Tango Argentino > close contact *ahem* in close embrace

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by Peaches, Feb 27, 2006.

  1. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    I love close embrace--the intimacy of it, the security in it, feeling your partner move, hearing them breathe, feeling their heartbeat occasionally. But it does seem to raise some interesting questions from people who are kind of interested in AT.

    A friend is going milonga-ing with me, and she's really apprehensive about the close embrace. I've explained that you don't have to dance that way, but she's full of questions about why/how I can stand to dance that way. Put simply, she's very put off by the, ah...chest...contact.

    Admittedly, when I started, it took be a while to get used to. I didn't have a choice--I was taught in close embrace and it was (gently, gentlemanly) insisted on, more or less. After about 30 minutes I was so wrapped up in other technical details I forgot about what was pressing where.

    But how to explain it, further, to my friend? I'm particularly interested in guys' responses. How aware are you of the ladies' chests? Is it one of those never-talked-about-when-there-are-females-around guy secrets--i.e. something sexual that you'll never admit to? Or, does it cease to become something noticeable?

    Come on! Spill!
  2. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Oy! Just reading your very delicately worded description makes me feel jumpy.

    How long did it take you to get used to close embrace? Half an hour? Yeesh! I guess I'm pretty standoffish, then. Of course, if you'd described just regular ballroom-style body contact to me a few years back, thet would've grossed me out too.

    Maybe just don't tell her? Let her go and experience it. Maybe her experience will make the grossed-out feeling evaporated. Just make sure to steer her away from the super-sweaty, stinky guys. Save those until after she's hooked. :wink: :lol:
  3. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Jumpy? Hmmm...not the intended consequence... I wonder how I did that...maybe I'm not helping her situation any, then! lol. Normally I would just not say anything, but she already had a clue, so I couldn't just play dumb. ;-)

    Oddly enough, I'm usually pretty stand-offish too. My teacher(s) laugh when I tell them that I really don't like being touched. I put up with it for dancing, because it's necessary, but outside of that? Keep your hands off!!! (husband excepted, of course!) Closed hold (or whatever it's called in ballroom) still weirds me out, though. Go figure...

    Yep, about a half hour to become comfortable. Don't know why. Like I said, I didn't have a choice. If I was starting to pull back my teacher would switch his hold so that his arms were under mine, and he'd bend them at the elbow (like doing curls) and lock my shoulders to his. I learned really quickly that it was much easier and more comfortable to move when i was leaning into him (slightly!) than trying to pull away!
  4. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    :lol: Sounds like your tango teacher is used to newbies.

    Maybe just tell your girlfriend that she may be freaked out for the first hour or so, but it gets better?
  5. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    odd....never freaked me out...just made me wonder if the...um...noticed...cuz I did
  6. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member


    (Congrats on the comp winnings, by the way!)

    you noticed the...um...? i'd think that if the...um...noticed you'd be the second person to know about it. (I can't believe I'm writing this.)

    In closed hold i'm aware of...um... and some brushing going on occasionally. I don't think I'm doing anything wrong--I can't think of any way to avoid...um brushing when we're that close. At that range, "stepping through him" equates to stepping between his legs...he's not that much taller than me, particularly if I'm in heels. What really bothers me, though, is having my lower belly in contact. I don't like that touching too much.

    Re: pygmalian--I don't know how used to newbies he is. He just was very insistent, in his gentlemanly kind of way, that things WERE going to happen the way he wanted them to. No questions asked, no big deal made. When things weren't going his way, he would just create a situation where it became obviously to my advantage to do things the way he told me. What can I say, it worked!
  7. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    That's good peaches! Noticing....well if you never danced that way you notice. Me I noticed the first time I did in ballroom and the first time I did in AT. After that I was okay and forgot about it.
  8. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    I'm fairly sure you ladies, uh, "feel" more than we men do when you're in close embrace. It's not like we're fondling your chest while we're dancing. Besides, I think we're a little busy leading.
  9. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    omg....that was a typo...I like being touched:shock: :shock: most everywhere;) ...but when I was new i was concernered that the contact that was occurring(pro is short too) was due to something incorrect on my part...and I also wasnt used to it...now I know that neither concern is neccessary....and I still like it....
  10. motardmom

    motardmom New Member

    I quite enjoy a tight embrace. A lot depends on my partner as to how much I enjoy it. :D And in social situations, there are things girl can do to squeeze out of it. But if you are comfortable with your partner, why would you want to do that? lol

    My first thought is that a little extra padding for your friend might help her feel less, thus feel more comfortable. Pay a visit to the grandma section in the lingerie dept at Sears before you go. ;)

    As for brushing: In my experience... It's not a problem unless something comes up between us. And even then, I suppose there may be an exception, depending on the nature of the relationship I had with the person. ;) (Though I suppose that particular dance is better left behind closed doors.) I am a tall girl and I have to watch the, um, legs, and I have been known to ask someone to ask me to dance again later (for a different, not so closed dance) because I anticipated this issue. But if I know the guy, we have previous experience... It very well may not be an issue. There are plenty of gentlemen out there who will take evasive actions to protect the ladies they dance with if anything might come up.

    I think that since she is new there, the people she dances with will be more concerned about the dance and getting to know her than copping a feel. I could be wrong, there's always a creep or two out there who may see her as fresh blood. But those types exist pretty much everywhere, so that's nothing new.
  11. JonD

    JonD New Member

    I can't say that I'm aware of my partner's boobs 99% of the time when I'm dancing. Ladies chests are, generally speaking, bumpier than mine but as far as I'm concerned it is only our chests that are in contact. I wouldn't worry about it. The only time that I become aware of my partner's breasts is if there is a strong sexual "tingle" in the connection at which point slow, small ochos from close embrace can be an absolute delight! That's very, very, very rare with strangers though. For the most part it's just as Joe says.

    I find it really difficult to dance if my lower pelvis is in contact with my partner. I know one lady who "cling films" and it's almost impossible to take a step. It's also quite disconcerting - they are my bits and ladies may only press their bits against them on a "by invitation" basis. (I've learnt how to make space now so it's no longer a problem). Sure, groins are going to touch in certain figures but that just happens in the dance; it's not as if you're grinding together in the "school disco shuffle" or doing an impression of a randy Jack Russell terrier. If there is a strong sexual chemistry then something more might arise but again that is very rare. If it does happen try suggesting to the man that he thinks of drinking vinegar with ice - the antidote to desire.

    Show your friend how to indicate the distance she wants to dance at - she can move her left hand to the front of the guys shoulder, or even his upper arm, if she wants more distance. Most leaders will accept that.

    By the way, I have always been taught to offer my left hand when taking up the embrace and allow the follower to determine the distance she wants to dance at. I only place my right hand after she's placed her left. Quite often, with a new partner, we'll start in an open hold and drift into a close embrace during the dance as we become more comfortable with each other.
  12. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    yes, I think in general that most gentlemen allow the lady to place herself....and it sounds to me like all of this is mostly about getting accustomed to it all
  13. timbp

    timbp New Member

    I have very little experience of Argentine Tango, and even less of close embrace. I've been to one casual AT class where close embrace was just assumed, and 4 classes of an 8 week course where the embrace is quite open (although from something the teacher said, I think we might be in close embrace by week 8).
    I also have 2 years dancing ceroc/modern jive, where contact can be quite close, upper and/or lower torso.

    For the tango class I did in close embrace, I was definitely aware of what contact occurred as we took the embrace (and a bit uncomfortable about it), but once dancing, it was irrelevant. I think the whole connection, trying to move as one, is more intimate than the physical contact of chests.

    For me, it is certainly not "something sexual that you'll never admit to". In Tango (at least at my low level) I'm concentrating too much on what I'm doing.
    So you can probably tell your friend that the guys will be too concerned with giving her a good dance to worry about whether they're getting a good feel.

    In Ceroc I've reached the stage where I don't have to concentrate entirely on what I'm doing. And how I react to intimate contact in the dance depends on whom I'm dancing with. One big difference from Tango is that close contact in ceroc is for a beat or two (maybe 4 beats if you like each other), whereas tango close embrace lasts the whole dance.

    And, in general, close contact in ceroc only happens if the guy leads it. On thinking about my dances, I find that with people I don't know, I don't generally lead close moves (and, in fact, I'm quite uncomfortable with them).
    With people I'm comfortable dancing with but don't want more than a dance, I lead more close moves (but still not many compared with other men).
    With people I'm interested in sexually, I rarely (extremely rarely) lead close moves, and I'm fully aware of and concentrating on every contact when I do.

    Back to the topic. From my experience, I'd say tell your friend not to worry about the close embrace. But if someone had previously danced close embrace and now wanted a more open embrace, be careful (and if she likes him, insist on close embrace).\

    Just re-read that, and I've been told it's terrible advice. It's based on the assumption that all men are as gentlemanly as I am. But a (female) friend has said there are guys who dance just for the opportunitily to feel women's chests or bottoms.

    Nevertheless, I suspect women are capable of detecting those men and gratifying or humiliating them (according to the nature of the women). So again it's not a major problem.

    Just dance. Enjoy yourself. If you're that sort of person, enjoy having ayour chest touch a man, knowing he'll never see it or touch anything else.


    PS. I've assumed we are talking about breasts. Is there some forum rule against using that word (the original poster wrote "chest")?
  14. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Great posts, JonD and timbp. Thanks for the guy's perspective, both of you. :cool: Too bad I have to run now. But I'll come back later today. I want to pump you for information. :wink: :lol:

    No problem, timbp. Use whatever term you're comfortable with, within reason. :cool:
  15. Sabor

    Sabor New Member

    i dont think of what is touching what specifically .. its about the whole of her and not part this or part that.. its an all around good feeling of sensuality.. and i go for it if it feels right with the music and the chemistry..

    but if there is no chemistry and she is a little disatvantaged physically .. she'll have to keep the dance space between us or i'll scream
  16. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    *giggle* Disadvantaged physically? That's a new one. :wink:
  17. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    i think most women know when a guy is trying to enjoy a feel...and yes, I don't appreciate this....what I particularly enjoy is when he is enjoying it but wasn't trying and is decent enough to be trying very hard to look like he isnt...
  18. Sabor

    Sabor New Member

    well .. u know.. trying to be extra extremely nice..

    its hard work i tell ya..

    PS. waxing is a must
  19. Ampster

    Ampster Active Member

    There are a couple of ways you can dance AT. It depends on the partner, the place, and the music.

    AT is normally danced closer than any other social ballroom dance. There are times when the close embrace is actually the norm (e.g. a jam-packed milonga). AT actually works better, danced as close as possible. The two of you become intimate, and each one moves on the motion impulses of the other in a unison synched to the music, as you are both fused and engulfed in time... (such a beautiful dance)

    As the leader, it's my job to sense if the lady is comfortable with the close embrace. To a veteran Tanguera, this is of no consequence. To a newbie, this sometimes is a big issue. So, I don't force it. The dance just gets harder to lead.

    How do I feel about it? Well, if I'm dancing with an experienced Tanguera, she enjoys the contact as much as I do. AT after all, is a very, very intimate dance. Everyone enjoys a good embrace.

    If I'm dancing with a newbie, who wants to keep her distance, well, I'm patient and I have to respect that. I just need to make her look as good as possible with a slight more open embrace. No biggie.

    AT danced properly, has nothing to do with feeling each other's body parts. It has everything to do with feeling each other's movement so you can't let go and move as one in a language of unspoken motion.
  20. Indiana_Jay

    Indiana_Jay Active Member

    OK, I have zero experience with AT, but here's a man's perspective. If his hands are where they are supposed to be then regardless of where her chest is, he's not really getting a "feel." Other men might have different opinions, but for me, there's nothing particularly sexual about a woman's chest coming in contact with mine as it would, for example, during a hug. If my hands are involved, that's a different story, but I can't imagine how that kind of touching would be appropriate on a dance floor.

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