When Racefail Meets Playboy: The John Mayer Interview

By Sexual Correspondent Andrea (AJ) Plaid

My gut-honest reaction to finding out singer John Mayer admits that he doesn’t romantically or sexually like Black women is like finding out Tom Cruise saying doesn’t dig us sistahs: I’m not shocked because I didn’t get that vibe from him.  Douchey John Mayers

Mayer’s highlighted history of dating the crowning White women of Hollywood, like yeah-folks-think-she’s-doornail-dumb-but-00000-her-blonde-hair-and-big-tits Jessica Simpson and always-wronged-Golden-Girl-by-Golden-Boy-Brad-Pitt-on-the-sexual-strength-of-coded-as-“colored”-superfreak-temptress-Angelina-Jolie Jennifer Aniston—along with Jennifer Love Hewitt and Friday Night Lights’ Minka Kelly, and gets-coded-as-White Cameron Diaz–just tipped me to his preference. And, no matter what I feel about/think about/hold a moral stance on racial preferences in dating, the unpleasantly hard reality is people seem to have them. Mayer, being human, really isn’t that different. That’s not a justification, mind y’all; that’s just my facing the facts about folks. I mean, I get it. I may not agree with it—I’m definitely more of the rainbow-dating-and-fucking kind–but I get it.

But did Mayer have go into full racefail about his preferences—and in Playboy no less? (Warning: this and the very next link are NSFW.)

Hold that thought.

Mr. Wonderland goes into all sorts of fail in this interview. And, being human in an ism-filled world—which, as quite a few of us know here at Racialicious, no one is exempt from them due to the kind of music they like or like to play, with whom they collaborate, at whose funeral they performed, or which school they attended–Mayer has them….and decides to vent to them. As an ex-friend once said, -isms and -phobias tend to come in bundles.

There’s the ageism, in that “too old to get it” sense:

MAYER: If Jennifer Aniston knows how to use BitTorrent I’ll eat my fucking shoe. One of the most significant differences between us was that I was tweeting. There was a rumor that I had been dumped because I was tweeting too much. That wasn’t it, but that was a big difference. The brunt of her success came before TMZ and Twitter. I think she’s still hoping it goes back to 1998. She saw my involvement in technology as courting distraction. And I always said, “These are the new rules.”

The slut-shaming:

MAYER: I feel like women are getting their comeuppance against men now. I hear about man-whores more than I hear about whores. When women are whorish, they’re owning their sexuality. When men are whorish, they’re disgusting beasts. I think they’re paying us back for a double standard that’s lasted for a hundred years.

And misandry:

MAYER: Because I want to show her I’m not like every other guy. Because I hate other men. When I’m fucking you, I’m trying to fuck every man who’s ever fucked you, but in his ass, so you’ll say “No one’s ever done that to me in bed.”

Followed by some full-on homophobia:

MAYER: The only man I’ve kissed is Perez Hilton. It was New Year’s Eve and I decided to go out and destroy myself. I was dating Jessica at the time, and I remember seeing Perez Hilton flitting about this club and acting as though he had just invented homosexuality. All of a sudden I thought, I can outgay this guy right now. I grabbed him and gave him the dirtiest, tongue-iest kiss I have ever put on anybody—almost as if I hated fags. I don’t think my mouth was even touching when I was tongue kissing him, that’s how disgusting this kiss was. I’m a little ashamed. I think it lasted about half a minute. I really think it went on too long.

Circling back to the racefail, there’s some offhanded anti-Semitism:

MAYER: I’m half Jewish. People say, “Well, which side of your family is Jewish?” I say, “My dad’s.” And they always say it doesn’t count. But I will say I keep my pool at 92 degrees, so you do the math. [Emphasis mine.] I find myself relating to Judaism. One of my best friends is Jewish beyond all Jews—I went to my first Passover seder at his house—and I train in Krav Maga with a lot of Israelis.

With a side of “how-do-these-two-things-even-go-together?” East Asian stereotypes:

I want to get on an airplane and be like a ninja.

Some gawd-awful inverted-shoutout to us Negroes:

MAYER: …I am a very…I’m just very. V-E-R-Y. And if you can’t handle very, then I’m a douche bag. But I think the world needs a little very. That’s why black people love me. [Emphasis mine]

PLAYBOY: Because you’re very?

MAYER: Someone asked me the other day, “What does it feel like now to have a hood pass?” And by the way, it’s sort of a contradiction in terms, because if you really had a hood pass, you could call it a nigger pass. Why are you pulling a punch and calling it a hood pass if you really have a hood pass? But I said, “I can’t really have a hood pass. I’ve never walked into a restaurant, asked for a table and been told, ‘We’re full.’”

PLAYBOY: It is true; a lot of rappers love you. You recorded with Common and Kanye West, played live with Jay-Z.

MAYER: What is being black? It’s making the most of your life, not taking a single moment for granted. Taking something that’s seen as a struggle and making it work for you, or you’ll die inside. Not to say that my struggle is like the collective struggle of black America. But maybe my struggle is similar to one black dude’s.

And then there’s the now-infamous money-shot exchange, which got the blogosphere and the Twitterverse into roiling upset all day yesterday:

PLAYBOY: Do black women throw themselves at you?

MAYER: I don’t think I open myself to it. My dick is sort of like a white supremacist. I’ve got a Benetton heart and a fuckin’ David Duke cock. I’m going to start dating separately from my dick.

PLAYBOY: Let’s put some names out there. Let’s get specific.

MAYER: I always thought Holly Robinson Peete was gorgeous. Every white dude loved Hilary from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. And Kerry Washington. She’s superhot, and she’s also white-girl crazy. Kerry Washington would break your heart like a white girl. Just all of a sudden she’d be like, “Yeah, I sucked his dick. Whatever.” And you’d be like, “What? We weren’t talking about that.” That’s what “Heartbreak Warfare” is all about, when a girl uses jealousy as a tactic.

By the end of the interview, my mouth was agape, and my brain couldn’t even start to unpack it all—and I promised our editor Latoya Peterson to keep this post (relatively) short. So, my deputy-editor-in-giggles-and-struggle, Thea Lim, will soon write a post here about Mayer’s, ahem, self-entitled “pass.”

However, I can’t let Mayer’s money-shot statements pass without comment.

When I heard about it on Twitter, I heard a million Room for Squares CDs shattering against walls and a couple millions downloads of “Wonderland” getting deleted.  As my tweetvo pal @llpen and I commented:

@llapen:  the amount of discussion abt [John Mayer] betrays the levels of unwarranted endearment [(Black)] women have bestowed on him.

@CruelSecretary:  @llapen True….but you know how it goes with celebrity and attraction. Some Black women thought….they just thought, ya know?

I can easily see–and relate to–Black women, cis and trans, who envision themselves as the “you” Mayer wanted to make love with on “a deep sea of blankets,” considering that he really doesn’t give any explicit racial signifiers stating otherwise.  (And for those who want to argue about “porcelain” and “falling hair” as not talking about Black women–just don’t.  Porcelain can come in a variety of colors–including black–and Black hair can fall down, depending on the style, texture, and length.)  Mayer, though he feels he’s being honest with his interviewer about the probability of not dating Black women, just shattered the fantasies of those Black female fans who dreamed of  exactly that…and the (hopefully) attendant sex.

To that, @llapen responded:

@CruelSecretary hahahaha. yeah, I bet they thought lots of ish, the way they rocked “Wonderland”.  Reality is a bitch.

The bitch of it is Mayer’s comment is–yet again–another pop-culture “confirmation” that Black women are undateable, which translates to utterly undesireable and unfuckable.  He made that abundantly crystal with his “Benetton heart/David Duke dick” comment.  His disingenuous rejoinder of stating the Black women in Hollywood he wanted to get with–and then broke out with some wack-ass stereotypes of Black and White women and our dating styles just underscores his racially essentialized hot-mess-with-flies ideas about Black women.  And Mayer says all of this in a publication that is still considered a brand name in assigning cis women’s fuckability factor and, even for its (spotty) efforts at visually racial diversity, serves as one of the main echo chambers of melding and perpetuating the meme of White cis women’s idealized beauty and fuckability.

Honestly, I (and several folks I know on- and offline) hope Kerry Washington gives Mayer the what-for at a red-carpet event—preferably on the carpet itself– for coming out of his neck like that, fantasy or not.

And let me know if Robin Thicke or Jon B turns away from the sistahs.

Photo Credit: WZPT