Ever notice how hard it is to find blacks bottoming for whites in interracial porn? With few exceptions, porn studios seem to think there is only one acceptable way to show interracial sex: The hyperaggressive African-American top and the submissive white bottom.
Is gay porn racist? Or is it a benign form of stereotyping?
If searches on the Internet didn't lead me to those questions, my experiences while trying to make the video version of my gay sex advice book, How to Bottom Like a Porn Star, did. I spoke to several porn producers about using an interracial couple to dramatize the how-to points in the book, and they all told me it wouldn't work unless the black guy topped the white guy.
"You'd be breaking an unwritten rule in gay porn," one producer said. "Most of the white guys who watch interracial porn want the fantasy of submitting to a tough street thug."
"Well," I said to him, "I like interracial porn, and I'd like to see more versatility."
The producer insisted I was in the minority and that my video wouldn't go viral if I insisted on having a white top.
"But what about African Americans?" I asked. "Are you telling me there isn't a black guy out there who wants to see white tops?"
"Not our market," he said. "They don't buy or rent interracial porn anywhere near the amount that whites do."
And there you have it, the reason it's so uncommon to find porn that presents black men in full sexual versatility, according to porn studios: The buyer is white, and he doesn't want to see it. He wants the Mandingo experience: a forceful submission to a hypersexual, superaggressive, hung-like-the-Florida-Panhandle street thug.
Like all stereotypes, there is a degree of truth in that characterization of gay white men. My friend Mike, who's African-American, recounts many a disappointed look in the faces of white guys who hit on him. Mike looks a lot like the black guy many whites fantasize about having sex with: he's good-looking, tall and big. But once they hear him speak, a lot of white guys lose interest, because Mike is highly educated and doesn't exactly talk like a tough guy from the streets. Seeing their thug fantasies evaporate, these white guys lose interest and walk away.
Are Porn Studios Right? Whites Don't Want to See Black Bottoms?
Before we go any further, it must be stated that there are porn studios that feature African Americans bottoming for whites. But even porn producers admit it's uncommon. There are two questions that come to my mind. First, are porn studios right that whites don't want to see black bottoms? And second, if it's true, why?
While there are no surveys (that I know of) of white preferences in interracial porn, I seriously doubt that the full glory of sexual variety stops at interracial sex -- that whites want to see blacks in one and only one role. As for the second question -- why so many whites want to see the Mandingo version of interracial sex -- there are some intriguing possibilities.
First, the nature of topping. It's often about power and domination. If you were going to build the ideal top, you'd probably say he has to be bigger than you are, in terms of height, weight, and package size. And you might say that since topping is about exerting control, he should also be more aggressive and take-charge than you are.
Enter the black stereotype.
He's taller, weighs more and has a bigger dick than white guys. Hence, if you're going to show intercourse, as almost all porn does, then it makes sense that the top is going to be the black guy. The thing is that that's a stereotype that is empirically not true. Blacks aren't taller than whites. They don't weigh more. And they don't have bigger dicks. Consider these stats from the CDC for non-Hispanic white and black males between the ages of 20 and 39 (the most likely age of porn stars):
Mean weight: 85.9 kg. (189 lbs.)
Mean height: 70.0 in. (5-foot-8)
Mean BMI: 27.1
Mean weight: 86.2 kg. (190 lbs.)
Mean height: 70.2 in. (5-foot-8)
Mean BMI: 27.1
And to completely upend the stereotype that blacks have bigger penises, I invite you to look at the latest penis-size study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine:
Mean penis length: 14.66 cm. (5.77 in.)
Mean penis circumference: 12.29 cm. (4.83 in.)
Mean penis length: 14.18 cm. (5.58 in.)
Mean penis circumference: 12.25 cm (4.82 in.)
The difference in length and circumference between the races is statistically insignificant. The study found that characteristics such as race or sexual orientation weren't good predictors of a man's penis size. The study is relatively consistent with the results of prior surveys.
The Power of Stereotypes
Fiction is more alluring than fact. Even when presented with empirical data that blacks aren't bigger than whites -- in any department -- the stereotype persists. Since most white guys haven't had a wide variety of African-American partners, their perceptions are almost completely formed by porn, which only shows performers with penises so big they're mixing drinks in the next room.
Porn studios claim that they're only catering to what the market wants, but in reality they've created that market by systematically perpetuating the idea that blacks are bigger than whites, even though it is demonstrably not true.
Colby Alexander, a writer who happens to be half-white and half-black, wrote a remarkably candid "Open Letter to Gay Porn Studios," in which he shows how porn producers can make a simple tweak in their videos that would revolutionize interracial porn. Will porn executives listen?
Probably not. So if you want to see more versatility in interracial porn, you're going to have to spend hours on the Internet finding it. Or you can click here to see a list of interracial porn videos showing African-American men bottoming for white men. (This link does not take you to porn sites; it merely identifies where you can find the videos). It took my team three hours to assemble. Out of the hundreds of videos featuring interracial porn, we could only find about three dozen with white tops (10 to 15 percent of the total).
There is hope for versatility in interracial porn. A relatively new, small studio specializing in fully versatile African-American performers, Harlem Hookups, has emerged. Hopefully other studios will follow and make our list obsolete.