To start with, AMWW Magazine is a website, not an actual print publication. The letters in its title stand for “Asian Man White Woman” which makes it sound like it’s a place to find niche pornography; I assure you that it is not. Under its About section the writers describe the work they do as:
“…a resource for both men and women in order to learn how to connect and hopefully meet their romantic, cross-cultural partner. Whether it’s for a brief, passionate and illicit one time liaison to a lifelong romance that smolders well into the twilight of your life, our interracial dating advice blog aims to give both men and women practical and solid information from both sides of the gender lines on how to improve your dating, sex, and love life.”
Now I found AMWW while being linked from race site to race site, probably starting with the racebending tumblr, but when I found it I wasn’t quite sure how to react. After showing it around to friends online and reading through a good number of the articles myself, I arrived at the very vague conclusion that it made me uncomfortable.
Writing this post is a way for me to explore that feeling.
The AMWW Writers [Okay, I really just mean Heather]
Running along the top of the site are pictures of the four writers [I’m under impression the fifth, Jocelyn, isn’t a consistent one]. On the left is JT Tran, whose alter-ego as “The Asian Playboy”, a professional pickup artist, was the least problematic aspect of the bios I read. As a very quick aside, I do want to state that while their reputation isn’t great, there are guys like Simple Pickup, who focus on instilling confidence and not just bedding ladies; Tran does appear to be one such pickup artist.
No, dear readers, what I found slightly awkward was the following blurb under writer Heather’s profile:
“So what is it about Asian guys that turns me on? Is it the natural black hair? The gorgeous skin tones? The distinguishing eye shape? The possibility that they may know a second language?
I don’t know.
What I do know is that there’s just something about Asian guys that I can’t get enough of. When I pass a good-looking one out in the street, I find myself staring, sometimes fighting back drool, and just praying that he’ll come over and talk to me, because I don’t know what he’ll do if I go up to him and talk to him first.”
Now personal friends of mine, and I know a number of them read this blog, will want to point out the irony of my feeling this way. The facts are that I’ve only ever dated twice, White girls both times. On top of that, I’ve never shied away from stating that I’m not really all that attracted to girls who look like me. People who know me well have made jokes about that, and I’ve joked along with them as well. Yet, the following blurb under writer Heather’s profile made me feel . . . uncomfortable?
Maybe “irony” isn’t quite the word I was looking for . . . “hypocrisy”, maybe? I tried to hash out the difference between where I was coming from and where Heather was, and determined that it was that I’m not exclusively attracted to White women; I was going to go more into my preferences, but this is already personal enough I think.
That’s the main point of contention, though, isn’t it? What is the difference between a preference and a fetish? Good ol’ Yahoo! Answers helped me out, where user djPIERRE pointed out that preference is more of a general attraction, whereas fetishes are distinctly sexual. Queue Heather’s question of “So what is it about Asian guys that turns me on?” and I think we have our answer.
She actually wrote a post on AMWW herself discussing the a fetish for Asians, also known as “yellow fever”. Her warning to others in her position is to treat the Asian men they’re attracted to as individuals and not as “one big group of dancing, singing Taeyangs,” which I thought was very funny. All that being said, I felt that her bio reflects poorly on where she may actually be coming from, and that I at very least found it off-putting.
AMWW Magazine Content
They actually have a lot of great stuff. Heather’s post that I just mentioned breaches an important topic, and one that requires much more discussion if the comments section is any indication. She also touches on two fantastic issues when it comes to interracial relationships: introducing your Asian boyfriend to your White family and body issues that may arise from such a relationship. That is all really great, and I think there needs to be more writing on it.
Elsewhere, however, there are articles like “Asian Men’s Hair: 5 Cool Styles That Attract Women” and a video on how Asian men can approach White women. I feel like these rubbed me the wrong way because of how niche they were and how, when I think about it, I don’t feel like they have to be. It should all just be confidence, right?
Maybe the problem is that I’m not really the target demographic here. Both of my past girlfriends were raised partly overseas, which meant that they had a very intercultural upbringing. Toronto, where I live presently, is one of the most diverse cities in the world, and I see mixed groups of friends and couples every time I venture further downtown. Maybe the problem is that I don’t view this as a problem that needs solving or, at the very least, assistance.
The entire website lies in this difficult middle ground where it’s clearly addressing a problem that both Asian men and White women face in attempting relationships with one another while also acting as a way to advertise JT Tran and his various services [pick-up artist books, programs, et cetera]. Tran and his writers most definitely have an audience with plenty of questions, and while they’re answering them they’re also trying to sell something as well.
The imbalance between a single Asian male writer and several White female writers also comes across in a weird way. Having an actual AMWW couple taking questions and answers would probably be one of the best things for a site as a whole and would help amend that imbalance.
So Now That I’ve Written All That, How Do I Feel Now?
At a first glance, AMWW looks ridiculous. It’s an extremely niche website in an era where the internet caters to every hobby and fetish, no matter how specific. Just looking through it makes one wonder why it exists in general.
Having sorted my thoughts through writing I’ve come to realize that while it may not be the sort of website for you, or even for me, an individual who appears to be its target audience, it is a resource for someone. Many someones, to be more accurate. Interracial relationships are difficult, and in fact many of them fall apart due to a lack of understanding or unspoken assumptions. AMWW is on its way to becoming a well-rounded resource for people who want to get into those relationships and have them succeed.
Most importantly, I think, is that they assert that these sorts of relationships do exist. They are just as normal as any other; all relationships have problems, these may just be a little bit different. At the end of the day I don’t think it’s for me in particular, but I guess I’m glad it exists.