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My partner prefers Asian and Latinx people. I’m white. Do we have a future?

Ask Roe: Your partner’s porn tastes do not inherently mean he isn’t interested in you

Dear Roe,

I've been in a relationship for over five years and have lately started to doubt myself. My partner has always had a preference for South American/Asian cultures and his previous relationships were always with people from there. I also came across a recent internet search history that showed "Asian/Latino" porn searches. I'm Irish and wondering if there is any real future if this is his sexual preference or am I just being insecure?

I’m going to assume that when you say that you are ‘Irish’, you mean ‘white’, which are not synonymous; and that your partner is also white, as I’m presuming you would have mentioned if he is also Asian or Latino.

There are three issues here. One part of this situation is that your partner has a sexual attraction towards Asian and/or Latinx people which could essentially be harmless – or it could be problematic. He could have a physical type and/or appreciate some social and cultural norms that added to his appreciation of his previous partners – or it could be something else.


There is a very real issue with white people in particular sexualizing Asian and Latinx people, reducing them to very harmful, reductive and racist tropes, perpetuated throughout history and pop culture.

If you think of the amount of pop culture that only shows Latinx people as “feisty” sexual beings, or characterises Asian women as sexualised schoolgirls, sex workers or one-dimensional submissive beings dedicated to fulfilling the desires of white men, you will very quickly notice the racist fetishisation that is common in our culture, and unfortunately all too easy to learn through osmosis.

Your connection isn't just about sex and physicality, it's hopefully also about knowing and appreciating each other as people, and the values and dynamic you share

You know better than I do whether your partner is someone who tries to be self-aware and mindful of how he moves through the world, and whether he is willing to interrogate any internal biases and ideas about race. You can absolutely ask him about this. Either he’s open to talking about the issue of racist sexualisation and how he (and all of us) can be mindful about it (there are a lot of excellent books on the topic by Asian and Latinx writers that he could read) – or he may be defensive and shut down the conversation, which will be very revealing.

There’s the second part of your question: do your partner’s porn preferences inherently mean that he isn’t interested in you? No. People can have fantasies and types that are purely for their sexual imagination. You have been in a relationship for five years. Your connection isn’t just about sex and physicality, it’s hopefully also about knowing and appreciating each other as people, and the values and dynamic you share. (However, I will note that if he’s happy to sexualise people of other races and cultures but only wants to get serious about a white Irish person, that could also be an attitude to be wary of.)

Then there’s the third part of the question, which you haven’t articulated: Are there other issues playing into your concerns, and are you uncomfortable enough with your partner’s desires to want to leave? The answer to this can only come from you, but I would pay very close attention to how your partner responds to a conversation on the topic, and take it from there. Good luck.