My Ecstatic Dancing Rules

These are my rules when I dance intimately at ecstatic dance, please:
1) Be over 18
2) Do not get anyone wet
3) No dry humping
4) Do not expect sex
5) Don't ask repeatedly

I learned how to dance with a beautiful lesbian in a gay bar in Mississippi when I was 18. When Mary asked me to dance I explained that I didn't know how because I was Baptist. "It's easy baby, just pick a leg and go for a ride!" She said. So that's what I did. Moving around the dance floor belly-to-belly, chest-to-chest, and hip-to-hip with a beautiful woman was one of the most joyful experiences I'd ever had in my life. I immediately fell in love with dancing closely and intimately. Since then I have also learned the importance of being reserved and cautious about making an intimate connection on the dance floor. It makes me sad for the opportunity to dance closely and intimately to be such a rare and precious thing.

To me it seems rather odd that people will get into bed and have sex before they are even comfortable dancing together. This is especially tragic when you consider how much can be learned by dancing closely and intimately with someone. Intimate dancing is a great way to find out if sexual compatibility might be a possibility. The opportunity to practice platonic intimacy on the dance floor is a very precious gift. But unfortunately, dancing together is also fraught with misunderstandings, confusion, and embarrassment that most people would rather avoid, so they rarely or never even try it.

Certain stages of growth and development are required for the human potential to be achieved. For example, when babies get up and start walking without crawling first they have trouble with math when they get to school. The cross crawl motion of moving around on your hands and knees activates pathways in the brain that remain missing in people who've never crawled. Having sex relations without first exercising your body in ways that will give you the kind of confidence that it takes to make you sexually successful leads to problems in relationships, as well.

Since the sexual repression that prevents people from dancing closely is so burdensome, I've decided to conduct an experiment and find out if a few simple rules might be able to instill a sense of safety on the dance floor. I am hoping this idea will make it possible for more people to go through the developmental stage of dancing together closely and intimately before choosing a parter and getting involved in a relationship, or even simply having sex.

Dancing closely and intimately is a very controversial subject. I have spoken with men who say they think it is mean, wrong, and confusing for women to dance "like that" unless they want to have sex. But extending your hand to dance is not the same thing as buying a marriage license. And it is the people with a high frustration tolerance that are the most sexually attractive because they are safer, both emotionally and physically. Assuming a false sense of entitlement is the quickest way to turn someone off and convey that you are emotionally dangerous.

I've also had some people tell me they are reluctant to do any intimate dancing because their partners have a tendency to get confused and think it means they are in a relationship. When that happens the expectation is to dance with the same person over and over. Having to dance with only one person in order to prevent jealousy, embarrassment, and hurt feelings from arising will take the joy out of dancing for anybody. Many people would rather stop dancing than deal with it. Dancing alone is a great way to avoid trouble.

Women who dare dancing closely and intimately with men, often conclude that it cannot be done safely. I have been held so tightly that it hurt. Other women have told me they felt embarrassed dancing intimately because men pressed their erections into them them and tried to rub themselves off. I know women who have had to pinch, bite, hit, and/or scratch to make men let go. Some people say they have been shamed and made to feel guilty for dancing so closely and intimately, and then refusing to have sex.

There are couples who refrain from dancing intimately in public, too, because they are afraid that it would be inappropriate. But there is much less joy to be gleaned by dancing at home alone in the living room where there are no witnesses to share the exhilarating beauty of a loving uninhibited embrace. Those who believe it's necessary to hide the glory of their passion from the world, are more likely to end up battling shame the bedroom instead of dancing at home alone. Sexual repression leads to problems in the relationship. Women lose interest in having sex. Men get erectile dysfunction. It is truly a shame that humanity cannot celebrate and appreciate the beauty of dancing intimately. Developing more realistic and reasonable expectations so there aren't any misunderstandings is a much better alternative than sexual repression.

Because of the intimate nature of dancing closely and the misunderstandings that can arise as a result, limiting the Intimate Dance experience to adults only will eliminate any legal issues from arising. It is important for adults to set and keep boundaries with children, not the other way around. Everybody will benefit from the practice of delayed gratification and waiting until minors turn 18 before dancing intimately. If a young person asks you to dance in a venue where there is no talking on the dance floor, I recommend pointing to the palm of your hand to indicate that you would like to see an ID before dancing and make sure the person is over 18. Having to show an ID is a compliment, not an insult. I wish someone would ask me.

Exposing others to your bodily fluids will put people off. It only seems logical and polite to refrain from asking anyone to slow dance closely if you are already drenched in sweat, especially if they are not wet. You can trust that dry people, who like the smell of your sweat, will ask you to dance if they are interested. There is one exception, however. If you are dry when you ask someone to dance, but you start sweating after you have been dancing for a while, do not worry. It is kind and considerate to finish the dance under those circumstances, as long as the rest of the suggested principles are being honored. Close dancing slowly takes courage. Nervous sweating is perfectly natural. Indeed, it is unavoidable for many people, who haven't had much experience dancing intimately yet.

Trying to work yourself up to have an orgasm while dancing requires your dance partner to strain in order to remain embraced. Fixating on self-pleasure rather than paying attention to your connection will put a crick in your partner's neck and a hitch in their get along. Dancing should be fun and relaxing, not grueling work that sends your parter to the chiropractor for an adjustment. Try not to poke anybody with a bone if you get one, either. On one hand it is very presumptuous to think people are trying to have an orgasm on the dance floor simply because they happen to enjoy dancing closely. On the other hand, rubbing your thigh bone into your partners crotches, in an effort to turn them on and get them off, will hurt and bruise their genitals. Dancing intimately means dancing gently.

If you feel embarrassed because it seems like someone is trying to make people think you are in a relationship when you are not, bow out gracefully and stop dancing so closely. If it feels like some of your dance partners are dry humping you, let them go. Do not take it personally if someone lets you go, either. Everybody has their own particulars and preferences. What embarrasses one person might feel perfectly comfortable and natural to another. If it looks to you like there are couples trying to have orgasms on the dance floor, you may be just projecting a fantasy, because it's probably not that easy.

Dancing closely is great a way to experience physical intimacy without having sex. This is very important and few people have ever done it. Intimate dancing can tell you whether or not someone is a good fit for developing a friendship and exploring the possibility of sexual relationship. The best dancers are often your most compatible lovers. When dancing with someone is easy and fun, chances are the sex will probably be good too, especially if it makes sense to have a relationship and both people are in alignment in that regard. The hunger for great sex is why some people consider dancing intimately to be a slippery slope. My hope is that these principles will make it possible to maintain your footing and navigate the slopes more safely.

Pay attention to how tightly you are holding on to your partner. Be careful not to embrace someone so tightly that it hurts. Dancing intimately should be fun, easy and effortless for both people. Watch your partner's face. If your dance partner has a painful expression, the person is probably uncomfortable about something, or in pain. Dancing should be fun, not something to endure. If your partner needs to create distance for some reason, let go immediately instead of hanging on. People are much more likely to pay attention if it looks like a couple is struggling to part on the dance floor, than to notice erect nipples or a bulge. Don't be afraid of dancing together for just a few seconds, and then dancing alone again.

If you cannot dance closely without any expectation of having sex, then you should probably refrain from dancing closely with anyone. It is easy to get confused, but don't get the wrong idea and try to make someone feel guilty by saying they shouldn't be dancing "like that" if they don't want to have sex. Expecting to have sex or get into a relationship simply because you have danced together closely, regardless of how closely, will convey a sense of urgency and sexual neediness. And that is a big turnoff.

It is also not uncommon for one person to think the dance was a wonderful experience, and for the other person to be glad the dance is over. Dancing is only magical when both people enjoy dancing together. The more experience you have dancing, the more likely your partner(s) will enjoy dancing with you. It is not uncommon for experienced dancers to have many dance partners who are hopeful about getting into a relationship. This can be very intense for people who are still relatively innocent and naive, but not if these principles are understood up front. If you are dancing to feel nourished, not to have sex, then to dance is enough.

If you have already danced closely and intimately with someone one time, please wait for the person to ask you the next time. Being expected to dance closely and intimately over and over repeatedly is very unsettling. If you have been waiting for several weeks, hoping that a particular partner will ask you to dance, my hope is that Intimate Dancers will be able to find the courage to speak up and say so. As for me, if you say that you have been waiting and hoping to dance again, I will either dance with you again, or kindly give you some honest and helpful feedback about why I do not wish to do so. I might even tell you how often I am willing to be asked. My hope is that everybody else will kindly do the same, and the Intimate Dancing experience can become much richer and more fulfilling for everybody as time goes on.

Dancing like you're wearing a belt buckle the size of a basketball in order to make sure your partners will feel safe is the quickest way to eliminate the possibility of enjoying a close embrace in my humble opinion. It also makes Intimate Dancing impossible, and dancing with a partner much harder than it needs to be. But if you think it is immoral for people to dance in a way that looks kind-of like they are having sex standing up, and the thought of that embarrasses you, maybe Intimate Dancing isn't your thing. Perhaps you shouldn't even watch. I dare say that for many people, however, it just makes a whole lot more sense to celebrate intimate connection, because feeling turned on means the body is vibrantly healthy and alive. It's also very good for the immune system if the energy can be felt and enjoyed without any shame arising for anyone. It is my hope that if everybody knows what to expect, and how to do Intimate Dancing with integrity, there won't be any need to be upset and get angry or embarrassed about something natural happening while dancing closely together.

Finding the fine line of appropriateness is the challenge of Intimate Dancing. If you think it might make your genitals ache to dance slowly and closely without having sex, just say "no thanks" to dancing closely when you are asked. Try not to take it personally if you happen to get turned down, either. Although dancing intimately can be a wonderful, liberating, and healing experience for some people, it's definitely not right for everybody. You can eliminate the pain, confusion, and disappointment by only participating when and if it feels right for you to do so.

The freedom to dance without any obligation beyond just one dance is the essential ingredient of this experiment. I believe those who choose to extend this liberty to dance partners will become infinitely more attractive as sexual beings. And I hope that applying these principles will insure that Intimate Dancing is a pleasant experience for everybody involved. I look forward to dancing with many of you and receiving feedback from everybody who decides to participate. Please send your comments, questions, and concerns to gayle at the intimate dance dot com.