What Women Want: Part I
Part I: What Women Don't Want (a rant)
At Weekly Milonga . . .
My partner was wobbly. I struggled to keep my balance, and his, and worked out a sort of equilibrium as long he stuck with walking. My option was to back-lead shamelessly, or give him an early thank you. I chickened out and back-led rather than risk hurting his feelings. (Lesson learned.) Basically, whenever he led something off-axis, I stepped out of it and smiled innocently. When he tried a calecita that was pushing me backwards, I walked a molinete. When he led a gancho that I had no physical way of completing (without twisting my knee painfully), he got an amague.
Then he led a soltada (an under-arm turn) by shoving me out, starting the spin and then letting go. I turned back around, faced him and said, "that's really not something I'm good at," and tried to smile sweetly. "No problem," he answered. Oh good, I thought, problem solved. (I've written my thoughts about soltadas, even well led soltadas, here.)
A phrase goes by and I got another awkward shove into my ribcage, and half a turn with my partner's hand hovering over my head. I turned back around, faced him and said, a little more sternly, "really, I don't care for soltadas."
And then he said the phrase that annoys more than almost any other, "But ALL the girls love them!"
One of the biggest pet peeves I have, when I try to let a partner know (usually during practica, but if the move is causing me pain, during a milonga) that I don't like, or can't perform, a particular move, is the response "but ALL the girls love those!"
So what am I, an apricot?
I'm a girl (well, a woman more accurately.)
If I say I would prefer not to do [move X]. Is that okay? If it means that much to you to do that move, by all means find one of "all the girls" to do it with you. I won't be offended if you don't ask me to dance. Everyone has preferences. But don't stand there and say all the followers simply adore it, and expect me to go, "gosh, well in that case I'd better get on the ball and start loving it too."
How would you like it if I decide to take up a phrase doing adornos, preventing you from leading something you'd like to do, or maybe some completely un-led boleos - and then answer, "but all the guys love this!" ??
If I do an adornment, or if there's something about my embrace, etc., that I get the sense my partner doesn't like - I try to adapt to him. If I can't adapt comfortably, or I feel too restricted, I just make a mental note not to seek out his cabeceo next time. "No harm, no foul." I don't try to convince him he should be happy about what I'm doing, I just stop doing it.