Salsa > Salsa & sex

Discussion in 'Salsa' started by brujo, Dec 30, 2003.

  1. And this instructor is actually a very good dancer, probably largely self-taught, street/club-oriented. When he dances it usually doesn't come across as raunchy as what he teaches, and yet some of the stuff he teaches is pretty raunchy. I don't entirely get it. His female students there seemed to be pretty comfortable with the whole thing, so I guess it's a matter of different levels of comfort with exhibitionism. Its funny, that workwshop was one of the first times I talked with someone I ended up going out with for several months. She was not familiar with the instructor and was pretty shocked by his raunch. Having gotten to know her a lot better, it's sort of funny to think about it, since that is so not her.

    This may stir things up, but one reason I tend to be reluctant to pass absolute judgment about these things is that I am well aware that, historically, in many cases anyway (and I'm thinking of the Americas particuarly), there have been class differences in what is acceptable, with the middle and upper classes tending to downplay the more overtly sexual aspects of dance. Again and again, I read about this sort of class stratification. The upper classes in Colombia tended to look down on salsa dancing as being too animalistic, at one point.

    There is also the obvious fact that things change from generation to generation. Look: when my mother married my father she stopped dancing because he was a Methodist minister and some people in the church at that time frowned on dancing, because it was too closely linked to sexuality basically, and it could tend to lead to vice, as they would maybe have said. I accept a degree of wiggling around which would my ancestors at some point in the past would probably have found unacceptable.

    I personally am not comfortable dancing, especially with relative strangers, while sexually explicit hip-hop lyrics are playing in the background (or for any really sexually explicit lyrics, that I can understand, for that matter--it's just that the most extreme cases I've experienced have been with hip-hop). I don't understand how people can relax in that situation. Even if I were trying to pick someone up (which I'm certainly not opposed to), it would make me that much more uncomfortable about it if I had to do it while those type of lyrics are going. But at any rate, is it really a matter of society falling apart, or is it another step in being more blunt about sex, one that I am too old (or maybe just too shy) to take?

    Sorry to be naive, but is it really that bad? Isn't it possible to sort out the problems and stay away from them? Not being a woman, I probably underestimate how bad it can get. My instructor once told me that almost any time she dances with a male in a club who doesn't know that she's an instructor, she ends up getting groped. (I wonder though: she has a very open, flirtatious, but not seriously flirtatious, way about her, that could tend to attract a more than average amount of groping. Not saying she deserves it!--just that there might be a reason she would get that more often than other women.)
  2. Or to pick it up from a different direction: I can also see how a more conservative sex morality would frown on partner dancing (or partner dancing with someone other than a spouse, once you are married--or some such limitation). If you have that sort of contact with members of the opposite sex, it creates another chance for sexual feelings to emerge. So if you place a high enough priority on avoiding extramarital sex, maybe it would make sense to forbid it.

    I'm just playing devil's (?)advocate here. I'm for a freer and more open social arrangement than one that would have to eliminate dancing (or lock women out of site to avoid having them do anything that would dishonor the family, or so forth).
  3. Dancegal

    Dancegal Member

    "Sleaze balls coming into the scene" referring to both men and women. As mentioned in some of the posts earlier, women have also been offenders in the club scene. Also, in a dance class setting some people may not speak up against that type of so-called DANCE teaching - after all this is supposed to be coming from a professional instructor.....they choose not to fight the garbage they're being taught so as not to burn bridges.
  4. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    Sad, but also all too true I'm afraid... :(
  5. brujo

    brujo New Member

    It's interesting that you bring up the cultural differences. Looking at the stereotype of the hot latin man, the whole 'sexy' issue can also have roots in the cultural differences between the US and western culture and Latin America.

    From what I have seen, North American culture is considered colder by Latin people. The preocupation of personal privacy makes gringos uncomfortable talking about certain things with strangers, while a latino will tell you all about his income and love life after six minutes of meeting you. There is also this constant fear of being politically correct and respectful that simply doesn't cross the mind of a latino when talking.

    This also translates in the dancing. In the cuban vacilao, when you spin the girl around, you are supposed to take a look at her and check her out. This of course is taboo in North American society, God forbid that someone makes a comment that the gym-trained, South-beach-dieted, Esther-Laurier wearing body is being admired.
  6. salsachinita

    salsachinita New Member

    I think there are a couple of different issues here.

    (A) The nature of the clubs themselves, as SD suggested. Some clubs are meat markets (and ppl go there for that purpose), while other clubs seem to be squeaky clean where people go there to dance only. There are in-between ones with both elements involved, which I find more interesting sometimes :wink: (the mixed dynamics is fasinating to observe)!

    (B) How the females 'carry' themselves has a lot to do with it as well. I mean, you don't have to be a prue at all, just be really confident & clear that you have NO intention of anything else other than dancing (and if you DO want something else, nothing wrong with it either, guys can sense it), that way you almost 'repel' those sleaze balls (generally works, unless they are too drunk :roll: )!

    Hothouse Salsero brought up a really good point though.

    When people know who you are (your social positioning) in the salsa scene, whether you be dancer, instructor, promotor, or someone's gf, you generally don't get sleazed on 8) . I guess the nature of a fairly tight salsa community somehow discourages people from possibly wrecking their reputation (with the exceptions to those who couldn't care less) :p ! I call this the 'self-regulator' 8) .

    This 'self-regulator' factor only works in your home town. If you happen to be out of town, where no one know you from a bar of soap, you might just have to be extra careful with the body language :roll: !
  7. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    Not entirely true salsachinita . . . I'm sure that if a woman is recognized as a visiting instructor, for instance, that will still limit the sleaze factor to which she is subjected.
  8. salsachinita

    salsachinita New Member

    The key word here is recognized, SD. if she was only well-known in her own town AND visit other cities incognito, she might still experience some sleaze factor.

    On the other hand, if she was internationally known, AND the purpose of her visit to other citie is to conduct workshops etc, then it's very unlikely that sleaze balls will dare try anything.......

    Say, if any of our local salsa celebrities were to visit a big city in the US, like NYC, do you think they would still enjoy the same level of recognition..?

    (that's why I LOVE gives you a sense of real perspective of how insignificant we all are; this is good for the soul :wink: )
  9. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    I totally agree salsachinita . . . I was mostly reacting to the first half of your statement:
    As far as the rest of it, my guess is that even if not "recognized" as such, if people were told "so-and-so is an instructor" than she'd probably be subjected to less of the sleaze factor. Don't you think so?
  10. salsachinita

    salsachinita New Member

    Absolutely 8) !

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