DEAR DR. NERDLOVE: First let me say I’ve been following your blog for a while now and I’m a big fan. That being said, let me share my story with you.
Not long ago, I visited the Temple nightclub in San Francisco for a little dancing. Shortly after eleven I was up on the dance floor performing one of my moves which I like to call “the boxer” when a small group of ladies caught sight of my moves. One of them decided she wanted to dance with me and proceeded to grind on me. I am — of course — only happy to accommodate. After maybe a minute she’s had her fun and backs off. I give a cordial bow and continue on dancing. Then she brings her friends over. I was a bit pre-occupied with dancing, but I think there was a total of eight women suddenly dancing all around me and with me.
For about 15 minutes I was at the center of the dance floor with all of these women dancing with me, grinding on me, and sandwiching me. At one point one of the women lost a shoe and I dexterously kneeled down, pick it up, and held it up like prince charming so she could get it back on. I even spotted a couple of guys trying to figure out how I was doing my dance moves.
Needless to say –- but I’m going to say it anyways -– it was awesome and I really killed it on the dance floor. After this 15 minutes, the group dissipated and I decided I’d engage the woman I’d been dancing with the most in conversation. Here’s how that conversation went:
Me: Hi, my name’s A.
Me: Pleasure to meet you.
Her: You too, have fun.
Me: (Pause)…Thanks, you too.
I walked away perplexed and decided to not try to engage any of the other women as I couldn’t readily see them and I didn’t want to come off as a creeper. I only came there to dance in the first place. Getting a pretty girl’s number would have only been icing on the cake. So I left. My question is this: What the hell happened?
Looking back I can only see two things that could have played against me. The first was that in the midst of the crazy action happening on the dance floor, I did let one of my hands slide a little too far up the back of her thigh for her taste, but this — as all touching I did with all the ladies — was a light touch and she easily guided my hand away with no ill consequences. It’s still possible that it was too much for her and I’m ready to admit I may have gotten carried away.
The second was when I spoke to her, the inflection of my voice may have made it seem like all I wanted to do was say hello. I was a bit out of breath with sweat streaming down my face and I was essentially shooting from the hip as far as the conversation was concerned. It’s a small thing, yes, but I figured I’d mention it.
I personally have a tough time with social etiquette and picking up nonverbal cues, so it’s very possible that she did something I didn’t notice. At any rate, I’m happy with the way things turned out. I’m just trying to analyze the situation and learn from it. Thanks for your help, Doc.
Cutting A Rug
DEAR CUTTING A RUG: So, let’s start with an obvious caveat: with Omicron apparently surging and not at its peak yet, dance clubs and packed bars are probably best avoided for now and everyone should be making a point to get their vaccines and boosters. Omicron is currently the gift that just keeps on giving and the last thing you want is to be at ground zero for a superspreader event if you can possibly avoid it.
Now with that in mind: You didn’t do anything wrong. This is just the nature of social dancing.
One of the rules of social dancing — whether it’s at the club with the hottest DJs spinning the top dance hits or a swing or salsa night — is that at most venues, people are going to dance with a LOT of folks. Trying to ONLY dance with one person, especially a person you’re not in a relationship with, is not just kinda rude, but missing the point. If you go out dancing, you should assume that you’re going to dance with many people, and the folks you may find attractive or desirable are also going to be dancing with lots of folks.
On top of that, the dance floor, especially in nightclubs, is it’s own beast. You will see men and women doing everything but actually having sex when the DJ drops the right beat (and even then, you’d have to look REALLY close to make sure). Strange women will come up, grind up into your crotch to the beat as you run your hands all over ’em, and then they’ll leave without saying a word. None of it means anything other than somebody decided it’d be fun to dance with you and get crazy for as long as it took to crossfade from one song to another. A common issue — one that’s come up here fairly frequently — is that a lot of guys will make the mistake of thinking that getting up on a girl on the dance floor means that she’s really into him… when in fact, she’s probably just doing her own thing and will be moving on to somebody else in short order.
In other words: what happens on the dance floor tends to stay on the dance floor. That includes attraction. It’s one thing if you ask a girl to dance; it’s another if they come up for a song and leave afterwards.
Don’t worry about it. If they stayed with you the length of the song, you were doing alright.
If you want to see if that dance was more than just a dance, find them later and talk to them. Just, y’know. Not while you’re on the dance floor.
Please send your questions to Dr. NerdLove at his website (www.doctornerdlove.com/contact); or to his email, email@example.com