“Tend to prefer sane, masculine, caucasian (no offense to other flavours though)”: Racial-Sexual Preferences, Entitlement, and Everyday Racism

  • Andrew DJ ShieldEmail author


The second analytic chapter centers on interviewees’ encounters with racism and Islamophobia online, and identifies “racism on Grindr” as a gamut of recurring speech patterns that circulate on the platform. These patterns include persistent questions of origin, racial-sexual exclusions (e.g. “No Asians”), racial-sexual fetishes, links between immigrants and economic opportunism, and insults directed at a user’s race, nationality, or perceived religion. Encounters with racist speech are central to many immigrants’ experiences on socio-sexual platforms, and prompt some users to challenge hegemonic discourses on app.


Everyday racism Sexual racism Entitlement racism Fetish Islamophobia Xenophobia 


  1. Ahmed, Sara. The Cultural Politics of Emotion. New York: Routledge, 2004.Google Scholar
  2. Balkenhol, Markus, Paul Mepschen, and Jan Willem Duyvendak. “The Nativist Triangle: Sexuality, Race, and Religion in the Netherlands.” In The Culturalization of Citizenship: Autochthony and Belonging in a Globalizing World, eds. Jan Willem Duyvendak, Peter Geschiere, and Evelien Tonkens, 97–112. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016.Google Scholar
  3. Basabose, Olave, Manju Reijmer, Timothy Aarons, and Amna Durrani. “Sexual Racism: On Racism Within LGBTQI Spaces.” Panel at the International Conference on Religion and Acceptance, University of Amsterdam, 7 September 2017.
  4. Blaagaard, Bolette, and Rikke Andreassen. “The Disappearing Act: The Forgotten History of Colonialism, Eugenics and Gendered Othering in Denmark.’ In Teaching ‘Race’ with a Gendered Edge, edited by Brigitte Hipfl and Kristín Loftsdóttir, 91–103. Utrecht: ATGENDER, 2012.Google Scholar
  5. Bonilla-Silva, Eduardo. Racism Without Racists, Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in America, 4th ed. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2014 [2006].Google Scholar
  6. Boston, Nicholas. “Libidinal Cosmopolitanism: The Case of Digital Sexual Encounters in Post-enlargement Europe.” In Postcolonial Transitions in Europe: Contexts, Practices and Politics, edited by Sandra Ponzanesi and Gianmaria Colpani, 291–312. London: Rowman & Littlefield, 2015.Google Scholar
  7. Boston, Nicholas Andrew. “How Do I Put This Gently? Articulating the Links Between Race, Residence and Sexuality.” Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association, Chicago, 22–25 August 2015.Google Scholar
  8. Callander, Denton, Christy E. Newman, and Martin Holt. “Is Sexual Racism Really Racism? Distinguishing Attitudes Toward Sexual Racism and Generic Racism Among Gay and Bisexual Men.” Archives of Sexual Behavior 44 (2015): 1991–2000.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Campbell, John Edward. Getting It on Online: Cyberspace, Gay Male Sexuality, and Embodied Identity. London: Harrington Park Press, 2004.Google Scholar
  10. Chee, Alexander. “My First (and Last) Time Dating a Rice Queen,” The Strangler, 21 June 2017.
  11. Chee, Alexander. “No Asians! Navigating the Pitfalls of Anti-Asian Sentiments in Online Hookup Sites,” Out Magazine, 11 January 2012.
  12. Dam, Pell. “Efter ‘Haribo-racisme’: Politiker vil sige neger om sorte” [After ‘Haribo-Racism’: Politician Wants to Say Negro About Blacks]. MetroXpress, 22 January 2014.
  13. Danbolt, Mathias. “Retro Racism: Colonial Ignorance and Racialized Affective Consumption in Danish Public Culture.” Nordic Journal of Migration Research 7, no. 2 (2017): 105–113.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Daw, Stephen. “Munroe Bergdorf Calls on Grindr to Crack Down on Racist & Transphobic Users,” Billboard, 26 July 2018, last accessed Autumn 2019 via
  15. Eng, David. Racial Castration: Managing Masculinity in Asian America. Durham: Duke University Press, 2001.Google Scholar
  16. Essed, Philomena. “Entitlement Racism: A Public Lecture with Professor Philomena Essed & Professor Martin Parker,” Copenhagen Business School, 19 April 2016.Google Scholar
  17. Essed, Philomena. “Entitlement Racism: License to Humiliate.” In Recycling Hatred: Racism(s) in Europe Today, edited by European Network Against Racism, 62–77. Brussels: European Network Against Racism, 2013.Google Scholar
  18. Essed, Philomena. Everyday Racism: Reports From Women of Two Cultures. Alameda, CA: Hunter House, 1990.Google Scholar
  19. Essed, Philomena. Understanding Everyday Racism: An Interdisciplinary Theory. Newbury Park, CA: Sage, 1991.Google Scholar
  20. Essed, Philomena, and Isabel Hoving, eds. Dutch Racism. Amsterdam: Rodopi B.V., 2014.Google Scholar
  21. FS: The Gay Health and Life Mag (Special issue: “Racism in the Gay Scene”) 148 (June/July 2015). Last accessed June 2015 via
  22. Gosine, Andil. “Brown to Blonde at Passing White in Queer Cyberspace.” In Queer Online: Media Technology and Sexuality, edited by Kate O’Riordan & David J. Phillips, 139–154. New York: Peter Lang, 2007.Google Scholar
  23. “Grindr and Sex Culture.” Panel at Copenhagen Pride with Kristian Møller, Fahad Saeed, Niels Jansen, and Andrew Shield, 16 August 2017. Archived and last accessed Autumn 2017 via
  24. Kuntsman, Adi. “Belonging Through Violence: Flaming, Erasure, and Performativity in Queer Migrant Community.” In Queer Online: Media, Technology and Sexuality, edited by Kate O’Riordan and David J. Phillips. New York: Peter Lang, 2007.Google Scholar
  25. Lang, Nico. “In Trump’s America, Racism on Gay Dating Apps Is Getting Worse,” The Daily Dot, 23 June 2017.
  26. Marselis, Randi. “Descendants of Slaves: The Articulation of Mixed Racial Ancestry in a Danish Television Documentary Series.” European Journal of Cultural Studies 11, no. 4 (2008): 447–469.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Massey, Grace Carroll, Mona Vaughn Scott, and Sanford M. Dornbusch. “Racism Without Racists: Institutional Racism in Urban Schools.” The Black Scholar 7, no. 3 (1975): 10–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. McGlotten, Shaka. Virtual Intimacies: Media, Affect, and Queer Sociality. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 2014.Google Scholar
  29. Mulinari, Paula. “Racism as Intimacy—Looking, Questioning and Touching in the Service Encounter.” Social Identities 2, no. 5 (2017): 600–613.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Myong, Lene. “Adopteret: Fortællinger om transnational og racialiseret tilblivelse” [Adopted: Tales of Transnational and Racialised Origins]. PhD diss., Aarhus University, Copenhagen, 2009.Google Scholar
  31. Myong, Lene. “Bliv dansk, bliv inkluderet: transnational adoption i et in- og eksklusionsperspektiv” [Be Danish, Be Included: Transnational Adoption in an Inclusionary and Exclusionary Perspective]. Paedagogisk Psykologisk Tidsskrift 48, no. 3 (2011): 268–276.Google Scholar
  32. Owens, Erica, and Bronwyn Beistle. “Eating the Black Body: Interracial Desire, Food Metaphor and White Fear.” In Body/Embodiment: Symbolic Interactions and the Sociology of the Body, edited by Dennis Waskul and Phillip Vannini, 201–212. Hampshire and Burlington: Ashgate, 2006.Google Scholar
  33. Peumans, Wim. “‘No Asians, Please’: Same-Sex Sexualities and Ethnic Minorities in Europe.” In Hand Picked: Stimulus Respond, edited by Jack Boulton, 128–139. London: Pavement Books, 2014.Google Scholar
  34. Phua, Voon Chin, and Gayle Kaufman. “The Crossroads of Race and Sexuality: Date Selection Among Men in Internet ‘Personal’ Ads.” Journal of Family Issues 8 (November 2003): 981–995.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Race, Kane. The Gay Science: Intimate Experiments with the Problem of HIV. London: Routledge, 2018.Google Scholar
  36. Rachel E. Dubrofsky and Megan M. Wood, “Posting Racism and Sexism: Authenticity, Agency and Self-Reflexivity in Social Media,” Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies 11, no. 3 (2014): 282–287.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Ranzini, Giulia, and Christoph Lutz. “Love at First Swipe? Explaining Tinder Self-Presentation and Motives.” Mobile Media and Communication 5, no. 1 (2017): 80–101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Sabaah. “Debat: Tænder ikke på asiater” [Debate: I’m Not Turned On by Asians], 19 February 2013,
  39. Schaper, Ulrike, Magdalena Beljan, Pascal Eitler, Christopher Ewing, and Benno Gammerl, “Sexotic: The Interplay Between Sexualization and Exoticization.” Sexualities (published online November 2018; full citation forthcoming).Google Scholar
  40. Shield, Andrew DJ. “‘A Southern Man Can Have a Harem of Up to Twenty Danish Women’: Sexotic Politics and Immigration in Denmark, 1965–1979.” Sexualities (published online November 2018; full citation forthcoming).Google Scholar
  41. Shield, Andrew DJ. “Grindr Culture: Intersectional and Socio-Sexual.” Ephemera: Theory & Politics in Organization 18, no. 1 (2018): 149–161.Google Scholar
  42. Smith, Jesus G. “‘No Fats, Fems, or Blacks’: The Role of Sexual Racism in Online Stratification and Sexual Health for Gay Men.” PhD diss., Texas A&M University, 2017.Google Scholar
  43. Smith, Jesus G. “Two-Faced Racism in Gay Online Sex: Preference in the Frontstage or Racism in the Backstage?” In Sex in the Digital Age, edited by Paul Nixon and Isabel Düsterhöft, 134–145. New York: Routledge, 2018.Google Scholar
  44. Stoler, Ann Laura. “Colonial Aphasia: Race and Disabled Histories in France.” Public Culture 23 (2011): 121–156.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Svensson, Jakob. “Gay the Correct Way: Mundane Queer Flaming Practices in Online Discussions of Politics.” In LGBTQs, Media, and Culture in Europe, edited by in Alexander Dhoest, Lukasz Szulc, and Bart Eeckhout, 192–207. London: Routledge, 2017.Google Scholar
  46. Tsang, Daniel. “Notes on Queer ‘N Asian Virtual Sex.” Amerasia Journal 20, no. 1 (1994): 117–128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Verass, Sophie. “Racism on Grindr: Indigenous Gay Man Screenshots Racial Abuse Online,” Special Broadcasting Service/National Indigenous Television, 14 April 2016.
  48. Williams, Jessica, and Ronny Chieng. “Sexual Racism: When Preferences Become Discrimination.” The Daily Show, 12 April 2016.Google Scholar
  49. Woo, Jamie. “Open Letter to Grindr Users: I Am Not Rice, He Is Not Curry.” The Huffington Post, 28 June 2013.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Leiden UniversityLeidenThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations