Why people tune in to X-rated websites is easy to guess. But what makes a grainy video clip titled “Muslim aunty f***s her Hindu BF”, shot on a cheap cellphone, pick up more than 11 million views? Another one, this time titled “Hindu aunty f***s Muslim…”, has more than five million views. That’s “viral” by current standards. What exactly is happening here? Sex jehad? Flowing both ways? A playful subversion of politics?
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The heavy traffic around these lesser-known nooks and alleyways of the World Wide Web is obviously telling us something. The exotic other has always been an object of sexual fascination: xenophilia has been known through history, fuelled sometimes by a sense of inferiority about the self. ‘Interracial’ is an established genre of content on porn sites abroad, playing on a blend of fear and fascination. A fake National Geographic cover from May 2017 titled ‘Evolution Europe’—doing the rounds of social media and featuring a statuesque, ebony-toned Black man standing with a blonde astride his waist, both naked—reprised its most basic tropes.
Fear? Yes, the very biological fear that drives a lot of politics: of genes getting ‘corrupted’, of demographic invasions, of ‘races’...