A "big problem"? It's not super convenient or anything, but... oh wait I get it, I'm a bad racist person for finding the language barrier/cultural chasm a complete sexual turn-off. *sulks*

Okay. I don't really get what just happened. What's a big problem? Or not a big problem?

Look. Again. Yet again. I didn't make any judgments about absolutely anyone else is what I posted earlier. I just answered the question (sort of). About myself and from my own perspective.

The question, to be fair, was about sex. It was not about relationships. There is a difference, to me. Quite a large one, in fact. If not being able to hold a lengthy philosophical conversation with someone and come out together, culturally, on the same page on all issues is going to prevent you from bedding someone, then more power to you. You're probably a more noble creature than am I. Me, if I meet someone and suddenly realize we're seeing all eye-to-eye on shit and we've really got some heavy vibing going on, my thought process tends to run more toward, "Holy cow I better not sleep with this person and screw it up." Again, definitely not going to argue that my way is the right one. Especially not on this.

That having been said (and, again, I feel the need to emphasize that I have never been in a committed relationship with a Korean man), while I'm aware of many, many cultural and social issues at play that obviously make Western-Korean couplings more difficult than Western-Western/Korean-Korean, at the end of the day, for me it really does just come down to the individual.

If you put a Western man next to a Korean man and ask me to choose which one I want as a partner, I'm not going to be able to make that decision without knowing more than that one fact about them. I don't know what kind of man that Western man is, what kind of man that Korean man is. I don't know which one has a personality that will jive better with mine, which one has a life perspective and outlook that is most similar (or complimentary) to mine, which one is an asshole or a dumbbell or a royal cockup. I don't know which one is kinder, more gentle.

I don't fucking know. And once I do know all of that, then I can factor in language barriers and cultural issues and see what's what. But not until then. And I've had enough experience with both Korean and Western men in Korea to know that, for me, the Western man doesn't always automatically come out on top. Sometimes I'm willing to trade some of the intricacies of language for a bit more kindness and consideration. Sometimes I'll deal with the awkwardness of being the "foreigner" in the situation because I've met someone who can really, genuinely make me laugh.

To me, there's going to be a certain amount of bullshit encountered in any relationship with any person from any nation on the planet. That's just how it is. And maybe I just haven't had enough experience yet, but to me the cultural bullshit doesn't weight any heavier than all the rest. Because cultural bullshit extends a lot further than just being from the same nation, anyway. I had cultural bullshit to put up with when I was in New York, and surrounded by upper middle class private school kids, whereas I am just about as fucking working class as you can get. Did I feel relieved and instantly comfortable and at home and just lovely when I did encounter someone I jived with who came from a similar background? You betcha. But it didn't put me off absolutely everyone else who wasn't exactly like me.

That's just how I work. I'm sorry if you're having issues because it's not how you work. Or because you haven't yet met a Korean who's worth putting up with and fighting through all the bullshit for. But that's got nothing to do with me. And I know that. And I'm not judging you for it.

Edit: Ooh! A big problem! I get it. Right. Look. I live in the fucking sticks. Not really. But close enough to the sticks. I don't see foreigners ever unless I do it on purpose. I somewhat suspect you may be closer to the city than myself, or perhaps spend more time in it, socializing with foreigners. I'm not exaggerating those stats I quoted earlier. In fact, if I don't go out drinking in the city center, or into Seoul, then I could literally go months on end without encountering a single other foreigner. So yeah. Given that information, and my lifestyle, which runs more akin to staying close to home and hanging out with.... well, Koreans.... it would be quite strange. Because it would mean that I was actually probably avoiding Korean men. Which, again, if that's your thing, for whatever reason, then go on and do it. But I haven't quite gotten to the point where I feel that's necessary yet. Me doing my thing. You doing yours. All gravy. Right? Right.


Burndog said...

Well...it seems a strange question doesn't it? If I found intercourse with people from different cultures to my own a turn off..would I then ask people if they've ever had intercourse with someone from that culture?

Probably not.

Liz, I don't care who you're (or anyone else) is fucking (man, woman, beast, American, Korean, or alien). As long as you're both happy and all that guff...who dives a fuck?

I've probably missed the point because I didn't read the earlier post in its entirety (I got busy!)...but...so long as adults play with adults...I don't judge their choices.

Oh..and 'have you had sex with a Korean man since you came to Korea' (or whatever it was) comes across as strange. If a stranger asked me that in a bar (with the gender switched) I'd be offended. I'd still be offended if a stranger asked me that on a blog. Much more offended than you were...but I think it's because I'm in a relationship...and I get enough scrutiny from Korean strangers without westerner strangers joining in!!!

MikejGrey said...

I would have just answered with, "Yes. And you have no reading comprehension skills."

I'm no Picasso said...

Burndog -- I don't think anyone actually cares who I'm fucking, except maybe me and (on a good day) whoever that person may be.

I don't know why everyone's gotta always make this all Korean/foreign/blah fucking blah blah. But they love it. They just can't get enough of it.

Mags -- Spot on. Hello? Hello?

MikejGrey said...

Maybe most of the people who leave you spring form comments use english as a second language. That would probably explain things.

I had a professor at Adelphi, my first college, who kept talking about fetishizing the Other. He then used the Toto song: "Africa, or down in Africa, or whatever the fuck it's called." and the Matrix as examples of this. I think he should guest blog for you. He actually played us that Toto video in class once.

But more importantly, Portland State University will be the fifth college that I attend. No wonder I have millions of dollars in student loans, huh?

Burndog said...

I've visited many art galleries and exhibitions...yet...I've never read an 'Artist's Statement' where the artist neglected to mention 'the other'.