Thursday, November 20, 2014

How to please a woman

As in life, so in tango every man should know about what women want.
  • Woman would be glad if the roles were reversed: That there would be too many men rather than too many women.  They would not complain if men were sitting it out, waiting for a dance (at least for the first few years).  
  • Women would be very picky about men, and if there were many good dancers, the ladies would prefer the man who is dressed just as well as they are.  
  • Women want a man who does not run into others--both the pilots in the airplanes in which they fly, and the "pilots" at the milongas where they dance. They want to trust that the man is a good navigator in order that they may focus in on the music and the wonderful tandem movement of improvised tango.
  • Women want men who respect the music first and dance musically over men who have many cool moves which are not connected to the music. Size is not everything, gentlemen--and by that I mean the size of your step repertoire.
  • Women want an embrace that says you are a gentle-man.  Consider your handshake with a woman as being analogous to your embrace:  If you squeeze her hand until it hurts, she will avoid you.  If your handshake is limp, she might see this as a possible bad omen!  Let your handshake start out with a clean hand, warm and comfortable.  And just as you would not break away your gentle-but-manly handshake in order to do cool gestures, also avoid breaking away from your warm and comfortable embrace to show off.   Men, maintaining your embrace is like maintaining your erect . . . posture--both posture and the embrace are very important.  
Once you know what a woman wants are you afraid she will change her mind (as the myth goes)?  The French novelist and diplomat, Jean Giraudoux, pondered: "Men should only believe half of what women say.  But which half?"   My suggestions above are part of the half you should believe, gents.   No question.

Giraudoux obviously did not dance tango, otherwise he would have said,  "Men should believe only 1 of 10 of the compliments they get when there are too many women at the milonga.  But which one?"

That's more like it, Monsieur Giraudoux.


  1. Very true TT. I like guys who are safe, who take care of me, and the people around us. I love to dance with relaxed guys who who listen and who dance the music, who dance with me and for me. When a guy dances moves, I feel he is trying too hard, when I feel he is dancing the music, he feels natural, he feels like he is dancing like him. I expect a guy to collect me, I love him to take my hand to the floor and I especially like the guys who take me back to my seat - these number, sad to say, only a handful to date. I like guys to invite me usually by look & I especially like respectful guys who invite me to move rather than force things upon me or take me off axis without giving me any say. I like guys with a gentle embrace where I want to stay and I really like guys who stand tall and don't bring in their chest, so that I'm not arching my back to stay with them.

    Now I'd love to know what guys like. :)

  2. I think I will believe the lower half (where the heels are)


  4. I forgot the most important thing! I feel disappointed if a guy tries to invite me before listening to the music or if he stays on the floor between tandas. I don't expect a good dance in these cases. The guy is saying, "I don't really care about the music, I don't care what comes next" or "I like everything the same" and "which girl I dance this orchestra with doesn't really matter to me". If he doesn't really care about the music, he won't really be able to dance the music and then nothing really will happen and then you ask yourself, why are we dancing...?

    The special guys are the ones who can tell "good trad" from "any old trad". And with those guys, the other stuff is probably already in place. It all comes from the music.

  5. I totally agree. I'm a lucky woman, having a man who knows so well what women want and I'm looking forward to marry you.
    About only believing 1 in 10 compliments: you caught us!?
    No, Mister Therapist, you're wrong about 1 in 10 compliments.
    We, women who want to dance and not to sit, have so much gratitude after a good tenda, that compliments come easily but they come from the heart.
    Last weekend, I was at a milonga with many more women than men.
    I danced 3 tendas or 4 tendas, and was thinking about going home frustrated. I realized there was only 1 more hour left, and I decided to stay. In this last hour I had 3 tendas...the two last were with one of my favorite dancers... I gave him sincerely 2 or 3 compliments. I was in heaven and could leave satisfied from the evening.
    Yesterday, I was at a special milonga and there were almost 2 men for 1 woman... I was in heaven, all my compliments were sincere, but today I regret that I didn't say to all of my partners how I was in heaven... All dances were great, I danced almost all the time and I'm sorry I didn't express enought gratitude with every dancer. I'm still in heaven today.
    So I would say that all of my compliments are sincere.
    It's easy to find something positive about each dancer, even he isn't the best...

  6. @Felicityp: Your comments are great because these comments are best made by a woman (or at least validate my guess at what women want). With all the tongue-and-cheek comments, I am sure you knew that this post was written more as humor than as if I really know what all or even what most women want. Of course, I am here more than a little pretentious when I present myself as knowing what women want because each woman is different. But it is of great worth--for men who will listen--for each of the points you bring out. You are a DJ, so you especially are keen to musicality, but I think most women appreciate this quality. I do not say "all" here because many women do not hear the music. Many ever try NOT to pay too much attention to the music because tango teachers often indicate that women should listen first to the "leader." I have experienced this over and over: In casual conversation between songs in a tanda, sometimes I mention that I like it when women listen to the music first because the music is predictive of what the next step will be. Then, with this "permission" to listen to the music, I see a huge change in the next song.

    As far as "what men want"-- I really have no idea. I know a little about what women want because I dance with them and they tell me. So please--you tell me: What do men want? All I can say is that I want a woman who takes the three M's to heart: Music is her "leader" so I don't have to be. Movement is the outpouring of joy from her soul that is doubled by tandem movement. And her eMbrace melts into mine without losing her own "axis"--her own balance of who she is as Yin when dancing with Yang. That is what I want, and I am just as a mere sample of just one man among many men.

    As far as your second comment goes, please be aware that in some communities, there is a "feeding frenzy" at the cortina: Men and women looking for their next partner before they are swept by someone else--even men and women who ask! This tango culture (with a "developmental delay") creates a vicious circle that only can stop when both men and women refuse to even consider dancing until they know what the music is. One can only hope that the community will change as it "grows up." :-)

  7. @Mockba... You believe a woman's "lower half"?!!! Are you crazy?? You know that many women's lower half cannot be believed because their non-weight-bearing leg often embellishes, right? :-)

    [Above, I am stealing Mockba's own comment to me in a private FB message, which made my laugh really hard! It was too good not to plagiarize and use his own words against him!]

  8. Dear Sybille: You make me blush. This is your first comment on your fiancée's tango blog. And yes, if I was truly fully wrong about anything in this post, it was that women's compliments are often lies or equivocations. I never feel that way. However, at the same time we men can be careful with any pride that might come from compliments in tango. Yes, compliments are part of the tango culture. Finding the good in others is where spirituality and social tango meet. You are super adept with this spiritual/social element of tango. <3

  9. My reply :)


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