I write a lot about interracial dating and am open that I tend to date Black men. I want to address the personal ads and online dating profiles of people “seeking BBC (big, Black cock). Every time I see one of these ads I bristle.
People are often surprised by my vehemence against the “seeking BBC” ads and the “Queens of Spades” groups on Fetlife. After all, I prefer dating Black men, so why would I not specifically seek out a BBC?
First, there is the reduction of a person to a singular fetishized characteristic (read more here). Men are more than their skin color and dick size. Reducing anyone to a singular thing that you have a fetish for is dehumanizing and rooted in bigotry.
Second, the “seeking BBC” ads are deeply rooted in America’s history of racism, slavery and lynching. This connection is what I am going to address in this blog.
Sexualizing Black Men and Women
Black sexuality has long been used to dehumanize and control an entire group. Beginning day one in America, Black men and women were not allowed any control over their own sexuality. Myths about their sexuality were used to justify rape and lynchings for several hundred years.
Black men and women went on the auction block and part of their value was their sexuality. Bills for “breeding slaves” appeared regularly in the American South and female slaves were valued partially on their ability to produce children. Further, when a woman in slavery would have a child, the child became the property of the woman’s owner.
In Erwin vs. Henry, the parties were suing over the right to posses the child of a slave who had been emancipated upon the death of her owner. The Court argued first that a Black woman’s value lay, in part, in her capacity to have children:
The age, health and disposition of slaves, their aptitude for particular employments, the length of time during which their owners or their owners ancestors have possessed them, their matrimonial connections and other like circumstances contribute to fix the degree of estimation in which… they can be converted in the market… (Erwin, 5 Mo. (1839)).
Second, the Court argued that because the child was born when the woman was a slave and the child was not emancipated in the will, the child remained property which could be passed down to the owner’s children.
The second part of this equation is Black men. Black men were sold based on their physical characteristics and slave owners purposely bough Black men to breed with Black women. Slave owners used animal husbandry techniques in decided which slaves to “breed.” The history of these techniques has been documented in part at the Tuskegee Institute.
At no time prior to the 14th Amendment did Black men or women control their sexuality. After Emancipation, Black sexuality was continually mythologized as a way to justify racism and lynching.
The Hyper-Sexual Black Man and Woman
Black men and women are protrayed as hypersexual to justify crimes against them. Black women, from the time of this country’s founding to today are portrayed as hypersexual to justify rape. As recently as last year, there are three court cases where Black minor girls were raped. The judges in these cases did not find the rapists guilty because the girls had exchanged texts or flirted with their attackers and therefore were “asking for it.”
In one particularly egregious case in Texas in 2014, the judge used the fact that a girl had exchanged texts which talked about interest in possible sexual activity (kissing, making out) to say that when her attacker raped her – and admitted the 14 year old told him “don’t,” “I don’t want to do this,” and “stop” repeatedly – that the girl was “not really raped.”
Black men are also portrayed as hypersexual. This has been used as a reason to justify lynching for more than 100 years. In the report by the Equal Justice Initiative which examined nearly 4,000 lynchings in the United States post-Civil War, they found:
Nearly 25 percent of the lynchings of African Americans in the South were based on charges of sexual assault. The mere accusation of rape, even without an identification by the alleged victim, could arouse a lynch mob. The definition of black-on-white “rape” in the South required no allegation of force because white institutions, laws, and most white people rejected the idea that a white woman would willingly consent to sex with an African American man.
The threat of Black men having sex with White women is the primary reason for lynchings. In the EJI study, they found that reasons for lynching Black men included”
White men lynched Jeff Brown in 1916 in Cedarbluff, Mississippi, for accidentally bumping into a white girl as he ran to catch a train
In 1912, Thomas Miles was lynched for allegedly writing letters to a white woman inviting her to have a cold drink with him.
In 1889, in Aberdeen, Mississippi, Keith Bowen was lynched after he allegedly tried to enter a room where three white women were sitting.
Fetishizing Interracial Sex
So, how is this all connected to “seeking BBC” ads? The fear and fascination with Black sexuality is at the core of these ads. The language in these ads clearly illustrates the need for the person posting the ad to hypersexualize and dehumanized Black man.
For example, these Craigslist ads from one three-hour period this morning:
Any BBC want to watch (you host) – mw4m
She’s never seen a BBC in person. She wants to watch you stroke as I fuck her. If she likes what she sees, she might want your load, or suck it out of you. You must host today, at 1p.m. send stats, size, age and where in sac. Thanks.
– OR –
Hung Black Man mw4m
My wife and I would like to share our bed with a large black gentleman, I’d like to stay and watch or leave till you are done with her. She like you 2″x8-9″ clean, respectful, would meet prior to playing. Send pic , gets her pic
– OR –
Big ass for BBC mw4m
Looking for a big black dick to fuck me on the side and make vids for my husband be d&d free and be local or don’t waste my time be ok with car play first I’m 100% real you be too reply with a clear face and dick pic or don’t reply at all not here to waste time with fakes or flakes
and on, and on, and on…
In the “seeking BBC” ads, there is no focus on the “BBC” other than the size of his penis and his ability to “fuck my wife/girlfriend.” These ads reduce the man the couple is seeking to literally the size of his penis and its color. This is the modern version of dehumanization that was necessary for the propagation of slavery in the United States.
These ads also rely on the idea that “BBC” are so hypersexualized that just having a woman (White woman, all the ads include photos of the woman in question) will be enough to make the man want to have sex with her. There is never a mention of the need to know the person – or even their real name – in order for the couple to have a successful encounter. There is never a question about what the man they are seeking might desire out of the encounter of what he might find sexually appealing.
These ads assume that any Black man will be so sexually aroused by the thought of “gaining access” sexually to a White woman that he will put all concerns aside just to have sex (several of the ads I reviewed specified that condoms were a no-go and that “possible impregnation” or “cream pies” were desired). Again, this is horribly dehumanizing and the ads seeking “possible impregnation” hark back to the “breeding slave” ads in a way that should make anyone uncomfortable.
The idea that Black men all have large penises is a common myth in America. The most frequent question I get asked about interracial dating is, “Is it true…” with the assumption that I will know the person is asking about penis size. I love to tell them, “Yes… my man has an amazingly large… credit score.” This myth contributes to very racist behavior.
Jim Sidanius and his colleagues have developed the Theory of Social Dominance. For more than 20 years, Sidanius et al have worked on academic studies that demonstrate White men take actions to disadvantage Black men financially and in the workplace so that White men can have more access to women to date and marry. While I have my reservations about some of the work from this group, they do largely demonstrate that there are social biases which underlie Black-White interactions and in the presence of a woman, White men take greater pains to disadvantage Black men.
Much of this bigotry probably isn’t even realized by the men perpetuating it. Things like setting a price to buy a car or setting a salary can be seemingly unrelated to race. However, the studies by Sidanius and colleagues take careful steps to try and isolate when race and sexuality come into play. There is a clear connection between perception of a Black man as a sexual threat and financial treatment.
It is also clear that White men spend a lot of time thinking about Black men’s penis size. I have spoken with a lot of women who date interracially, specifically White women who date Black men. Universally, if you are a White woman with a Black ex-boyfriend, White men fear they will never “measure up” to your ex. I lost count of the number of White men who have told me, “I would date you, but you have been with Black guys, so I will never satisfy you.” This comes without me ever mentioning the size of an ex’s penis or my level of sexual satisfaction. One friend referred to this as being “Blacklisted.”
[A reverse type of phenomenon occurs for Black men who date White women, but that is another entry.]
I don’t actually think most people posting the “seeking BBC” ads are actively aware of the horribly racist roots of their post or that they are fetishizing race. Most, I would guess, just think they are acting out any other fantasy without potential harm to the their party.
The problem is, that when this behavior is written off as “innocent” or “just a fantasy” we allow the core of dehumanization that is necessary to perpetuate racism to continue. Racism needs to be fought on all fronts. People fetishizing BBC and dehumanize men need to be called out on the roots of their behavior. This is a start.