by Racialicious special correspondent Latoya Peterson
Oh, hell no.
I am staring at the editor’s page of the April 2007 issue of Details magazine. Staring up at me from the page are seven black men in various stages of undress, and one white woman, in the process of being groped, her face hidden from view.
The editor starts his letter by narrating his lack of experience with orgies, leading into the description of the feature article: “Meet the Mandingos.”
The sample quote provided?
“The women get to fuck our guys while their husbands watch, and we get to fuck rich white women, really mutt ‘em out.”
This quote was made by Art Hammer, apparent leader of the Mandingo tribe.
I read the rest of the article feeling like I was falling down a rabbit hole. Racial stereotypes from history has resurrected themselves, and were apparently alive and well in swinger’s clubs across America.
You can read the article for yourself here.
Now, it is not a secret that most human beings are fascinated by sex. Vanilla sex is seen as passé, and orgies are no longer relegated to the farthest reaches of the porn universe. The Sexual Life of Catherine M rocked literary circles in 2002, and the last few Eric Jerome Dickey novels have featured sex parties, or some variation on sex with multiple partners. Hell, even Lynn on “Girlfriends” referenced multiple partner sex on prime-time TV.
What makes this particular article gag-inducing is the tired pandering of racial stereotypes to shock their audience.
Let’s start with the cover. The article tag line reads: “America’s Disturbing New Sexual Fetish.”
Uhhh…not quite new. As Carmen said, try googling the term “Interracial” and see what pops up.
The Details blog takes the stereotypes a step further, baiting readers with the following tag line:
“Do you know your wife’s secret sexual fantasy? An orgy with the mandingos: well-read, well-endowed black men.”
*gasp!* Oh dear god, not well-read, well-endowed black men!
The article’s summary statement reads “They’re gentlemen in the street, thugs in the bedroom, and your wife’s steamiest fantasy.”
Ok, so now we have a domesticated negro, ready to pound your white wife into orgasm induced oblivion. Even better.
All this, and we haven’t even got to the article yet.
Underneath yet another provocative black-on-white photo, the article begins.
Jeff didn’t always like black guys. He was prejudiced—he admits it. As one of the few white kids at his school in the southeast of Washington, D.C., he fought a lot with black kids and was occasionally beaten up. When he later ran a string of gas stations, he was robbed: A black guy held a gun to his head and pulled the trigger—but the gun didn’t go off.
“Honestly, that experience helped me a lot,” he says. “I used to be very conservative. I didn’t spend much money. Now I enjoy life. I’m much more open. Especially sexually.”
It’s a measure of how far he’s come that Jeff (not his real name), now 40, is telling me this while we’re watching a black guy have sex with his wife, Amber (not her real name), 37, at an interracial orgy. In Jeff’s house. On his bed. The man screwing Jeff’s wife is Branford (not his real name), a 30-year-old massage therapist who’s not holding back—this isn’t lovemaking, this is a proper pounding. Forget Amber—that’s just how Jeff likes it.
Nice to see that Jeff’s prejudice was cured by watching his wife receive “a proper pounding.”
Jeff continues to advertise his new prejudice free lifestyle by explaining his motivations for allowing his wife to get into this compromising position:
Jeff and Amber have been married for three years and in “the lifestyle”—as swingers like to call it—for two. At one point Amber started talking about black guys. “I wasn’t thrilled,” says Jeff. “Nope, wasn’t a fan.” But she persisted, and he decided to go along. “I like seeing Amber get off,” he says with a shrug. “It excites the hell out of me. And it’s better if they’re black. All Amber wants is sex. Black guys get that. And I know that Amber would never date a black man.”
And after all, what are black men for, if not sex? Obviously, they are still unsuitable for dating so there’s nothing to fear, right?
[Side note: Nice reference to "casual bigotry" in the next paragraph.]
The organizer, a black man named Art Hammer, doesn’t fare much better when talking about his contributions to the swinger scene.
“The fantasy goes both ways,” he explains. “The women get to fuck our guys while their husbands watch, and we get to fuck rich white women, really mutt ‘em out. It works! But people in this lifestyle are affluent—I’m talking judges, CEOs, FBI agents, important people—so before they invite a bunch of black men into their homes, they want to know they’re safe, they’re not going to get robbed, and everyone is discreet. So that’s what I provide—a gentleman in the street and a thug in the bedroom.”
Hmm…so inviting other white strangers into their homes to swing is fine – just have to watch out for those black bandits. They may be after more than one kind of booty!
Hammer continues, explaining why his thoroughbreds are the best in show:
“They have to have at least eight inches, and most have a college degree. They have to be able to role-play, and most important of all, they have to be gentlemen. It’s the difference between Notre Dame, where you’re a student-athlete, and the University of Oklahoma, where you’re an athlete-student. We don’t just take jocks.”
When the “A-team” (the mandingo men, if you will) are polled, they all explain different reasons for participating, from being able to “sling dick without any responsibility” to an affinity for the “yin and yang of two colors mixing.” They even throw in the old fucking-our-way-to-a-cuter mixed-race-tomorrow shtick:
“I believe the world is looking beyond color now more than ever. And people are getting more attractive. Sexier people are having more babies. Look around!”
I bet Kristie Alley would love this article, particularly as the writer makes the following observation:
Watching the Mandingos in action, one immediately notices two things: that most of them are packing more than eight inches, and that they’re better-looking than the women they’re pleasuring. Jared, for instance, is a chiseled and muscular six feet, probably the best-looking of the men. His first encounter is a ménage à trois with Maryam (not her real name), a pudding of cellulite, and her chiropractor husband, Rick (not his real name), who’s all back fuzz and belly. Rick adopts a lavatorial squat near Maryam’s face and thrusts his penis at her. Jared’s presence seems like an act of charity, not that he’d say so himself. “No, no, there was attraction,” he insists. “They’re very nice, polite people. It’s an inner attraction.”
An inner attraction? To people who you know for sexual purposes only? Riiiiight….
The author then poses a question about why the interracial dynamic is so popular. One of the Mandingos gives the following answer:
Jared believes that, the stereotype of black male potency notwithstanding, the fundamental dynamic in the interracial swing scene—that of black men dominating white women—is fueled by a combination of white guilt and female sympathy. But Hammer, who is an impresario of these fantasies, sees another potent element at play: the humiliation of the white husband.
As I continue persuing the article, I have to pause for a second. I come across a line saying, “What all this means for race relations in the age of Obama is difficult to say.”
Huh? Did I miss something? By running for President, Barak Obama has single-handedly reversed racism? Damn, maybe he is a magic negro!
Or not. The article closes with our friend Jeff, talking about the rude people leaving condom wrappers under his kid’s beds (yes, you read that right) using the phrase “some people.”
I sigh out loud. My boyfriend looks up from the Esquire he is flipping through and asks what I am reading. I push the magazine over to him. He glances down at the page, and opens his mouth to speak.
“Oh, hell no.”
About This BlogRacialicious is a blog about the intersection of race and pop culture. Check out our daily updates on the latest celebrity gaffes, our no-holds-barred critique of questionable media representations, and of course, the inevitable
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Latoya Peterson (DC) is the Owner and Editor (not the Founder!) of Racialicious, Arturo García (San Diego) is the Managing Editor, Andrea Plaid (NYC) is the Associate Editor. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The founders of Racialicious are Carmen Sognonvi and Jen Chau. They are no longer with the blog. Carmen now runs Urban Martial Arts with her husband and blogs about local business. Jen can still be found at Swirl or on her personal blog. Please do not send them emails here, they are no longer affiliated with this blog.
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