Friday, January 19, 2007

Swing Dancing with Lesbians

I get bored with the ten or so swing dance moves I know. At dances, women get to follow all the moves known by the different men they dance with, but we men can lead only what we have learned. Seeking to inject some excitement into a recent swing event at the Durham Armory, I decided to venture across the floor and ask some of the lesbians to dance.

Only two were easily accessible at at the edge of the floor. They sat with arms around each other, smiling. I could see that I would be busting up a tender moment, but they had seen me making a bee-line toward them, and there was no turning back. I bent over and asked one to dance, keeping my eyes on her so that there would be no doubt about which one I was asking. I intended to ask the other one to dance on the next song, so that I would not be playing “favorites.”

As my question sank in, their happiness seemed to drain away behind their smiles, which remained only as facades. Some other lesbians sitting behind them ceased their conversation and watched to see what would happen. A rejection was certainly pending. I mustered a fake smile of my own and prepared to give a pleasant response like, “That’s okay, I’ll catch you some other time,” and then walk away and never bother them again.

The woman I had asked to dance said nothing and turned toward the other, who spoke up with, “I’ll dance with you,” as if making a stand in order to spare her partner some hardship. We took to the floor, and I wondered, why the awkwardness? Is it really so painful for a lesbian to dance with a straight male? And then it hit me: the couple takes lessons together. One has learned to follow, the other to lead. I, a leader, had asked the leader to dance.

With straight people, you can generally tell leaders from followers by gender. But with gays, you have to look a little deeper.


Phil said...

Dang, that's some punchline. (And there I was thinking that you were about to discover that you had asked the one with the broken foot.)

Have you seen the show Extras? Especially the episode with the woman who has Cerebral Palsy?

Dawn said...

I thought the point of asking a lesbian to dance was so that you could dance with a woman who had learned how to lead, and thereby dance beyond the ten moves you know. Doesn't that make sense? I guess you could just ask, you know, who here takes the lead?

Khang said...

This can only happen to you. Classic.