also have this hentai fetish he’s curious about exploring in the bedroom, maybe even because she’s asian… or is she being used specifically because she’s asian and kinda similar looking to hentai girls, and he just closes his eyes to pretend she’s someone else because he’d much rather be with the hentai girl in his fantasies?
“As a 22 year old Asian girl who also isn’t Japanese, Ew.”
“I’ve met guys like this. They will try to speak Japanese to me and be sad that I’m not from Japan. But still continue to speak Japanese. They’re super into anime, fair enough I am too to a certain extent, but to the point that it becomes the only thing they are attracted to.”
“He is not attracted to you as a person. You are just a representation of a medium that he has fetishized. I would maybe try to understand if it stopped with outfits but he wants you to speak Japanese when you’re Taiwanese?? It’s not who you are.”
“Do you think he would dump you if a Japanese girl was ever interested in him? Even if he did find a Japanese girl he probably wouldn’t be attracted to her as a person either and would just want her to act more like anime girls.”
“Also pff wtf to he wants you to act ‘cuter.’ Stop this sh*t please, for your own self respect.” – swimmingongreen
“It’s kinda sad that after quarantining together for months, he still didn’t know your ancestry. Maybe you never told him, but I wonder if he’s with you for the right reasons.” – gabigool
“yeah wtf he didn’t know you were taiwanese? he never asked? you should ask him to speak Russian next time you’re in bed together.” – alldouche_nobag
The issue does not seem to be exclusive to one gender.
“This sh*t is starting to happen to Asian guys too due to all the koreaboos.”
“No I will not let you call me oppa cuz I’m not Korean and I don’t particularly care for it.” – NH177013
“My fiancé is a Korean-born guy and he used to run TF away from women who watched kpop or anime lmao. Also, FYI, as the white party in a long-term IR relationship, your BF’s behaviour is not acceptable.”
“I knew from day one not to do that. Most people who succeed in inter-cultural or interracial relationships know not to do that. You need to sit him down and explain your boundaries ASAP.”
“It almost never works out when one party expects the other to behave like a stereotype in the bedroom or elsewhere (unless both parties are very into it).” – Soullesspreacher
“I think the uncomfortable part here is that OP isn’t Japanese. It would feel weird for anyone to be asked to act like they’re a different nationality or of a different culture in the bedroom.”
“All Asian cultures aren’t at all the same; and OP stated discomfort with this as well.”
“I think there’s nothing wrong with kinks and the like, but Asian’s have to deal with cultural erasure all the time (especially if you’re not from the Big Three, i.e. Korea, Japan, or China, and even then) and so this could have hit a sore spot.” – MadsieDadsie
“Tell him about how you feel, using ‘I’ statements and not attacking him, and any natural shame he feels will not be your fault. It is totally normal to feel shame when you cause emotional harm to those you love, he can’t avoid that shame.”
“Let him know where your boundaries are, and maybe send him some information to read about fetishization, what it is and why it’s harmful, because he might not even understand the impact that he’s having on you.”
“However he responds to this will be a good indicator for whether or not you should continue the relationship.” – FeministAsHeck
“This is not shaming; it sounds like he is using you for his fetish, although I can’t know if that was his intent for the relationship in the first place, or if it is overflowing from his fantasy and he wants to try stuff, while genuinly caring for you.”
“Have a talk with him, make your boundaries clear, tell him this makes you uncomfortable. If he cares for you, he’ll accept it or admit that it’s a kink but he can’t help it, in which case therapy asap, or if unwilling, end it.”
“Anything else would suggest he cares only for his ‘kawaii ideas.’ If so, I’d wonder if he brags about you online, posts pictures etc.” – yakkslapper
Most of the Redditors suggested that the OP needed to have a serious discussion with the boyfriend and gauge his reaction to see if the relationship is worth working through together.