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Jungle Fever Revisted

Updated on November 14, 2016
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Jamal is a graduate of Northeastern Seminary and writes on a broad range of topics. His writings are based on other points of view.

I came across a YouTube video a few days ago titled, Why White Women Fantasize About Black Men by Youtuber, ericaisright. In it, she lists her opinion of four factors that contribute to this: experimenting with something different, that it’s a forbidden pleasure, having big penises, and that black men like more pounds on their women that white men. While these were her opinions, there was another aspect to it that I thought was interesting from my own experience that this touches on.

I Had to Try it Out

Interracial relations and sex isn’t anything new and has been going on for a long, long time. However, in America’s history it has only recently began to be openly accepted, since the late 1980’s I would say. I recall being in high school and how it started a program with Rochester city schools called Urban-Suburban: it’s purpose at the time seem to be exposing students to different races, though I was only a teen at the time so what did I know?

One of the first issues to come up was dating between races. Although it was fair to say that most kids at the school weren’t racist, fucking someone from another race was a whole different ball game. Almost unheard of, even in terms of casual sex, there was something more intimate tied to sex that for some reason that made such taboos very palpable and somehow different from just being friends.

I remember one specific conversation from my social studies class where one of the cheerleaders was practically being interrogated because she was dating one of the black athletes on the football team. She was quizzed on why she did it and if it was weird, and of course, how big was he. It was best described as ‘jungle fever’. As I got older and had my own intimate encounters with women from different races and ages, I found that there was a trend.

Related to ericaisright’s four opinions, it seemed that relationships and sex with many of the women tended to be was more of twist for them. It was experimenting or something to have fun with to for the women to really get off, regardless of how old they were. And most times that was fine. Even today, where sex is more diverse and open, many couples who engage in swinging often will bring in black males because of the expectation and thrill of great sex. The excitement is something both mental and physical and it isn’t a bad thing as long as respect was maintained.

However, many times, when it came to girl friends I was serious about, bringing sex home as it were, was often met with a subtle reservation. It was like black men are great to fuck, but not for being around family. Now of course, this doesn’t apply to all people, so I am not trying to state this as a general fact. But, it was something I experienced often. My black friends mostly didn’t have a problem with it: who would? Sex without baggage or consequence, right? No drama and no expectations except having fun and getting off.

1991 Jungle Fever was one of the first movies that dealt with modern interracial dating
1991 Jungle Fever was one of the first movies that dealt with modern interracial dating

Great Expectations

I am not really trying to make some sort of social statement: merely a reflection on a social phenomenon. For my part, yea I am sexually aggressive and like most human beings loved the interaction. The only real negative feeling I had about it was when I was seen as someone whose nice and a great fuck, but not stable or meeting the family status quo, by a woman I cared about. There can be something constricting about being pigeon-holed into a set of social parameters, no matter how enjoyable it initially is. And while I think most men in general wouldn’t openly admit to this, sometimes there is a pressure to perform up to the expectations the partner has of me, based on those stereotypes.

Just how extensive these fantasies are among women in general is anyone's guess. But outside of my experience, there are further stereotypes of racial/cultural expectations about our partners as well. It is common among Asian friends I have had to see them date within their own race, or at most white people. Supposedly this has more to do with the tremendous familial expectations that play a larger part in their lives than most other American sub-cultures. The implication being that a White or Asian partner is going to be more stable and less unpredictable or chaotic.

Latino men have similar expectations upon them to Blacks in the expectation that they too are also great lovers and notoriously charming, but also potential trouble. In large part this is owed to media portrayals of them as abusive, criminals, or uneducated. The classic image is a 1990’s Latino rap, Rico Suave, by Gerardo. There are others but I won’t delve into those, and what I’ve mentioned is only the tip of the iceberg.

How often women from families that emphasize strict,cultural expectations, imagine having sex with Black men is something that should be considered.
How often women from families that emphasize strict,cultural expectations, imagine having sex with Black men is something that should be considered.

Final Thoughts

Obviously there is less tension with this now than even ten years ago, but I’ve still run into it. As a Black man, there are a number of projected expectations upon myself that I have to learn to deal with. Being a great lover is not one of the bad ones, but within the context of relationships, it does co-exist with ‘will my parents like him?’, if it’s someone I am really into. I guess drama within the family is something many women want to avoid. It may seem ridiculous, yet we’ve just seen how half of us are not as progressive as everyone thought before this week.

Perhaps this is only an issue for older people and may phase itself out as we go, but it is interesting to see not only see the spectrum of how the sexes see each other gender wise, but also race and culturally as well. How that can consciously or sub-consciously play onto how we treat each other and how far we are willing to cross boundaries in sex and dating.


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    • dashingscorpio profile image


      4 years ago from Chicago

      I always have believed that the so called "Jungle Fever" element of interracial dating was outdated even before Spike Lee released his movie. I suppose it really depends on where one lives. At the time of it's release I was living in Southern California where as black man I had dated or lived with white women and my first wife was white. I was always of the mindset that a Mercedes 600SL in any color was still a Mercedes 600SL.

      Large metropolitan cities tended to be more liberal in their lifestyles so interracial couples being spotted in LA, San Francisco, San Diego, or even in Seattle wasn't new.

      And it wasn't just about experiencing a "sexual fantasy".

      Interracial couples were actually (getting married) and having children. Even back in (1884) at age 66 Frederick Douglass a former slave married a white Helen Pitts who was age 46.

      During the 60s and 70s we saw Sammy Davis Jr., Quincy Jones, and Sidney Poitier marry white women.

      Black female entertainers such as Diana Ross, Lena Horne, Dorothy Dandridge, Josephine Baker, Donna Summer, Josephine Baker, and Halle Berry are just a few examples of successful famous black women who married white men.

      In the U.S. our society tends to emulate "celebrity" behavior.

      Without a doubt there a many people who want to experience having sex with someone out of their race but would never consider marrying out of their race. However in 2017 some 50 years after the Supreme Court ruled in the Loving VS Virginia case that it was illegal to ban interracial marriage.

      It's clear that the majority of people involved in interracial dating are way past the point of viewing it as a "novelty."

      I've often speculated that the purpose of racism was to make minority men (less appealing to white women as an option).

      If black or Latino men were not allowed to have higher paying jobs/successful careers/denied access to living in certain neighborhoods white women who dated them would risk sacrificing not only being shunned by white men but also unable to have a high standard of living.

      However once blacks started to climb more frequently into the "middleclass", acquire more college degrees, land jobs in corporate America, and especially those who became super rich or famous there was less of a "status" risk for white women.

      The Kardashian women almost exclusively date/marry black men. As mentioned before celebrity behavior catches on.

      The people who tend to dislike seeing interracial couples together are usually white males and black females.

      From the black woman's point of view she feels like every successful black man runs off to grab himself a non black woman. From many white males point of view no matter how rich or successful a black man gets he will always be beneath them. Chris Rock once joked that no white man would ever want to swap places with him "...and I'm rich!"

      They'd rather be poor and white than a rich "N". ha ha ha

      Black women on the other hand also fear being (used) sexually by (white men). Never mind the fact that many black men are using them sexually! This is a holdover from the slave era where white slave owners routinely force black women to have sex with them.

      In many ways white men invented "Jungle Fever".

      However the media today has portrayed black women as being "angry hand clapping, head bobbing, loud cursing, finger pointing, violent raging, demanding women."

      This probably explains why we see less white men dating black women. They're scared of them!

      Nevertheless as you noted with each generation society becomes more liberal or open to dating and having sex with people regardless of race.

      Today gay marriage and LBGT issues have made interracial dating/marriage seem like it was never a big deal! :)


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