“What we find exotic abroad may be what we hunger for in vain at home.”

-Alain De Botton


Xenophilia is an intense desire to bond with foreigners, most often in a sexual manner. It can also defined as an intense attraction to the unknown or different. In everyday life, xenophilia often refers to being sexually attracted to people from different countries or cultures, but in its most extreme it can mean being attracted to fictional alien species or monstrous humanoid creatures from movies and fiction.

I Love To Hate You

Xenophilia and xenophobia are very closely tied together – xenophilia being an intense attraction towards foreigners and xenophobia being an intense dislike or hatred towards foreigners. People who experience xenophilia can also have xenophobia. This leads to a love to hate kind of situation. Xenophilia can easily cross the line from an unexplained love of an unfamiliar culture to a love to dominate that unfamiliar culture, and thus has some uncomfortable similarities to race play.

Dangers of Xenophilia

Typically xenophilia is not taboo because it is based on love and attraction, even if that is stemming from an admiration of the foreign or unknown. However, when it crosses over into racial objectification, domination or humiliation, it becomes potentially more dangerous. For some people xenophilia is rooted in the feeling of the “cultural cringe” where you feel another person’s culture is superior to yours. This can lead to a worshiping type of dynamic or a dominating and punishing one. As long as your xenophilia falls under the category of loving anything foreign or culturally different without any negative or domineering emotions, then you are pretty safe.

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