I just got a call from Ryan, a friend I have known for many years.
"What are you up to Dan?" he asks.
"I'm about to write my dating column for this week."
"What's it about?"
"Not sure yet... any ideas?"
Ryan ponders for a few seconds then says: "What about race?"
"Are you trying to get me the sack? Bloody terrible suggestion," I respond, disgusted.
He laughs. I think I know what he's driving at.
"You're saying that because you only fancy Asian girls, right?" I ask.
"Basically, yes," he says.
For as long as I have known Ryan, he has been obsessed with oriental women. His current girlfriend is Japanese, as were his previous two. And maybe there is something in this, I wonder. White men are seemingly fascinated with ladies from the Far East, it's a well-known phenomenon. So, although this seems like slightly risky ground, I decide to interview him. Why are you obsessed with Asian girls Ryan? Why? What's so special about them?
And these were the 10 reasons he gave me…
"They are naturally thin and petite and have good skin — it's smooth and not very hairy," begins Ryan with a certain clunking predictability. But other than sweeping generalisations, would we get anything more enlightening?
Ryan says he covets Asian girls because "they have youthful looks and they age gracefully, whereas white people go red and leathery like Gary Davies."
Gary Davies, you have almost certainly forgotten, is a DJ from the 1980s. I have no idea why Ryan chose this example as to my knowledge, Gary Davies has not done any media work for at least 15 years.
Ryan loves Japanese cinema and art. He has an encyclopaedic knowledge of Kurosawa and there are samurai swords hanging on his bedroom wall, which is a bit scary really. "I just think it is cool," he says. And this clearly extends to the country's lady folk. They are cool.
Ryan says he went out with an Italian girl who was "quite mouthy and in your face" whereas his Japanese girlfriends have been more "demure and polite". I tell him he sounds "a bit Taliban". He retorts that Asian women are simply "more laid-back".
Ryan says he has always been "intrigued" by Japan, China and other Asian countries. And we can probably all relate to this indefinable fascination with a particular culture or place. Maybe it derived from watching a Mount Fuji documentary, or collecting Pokemon stickers.
Ryan cites some reasons for his preference that are sexually explicit in nature and sadly not repeatable here.
"When you're with someone from another culture you learn more. There's more to find out about them, rather than someone from Finchley," says Ryan in a rare philosophical moment.
Ryan says he is a "massive fan" of "sushi and that." He has been to Japan several times and spends large amount of his trips eating. Ryan suspects he is unconsciously seeking an Asian bride due to the unspoken promise of future homemade "sushi and that".
Ryan says he finds a "calming sensation" in an oriental accent. I once had a girlfriend who went weak at the knees at the sound of a Scouse accent, so I suppose anything's possible.
"Their hair is lovely," says Ryan, which is my cue to wrap things up because he's clearly running out of ideas.
So there you have it. Perhaps I could have more accurately answered the question posed in this blog if I'd surveyed various male orientaphiles, rather than just one. But this is a start. And Ryan's revelations might not be particularly ground-breaking but I suppose this just illustrates how male attraction is generally rather straightforward and superficial.
Next week: why black men prefer blondes.