"Blues dancing is not sexual", I have heard this sentence uttered many times over, in different guises and with various additions. I feel that it is a sort of systemic lie that we teach ourselves to believe in order to alleviate a certain social tension which would become unbearable if it was made open. It might not be nice to suppress our sexuality, but it seems a great deal better than dealing with the fact that the person we're dancing with would like to have sex with us.
The first clue is the uniformity of how the story is being told. When I work as a therapist I will always try to spot things people say which are either very aligned with certain social conventions, or aligned with the beliefs of their peers. If they're repeated in a certain way I am almost always sure that the person would end up feeling better by expressing their unique personal view point, rather than that which they have chosen to mask themself with.
If a group of people looked from the outside at blues dancing, especially at a house party or late at night at a venue, they would consider the statement a result of naïveté, poor eye sight or simple lack of understanding of sexual dynamics.
I'm not saying that any dance is sexual, just like I'm not saying that any conversation is sexual. But blues gets better when its sexual... Better... Blues is two people moving their bodies against each other, it is a mutual exploration of patterns of movements in a very close position. When a certain chemistry arises, and this is not a chemistry of the minds, but one of the body, then it is natural and pleasurable to become sexual. Often it is a subtle change, especially in blues where the difference between sexual and strictly technical can sometimes be hard to spot. A slight lowering of the hand on the lower back, a stare, a slightly more caressing hand, etc. - you wouldn't be able to tell from the outside. And then sometimes, you would, because blues is to sex what the wheel is to transportation. Sometimes it becomes ridiculously obvious that two people are doing all they can to penetrate their clothes and just touch each other all over. Obviously this is not always what people are interested in, for various reasons. So in this way, the sexuality of the dance might be stopped at this point. And please remember people are different sexually, some are sexual athletes performing hours of astonishing feats in the bed rooms, and others just suck, sometimes in a good way. In the same way blues might become a greater expression for sex for some people, as it might be a shorter more fun and less exhausting experience for the athlete, and maybe the sucking partner is actually able to express much much more through the dance than in the bedroom.
Blues also gets better through good technique, good communication, etc. but it also becomes better from being sexual. It becomes not better strictly in terms of the dance style, but from the quality experienced by the dancer. It does not mean you have to go and have sex, but it is sexual.
I honestly think most people can admit to their secret hearts that they have enjoyed very sexual dances, even sometimes with complete strangers. Maybe someone they only knew superficially, and probably more than often with someone they knew well.
Take a moment the next time you are in a social dance setting, and look at who people will ask to dance. Normally I feel they fall into three categories: their regular dance partners with whom they share a large vocabulary and the ones they are attracted to. This attraction is often hidden behind the veil of "It's all about the dance", but I have seen many stop themselves from asking the most beautiful and attractive people to dance out of a simple strange social fear. They have no qualms about it once they wrap it in the idea that it is because of the dance though.
What I am going to write next can read as mindless boasting. I write it simply to express my experience as a man in the dance community: Often dance turns into sex. It is very common if you are a man who is in fairly good shape and also is socially normal and simply nice, for dance to become a bridge for sex. Especially though if you dare to admit to the sexuality of the practice of dance. It seems that most dance styles, except those who have been sabotaged by white middle aged engineers still very much admit to their sexual aspects. Not only do they admit it, they relish in it. They are almost the antithesis of the modern white man who is so intellectual and fearful that rejection seems worse than a full life of sexual abstinence. I do understand that a person who is not sexually attractive might feel better by saying "To me it is just about the dance, I don't want sex with anyone", because then that person can believe that it is getting what it is out for. Because the list of rejections that person might get would be much longer than the list of invitations, it becomes economical for that person to stop seeking this. It's simply more economical for it to learn a list of moves or treat it through the perspective of technicality. This is fine of course, but I repeat: just like dance becomes better with technique, so does it become better with sexuality. Regardless of what you want to believe or not.
I am not talking about "creepy" here though. Because the word goes around a lot. I will often use it myself, and it's usually used to label men who are being sexual. But I'd like to stress that it is not their sexuality that makes them creepy. It is the fact that their sexuality is hidden that is creepy. They do not move far enough to get rejected straight away, they are somehow stealthy and so seek to get close enough to not get rejected. You will notice that the creepy person can never actually get sexual, because the other party is never really sure. Creepy is the uncertainty of the other persons intentions. Stating openly "Hi, you are amazing, should we have sex?" might be considered unconventional, but hardly creepy. Open honest sexuality is nice and can be echoed or rejected, the other cannot be answered, because it suddenly might get interpreted that the answerer is the initiator. I'm getting a bit technical about the psychology of sexuality here, and its not my intention.
I don't write this to be provocative. Rather to lift some of the obscurity that sometimes seep into discussions and conversations about blues and sexuality. It is deeply sexual, it is deeply rhythmical, it is very expressive, it is musical and it is a little bit technical.
I prefer to dance with someone I am also sexually attracted to, and if you do too, it's ok with me.