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Subtle is Sexy- Salsa Dancing in The Domincan Republic

March 10, 2012

As descendants of Puritans, Americans are severely sexually repressed. As a result, we struggle to have honest open conversations about sex or even explore sexuality for ourselves. Instead, where we see the most references to sex are in our media. Sex in the media, music especially, is blatant and raw. Lyrics like ‘We just havin’ sex, I’m gonna make you wet, when we have sex, sex, sex’1 and ‘ I just want you to fatha’ at my young ‘2 are anything but seductive. The dancing that goes along to this music is even less sexy even while it more closely resembles the actual act. The ‘bump and grind’, as the older generations are oft to point out, is essentially sex on the dance floor. Somehow, the rubbing of bum on crotch to huge bass and autotuned ‘I wanna fuck you’3  lacks something- sensuality perhaps.

Last weekend, I went to the Dominican Republic to explore, broaden my horizons and rest my weary soul. My friends and I went to the center of the village in which we were staying and watched the locals dance. Damn was it sexy. Bodies of complete strangers moved harmoniously, responding to each others cues. Limbs were flowing, hips were gyrating, feet were moving. Bodies came together, separated, twirled and came back together.

The kind of dancing I saw in that town square was was a mating ritual whereas America’s bump and grind is a straight emulation of sex. In most animal species, animals perform showy impressive acts to convince the other party to copulate. Humans also do this. Our mating dance changes with the generations from the waltz, to square dance, to the jitterbug, to salsa. Dancing allows for the creation of energy to build between to people. Today, I hear people worry about whether or not the other person will be good in bed. They worry if they have enough chemistry to make the sex good. Dancing is a way to explore and build that chemistry. If two peoples bodies communicate well on the dance floor then its likely that their bodies will fit well in bad as well.

People spend so much effort trying to attract mates. Women pluck their eyebrows and learn to speak seductively. Men put on cologne and drive nice cars. Then they meet at the club and ruin the illusion by doing the bump and grind. People who want to learn to move their bodies in a sensual manner may want to consider learning to dance. Women who have a difficult time connecting to their bodies during sex may find that dance classes help connect the mind to the body. Watch some salsa dancing and you’ll see what I am talking about.





3Akon’s song “I Wanna Fuck You’

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