Father Tony

Should You Love a Wallflower?

Filed By Father Tony | July 02, 2009 10:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: gay dance, gay sex, learn to dance

Dear Father Tony

My steady boyfriend is a man who can't dance. He won't even try to learn how to dance. I dragged him onto the floor at our club just once. His face was so sad I gave up after a minute. My mother always said (not to me specifically) "Watch out for the ones who don't dance." I love to dance but I'm falling for a man I'll never dance with. Should I run the other way?

Fred no Ginger

Dear Fred,

There are many sayings about men who dance and men who don't. Some claim that good dancers make good lovers. Others claim the opposite. Some claim that you can gauge a man's sensitivity by his ability to couple with you on the dance floor. (Does he lead? Does he follow? Does he crush your toes? Does he dance for the mirror more than for you?) Some claim that a man who does not dance is a cold fish who is out of touch with his emotions.

There is the possibility of truth in all these sayings, and your mother may have been burned by a man who would not dance with her (I'm hoping it wasn't your father?), but for every man who supports these opinions there is another one who proves them to be just myths.

Do not be so fast to give up on him in this matter. I think there is a dancer inside every man. I also think there is a singer and a painter and a poet and a wild child inside every man. The trick is to unleash those inner creatures that have been suppressed. You should begin by playing a variety of rhythmic music when the two of you are alone at home. See what he responds to. Move closer to him and match his movements. If he doesn't feel self-conscious, he is more apt to respond naturally and comfortably to the music. Once the two of you are in sync, you should reinforce the moment by shifting gears into having sex while the music is still playing. (This very much follows the way you would paper train a dog, moving the newspaper closer and closer to the door until the pet finally makes the proper and permanent associations and is happily housebroken.) Discover your boyfriend's natural internal beats-per-minute, match it, sexualize it, work it and own it.

If your natural rhythm is Add It Up by the Violent Femmes and his is We've Only Just Begun by The Carpenters, you've got your work cut out for you. For me, Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin is the song that matches my natural sexual rhythm, but Cazwell's Is It All Over My Face? is my natural dance music. That's right, I'm bi-rhythmic!

I'm guessing that your boyfriend may not dislike dancing as much as he perhaps dislikes what is commonly served up as dance music. He may also dislike dance venues with their terrifying volume and seizure-inducing lights. He may also not be fond of the drugs and booze around which most gay club music is designed. If that is the case, you really ought to admire rather than disparage the discriminations of his recreative taste.

If dancing is what you love more than anything, and if you must do it often for the rest of your ambulatory life, and if you can't be satisfied dancing alone or with a pole rather than a partner, and if you can't make it less of a priority than other activities that you both enjoy, and if you can't figure out how to unleash the natural dancer within him, then yes, you should run the other way - for his sake more than yours.

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As a guy with no sense of rhythm on the dance floor, I think anyone shallow enough to judge a man on his dancing ability isn't worthy of the man who can't dance.

My boyfriend is a pretty bad dancer, but its pretty darn adorable. You're not in the relationship to dance. If he doesn't want to dance, see if he's ok with you dancing with a good friend, and then coming back to him. Someday when you're old and wrinkly, it won't matter if either of you can dance! I love to dance myself, but its certainly not a requirement in my mate!

"You're not in the relationship to dance."

LOL. That's funny!

I agree that relationships may not be about literal dancing, though that can be fun. Metaphorical dancing, i.e. how one communicates, responds sexually, handles problems, etc., in a relationship are essential things to consider. I wonder how the "Wallflower" handles those things. Relationships, I would say, are always about dancing.

That the commenter wants to "run the other way," says something about his own dancing style...

I think this is pretty good advice - find out what his problem is with dancing since he just might like dancing but have other issues with it. I get bored with club dancing after about 10 minutes now, but I took some salsa lessons because I have a dancing-obsessed boyfriend and we were practicing every day for a while. It was pretty fun because I got to be the woman (and I know the real same-sex dancing couple language is "follower/leader," but I prefer "man/woman").

I have to say kudos for noticing he was sad and letting him stop after a minute
-- a lot of dance-aholics would have dragged him around the floor for the entire song.

Erich Riesenberg | July 2, 2009 10:14 PM

Depends on the type of shoes he wears.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | July 4, 2009 12:44 AM

I have been not dancing with my partner for 33 years next October. A real non issue. Did his mother give him any good advice?