How did you guys meet and how long have you been together?

Rose: We matched on Tinder and we’ve been together for three years. There was instant chemistry but both of us were kind of disasters and had a lot of work to do on ourselves before we were ready to be in a committed relationship. So we were on and off for the first year and a half and then somehow we figured it out and for the most part, it’s been amazing ever since. He is 100% my soulmate. 

Obi: As much of an entitled little white girl Rose can be sometimes, I love her. She’s my ride-or-die. 

Sensuali Blog: Rise-or-die
There’s no coming between ride-or-die.

Has either of you been in an interracial relationship before?

Rose: So I am white and have only ever had one serious boyfriend before Obi and he was white. But I’ve always found myself attracted to men of all races and as I got older and found myself living in more diverse places, I started hooking with more Latino, Asian, and Black men than white men. 

It wasn’t conscious or anything. It just happened to be who I was attracted to and who was attracted to me. I hope this doesn’t come off as fetishy or anything, but I think there is something to opposites attracting. I just love getting to know someone – whether it’s a friend or someone I’m into romantically – who comes from a different background and culture than me. It makes life a lot more interesting.

Obi: I am first generation American and my family is from Nigeria. My parents separated when I was a baby and my mom remarried a white man when I was nine. Around that time, we moved to a much whiter suburb than the one I had spent my earlier years in. Hitting puberty surrounded by mostly white girls definitely impacted my sexual preference. 

Most of my relationships have been with white women. There’s also an element of not being accepted by Black women. As an African American, I don’t really identify with Black culture in the way people whose ancestors have been here for centuries do. I’m tall and thin and my style is a bit androgynous, so Black women usually find me too effeminate. But the white girls seem to love that shit – especially since the rise of the Kardashians. I’ve experienced white women fetishizing the fuck out of me and it’s definitely uncomfortable at times. 

Does race play an effect on your relationship and if so, how?

Obi: How could it not? As a Black man in America, race plays a role in everything I do. I’ve had to work much harder to get where I am in my career than any of my medicare white male peers. That’s something Rose didn’t seem to understand at first. She’s just this hippie white girl who is thin and conventionally attractive. Conceptually, she understands her white privilege. But she struggles to accept that the world is a much kinder place for her. 

She makes friends everywhere she goes and is always trying to get me to be more optimistic and “put love out into the universe.” It’s frustrating because that doesn’t work for me like it does for her. She walks into a room and people are instantly at ease. I walk into the same room and people feel threatened. The angry Black man stereotype runs deep, even in the supposedly “woke” circles we travel in. A big part of the attraction of having a white girlfriend is that it signals to the public that I am not a threat. A thin white woman serves as a shield from a world that is violent and hateful to men who look like me. 

Sensuali Blog: Starkly Different Realities
The realities between life as a white woman and a Black man living in America are starkly different.

Rose: It’s definitely been a learning curve for me. I basically grew up on a commune in rural Massachusetts with a bunch of hippies so the values of love and acceptance were instilled into me from a young age but there was so much I was ignorant to before dating Obi. I’ve had to come to terms with my own white fragility and do a lot of work on myself to not take it personally when I’m being called out by him for my unintentionally racist behavior. 

He knows I’m not a racist but I’ve definitely said problematic things and I’m grateful to him for educating me. It shouldn’t be his burden as a person of color to educate me in that way, but he’s taken it on anyways and I’m really grateful to him for that. One time I referred to an area as “ghetto” and he responded back to me, “What makes it ghetto? The fact that low-income brown and Black people live there? You can’t use that word, Rose.” It was jarring to be made aware of my own racist behavior but it was a learning experience, and I’m better because of it. 

What race-related challenges have you guys faced so far and how have you grown from them?

Obi: When the Black Lives Matters protests escalated, we had just started dating and I was really going through it. Rose did the best she could by supporting me in the way she knew how, but there’s only ever so much she can understand my struggle, and that’s tough. There’s also been a couple of times where we’ve gotten into fights and Rose has started screaming. At the time, she didn’t understand the danger she was putting me in. Had the neighbors called the cops and shown up to see a tiny white girl crying and screaming at a Black man, I could have been dead. She’s since apologized and we’ve been able to move past it.

Rose: Sometimes I feel like my problems are entirely dismissed by Obi because of my race. I am well aware that I am a privileged white girl and that many of my struggles pale in comparison to people of color or people from lower income backgrounds, but at the end of the day, everyone has their shit. And as a partner, it’s your job to listen to and support your girlfriend in times of crisis. 

Obi hates when I breakdown down and cry because he is just way more rational and less emotional than me. He used to mock me, saying:”Adversity, adversity! Enough with the white girl tears.” But we’ve talked about it and it’s gotten better. He’s become a lot more sensitive to my needs and I’ve become more receptive to hearing hard truths about my own victim mentality – which Obi believes all white girls are raised to embrace. 

Sensuali Blog: White Tears/Brown Scars by Ruby Hamad
Enough white girl tears already! Ruby Hamad, delves into this topic in her must-read book, White Tears/Brown Scars. (Photo Source: The City of Cambridge)

Did you experience any friction amongst family members when they found out you were dating someone of a different race?

Rose: My family was over the moon to hear that I found someone I was in love with. They have fully embraced Obi into their lives and there has been no friction at all. 

Obi: Ya that was really nice because there’s always this fear of a Get Out situation happening when you go home to meet a white girl’s parents. On my end, my mom is also just happy that I found my person. My older sister, who is a total boss bitch, took a bit longer to come around. It comes from a place of protection but she definitely thinks that the women I date are beneath me. That has less to do with race though than it does with career and status. Eventually, Rose won her over though. 

How does the outside world perceive you as a couple and how do you navigate that?

Obi: Going back to what I said before, the optics of me with a white woman make me appear safer and more trustworthy to the average person. I’m less likely to be watched by security when I go into a store when I’m with Rose. Black women hate seeing us together though. I can sense it. To them, they see it as a betrayal to the Black community. I’m accused of using a white woman as a status symbol. But the reality is, Black women never fucked with me to begin with and white girls did.

Rose: I think I’m way more oblivious than Obi is to this kind of stuff. If anything, it seems to give me a bit of cachet in the progressive world of Brooklyn I exist in, which makes me feel kind of gross. People are always complimenting us on how good we look together and there’s often this subtext that the reason they are saying that is because of the chocolate / vanilla vibe we have going. But I’d rather deal with that than whatever bullshit we would have to deal with if we lived somewhere in the Deep South. 

What advice would you give to someone new to being in an interracial relationship?

Obi: Patience. 

Rose: As a white person, I would tell other white people to prepare to have their white fragility bubbles burst. It’s hard at first but it’s so worth it. I am way more empathetic to the human experience and more anti-racist than I was before I started dating Obi. 

Closing thoughts? 

Rose: Fuck racism.

Black-owned sites and stores 

A curated list by Sophia Conti : https://www.websiteplanet.com/blog/support-black-owned-businesses/

Interview
love
race
relationships
sexuality
Jules

Jules

Author

Based in Brooklyn, Jules has dedicated her twenties towards harnessing her pussy power, exploring the muse, whore, and wild woman archetypes along the way. When not blogging, you can find her sweating the toxins out in a hot yoga class or sipping a matcha latte at a pretentious coffee shop, whilst she scribbles away in her journal.


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