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Now for the adults...
There is a thread on Tango-L right now about "Follower Expressiveness". I'm teaching a beginner woman right now and it's been challenging to explain the more nebulous elements of following. "It's not about being submissive", I explain. "It's surrendering, but not submitting." "It's meeting energy with energy." "Not trying to resist that energy, but accept it...greet it...with your own ...." Blah, blah, blah.
Okay, so it's impossible to explain/teach a feeling. It's also impossible to teach a woman how to "properly" surrender in tango. Either they have it or they don't. They can acquire it more and more over time I think, but I have also danced with a first day beginner who nailed it in the first six seconds and a 12 year dancer who didn't yet have it.
Tom Stermitz said this on Tango-L...about the followers in Buenos Aires...that they are "oh-so-adaptive" yet at the same time "oh-so-alive". He mentions the myth of "just following" - I will say it this way - "just doing nothing". We all know that followers DO NOT, by any stretch of the imagination - "do nothing". It's difficult (and important) to make sure beginning followers do not see it this way.
I have been thinking more about my post "The Perfection of the Perfect Connection". In it, I asked the question "Is it what she is thinking about, combined in the metaphysical soup between us - intertwined with what I am thinking about?"
I want to delve into this further by talking about making love. I feel this is the best analogy for the purpose. Plus, I am horny these days and it's pretty much all I think about, besides tango.
First, I want to unequivocally state that I am NOT equating dancing tango with making love. There are already way too many societal mis-perceptions about tango being "sexy", "sensual", "hot", "torrid" and all that. Which, it can be, at times, but that's not really what it's all about. Some of my readers in Russia mis-interpreted the last time I wrote something about this - that dancing tango was like having an orgasm. They completely missed the point - but I think it was a language barrier thing. (I love Babel-Fish.)
So here we go...for the faint of heart...this is your last chance to turn back...
I've been thinking about what I think about when I dance tango - what "we" all think about when we dance tango. And, no, I do not think about making love when I dance tango - that's not where this post is going. I remember the days when it was all I could do to think about the next single step.
I definitely do not think about "the market", or paying the bills when I dance. I hope my followers are not thinking about coloring their hair or running errands tomorrow or getting rid of the chairman of the board or plasma physics or whatever.
What do we think about when we make love? Not when we fuck, but when we make love. Fucking is the throw down, the doing it on the floor of the kitchen, the tipsy return from a night out on the town, the rug burns on the knees kinda sex. I'm talking about making love. Sweet, soft, warm, tasty, deep. Spiritual.
You know how when you are "in love" with someone, the sex seems so much better? For me, it can be mind blowing (okay, "has been" - past tense in the love department). When I look deep into a woman's eyes, while I am deep inside her, literally and figuratively - that feeling is indescribable. The physical sensation, combined with the metaphysical/spiritual, topped with the chocolate sauce we call "love" - man oh man - hopefully most of you know what I am talking about.
For me it is this - when I make love, it is not about my physical pleasure - it is not about my orgasm. I have checked that "end unto itself" at the door. Sure, I know it is in store for me, perhaps, but that is not my primary objective. The woman I am with is. Her pleasure is. Being with her is. The warm softness of her skin and her hair. The ecstacy of the act itself. All I think about is her. Caressing every inch of her body with my lips as I explore. Kissing her lips. Kissing that flat spot on her cheek right in front of her ear (my favorite). Kissing the sweet spots. Tasting the tasty spots. I'm not ticking off a list of techniques or methods in my head. I'm with her. I'm present. We are together. It's about two human beings coming together to share each other physically and metaphysically. To share an experience together.
And sure, lovemaking does not happen this way every time. Both parties have to be there - they have to be "on". They have to be thinking the same thing, feeling the same feeling. My goal is her pleasure, her goal is my pleasure. Energy meeting energy. If a woman is not there - and is "just there" - laying there - while the man does what he needs/desires to do - it's not the same. It's simply a physical release. It can work the other way too. Granted, it's rare, but the man can just lay there watching the football game and let the woman have her way.
The crux is this - when she "fucks me back", when she makes love to me "back", that's when the carnal ascends to another level.
That's when the connection ascends to another level - when that energy is there, and it's mutual energy. Symbiotic energy. Follower and leader are mutual and equal partners. I don't want to go much further than this - just that I think it's an energy thing. It's the focus of the leader's energy and thoughts. If a leader is 100% focused on the follower's experience - being "in the moment" - this moment, this song, this dance, this floor. Focused on her pleasure and enjoyment - her "fun". But the reverse must also be true, she must be focused on him. 100%. His pleasure. His enjoyment of this dance with her. Their mutual enjoyment of this brief time together.
I think this is a huge key in the quest for the perfection of the perfect connection. Mindset, energy, attitude, focus. All shared with another. The person in your embrace. It may be THE key.
Tango is not "just" a dance. Most definitely not.