Where Did The Belief That Asian Women Are 'Sideways' Originate?

You have led a sheltered life. :wink:

My WAG is that ‘someone’ would have to be some wanker who’d never met an Asian woman.

You’re welcome.

Okay, okay.

So: AS Iteki figured, my “looking into it” was a reference to having confirmed that the physiological stereotype does not appear (based on a limited sample size) empircally well-founded. I will leave it to other workers in the field to take up the investigations.

And . . . my memory of this stereotype was amongst young teenage boys, and I believe I encountered it most in the American South. It was probably around the time that the Truly Tasteless Jokes series was so wildly popular among that demographic; my library is woefully inadequate, so I can’t claim that I know there were any jokes in that series specifically turning on this conceit, but it was certainly in the same spirit.

The specific phrase I most remember hearing: “They have it sideways, you know.” Probably heard some close variant on that, say, 15-20 times in my life. I did have the feeling that it was an adolescent re-telling of a traveling-salesman smutty joke from the '40s (it seems to have come up in the same context as “farmer’s daughter” jokes, but then, in the company of teenage boys, low sex humor is never far away, so it’s possible that it was also linked with, say, jokes about black men’s supposed generous endowments).

When I got to reading old travel narratives (or romanticized facsimiles thereof), I thought of this stereotype in conjunction with them. That is, in Gulliver, etc., imagining that distant races of people have strange physical attributes is a romantic conceit to excite and startle the reader with the exotic foreign climes; and I seem to remember that a number of allegedly-factual early European (and maybe Arab) traveler’s “chronicles” reported any number of bizarre physical and behavioral traits even to existent peoples (whom, however, the credulous readers would likely never have a chance to meet so as to falsify the exotic characterization). I don’t know if there is actually some similar historical tall tale from a traveler (alleged traveller) to the Orient who included this among the wacky traits of the exotic orientals, so that it propogated down the centuries into something that no one really believed as an accurate description, but still had heard of as a byword/joke (cf., e.g., the Red Indian’s supposed complete obliviousness to physical pain/torture). But it’s an interesting thought.

In case you still don’t know what is meant by “Sideways”

The Asian vagina runs left to right as opposed to front to back. The wider the legs are spread, the tighter it gets. This, aparently, is a myth.

Does nobody here know anyone who served in the South Pacific theater in WWII? My father in law actually has a retouched photograph which he used to win bar bets in NY city after the war. Blew my mind. I’m 15 years old and here’s this old guy (my first date with his daughter, by the way) asking me if I’ve ever “been” with an Oriental…then after I call BS on his assertion, he whips out this 3x5 photograph as evidence. Mercifully he was more willing to regale me with his exploits of said photo than to leave me in naive wonder.

Googling “slanted [naughty word]” brings up hundreds of links, mostly to Asian-oriented porn. Definitely not work safe!

What Matchka is talking about is sometimes called a “three o’clock pussy”. My understanding is that a very few women do, indeed, have them. However, I’ve never heard of any association between horizontally-oriented female genitalia and women of East Asian persuasion.

FWIW, I’ve lived all my life in the American South. I’m wondering if this stereotype is more well-known on the East and West coasts? Also, it may be more generally well-known among military folks than civilians.

In his historical novel The Dragon of the Ishtar Gate, L. Sprague de Camp has an ancient Greek suggesting that a prostitute in the Babylonian Temple of Ishtar has a horizontal opening. He’s making it up, of course, but it wouldn’t surprise me if the idea went back a long time.

For the record, I’ve never encountered the idea of a “slanted” genital openming, or the suggestion that slanted eyes = slanted other stuff. The story, as I’ve encountered it, was always horizontal vs. vertical.

There was a joke about this on SNL once. Alec Baldwin was doing a Pearl Harbor parody and mentioned something about asian women having a sideways one. (I don’t remember the exact wording, but there are a couple of words he obviously didn’t say) That was the first I’d heard of it, and never since until now. But that proves that it is in the main stream…

I’ve been alive for 59 years. Never heard the harmonica joke. It almost certainly must be from the last 10-20 years.

While I can’t contribute any early cites in print for the idea about ‘horizontal’ Oriental female genitalia, I have confidence that if went back to WWII and before.

My grandfather was in the US Navy back in the 1920’s. In the early 70’s I found hidden in his den a box of photos, post cards and other souvenirs from his various voyages around the world which included the mysterious Far East. Among many things there was a small joke book which included the first reference I found to the “sideway” slot said to be found on oriental women. I can’t say I’ve heard it often, but over the years I’ve come across it a few times.

I’ve heard this too, and even seen pictures in a, um, publication. Probablt faked.

I think beliefs of this type may have been more common in a bygone era, when ethnically-themed pornography was less readily available than it is now.

My current fiance’s ex-husband, upon hearing that I had dated Asian women, would ask me this every single time. Like 10 times.

No wonder she divorced him.

It was during the US/China spy plane standoff a few years ago. Alec Baldwin was the lone crewman who wanted to fight it out with the Chinese:

(from http://snltranscripts.jt.org/00/00ptoughguy.phtml)

I don’t remember if I’ve ever directly heard this joke myself, but I’m familiar with it thanks to Asian-American friends. It seems that an unfortunately large number of Asian-American women have been subjected to some sort of “And what else do you have that’s slanted?” line at one time or another. They don’t think it’s very funny.

I wonder if Margaret Cho has ever done a bit about this?

Anyway, the notion seems to go back to at least WWII, and is probably just another stupid “foreign people aren’t like us!” thing. American soldiers who served in the Eastern Theater in WWII, or the Korean and Vietnamese Wars, sometimes brought back (greatly exaggerated) stories about the exotic sexual skills of Asian prostitutes. This may have encouraged the idea that Asian women were “different” from Western women in a very intimate way.

An experienced prostitute might indeed have practiced some technique that would surprise a naive American kid enough to make him think that maybe her genitals weren’t the same as Mary Sue’s from back on the farm. A simple look would be enough to dispel this notion, but there must be plenty of men who never bothered to take a look.

since the average white male 100 years ago was ignorant of the clitoris, its not inconceivable that, except for those men who lived in west-coast towns with Asian brothels, the epicanthic eyelid = horizontal labia connection could gain credence.

Not that the Caucasians have a corner on the stupid market. For a long time the people of SE Asia believed the Britons’ red hair to be the result of their ancestors copulating with orangutangs (instead of with Celts - a lot of upper-class Englishmen might admit little distinction). The Chinese dubbed the English the “red-headed devils” (the Americans were the “flowery-flag devils”).

Sorry this is 18 or so years late lmao… but I would assume the sideways pussy would be referring to how petite asian women are. Them being smaller… Would make their vagina smaller. Think about a normal vagina…
It goes from vertically between the legs making it bigger than a vagina that would be side ways between the legs… Makes sense to me :person_shrugging:… Where it came from? I dont want to speculate… But sideways pussy… that just makes sense.

Not a common idea in the UK, but I first heard of it from my uncle Spike (from Connecticut) who was regaling us with all the off colour humour from his time in the Pacific war. This was one of the things they would try to convince naive young sailors of before their first foreign shore leave.

Depends what you mean by “common” I suppose but it was a typical racist trope in my teenage school days.

I certainly heard it then (but not since that I can recall) and it may well have fallen out of favour. I was prompted to click on this thread simply because it was something that I hadn’t heard in such a long, long time. (so I guess in that respect it probably isn’t common)

If I recall it was very much the sort of thing that the self-reported “sex expert” would say to the virgins, in the same way that young people in a new job would be sent for a “long stand” or “tartan paint”.

Not aware of the harmonica joke though.


I think that this discussion, such as it is, has run its course.