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I felt objectified and grossed out." Jenny, who's tried Ok Cupid in addition to Tinder, has also experienced someone immediately trying to guess her ethnicity, which seems to be a pretty common experience for some women of color online. I just went to a Korean BBQ place.' I'm not Korean, and it's offensive to try to guess my ethnicity off the bat," she explains.As you'll see, the "I'm going to assume or wonder if you're this ethnicity, then say something asinine about it" technique is clearly alive and well."Men have said dumb sh*t to me about Kama Sutra," Maya B., 25, a queer woman of desi descent who identifies as a first-generation American and second-generation Indian, tells SELF.Listening to her experiences makes me want to set something on fire.Christian has seen profiles declaring that they're interested in every race except black women, and someone once told her "her kind" wasn't "good enough to date." Another guy said he'd "always wanted to try a black girl" because rumor had it we're like "sexual toys." "I cried that night [after I got that message]," says Christian.When it comes to it, racial preferences when online dating sometimes just mirror life in the real world.Sarah K., 30, the San Francisco-based CEO and founder of the app Pro Day, knows a lot of potential matches don't view her the way they do her white counterparts.
Yes, people are often attracted to others with similar backgrounds, but must you factor that so decisively into your algorithms, ye dating sites of little faith?"I think in the age of swiping apps, there's less ability to overtly discriminate, but there is still a lot of preference for women who meet a certain look," she explains.Even though she's occasionally dealt with guys who went out of their way to say things like "I'm down with the swirl" (BRB, rolling my eyes for the rest of eternity), Sarah also feels like swiping apps are "pretty welcoming of diverse people," especially in cities like San Francisco and New York.I told the dude that was racist and not indicative of how all Indian people live," she says.And sometimes, the weirdness isn't from actual people, but from the dating services themselves.
For now, Maya's filtered her preferences on the dating apps she still uses to only see people of color, hoping to avoid some of the disconnect she's previously experienced.