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In the aforementioned OKCupid study, they were the most sought-after matches among men of all races; and Are You Interested, an online dating platform, examined 2.4 million interactions and found that Asian women received the most messages among all ethnic groups. When Christine Wong (not her real name) was single, the 30-something Chinese Canadian found that perceptions of her ethnicity came with certain connotations.

"I heard people say things like 'Asian women are petite, they age well, and they're loyal and more [sexually] submissive'," she said, adding that she has mainly dated white and Asian men.

Such experiences seem common for many Asian men in North America, where online daters often post statements like "I don't date Asians" or "No Asians".

According to a 2014 study by OKCupid, a North American dating site and app, Asian men were rated the lowest by white, black and Latina women - and a speed-dating study conducted by Columbia University in New York found that Asian men had the hardest time getting a second date.

"I think that with more Asian-American women speaking up and showing a diversity of thought, people will eventually learn that we're not a monoculture, and can't be fit into any stereotype." Ultimately, racialised preferences cannot be avoided, but being aware of them is key, according to sociologist Hurt. The personal is political and people's preferences don't just happen in a vacuum," he said.

"If you're white and won't date your group, you've internalised some norms and ideas about those people.

"Even outside of dating - at work, the women who interact with me the most are Asian and rarely white or of other ethnicities." This isn't just the case in Vancouver.

"I always had to suss out whether the white guys I dated had 'yellow fever', or if they liked me for me," she said, adding that she would check if their last few girlfriends were also Asian, or if they had many female Asian friends.

"Sometimes you just get that gut feeling - that vibe." Yale-NUS College humanities scholar Robin Zheng describes fetishisation as "a person's exclusive or near-exclusive preference for sexual intimacy with others belonging to a specific racial group".

However, Vancouver, in Canada, also happens to be one of the most multicultural cities in the world, and one where the overseas Asian population is among the world's largest.

According to a local news report in 2017, 43 per cent of the city's residents were of Asian heritage, while the most recent government census in 2011 found that Chinese-Canadians made up 27.7 per cent of the city's population; South Asians comprised 6 per cent; and European-Canadians remained the majority at 46.2 per cent.

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