Interracial Dating: Go Ahead Get Your Swirl On


I can’t even write the word “swirl” without laughing. C’mon now, you know it sounds funny. The word is a bit funny, but it is a serious and timely subject. Basically, it is said to mean a black woman dating a white man. It has astounded me that there are books, websites, matchmakers, personal coaches, groups, clubs, and tons of social gatherings dedicated to helping get your swirl going.

According to the 2010 census out of the 4,267,000 married black women 168,000 are married to white men. That’s 4.1 percent of married black women. Even more shocking is that out of 51.5 million white women only 398,000 are married to black men. That’s .0075 percent of white women. It kind of makes you rethink the whole idea that black women aren’t dating and marrying outside the proverbial color box.

Until recently, I never even heard of the term. I have to laugh because unbeknownst to me I was swirling and didn’t even know it!  My friends and I just called it interracial dating.  That’s what we called it the day the topic came up at lunch. The question was asked if anyone had dated outside their race. My lunch mates’ responses of never dating outside their race didn’t surprise me. However, my response that I’ve always dated outside my race and had just recently started dating black men caused silence to descend over the table. They were so quiet it seemed like I could hear their heartbeats. I admit I was prepared for this and the questions that followed, but I wasn’t prepared for learning that my friends weren’t comfortable with me stepping outside the box.

Interracial Couple

We had often discussed men we were attracted to from all races, but the dating issue never arose. They had assumed that I only dated my own race and I had assumed they were open to dating outside their race. The questions they threw at me made my head spin.

  • Don’t you like black men?
  • What did your parents say?
  • Have you had any negative experiences?
  • How’s the sex?
  • Do you date different races because of your racial background?
  • Are you more comfortable dating white men or black men?
  • Do they treat you differently?
  • Would you marry a white man and have children with him?
  • Would you marry a black man and have children with him?
  • Have the family and friends accepted you when you dated them?
  • Who are you happier dating?

The only questioned I asked was “Why don’t you explore the options of dating different races?”

The answers to my question were “Just never wanted to.”, “Too much trouble.”, “I don’t believe in it.” and “I don’t know.” I was a bit disappointed with the answers. I had thought they were a bit more open-minded. Swallowing my disappointment I proceeded to answer their questions.  

Sexy Black Man

  • Don’t you like black men? I absolutely love them. They irritate me sometimes, but most men regardless of color have the potential to be irritating. I love and support them and will gladly help them whenever possible. My dating outside my race had nothing to do with disliking my own.
  • What did your parents say?  When I started dating my Dad didn’t want any male near me. So he hated any of them that came to the door or called. In his mind his baby girl was not dating anyone anytime soon. My Mom told me that she would have been surprised to see a black male at the door. She said she had hoped, but didn’t hold her breath. Both knew I was a free spirit and would go out with the one that held my attention and didn’t conform to the rules of society. All in all they were accepting of my choices.
  • Have you had negative experiences? That is a huge YES! The stares never bothered me because I was used to being stared at because I was always different. There were never anything physical. However, the comments angered me and hurt me the most.  I heard these comments often “You ain’t nothin’ but the massa’s sex thing.”, “You need to turn in your black card.”, and “You too good to date a brotha?”. I remember being at dinner and my date at the time had gone to the restroom. A black gentleman had come over and stood by the table. He said “My sister, why are you tainting our bloodline by associating with the enemy?” I was taken aback because he was there with his white wife. All I could say was “The same reason why you’re doing it.”  He left embarrassed, but his negativity had invaded my brain. It also prepared me to think of quick comebacks for what I would encounter in the future.
  • How was the sex?  This had me shaking my head and laughing. The only thing I could say was that I had no complaints.  However, if your partner doesn’t take the time to learn what pleases you and how to please you, than sex can be disappointing regardless of the skin color. However, if your partner takes the time to learn what pleases you, then it can be orgasmic…pun intended.
  • Do you date different races because of your racial background?  On this all I can say is I really don’t know. My ‘logical mother was black and my ‘logical father was white, but I was raised by two wonderful, loving parents who taught me to be open-minded. They taught me to embrace what felt right for me.

Sexy White Man

  • Are you more comfortable dating white men or black men? Even though I have dated black men, I am much more at ease dating white men. Before I started dating black men my mind was clouded with past treatment from them when I was growing up in my old neighborhood. Once I came to terms with the past and left it there dating black men became enjoyable. I enjoy dating both, but I am much more comfortable and at ease dating white men.
  • Do white men treat you differently?  Yes. I am a plus size woman. When approached by white men I am treated with respect. When I am approached by black men there is usually a reference to my size or the color of my skin. In my case it seems that more white men are willing to get to know me based on my personality and more black men decide whether to get to know me based on my looks.
  • Would you marry a white and have children with him? Would you marry a black man and have children with? I would marry the man I loved regardless of the color. Children would definitely be welcomed.
  • Did the family and friends of the white men you dated accept you? There were a few who didn’t, but for the most part I was accepted. Also, the men let it be known that any disrespect toward me would not be tolerated. Once that was made clear most people got to know me and others kept their opinions to themselves, but were polite.
  • Who are you happier dating?  The one that I will be happiest dating is the one I decide to marry.

Swirly Couple

Swirling, interracial dating, jungle fever or whatever label you decide to use isn’t for everyone. However, being a black female I see it as an opportunity to increase my pool of eligible men. Some will be supportive and let you know. Others will disapprove and you’ll have to grow thick skin. You may run into negativity, but remember any relationship is prone to this from others regardless of the race you decide to date. The only thing that matters is that you date someone who you have something in common with, share mutual respect, and makes you happy. It’s your choice to swirl or not to swirl.

(This is one person’s experience in the interracial dating world. All experiences are different.)


Simply put she is finally enjoying life. Each day is a chance for a new discovery. She had a very sheltered existence and now daring to venture out into the world. She has taken off the limitations and trying new things. She is single by choice, but looking forward to her next relationship. Living in the Chesapeake, VA area for now, but open to the next move.
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