When I first started dancing salsa and men asked me for my phone number my first instinct was to refuse. I went mostly to "regular" clubs (ie. meat markets) during my college years and in that context I knew that giving out my number = consenting to possibly being asked out on a date. After dancing salsa for a while, I began to see some people over and over again and some of them became what I consider "dance buddies"--the ones you chat with and dance with periodically during the night. After a couple such meetings, I usually began to think that it would be nice if I knew when "so and so" would be at the club so that I can try to go out that same night and can find a friendly face in the crowd. This thought, however, is not tinged with a desire to get asked out. I just want friendly, no-pressure companionship at the club and I figured there must be males out there that want the same thing. So I started thinking that it was a bit vain of me to think that every man in the salsa scene who asked for my contact info wanted to pursue me romantically. I also realized that the salsa scene is different from the "regular" club scene and so maybe giving out my number doesn't carry the same connotation in the salsa context (after all we dance salsa most of the time with people we have no romantic interest in). To make a long story short, I finally got over my initial hesistancy to give out my number. I have given my number out to men who as a whole, I danced with more than once, who I danced well with, who were polite and were not making passes at me and who asked for my number casually instead of aggressively. For the most part, I haven't been disappointed since I seem to have found genuine male dance buddies with whom I spend time with only at the salsa scene. I now have a number of male friends who call me up from time to time to see if I'm going dancing that night and if so where I would be going so they can join me. Some call me up to see if I have the time and energy to accompany them to a club they want to check out, some call me to see if I want to carpool. Anyway, these have been pressure-free excursions to the club--there's an implicit understanding that we're free to dance with everyone else, that I don't expect him to pay for anything for me and that the night isn't a "date." We often discuss how nice it is to have a "safety net" partner when you first arrive at the club so that you can get your dancing legs on or sometimes, just demonstrate to people that you know how to dance (which makes it easier for him to get dances later and easier for me to be asked to dance). Things have been going along swimmingly until one guy (let's call him Mr. X) I recently gave my number to got irritated by my "foot loose and fancy free" attitude during our first salsa excursion. During my dance excursion out with Mr. X, we danced with a lot of different people. I told one guy I danced several songs with that night that it was my first time dancing at that club and although I liked it, I was still a bit intimidated by the unfamiliarity of it to come to the club on my own. He told me to give him my number so that he can call me when he goes back to the club and I can join him so I won't be scared to be alone. I gave him my number and was grateful for the offer. Mr. X however got irritated that I gave out my number--an awkward end to the night to say the least. The only way I can understand the source of the irritation is that perhaps the excursion wasn't entirely understood to be platonic. Apparently I misread the casualness of the dance excursion--whether that was a miscommunication or a unconscious turning of a blind eye on my part is something I'm trying to figure out. :?: The question is this: how do I ensure that when I give out my number to a seemingly friendly salsero that it is understood that I only want friendship? Are there magic words to say? Are there critera (aside from the ones I cited above) that I should look for to weed out the Don Juans? Does the very act of giving out my number inherently send mixed signals to a salsero? Is Harry (from When Harry Met Sally) right when he said "men and women can't be friends because the sex part always gets in the way." I would love to hear the male perspective here and to hear advice from women who have been through a similar dilemma.