Expand Your Queercabulary: Potato Queen, Sticky Rice

I had a conversation about online dating with an Asian friend who expressed that he was particularly bummed that some of the Asian guys he had messaged never bothered to message him back. He reached the disappointing conclusion that some Asian guys just will not date other Asians. His online dating had hit a brick wall that went by the name of “potato queen.”

By now, you should all know what a rice queen is.  If not, go read some more of my blog posts in the column on the right.  And if you somehow ended up on this site, it’s also likely you know what these other terms mean, but here’s the pocket-dictionary definition just in case:

Potato Queen – An Asian guy who’s into white guys
Sticky Rice – An Asian guy who’s into other Asian guys

It seems like most people in our politically correct world these days dislike the use of labels, but just like I got over my fear of being called a rice queen, I’ve come to embrace the use of other labels as well.

One time while I was in college there was this huge grocery store strike that went on for months, so in solidarity with the workers who had for years so thoughtfully packed my loaves of bread in the top of the bag so they didn’t get squished by heavier items, I started shopping at less mainstream grocery stores where the workers weren’t striking. Now, the problem I noticed with non-mainstream grocery stores (other than the overwhelming smell of dust and seafood) was that the items they stock are about as obscure as a hipster’s iTunes playlist. Most of the time I could at least tell what the food was supposed to be.

Full of fiber.  Lacking in cheer.

By far the worst offenders in lack of quality control were the canned foods. To save like a tenth of a cent, I guess these off-brands decided that instead of using glue to adhere the labels, they would use rejected 3rd world postage-stamp adhesive.  These things wouldn’t have passed inspection at a Post-It factory.

By the time I got the groceries home, I’d have a couple bags of crumpled up labels and unmarked cans. Despite my best efforts at identification, I eventually accepted that had no idea what I was about to eat. I was a college student (aka too broke to waste food), and I consider myself pretty creative, so whatever came out of the cans I happened to open were whipped up into some clever, if unconventional meal. All that ended after a horrifying breakfast of pear-tunafish salad, and the remaining unmarked cans went straight into the trash.

When it has to do with food, labeling is an obvious, accepted, and desired thing to do as it makes getting what you want infinitely easier.  It should be the same way with people.

Online dating is becoming more and more of a mainstream way for couples to meet. The thing I like most about it is the ability to prescreen potential dates.  In about 30 seconds I can gather most of the information about a person that I would get from an hour at dinner, but without the awkward who’s-going-to-get-the-check moment that comes at the end of a bad date when I just want to cut my losses, go home, and watch some porn. Height, weight, race, age, religion, income, profession, zodiac sign; it’s all right there!

The downside about finding people online is that before you make the first move, it’s impossible to read the other person’s immediate interest in you.

Meeting new people is all about confidence. Nobody likes rejection; not only is it an immediate failure, but it contributes to a general lack of confidence which makes it even harder to get up the courage to make the first move in the future. Meeting people in person has advantage over the internet in this area.

My first move at a bar, club, or Souplantation (RQ tip: Asians love the Souplantation), is eye contact. If the guy looks away, or makes a face, or whatever, I’ve clearly been rejected… but, my commitment to that relationship was just a look, I didn’t do nearly enough to expose my intentions or become vulnerable.

You don’t want to look at me?  Well, I didn’t even mean to look at you!  I was just looking around the room, and my eyes accidentally panned across your face. In fact, I reject you! How dare you think I had even the remotest interest.  You disgust me!

Fragile ego, intact.

Online though, the first move is to send a message.  Before you have the chance to gauge any interest from the other person, you’re already totally exposed.  Even if you just say “hey,” or send a “poke” or a “wink” or whatever other creepy trademarked term your dating site uses, you might as well be admitting: I read all about you and looked at all your pictures. I think you’re hot enough, smart enough, funny enough, and rich enough to meet, date, non-legally marry, legally remarry when the laws change, and raise adopted African babies with. And I know that last sentence ended with a preposition but “with whom I could raise adopted African babies” sounded pretentious and I don’t want you to think I’m pretentious.  I want you to like me! Love me! PLEASE DON’T REJECT ME!

All defenses down. Fragile ego ready to be crushed.

This is what my friend was getting tired of, and it’s also why I always feel bad when white guys message me. They’re usually nice, have clever profiles, and are objectively good looking, but just not my type.

Thanks for the “poke,” but this does nothing for me.

The ideal match for a rice queen like me is a potato queen.  A potato queen is my exact opposite, and while I’m not exactly flattered to be compared to a lumpy, amorphous, starchy tuber, fighting the terminology isn’t going to get anyone laid, so I’m past it. Because while my Asian friend may get stonewalled by these online potato queens, for me it’s PWC to the max.

But aside from potato queens, there is another label that exists for certain gay Asian men — sticky rice.  These guys primarily like other Asians, and I’ve certainly had my confidence blown at their rejection (and not in the good way).  These guys are the forbidden fruit of rice queens.

Can I at least watch?

Nobody likes rejection and nobody likes wasting valuable flirting time on something guaranteed to fail.  So I think more people should embrace these labels, not in a judgy way, but for the sheer efficiency of it all.

Amongst the options for age, religion, and other unimportant crap, online dating sites can include a category to choose a preference label: rice queen, potato queen, sticky rice, chubby chaser, bean queen, dairy queen, chocolate queen, size queen, or hummus queen. Check one, check none, check them all, fill in the blank! You’ll attract what you’re looking for much more easily, and you’ll spare a lot of shattered egos for the guys who never had a chance.

Because if you live in a world without any labels, you just might end up eating pear-tunafish salad, and nobody wants that.



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7 Responses to Expand Your Queercabulary: Potato Queen, Sticky Rice

  1. Pingback: Meta Updates: Readership in Africa, Close Reading Assignments, and What the Future Holds | I AM YELLOW PERIL

  2. Chris says:

    Such a clever post and only one comment. :<

    I thought what you wrote was interesting, and I never thought about those labels like that before. I read a couple of your other posts as well. Keep up the good work, from one rice queen to another. 😛

    • Thanks for reading! I will be back with more posts soon. Life kind of happened this past month and I didn’t have time to write. More experiences for more posts!

  3. Ivan says:

    Awesome and funny blog! Do most guys think if a guy doesn’t return your stare, it means he’s not interested? I’m pretty shy in public toward strangers, and usually if a guy looks at me, I immediately look away as a reflex but I would then look at him back if I like the guy. That’s also why I like online, you know a guy likes you if he send you a message. Anyway, nice reading!

  4. stickypotatoqueen says:

    Great post!! Coming from an Asian American perspective, I think you’ve really communicated all these labels pretty well.

  5. Barry says:

    Im a huge rice queen too. Is it racist to ador a group. It’s not like I’m hating. I too was swindled in Vietnam by the way when my tour guide rubbed against me for more money.

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