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Ethnicity plays a prominent role in pornography.[1] Distinct genres of pornography focus on performers of specific ethnic groups, or on the depiction of interracial sexual activity. Ethnic pornography typically employs ethnic and racial stereotypes in its depiction of performers.[2]


Portrayal in pornography

Ethnic pornography frequently depicts characters based on ethnic and racial stereotypes. Members of each race are typically portrayed as having a high sex drive.

Asian women
Frequently portrayed as sexually submissive. Western film and literature has promoted stereotypes of Asian women, often depicting Asian women as cunning and seductive "Dragon Ladies",[3] as servile "Lotus Blossom Babies", "Innocent School Girls" in private school uniforms, "China dolls", "Geisha girls", war brides, or prostitutes.[4] Japanese media have also at times sensationalistically promoted the stereotype of Japanese women overseas as "yellow cabs".[5]
Black performers
Large penis size in Black men is consistently emphasized in pornography, as is gangster or thugish demeanors. Black women are often portrayed with large buttocks, or 'booty'.
Latinos and Hispanics
Pornography tends to stereotype Hispanic women as feisty, "hot and spicy Latinas", sexy Señoritas, with a high sex drive and low impulse control. Many are portrayed as maids, illegal immigrants to the United States, or unfaithful wives.[6] Since Latinos and Hispanics can be of any race (many are white Hispanic Americans, Mestizos etc.), cultural characteristics are sometimes portrayed via iconic items like Hispanic national costumes, sombreros, maracas, or Mexican dresses.

Interracial pornography

The term 'interracial pornography' in a broad sense may pertain to visual pornography depicting sexual activity between performers of any different racial groups but white female — black male combination being the most dominant type[citation needed], Internet Adult Film Database Glossary defines 'interracial' or IR as sexual act "involving black women and a white man, and a white woman and a black man, as per convention".[7]

In the past, some of American pornography's leading white actresses were allegedly warned to avoid African American males, both on-screen and in their personal lives. One rationale was the purportedly widespread belief that appearing in interracial pornography would ruin a white performer's career, although some observers have said that there is no evidence that this is true.[2] Adult Video News critic Sheldon Ranz wrote in 1997 that "we keep hearing a lot about 'the powers that be' that tell white women that it's not in their 'interest' to work with blacks. Is there any proof that Ginger [Lynn]'s scene with Tony El-Lay in Undressed Rehearsal hurt her career? Nina Hartley still gets lots of bookings in Southern strip clubs, especially Texas, even though she is an avowed interracialist."[8] However, more recent pornographic film actresses like Jenna Jameson, Tera Patrick, and Carmella Bing[9] are noted to avoid black males, some even alleged of being racist.[10] A parallel European example of this pattern was the refusal of German actress Karin Schubert who considered performing with black male partners as "perverted".[11]

In recent years, interracial pornographic films have increased in popularity, becoming one of the fastest-growing and biggest-selling genres.[12] Many of these films still include racial stereotypes, but the segregation of actors by race has diminished considerably[13][14] Interracial pornographic films have a majority audience of white male viewers,[15] which has led some people within the pornographic industry to speculate that the largest orders for interracial pornography comes from the Southern U.S.[16][1]

Racial fetishism

In academic discourse, racial fetishism is a postcolonialist term found in the writings of authors such as Homi K. Bhabha, Anne McClintock and Kobena Mercer. The term combines elements of the Freudian psychoanalytic fetish and the Marxist commodity fetish, and is used in the context of British, Spanish and French colonialism and imperialism and their aftereffects. The term has as its origins Frantz Fanon's epidermal schema and Edward Said's Orientalism.[17][18][19][20]

Homi Bhabha defined the idea of a racial fetish in contrast to the idea of the Freudian sexual fetish which he describes a denial of difference, where the male sees the female as a castrated male, seeing missing parts rather than a different anatomy. Similar to Freud's idea of a fetish, Bhabha defines racial fetish to be a fixation on other races being not different, but lesser or "mutilated" versions of the white male.[17]


See also


  1. ^ a b "AVN Feb 2009". Retrieved 2010-02-06. 
  2. ^ a b Luke Ford (1999). "Racism". Retrieved 2008-01-18. 
  3. ^ Tong, Benson (1994). Unsubmissive Women: Chinese Prostitutes in Nineteenth-Century San Francisco. Norman, Okla.: University of Oklahoma Press. ISBN 0806126531. 
  4. ^ Tajima, R. (1989-06-28). "Lotus Blossoms Don't Bleed: Images of Asian Women". in Asian Women United of California. Making waves: An anthology of writings by and about Asian American women. Boston: Beacon Press. pp. 308–17. ISBN 0807059056. 
  5. ^ Ma, Karen (1996). The Modern Madame Butterfly: Fantasy and Reality in Japanese Cross-Cultural Relationships. North Clarendon, Vt.: Tuttle Publishing. ISBN 0804820414. 
  6. ^ "The Challenges of 'Cha Cha': Latin/Hispanic stereotypes". Retrieved 2010-02-06. 
  7. ^ "Internet Adult Film Database Glossary". (Web link). Retrieved on 2009-12-07.
  8. ^ (1997-04-05). "Stars Who Refuse Interracial Scenes". rec.arts.movies.erotica. (Web link). Retrieved on 2007-07-06.
  9. ^ "Big Boobs Big Butts: Carmella Bing". (Web link). Retrieved on 2010-01-12. "Carmella is known throughout the industry as a dodger for her adamant refusal to work with black men in any of her scenes."
  10. ^ "10 Zen Monkeys — Racist Porn Stars". (Web link). Retrieved on 2009-12-19.
  11. ^ "Studieninhalte — Online Lexikon: Karin Schubert". (Web link). Retrieved on 2010-01-25.
  12. ^ "Black/White: Sex, Race & Profit". SexTV. 2006-09-09. Retrieved 2007-07-19. 
  13. ^ Carroll, Rebecca (2007-06-04). "Savanna Samson: Becky & the Pussycats Debut Interview". Retrieved 2007-07-19. "So many girls [in the industry] said, 'Oh you can't be with [a black man] it's gonna ruin your career.' I think that's insane. I love black men, so I was really insistent about being on camera in an interracial [situation] because I didn't want to be part of that mentality." 
  14. ^ Cachapero, Joanne (2007-07-15). "Lex Steele Talks God on BET". Xfanz. Retrieved 2007-07-19. 
  15. ^ Poulson-Bryant, Scott (2006). "Hung: A Meditation on the Measure of Black Men in America". p. 139. Retrieved 10 Jan 2009. 
  16. ^ Nathan, Debbie (2007). "Pornography". p. 30. Retrieved 10 Jan 2009. 
  17. ^ a b Bhabha, Homi K. (June 1983). "The Other Question: Difference, Discrimination and the Discourses of Colonialism". Screen 24 (6): 18–36. 
  18. ^ McClintock, Anne (1995). Imperial Leather: Race Gender and Sexuality in the Colonial Contest. New York:: Routledge. 
  19. ^ Mercer, Kobena (1993). "Reading Racial Fetishism: the Photographs of Robert Mapplethorpe". in Apter, Emily and Pietz William. Fetishism as Cultural Discourse. Ithaca: Cornell UP. 
  20. ^ Fanon, Frantz (1967). transl. Charles Lam Markmann. ed. Black Skin, White Masks. New York: Grove Press. 

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