Thursday, April 10, 2008

Please Gentlemen, I beg of you..

I'm on a tango frenzy, dancing until my feet can no longer hold me up. My head becomes an oscillating fan, turning to and fro to catch eyes or ignore cabaceos as I see fit. A nice gentlemen I had observed a few tandas before smiled at me and leaned his head towards the floor. I had watched him dance and he was so considerate of his partners, so comfortable looking that I had to find out if he was as comfortable as I had believed.

We come upon each other and I raise my right hand in offering. He accepted graciously. I raised my left hand - this is the biggie - if the left hand raised is firm and forward, in front of me - it will be open embrace. If I raise them to the side and wrap my arm around his shoulders, it will become close embrace. (Ladies, you never have to dance close embrace with anyone - open and close is a quiet, nonverbal negotiation). I opted for close embrace and wrapped my arms around him as if in a hug... and had a curious whiff of day old laundry.

Oh dear.

Please, please, please gentlemen - smell nice!
Whenever you find yourself, or know to find yourself in close proximity to the ladies, do what you can, what you must, to smell as pleasing to the female senses as possible.

In tango we ladies often dance with our eyes shut, so that we may feel our leads. What this does is shut down our sense of sight to heighten our sense of feel. What it also does is heighten every other sense out there - like the sense of smell. Maybe I'm finicky but I like to have pleasing aromas come my way and the aromatherapy is not one of "why didn't he do his laundry?" You don't have to bathe in cologne, but close embrace means that my nose will be dangerously close to your body. Shower, bathe and groom with confidence that it will go duly appreciated.

And while we're on the subject of grooming - what I would really, really like to see, especially during festival milongas - is the gentlemen change their shirts. When you dance all nighters, it's bound to get sweaty. That's ok. Everyone sweats. But at the end of the night and your badge of honour is the drippiness you leave your partners with... uhm, I didn't wear my newest, best dress for your sweat glands to try out. After one festival I was at, I had to dry clean my Oscar de la Renta dress twice before I could wear it again... one too many milonga tandas assured that I was not going to walk away dry.

While deodorant is absolutely necessary, do know that you're going to sweat. Everywhere. At one DC festival I was at, there was this gentleman that dripped from his forehead down to his beard to trickle then onto my forehead. For a second there I thought it rained. Bring a towel right along with your shoe bags my dear. And since we ladies do so much to present ourselves - our makeup, hair, shoes, clothes, perfume - the least you could do is keep us relatively dry and not offend our olfactory bulbs.

Yours always,



Tara said...

Here Here! Bad breath can be added to the grooming list as well. Thank you Sappho for your reminder to our gentlemen to treat themselves like gentlemen.

Mark Andersen said...

Thank you, Sappho, for writing about what is too often an unspoken, but important subject.

And you have a great idea for men to bring a change of shirts to festivals. I never thought of that, but will now at Nora's Tango Week in July.

Also, your description of how you go into a close or open embrace is very helpful. If you have time at some point, it would be great if you wrote a post on this that goes into even more detail. Thanks!