It’s one of the world’s better-kept secrets. I can personally confirm that the phenomenon I am about to describe is almost unknown among North Americans. So if you are reading this in Asia, don’t tell anybody back home…
Guys, if you go anywhere in Asia except for Hong Kong, you might as well have a leather jacket issued to you as soon as you step off the plane, because you are the Fonz. Welcome to Alpha Male status. The first thing you will notice are dweeby-looking Western men with calculators in their pockets walking arm-in-arm with Chinese supermodels. These women are girlfriends, not prostitutes. I call it the “Charisma Man Syndrome”. After a couple of weeks your friends back home are going to start asking why you cancelled your return flight. A couple of decades later they’ll still be asking you the same question.
There are several theories on why this is the case; let’s explore them one by one:
1. Complex historical, sociological and anthropological reasons.
Gimme a break. Actually this was the topic of at least one Ph.D. thesis but hey, we’re not in the ivory tower anymore. Do you really think some Chinese woman ponders the Opium War before she decides whether or not to accept a date request from her British English teacher?
2. They want your money.
It stands to reason doesn’t it? Most Asian countries are poor, and most Western countries aren’t. What blows this theory out of the water is the fact that, if anything, this phenomenon is even worse in Japan, where (relatively) poverty-stricken English teachers date Japanese fashion models that make five times as much as they do.
3. They want a Western passport.
Well, marriage to a Westerner is indeed the quickest, surest route to a Western passport. And more than one Westerner has been left weeping bitterly in the Arrival Lounge when his new Asian wife climbed out the window of the airport Ladies’ Room to freedom. But then again there’s the counterexample of affluent Japan, where not all that many local women are seeking Western passports but still flock to Western men. By the way, since Western women are generally not interested in Asian men and since Western men in Asia are usually busy with Asian women, single Western women living in Asia tend to be a lonely lot. And they are NOT happy about it. The “passport motivation” is their favorite explanation.
4. They want free English lessons
Yeah, but why do they want to learn English in the first place? So they can talk to Western guys? Plus, my extensive research has shown that accomplished Western Language Nerds who refuse to speak any English in favor of the local language do just as well as (if not better than) starry-eyed Asia Greenies fresh out of the airport.
5. It’s a status symbol in Asia to have a western boyfriend
Yeah, and it’s a status symbol in Spain to have a matador boyfriend. What a lame theory. It begs the question of why having a Western boyfriend became a status symbol in the first place. After all, it’s no status symbol in Australia to have, say, a Bolivian boyfriend. Ah, Madison Avenue…
6. Western guys are better looking
Not some of the ones I see. Then again, it is true that Asia is the only place in the world where I get told I look I look like Brad Pitt – back in the states I’m more likely to be compared to Pee Wee Herman.
7. The grass is always greener on the other side…
So why aren’t women in the United States clawing each other’s eyes out for a Chinese boyfriend?
8. Asian men are somehow inadequate
As a male, I wouldn’t know about this. But I would be happy to hear from any interested females on this issue.
My next article will be entitled, “Why Western Women in China Hate Western Men and What You Can Do to Make It Worse”.