Do We Make Black Men ‘Frustrated’ In America?

May 15, 2013  |  


In recent years, coverage of sex tourism has increased in the news and in film, exploring how the ability to travel abroad and satisfy your every need through dollar bills is so alluring and how people shed their identities, instantly transitioning into their alter egos once borders and oceans are crossed. The film Paradise: Love and documentary Frustrated: Black American Men in Brazil both explore how white women and black men navigate their international sexcapades. In both films, white women and black men are seen paying for sexual acts. But though both parties are frowned upon for their actions, a clear double standard is presented, which begs the question: Is it more acceptable for a white woman to get her groove back than a black man claiming to find love internationally? And if so, who made those rules?

The “controversial narrative of Paradise: Love, follows the sexual misadventures of Teresa, a 50-year-old white Austrian single mother, who explores Kenya through – and on the bodies of – young African men.” On the flip side, Frustrated: Black American Men in Brazil depicts how “Women [in Brazil] are more caring [of men] and respect them as men,” as one man in the documentary said. “It has nothing to do with how much they make. It has nothing to do with anything else other than just being a man.” It’s quite obvious the characters in Paradise: Love are only engaging with natives to indulge in physical pleasure, whereas the men in Frustrated are intentionally looking for Brazilian women to love them — with fewer expectations of course.

As Dating/Life Coach Demetria Lucas states in The Root:

“Somehowthese guys have convinced themselves that their Americanness, which drips off of any tourist, and the benefit of the exchange rate between the Brazilian real and the American dollar have nothing to do with all the love that a middle-aged man well past his prime can receive from very young and exceptionally attractive Brazilian women.”

American news outlets have made the state of the Black relationship a crisis center. On televisions and across the web you can find Black women and men virtually pointing the finger at one another whenever relationship conversations arise. Although these conversations are played-out like an eight track, one must ask: Why do we continue discussing this topic to avail? The sentiment,“Black women don’t treat us right…so we gotta go to Brazil because they play nicer,” evinces more about black men than anything it could about black women. Brazilian women aren’t the problem or the solution. To many American men, they serve as a band-aid to a deeper ill. And unfortunately that wound continues to be ignored as this cultural relationship war plays out in the media, distracting from the larger issue at hand, as if men from all races in the U.S. don’t go to Brazil or other countries for the pleasurable company of women.

Repetitive articles regarding the state of the white relationship seem to be non-existent; where are the white men checking for their women when they go abroad? Because white privilege does not carry the weight of stereotypes, white women have the freedom to be portrayed as care-free. As they explore foreign lands, their sexual quests are defined as entitled awakenings instead of disrespect to their race. They do not suffer the cultural repercussions Black men face — being responsible for how relationships are portrayed to the greater society or helping progress the Black family unit. And that should be the lesson in this blame game.

Do you think there is a true difference between White women and Black men traveling abroad for sex/love? Should Black men be entitled to the same sexual freedom as White women when it comes to international sexcapades, or are the consequences of Black men’s actions far greater — and for whom?

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