So often we find ourselves asking “why?” Why do men think mullets are a good idea? Why does scientology exist? Why is it taking so long for the waiter to bring me my parmy? We are always wondering “why?"
I think one of the most probing “whys” nipping meekly at our feet is the question of why we are fascinated by certain people. Why do I find blonde men a little spooky and disturbing, but brunette men are like big, juicy, provocative steaks playing tease at the supermarket? Is my sexual propensity for being boned by those of an unsettling, dark and sadistic nature an organically predetermined orientation, or the result of an ethnically conditioned fetishism? Or, is it both? Is my DNA responsible for such behaviour, or am I just an insipidly consistent, subconscious racist?
According to Donald Symons, author of “The Evolution of Human Sexuality”, evolution didn’t so much give us a preference for a particular race as it did give us the biological mechanisms to make an educated choice about potential mates. Given that our ancestors were not only territorial, but barely had the resources to travel outside of their homes let alone to another racial climate, the likelihood of humans evolving sexual adaptations in relation to race is minimal. However, given that mating was a choice of great importance for the survival of our ancestors, it is not unreasonable to assume that natural selection would have provided certain psychological gateways to overcome the difficulties therein. Perhaps an adaptive possibility is the idea that we are born with an innate preference for those who seem on par with ourselves socially, mentally and physically.
We aren’t programmed to favour one particular “race”, we are merely subjected to the tendency to stick to our cultural “average”. Since modern industrialization and media have unanimously broadened the standard and meaning of what it is to be “average”, interracial sex is simply the natural evolution of our search for the perfect mate. Being trapped inside a narrow view of sexual partiality, individual similarity and what counts as an acceptable partnership are just culturally fashioned desires- whether it be a fetish for Scottish men with hairy knees, toe-sucking mid coitus or wearing socks while you’re being orally ravaged.
In sum, genetics have likely played a distinctive role in our carnal development, if not only by enabling the psychological mechanisms which underpin our sexual desire for certain types of people to run their course. Nonetheless, I still couldn’t claim that I only fuck men with dark brown hair and deep voices because my DNA tells me to. I guess when it comes to mating, you don’t only have to open your legs, you have to open your mind as well.