SCHIZO-ALIAS

Musings about Japan and life as a human, a cosplayer, a minority, a music lover, an English teacher.

Category Archives: relationships

Done with AMBW.

When I first told my best friend that there are Facebook groups dedicated to fostering relationships between Asian Men and Black Women (hence the acronym AMBW), she thought it was nuts.

I tried to clarify for her WHY groups like this existed the main reason being that there are many negative stereotypes going against both Black women and Asian men; when you see certain rich, Black athletes and especially rappers, you see them with non-Black women. (Wasn’t there even a rapper who went on a tirade against Black women?)

Asian men get stereotyped as being scrawny compared to strong men of other races, and are assumed to be lacking physically in certain areas, if you know what I mean.

So, wouldn’t it make sense for two groups who get a bad rep to come together and be able to relate to each other’s struggles?

…is how I explained it to my friend.

I understand the difficulty in being thought of as “undesirable.” And that’s why I like that there are groups encouraging this type of interracial, intercultural exchange.

But…recently I suddenly left an AMBW Facebook group that I was part of for a pretty long time. I saw one post, by a Korean guy taking a selfie, pretty much saying “What’s up?” and not much else.

It’s become so lame. Instead of having meaningful discussion, that particular group seems to have become a shallow place where people post pics of hot Asian models and celebrities, and where the Black women seem to flock to every post from a guy with an Asian last name, even if all he’s saying is “Yo.”

I can’t say that EVERY group is like that, because I wasn’t part of EVERY group; just that one and maybe another that I’ve forgotten about. But I didn’t sign up for “yellow fever,” nor would I want a guy specifically looking for an “exotic” woman.

So, I’m all for fostering relationships that would otherwise be unlikely to happen, but don’t make “getting a Japanese boyfriend” or “scoring a black girlfriend” a goal. There’s quite a few interracial relationships within my own family, and none of them had anything to do with one person TRYING to score a partner of a particular race. Successful interracial relationships come to be because both people decided to look PAST race, not because they looked FOR a certain race.

…when I use Japanese online community sites.

The screenshot from my last blog post was from a dating/friendship community known as JapanZone Friends.

I revived my profile on JapanZone Friends after what seems like years. All the discussions and topics about AMBW that I’ve been reading about lately drew me back to using the site. One of the reasons I quit before was because I wasn’t meeting many Japanese guys (or Japanese people in general), but rather people from other countries. The other reason was because the options I had as a “free” member were VERY limited, and I wasn’t going to pay money to become a VIP member.

But I’ve returned to the site, to do a bit of an experiment on whether I can easily find an “Ideal Match” (18 to 25-year old Japanese male open to dating or even becoming friends with a non-white, non-Japanese girl). So I restored my profile, uploaded a new picture, and edited my information (it still said that I was “hoping to go to Japan,” lol). I added a Japanese translation of my English introduction message in hopes of encouraging more Japanese speakers to contact me.

How can any guy resist this pretty face?!

After my profile got approved, I looked at “My Matches” (few of which looked interesting to me) and waited for some visitors and Smiles (which are kind of like Facebook Pokes). I got what I usually get when I use online dating/community sites: Middle-aged, non-Japanese men. I can’t say there’s anything wrong with these men, but I’m 22, and I would much prefer to have a guy in the same age range, and not closer to my dad’s age (won’t lie though, if Fukuyama Masaharu proposed to me I’d say yes :P)

Of the 55 visits to my profile that I’ve gotten so far (some of these are repeats), about 10% of them were from Japanese men in their 20s. Even fewer were in my 18 to 25 age range–about two or three. The rest were from men from other countries (I’m listed as being in Japan so they may have thought I was Japanese) and about half of them were ranged from 30 to 51.

But since visits don’t necessarily mean anything other than the curiosity of seeing the rest of a person’s profile, let’s look at the smiles:

I have 22 smiles total. 3 of them are repeats, which makes 18 different individuals. 5 of those 18 smiles are from Japanese men. Of the 5 Japanese men, one of them is within my 18-25 range, but he didn’t look very interesting; there was absolutely no spark from looking at his profile. Another guy, who is 30, looked pretty interesting and seemed like the type I could hang out with, so I sent a smile back to him. (He has yet to respond again.) Another smile was from a 32-year old who was only listed as being interested in language exchange-related activities and not dating, which was fine by me. I replied to him saying thank you, and he replied back introducing himself and saying he wanted to practice English.

I won’t even go into chats–none of them were from Japanese men.

Am I trying to prove anything with these statistics? No, nothing other than the fact that these are the typical results that I get from sites like these. But I’m pretty sure it’s a common case; I imagine that the population of men over 30 on these sites is fairly large. I also expect that a site focused on uniting Japanese and non-Japanese people will probably have less Japanese people and more people from other countries…there’s a lot of different countries, whereas there’s only one Japan. Not to mention that the online presence (not the mobile online presence) of Japanese people, aside from mixi and 2chan, is known to be pretty low. Finally, I may just be doing one single thing wrong: listing my country as “Japan.” Even though that’s where I live, it may be possible that the Japanese guys I’m looking for are looking for women who DON’T live in Japan, and the middle-aged men from other countries might think that I’m Japanese. I don’t think the former is likely, but the latter might be.

Some of the "Smiles" I got. Only three on this page are from Japanese guys.

What this proves is that even the Internet isn’t an easy place to meet certain types of people. The best way to meet anyone is in person, but unfortunately it’s not always easy. There’s a lot of luck or fate involved, whichever you believe in. There’s also money involved if you intend on traveling or paying to get full service from dating sites. It’s probably easier if you’re the “go-getter” type, but I’m not one of those because I’d rather wait for people to come to me, and then I get to decide whether I’m interested in that person or not. It’s easier than for me to continue going after guys who are likely not interested in me because they didn’t give me any special attention from the get-go, or guys whose kindness I’ve misinterpreted as interest. (See my YouTube video titled “I still don’t understand Japanese guys.” as well as the follow up from White Day.)

As I am finishing up this blog, I just received another smile…from a 42-year old in Germany. And I’ve also received a chat request from a 41-year old…who, needless to say, is not Japanese. Even if he was, it wouldn’t matter…he’d still be 10 years younger than my dad. But if he was Fukuyama Masaharu…

Yeah I know he's 42.

So here are some questions:

  • Do you use JapanZone Friends or similar sites focused on international communication?
  • If you do, what kind of people do you tend to get contact from?
  • Why in the world do I get so many contacts from [much] older men, despite the fact that my “Ideal Match” obviously states that I’m looking for guys 18-25?

This is only the beginning, so should some additional activity come about, I’ll write a follow-up.

This is what I get.

I’ll elaborate later, but for now just enjoy this little message I received on a dating/friendship/language exchange community: