Ok.....so those who know me....know I LOVE to DANCE. Don't know when it started, know I have always enjoyed it! In fact the first time John and I went dancing.....he took one look at me and said, "now how do people not know you are gay?" I took it as a compliment and we joke about it all the time. In fact the quote on my facebook account as my favorite is, "has the soul of a dancer and the body of a guy who hoards old newspapers." (some people at work had fun with that one at my expense!)
I think you get the picture that I enjoy dancing. Recently, we have been invited to go dancing at two nice establishments. Both serve their clientele well (I am certain they meet their niche's needs) In both instances I would have felt more comfortable being there with a woman.....and not coupled with John. Interesting observation and realization on many levels.
Here are a list of the levels: heterosexual environment, newness of homosexual environment, social norm, my new norm, and the dating scene.
Having been an active participant (sometimes unwilling) in the majority heterosexual environment, I see that it is dominate, prevalent, and ALWAYS present.....in every situation. The ability to show affection, how close you can sit to one another, the acceptance of men and women dancing together.....or even 2 women.....throw 2 men in there and that is just STRANGE! When I say affection, just placing my hand on John's knee is life altering (in a negative way) for many onlookers. Many guys if with another guy, sit across the table from each other. If you sit next to or adjacent to each other, with no one else there....it is just weird! I see many an eyebrow raised with just these rather insignificant situations. Heterosexual people do not have to worry about this and no one ever questions the motivation or intent.
If you read my previous thread on "Here is what I hear" gender should not matter in these situations. People want to feel love, acceptance, joy, to be heard, fulfillment.....etc.... These type of interactions should be more acceptable on a broad scope. Instead......what do I do......I SEEK for places that are more accepting of my life and love. That is a shame.
Being introduced and acclimated to my new normal, I do seek for homogeneous places that allow for acceptance and non-judgment. I have to admit that these places aren't always the most innocent of establishments.....but they are inclusive of who I am. Sometimes when I am at these places, I want the heteros to go away.....they are intruding on my turf now. I want them out of my area, since I am not too welcomed in their areas. I know that I am treating them the way I feel I am treated and I need to get better at dismissing my prejudices.....because this "societal" relationship is a 2 way street.
At all establishments, whether gay or straight, are meat markets. One establishment was for the 50 and older crowd. Single men and women, having fun and attempting to hook up. John and I felt VERY out of place. There was a GREAT band playing that night, but there is just this vibe that expressing who I am in this environment would have not been a good thing. We went with some adorable friends, they did have fun and they did understand our hesitancy. Another establishments we went to recently (I had been to before in my acceptable heterosexual days) felt even stranger. I felt like I could receive bodily harm from other males that were there.
One example was 3 of us got up to dance (all males). Mostly women were on the dance floor. When the 3 of us got out there......I saw an immediate reaction from a group of people. One guy came straight out and began dancing with the women right behind me, mimicking what I was doing and brushing up against my back. I could sense his mockery and disdain for who we were. His antics lasted maybe a minute, then he went back and giggled with his straight, entitled, fake friends. I saw him on the dance floor one song later touching his dance partner VERY inappropriately.....I guess that is acceptable and me dancing with a couple of guys is not. Very disheartening.
I am not saying that the gay, dancing, dating scene is any better.....but we have to be sequestered in exclusive establishments for our meat market gyrations to happen. My observation of both type of places is that there are not too many healthy things going on, un-fulfilling conversations, lots of alcohol, everyone is looking for one thing....the hookup. The hookup for both types of lifestyles are riddled with risk.....STD, HIV, rape, etc....no one is immune. Again you can take gender out of this part of the relationship game also.....because it is not an indicator with meaning.
I still love to dance.....will attempt to find places that I can go and not feel so excluded and fearful. I do know that relationship are complex animals, with lots of potential. Again, take the gender out of it.......what do you want in that intimate relationship that you have? Do everything you can to improve it.....talk about it, be honest, give and take.......and dance a little! ;-)