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.