One of my  Laugh and Play Emotional Fitness Training (EFT) Exercises suggests dancing as a way to play.  I love to dance.  Have my own style, but it is a great way to have fun and also to Move Your Body which is another EFT exercise.  Mostly I dance like no one is watching and when no one is watching.  This post is not about the joy of dancing.

Most of us make fun of Toddlers and Tiaras, if we know about it and bother to watch it.  I find it painful for it is one of the many number of ways adults sexualize children.  Now don’t get me wrong.  I think sexual pleasures are one of life’s greatest blessings.  I rant against St. Paul for saying “Better to wed than bed.”  Not even sure he said it, but whoever promoted that idea diluted sexual pleasures for all. And let me acknowledge that at the time sexual restraint was being promoted children, slaves, and wives were property and subject to rape and other sexual tortures.  But as with many things the pendulum swung too far.

Nor do I deny that children have sexual feelings.  Anyone with any experience with children knows children find pleasure in their bodies.  My objection is adults pushing more adult related ideas about what is sexy onto children.  I also object to adults being turned on by children.

Part of the Mental Health Team I directed in the Mott Haven Section of the South Bronx included a Family Support Program.  I had money to spend on art, music, and dance lessons.  At the end of the year, we devoted one of our Family Fun Nights to a Dance Recital.  They distressed me because of the Salsa dances, and not because of the kids, but because of the men in the audience.  Because it was a recital, more fathers, uncles, and brothers were in the audience than usual.  The teen and preteen girls salsa-ing made far too many of the men salivate.

I was, however, torn.  Much of my training pushed me to be culturally sensitive.  Moreover, I knew that the men might salivate but few of them would act directly on the feelings being aroused.  Moreover, the female partners might garner some loving that night that would please them.  Still I was bothered.  I don’t think I even mentioned my concerns to any of my staff.  The Salsa lessons continued, along with the yearly recitals and my concerns.

As with many things, this is complicated and the world settles it in many ways.  Think of the women dressing modestly or wearing a Burka so men won’t be turned on.  At the other extreme visit a nude beach or almost any swimming pool in the western world.  I have walked at nude beaches and I dress modestly when going to religious services.  I also shake my head at the teeny-weeny, too small for polka dots, bikinis seen at my local swimming pool.

Which is why I would be interested in hearing lots of different opinions on this subject.  What is yours?


  1. I definitely have to agree that there are boundaries we have to leave firmly in place, regardless of culture and regardless of biological urges. People who know me well will tell you it this is one of those issues that get me incensed. It’s a natural thing for children to explore their own bodies. It’s a totally different issue to have them engaged in sexual acts with each other, or with older children or adults. Anything that tends to lead in that direction ought to be prohibited. That includes children dancing in lewd ways or dressed too provocatively. I’m also a salsa enthusiast, and believe me, any dancer or instructor who doesn’t appreciate the (sometimes) subtle difference between “tastefully sensuous,” and downright lewd, should stop using legitimate artistic expression as a means to hit on or pick up the opposite sex, period. As for adults who ogle children, I think they should be locked up and have the keys thrown away.

    • Thank you for commenting. Knew we would agree mostly on this. Think, however, there might be more men and boys in prison than marijuana users in some USA states if we started locking up those who get publicly turned on. I would rather lock up the media that promotes ogling, particularly the promoters of fashion shows encouraging toddlers through the preteens to dress sexy.

      Once upon a time boys were dressed like girls. Another time boys attained what was thought the age of manhood, they graduated from knickers to long pants; girls went from shorter dresses to gowns.

      I am not in favor of Burkas, but would like to see some effort to have the way kids are dressed mark different ages and stages. Sort of like graduating to the next step in adulthood. We would have to convince the money grubbers they would make more money this way, but they might. Even starting a movement, that bans the color purple for pre-teens would jack up the sale of purple for teens. That’s one idea. Do you have others for changing the turn kids into adults too fast media?

      Just thinking over my morning coffee. Thank you again for commenting.

  2. People complain about what is seen but are are not against his letting people militarize the minds of kids right under your noses in the cub and boy scouts.

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