What is a tea dance?
Okay, I admit it, I asked this question. A friend of mine asked me if I wanted to go with him to a bear themed tea dance at a local bar at which point I asked what that was. Not the bear part, I know about that. They have their own flag and a delightful term for long-term partners, “husbear”. However, tea dance was new to me. I was faced with a pitying shake of the head and I was told that I had never been on a proper gaycation.
A tea dance, in simplest terms, is a party that starts in the early afternoon. Minus clotted cream, plus men in drag. It’s origins trace back to the French colonization of Morocco, thé dansant, and clearly if I had ever spent any reputable amount of time in P-town, then I would know of these events. I, however, have not. Which is a shame as I believe P-town is where the Boston lesbians are. There and perhaps Jamaica Plain, but I live in Cambridge, and so with the convenience of the high-speed ferry it is faster to get to P-Town.
It is unfortunately soon to be November though, so it looks like it will be a while before I have my proper gaycation. In the meantime, I would like to take a brief pause and answer a question that I believe is haunting this post. Are gay men more fun than lesbians? No. However, gay men as a whole, are more keen on casual naked time than lesbians as a whole. I am stating that broadly as I am sure that I can find a whole bunch of loose ladies and strictly monogamous men. I know it. Gay men with fleece clad babies strapped on in baby bjorns and lesbians with strap-ons with leather clad babes. Celebrate diversity. I am talking more in the realm of noticed trends. It is possible that the interest in casual naked time tends to lead to finding as many excuses to have a dance party as humanly possible. Lesbians may also enjoy dance parties and casual naked time, but it is not as much an inherent drive and so sometimes gay men look more fun than lesbians.
This might seem like I am diverging from my don’t get hung up on stereotypes argument, but that’s not true. I still think people are much deeper than the stereotypes that cling to their social groups. On the other hand it would be remiss of me to ignore such things dreamed up by gay men as Grindr. This is an iPhone application that allows you to find out how many feet away the nearest gay man is who might be available for naked time. “A mile-and-a-half? What kind of long distance drama do you think I want to get involved in? 546 feet? Much better.”Once you pick the closest fella, you can do things like chat with him, ask him to join you for a drink, send him a picture of your penis… Things like that. So gay men do seem to have a large percentage of their population looking at things and saying, “how can this be used for casual sex?” and casual sex may have many different connotations in society, but it does lead to meeting new people! “Here’s a picture of my penis want to join me at the tea dance later on?” Lesbians on the other hand have no idea how many feet away a brief bout of canoodling may be as the iphone app, VaJJ has yet to be created. This therefore keeps me from being able to say to that special and proximal person, “Hello, here’s my vagina,” which of course means that although I now know what a tea dance is, I have no one to bring to it.