Rice Queen, Potato Queen

For those who are not in the know, “white” men who are exclusively or primarily attracted to “Asian” men (meaning, at least in Australia, ethnically East (including North) or South-east Asians)  are known as “rice queens.”  Their counterparts are known as “potato queens.”  More amusingly, Asian men who are exclusively or primarily attracted to their own kind are known as “sticky rice” or “sticky” for short.

There is a lot of stereotyping that goes around about the first two of these groups.  Like much stereotyping, this has some basis in fact, although it also involves generalisations which can’t fairly be applied automatically to individuals who appear to fit the stereotype.

It is said that “rice queens” are “UFO” – “ugly, fat and old,” that they only turn to (by implication beautiful, slim, young) Asian men because they cannot attract the attention of a white boy.  There are further generalisations then made about such men’s motivation for seeking out Asian men, which in turn either involve acceptance of further stereotypes of Asian men being “submissive, less “masculine” and in particular taking the “bottom” role in sex, or entail a rejection of those stereotypes but an imputation to the rice queen of motives based on them.  In effect it is said that rice queens are a kind of sex tourist who has not left home (not that they don’t also leave home) – using their advantages of race and wealth to prey on the Asian men whom they pursue.

Consider this depiction of ‘The Rice Queen” from a blog which I would acknowledge but whose author has expressed a (you might think paradoxical) desire to blog privately: 

He knows he has got it and he uses it to his full advantage. Like a stalking tiger, he waits in the grass, ever ready to pounce on his next victim. The empowerment that he feeds off comes partly from the physical features that he has inherited from his forefathers.

Blond. Blue haired. White man skin. The rarity that comes along with having these characteristics become even more valuable when he has a preference for Asian men over his own kind.

Because to begin with, not many white guys go exclusively for Asian men.

His built is does not need to be any different from the ordinary; not stunning, not muscular, not well toned, because these features do not matter. He doesn’t need to have a huge dick, or be good in bed. He does not need to dress up for the occasion, or own expensive clothes, or have a good sense of fashion; often the Rice Queen’s wardrobe is composed of oversized shirts with hideous floral motives, and probably the odd straw hat. Even facial features and expression can be mediocre but the simple reason why he remains valuable lies in the rarity of his preferences for Asian boys and his hair/eye/skin colour.

Because he targets such a specific market of people, and there are not many competitors, his face value is vastly exaggerated. He knows this well and works on these qualities to prey on the people who are seeking for them.

Like a tiger, he targets the weakest of the gazelles. He assesses the herd of Asians for the young ones. The vulnerable ones. The ones who are alone. The ones who are desperately looking for company. The Asian boys who are looking for someone who is dominant in the relationship. Someone who will show the way, to hold their hand through the uncertainty of being alone.

Undoubtedly, there are people like this, even if the tiger/gazelle metaphor is setting things up in loaded terms. It is interesting to me that the “dominant/(and by implication) submissive” paradigm makes an appearance at this point.  Leaving that aside though, the issue which obviously arises is the existence of a sexual “market” and the morality of how people use their advantages in such a market (including maximising some advantages to compensate for other disadvantages such as the UFO factor), or take advantage of other people’s disadvantages.

The rice queen is often the subject of scorn.  That such people approach younger and more beautiful (but Asian) men in bars also engenders fierce resentment.

It seems a bit unfair to direct all this resentment to such “sleazy” old men who dare to presume that younger Asian men might be interested in them.  The fact that these men think they have a chance is shaming and shameful, but the missing object of scorn is the non-RQ man who apparently is not interested.  Perhaps it is difficult to scorn or condemn someone whom you still desire.

There is some more in the blog I have quoted about the rice queen’s modus operandi, including a claimed propensity to impress, use and discard the latest crop of vulnerable newly-arrived Asian young men on a serial basis by apparent support and protection which evaporates once the Asian man expresses a desire for a relationship.  The blogger reveals that he was once such a vulnerable young Asian man who fell for such a rice queen.

In another post he gives a profile of “The Potato Queen.”

His wardrobe will have the usual clothes of any other funky person (quote Gucci and Armani), except that it will be ten sizes smaller. A Barbie Doll would feel comfortable in the tank tops that he wears. Some of his jeans have huge holes in them to air the fuck out of his balls (possibly to ease the rash that comes from the friction that he experiences due to the lack of hair down there) He is not shy to show off his hairless skin to the world. The ripple-effect that he causes by wearing clothes big enough for a toddler resonates wherever he walks. People turn and look at him, admire him, mentally undress him, and think dirty thoughts about him. He realises this, and he loves the attention, pushing himself harder by wearing even smaller clothes. I reckon the tension in the fabric would send any apparatus used to measure it into the scrap bin.

His taste for men, well, only the old and ugly. And they must be blond, they must be white, they must be blue eyed. It doesn’t matter if the person is balding or has wrinkles. I’m not sure if the ability to perform is a criteria, though I highly doubt it after seeing the men he’s dated. They must be very committed purchasers of Sildenafil.

The potato queen will do anything to keep his old white man happy; even if it means wearing a size 8 when he’s really a 9-and-a-half. The potato queen is oblivious to whatever the white man fantasizes; he is the receptive bottom and doesn’t need to worry about such details.

So much for sisterhood.

29 Responses to “Rice Queen, Potato Queen”

  1. Adrian Says:

    Sad. It sounds like he’s excoriating his former lifestyle while projecting it onto others. The full text (yes, I googled) is elaborately detailed, isn’t it?

  2. AV Says:

    Wasn’t Pauline Pantsdown sued by Pauline Hanson for the following line from “Backdoor Man”:

    “I’m a very caring potato.”

  3. marcellous Says:

    Adrian:
    I think it might be going too far to say that this was the author’s former life-style, but it does seem, as I commented, to show a lack of fellow feeling with people whose position and motivation may well be similar to where he had previously been. Perhaps it is the Saul/Paul syndrome.
    AV:
    Here is an extract from Richard Ackland’s column in the Herald, dating from when Hanson re-activated her defamation proceedings (once she got her initial injunction preventing broadcast of the song, things went quiet for a few years) for damages:

    Before Justice Roslyn Atkinson earlier this year … there was much discussion of the meaning of “potato”. Hanson contends that it has a special meaning. Her latest pleading on the topic says it means “a homosexual male of European descent who has a sexual preference for homosexual males of Asian descent”.
    It could be her Queensland legal advisers are confused on this issue. Anyway, she has told the Supreme Court that “the homosexual and gay community represents about 10 per cent of the Australian male population and a like percentage of the males who listened to the [ABC’s] broadcasts would have known the slang meaning of potato”.
    Well, Justice Atkinson didn’t know about this special meaning and she has an honours degree in English literature. She called for several dictionaries to be brought in. During counsels’ submissions, the judge (poring over The Macquarie Dictionary) said: “Just a minute. There you are. The colloquial meaning of ‘potato’ in The Macquarie Dictionary, which we can take to be the modern Australian meaning of words, is a woman. It’s the rhyming slang, ‘potato peeler, sheila’. So potato colloquially is a woman.”
    Ken Barlow (for the ABC): “All the more reason, in my submission, why it is incumbent on the plaintiff to say by whom was that special meaning understood.”
    As the judge told Cedric Hampson, QC, for Hanson: “There am I, a listener of Triple J, and I don’t know the special meaning of the word ‘potato’.”
    In her ruling on the ABC’s application for further particulars about this special meaning, Justice Atkinson refers again to The Macquarie, which also defines potato as “an edible tuber of a cultivated plant”. The Australian National Dictionary, which covers Australianisms, comes up with “clean potato”, which means above reproach or a plan that is above board. As she put it: “It is not obvious, therefore, that the word has the special meaning which it is alleged to have.”

    I haven’t been able to divine the fate of these proceedings, though I presume that if they had come to trial, we would have heard about it.

  4. Daniel Says:

    Isn’t it customary, perhaps even a legal requirement, to cite material when you reproduce it verbatim? Good faith would seem to require you seek permission or even just notify the person you’re quoting.

    In terms of the rice market politics I mentioned in a comment on another post, this is pretty low fare.

  5. marcellous Says:

    I offered my explanation for not citing the original in the post. Anyone can find the original on google for as long as it remains current. I’m not sure if I agree with you on what good faith would seem to require.

  6. Daniel Says:

    Then, if you don’t mind, I’ll cite this page the next time I present on this topic.

  7. marcellous Says:

    I don’t mind the citation per se, though I might take exception to the bases on which you maintain it to be “pretty low fare” (assuming I read your earlier comment aright).

  8. SIPCA 4 (Sydney International Piano Competition of Australia) « Stumbling on melons Says:

    […] so cute.” And it’s true, he does look cutish – in a way to which I, for one, confess a susceptibility. But it certainly isn’t just that. It is his poise and intensity which is attractive – and […]

  9. ACK Says:

    Much of the talk about older white guys and younger Asian guys centers on the ages – so, remove the race part and let the discussion go one step further. An older Asian man who likes young white men will find himself marginalized, or to be blunt, rejected by what he desires. Now, expand the theory to include this unfortunate circumstance. The population is aging; the rice queen-potato queen debate will fade, sooner rather than later.

  10. Bitch of Bangkok Says:

    Hey! I just stumbled across your blog. I like this article!

    Here in Bangkok, virtually all white gay men are “rice queens” – AND wearing the shirts with HIDEOUS FLORAL MOTIVES:) I see them every day!

    It seems interesting to me that the rice/potato queen debate is essentially the same as here…Asian must be young and White guy must be old and hideous…it’s sad.

    I would like to ask you…do you see many “normal” white/asian gay couples in Australia?

    I’ll go on now to read the rest of the blog:)

    • Peter Brown Says:

      I am good looking, blonde blue eyed with a good body …. I like Asian guys not because I rejected white guys but because I decided Asian guys are so much better….. for me it’s like having a big mac or a gourmet meal. Asian guys, at least the ones I meet, are intelligent, friendly, have good manners, good personal hygiene, look after themselves and are interesting to talk to. And this applies to most young and older Asian guys. I can’t say the same for the white guys I meet.

  11. Californian Rice Queen Says:

    I mostly go after asian guys.

    I’m cute. I’m white. I’m 21 (and have liked asian guys since I was 16). I’m only 150 pounds. I’m around five foot ten inches. And I’m good in bed (or at least, so say my partners). I’m usually the bottom.

    I think I might break your stereotype. And my boyfriend and I looked really cute together.

    I NEVER wear hawaiian print shirts either.

  12. Will Says:

    Wow !! Californian Rice Queen is SO modest :) .. cute, good in bed, etc. Big ego usually indicates small cock.

    A Californian who doesn’t wear Hawaiian shirts … I’d like to see that :-)

  13. Perry Says:

    The stereotypes have truth to them.
    I admit I am a potato queen.
    I am a young asian guy but like older white guys. I like white cock.
    And yes I am submissive and a bottom.

  14. marcellous Says:

    Mmmm: funny how squeamish I felt about letting that comment through. And it must have been all because of the word “cock!” I confess it seemed a little ur-trollish.

    As to Perry’s comment: please see the second para of this post.

  15. Perry Says:

    I would like to add another possible insight.
    I believe that many gay Asian guys aren’t interested in other Asian guys for the same reason many white women aren’t interested in Asian guys.
    Perhaps they both don’t see Asian men as masculine enough.

    I know this does not apply to all but I think many gay Asian guys think very similarly when it comes to dating as white women do. I know I do.

  16. marcellous Says:

    Well, P, that’s your point of view.

    A statement about “many Asian guys” is pretty much the same as “some Asian guys.” If you feel that way, then the world is big enough that it is unlikely you are the only one.

    The thing is that if you think that about yourself, that’s your prerogative (though if being “masculine” enough is thought of as a good thing, you may be pitied for your self-hatred). If you think that about your own kind, that will probably be allowed, though its a slippery slope. If others (eg: “white women,” or nasty white men who just want to exploit a member of an oppressed and disadvantaged sexual minority) then it’s a whole different ball-game, isn’t it?

  17. Kevin Says:

    It is very unfortunate that gay men like me also perpetuate the stereotype.

    I am a gay Filipino male. I am short, 21, somewhat slim (with a little tummy), with a very small package. And of course, I am a bottom.

    Preferentially, I like tops (they know how to pleasure bottoms best IMMHO), but I am not limited to white men. I really love Indian men, Middle-Eastern men and Black men at times. Besides the big package, I find body hair (save beard and moustache) highly attractive and arousing.

    And being that I am also a religionist (of the Hare Krishna variety, particularly), I subscribe to desiring a marriage relationship mainly or partly based on a traditional breadwinner/homemaker paradigm. The greatest thing I could ever have in my personal life is to have a God-loving husband whom I can serve from home in cooking, cleaning, ironing, sewing, massages, and to see him as the decision-maker of the household.

    I think that in highly urbanised and Asian communities, such as here in Vancouver, such stereotypes of the ‘Gay Asian Male bottom’ is disappearing, although there is definitely a sense of friction and slightest tinge of subtle racism; Caucasians generally stick with Caucasians, and Asians with Asians. I have not seen too many Potato Queens as there are Sticky Rice men… although the Rice Queens (and some are quite young enough and good looking) seem to be pervasive all over.

  18. Tony Says:

    Rice queens are not all UFO, I’m potato queen, well toned, 178cm 65kg and I’m 22. My boyfriend is white, 26, 185cm 75kg. My bf only likes Asian boys.

    • marcellous Says:

      So good of you to give us your age and stats, Tony, but what a pity you didn’t give your location!

      Of course not all rice queens are UFO. Anyway, it’s something that creeps up on you, so there is still hope for your bf.

  19. Francois Says:

    My name is Francois,

    I’m French; 26 years old; and too am a rice-queen. I do like asians (Chineses) pretty much since I’m 18. I never ever got attracted to any other types of guys except them.

    What you described in your paragraph is what I always fear of becoming. I sort of see my sexual attraction as a desease; as I too need to overcome these stereotypes, but still accept myself for who I am. I hope that some day we will be better branded; most likely when the bad apple phases out..

    • Jonathan Li Says:

      It is only normal to be attracted to those from a different race or culture especial for those who were bought up in a mono-cultural society. I am Chinese and I am attracted to the Europeans but that does not mean I am attracted to every single one of them. At the end of the day it is that person’s personality and integrity that counts.

      In my opinion Racism is not a matter of race or colour but the prejudice of those from a country that has a greater economic and cultural strength. Within the same race or culture, the rich (top of the society) are more likely to feel superior about themselves and therefore look down upon the poor (bottom of the society). I often wondered what if the African or Asian Countries were more developed than the European and North American Countries. The truth is that the world is Changing some of the Asian countries are already on the top i.e. China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan. African countries are also catching up… I’d like to see what the world is going to be like in another ten or twenty years’ time.

      • marcellous Says:

        Jonathan,

        Thanks for the great comment. Hope you don’t think it is condescending of me to say so. It is heart-warming to get a response like that after so many years on an old post.

        As I think we would both agree, once you get to know a person, it is the particular qualities of the person rather than their group-membership attributes that really count. That’s a truism but it is sometimes easily forgotten. RQ/PQ talk is mostly talk about the circumstances in which people initially get to know each other than about how such acquaintance continues and develops.

        As to the world in 10-20 years’ [appreciate the apostrophe!] time, I’d like to see what it will be like too, and I think that interracial sexual politics is one area where there could well be some turning or the tables or at least a levelling of the “playing field.”

  20. Seán McGouran Says:

    Is / was ‘potato queen’ not (also) a reference (in London, anyway) to ‘Anglo’ gay men who liked sex with Irish boys?

    • marcellous Says:

      I’d not heard that before but a little “research” reveals it as sense number 5 on “urban dictionary.” Not that UD is an impeccable source, as some of the other definitions there of pq demonstrate all too plainly.

  21. Seán McGouran Says:

    Thanks for the reply – and a happy 2012 – Francois, above is too hard on himself. Sexual taste is sexual taste after all.
    Loving / desiring sweet Asians is hardly a hanging offence.
    And may change or broaden out after a while.
    So long as you are kind and gentle with your love-object what’s the problem?
    Unless they are into SM, of course, I have smacked a beautiful man’s (VERY attractive, muscular) buttocks – he asked me to, and he enjoyed it. I really enjoyed what happened after that…

  22. omry grinberg Says:

    … I.. I’m not even Shocked.

    Very.. Heteronormative.. Too much so. FOR ME.

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