My experience of attending a nude milonga

Post date: Dec 16, 2015 2:01:20 AM

Well no, it's not my own experience, I'm rather sharing  an article written by a Finnish tango aficionado about his experience of attending a nude milonga in Heidleberg, Germany. 

Was intrigued by this radical idea! Tango is already a pretty intimate thing to do with a non-romantic partner. Tangoing nude at a milonga, well that's really pushing the boundaries!

Have broken publishing convention by taking the liberty of removing a few typos in the original article.  I offer my thoughts at the end.

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source: Kristian Salikoski

Post by Kristian Salikoski‎ 

9 December 2015 

(Shared via Terpsichoral Tango Addict)

"In my last post I promised to share my experiences of a nude milonga so here I go. If you find the combination of tango and nudity a clear no go you might be disgusted so you should stop here.

I remember seeing a few years ago a flyer of a tango club "Tango Vicioso" that had a couple wearing almost nothing in a tango embrace. My first reaction was a laugh and I thought that something like this could only happen in Germany, the country of swinger clubs and nudist culture. Since then I have grown and understand among other things that swinger clubs and nudism are completely different aspects of human behavior.

In Berlin tango is taken into the some of the city´s famous sex clubs and as I am a curious person I wanted to see what really happens inside. In this article I won´t go into what I found but only that I found much less nudity that I expected. I started to wonder why and then out of the blue my friend invited me to a milonga called "The Naked Truth". The name caught my eye and I wanted to know more. I found out that the organizer wanted to create a pure nudist milonga free from sexistic clothing and apparels. Yes, not even shoes would be allowed. I was fascinated even though I felt a strong inner resistance towards exposing myself completely naked on a milonga setting. Embracing somebody naked was something that so far for me was only linked with romantic relationships. Questions started to run on my mind. Could I keep my focus on dancing with all the naked bodies around me? What if I get turned on, would that be embarrassing? What if I bumb into friends? And do a really even want to see tango being danced naked, aren´t people more beautiful with clothes on? It took me a few days to make my desicion. I would join.

`The Naked Truth´ does not happen in Berlin but in Heidelberg south Germany. The friend who invited me there asked a local dancer to host me during my stay. Once in Heidelberg I was warmly welcomed by a lovely woman. Soon I found out that my host had written an article on german tango magazine about her experiences on the previous edition of the milonga. She had first been even angry that somebody dares to organize a naked milonga in their beloved tango club. She was also worried about the possible erections and presented also an interesting question, does it tell something about the woman if a man does not have erection while dancing naked?

Before leaving the house for the milonga we waited for the other guest to arrive and talked around nakedness and tango.

Once at the club we were greeted on the door by two young woman completely dressed. Further in the entrance hall I could see people undressing. I found out that there would not be a separate dressing rooms for men and women. But you do not really need a dressing room to undress, do you. I felt my heart beating more strongly and I noticed myself breathing shallowly while watching the others undress and hearing the tango music coming from the dancefloor that was not visible from the entrance hall. This is it, there is no turning back. The cool air of the entrance hall forced the undressing to be quick and soon I followed a naked couple into the dance hall. In front of my eyes were women and men, from all ages, of different body shapes and all completely naked. Some sitting, others standing and a few couples dancing on the dance floor. This was something totally new for me. My eyes were catching different body parts and my inner chatter telling me all sorts of stories. I could not spot my friend who invided me to the milonga who would have made my ”landing” easier. By now I really needed a drink and headed towards the bar. Behind the bar desk I was greeted by two young woman both naked as you might have expected. After I had my cold beer at hand I sat down for a moment of reflection and to calm down my nerves. Should I aproach somebody and try to start a conversation or should I just invite somebody for a dance. Being a Dj it would feel natural to start talking with a colleague - whom I saw working behind the Dj booth wearing nothing but earphones. I had hardly time to start with my beer when I saw a woman looking at my direction. An eye contact and a smile made me realize that I was only a nod of the head far from actually dancing naked with somebody – for the first time of my life. After a few seconds we met on the dance floor and without a word we embraced each other. She was a little bit shorter than me and was really beautiful. She wanted to dance in a closed embrace and I felt her pressing against my body. The first tanda of the night is almost always exciting, as both the body and mind need time to let go of tensions. Now I faced to dance the first tanda naked in a room with complete strangers. On one of the walls there was a huge mirror kindly reminding myself of my own nakedness. At first I felt that I could somehow hide by closing my eyes for moments and diving deep into the embrace but on the other hand this made me even more open and vulnerable. There was literally no place to hide, hence the name of the milonga ”The Naked Truth”. I did my best to connect to the music and keep my dancing simple and at the same time trying to feel if my partner enjoyed dancing with me. When the first tango ended came the time for the decision whether to keep on embracing her until the next song starts or open up the embrace and face the moment of standing in front of her and trying to find topics for a small talk. After I presented myself it seemed a good moment to ask the legendary question ”do you come here often?” A friendly voice answered that she comes from Turkey and this is her first time in a naked milonga. We danced the remaining of the tanda without exchanging words and afterwards I escorted her back to her table. The closeness of the embrace made it surprisingly easy to keep the focus on dancing. The fact that me and my partner were naked felt natural and intimate but it did not have the sexual energy that I - a bit afraid of - expected. What was I afraid of? Well mostly of that how would I handle it if I get aroused. How would my partner react and what should I then do? Of course it would be natural and understandable but still it would be confusing - at least for me.

After some time my friend arrived and no surprise he was naked. It was the first time I we saw each other without clothes as I had just met him couple of weeks ago. I was really happy that he was here and greeted him with an embrace. He had been here before so he knew what to expect and how he would feel. In Berlin we dance together almost every night changing dancing roles. So here we come to the next thing that I was about to do for the first time of my life. Dance tango naked with a man, and yet more, to surrender naked into a tango embrace with a gay man. My inner voice kept feeding me with questions of him getting turned on or even more confusing what if that happens to me. I could never know. As I really enjoy dancing with him I invited him to dance and off we went to the dance floor. Without exchanging words I offered him my right hand, embraced him with my left and closed my eyes. Again the familiar music and dancing in closed embrace made it feel like the most natural thing to do and suddenly all the confusing questions were pushed aside. During the dance I opened my eyes and saw a man dancing in a open embrace having a huge erection without even a hint of shame on his face. I thought that now I really have to story to make later my children blush if I want. We danced relaxed a couple of tandas switching between roles before returning to the bar. It was pure fun!

The young women behind the bar desk where also dancers and I decided that I wanted to dance with both of them. Luckily they agreed on my cabaceo and I could share a tanda with both of them. The other wanted to dance on closed embrace and dancing with her felt heavenly soft. Again I could keep focus on dancing and keep sexual desires aside. The second one on the other hand to my surprise kept distance and offered me an open embrace. So here I was, facing a beautiful woman naked face to face. Now I really needed all I had to keep cool and could do it until she started to breath loudly. This was too much and I felt that I started to get excited. To make the situation more easy, I did what I could to invite her to close the embrace but felt that I could not verbally ask for this. Should I apologize her and run into the toilet or should I face the confusion and finnish the tanda? I chose the later and tried to enjoy dancing without getting too exited. I did what I could to cool down and it was probably for the first time I imagined being some where else when I danced. Maybe I could have enjoyed the situation more but this time I wasn't yet ready to show my excitement openly and feel as relaxed with it as the other guy who danced with his girlfriend almost the whole night with an erection. After the tanda the girl asked me with a smile if I was alright. Yes, I mumbled and we left the dance floor. Now I really needed another beer and sat down with it to calm my nerves.

The night continued and soon I tried to keep up with the rhythm of a difficult milonga tanda with my host, a woman with a big heart full of hospitality. Both of us had hard time following the music but we had lots of fun. Afterwards I danced a nice and relaxing tanda with the organizer changing roles from tango to tango. It was wonderful to dance with a leader who could keep his dancing simple and full of presence. For the ones who thought about if we would dare to dance a chacarera - well yes - we danced a ”nakarera”. It was rather confusing as I still do not know the structure but hilarious! At midnight the Dj changed and it was time for alternative music. For me this meant finding a warm blanket and going to reflect what I had experienced on a sofa. Few hours later one of the guest with whom I shared the accommdation waked me up. It was time to leave home. In the morning I woke up, got dressed and walked into the kitchen finding a delicious brunch waiting for me. We shared our experiences with cake and coffee. It felt as if dancing together naked had put all roles and taboos aside, the conversations were vivid and honest. After the brunch it was time to embrace and say good bye.

To end this story I want to do a short summary of what I experienced. 

First, I got an lovely insight of the nudist culture and understood how purifying experience being and dancing naked can be. Especially when dancing in a close embrace it felt not so different than being in a spa or sauna. The same familiar of feeling of equality that I love from a sauna reigned the atmosphere.

Secondly, I learned more about my own sexuality and how I can adjust what I want to feel or how deeply I want to go into a specific feeling while dancing. To finnish I want to encourage others do try dancing without clothes and maybe even organize a naked milonga. Who knows, maybe in the next edition of ”Tango Sauna” there could be a possibility for this smile emoticon."

My thoughts:

What stuck out for me was that the writer said that he had to think of something else, to distract himself from arousal, when dancing open embrace with a beautiful woman. I'd say that would take away from the pleasure of the experience, the pleasure of immersing oneself in the music, and connecting with one's partner. 

Further, many of us have body image issues. I imagine the majority of tango dancers would feel uncomfortable dancing in public naked. Clothing is a crutch that helps to protect us from our own self criticism and self consciousness so we can focus on enjoying our dance experience to its fullest.

It'd also be a pity to not wear shoes. Shoes are so much a part of the tango experience, in the way that they facilitate for women pretty ornaments and pivoting. They also help men to pivot. Enrosques without shoes are not an easy feat. Dancing without shoes can be very painful for women who struggle to pivot in bare feet. 

So perhaps then nude tango with the option of shoes? Nude with stilettos could be extremely sexy, kinky ... and dangerous! No clothing protection to one's extremities from flying ganchos... sorry my imagination is going wild!

The look and texture of beautiful clothing adds to the sensual experience of social tango dancing. I love the crisp feel of a man's suit jacket. My partners often comment on the pleasant feel of clothing I wear. I love the flourish of flowing dresses when ocho-ing and giro-ing. 

Clothing also absorbs sweat. Many male dancers bring a change of shirt to milongas for this reason. Sweaty sex may be enjoyable but not sure about sweaty tango!

What about a semi naked milonga? There is a milonga in Stuttgart, Germany (again in Germany!) called Nackter Tango (Naked Tango). From the Nakter Tango website: 

"The dress code is open to your imagination. The motto is derived from the movie of the same name (see movie link below) which an elegantly dressed tanguero and pimp dances a tense and highly erotic tango with a largely naked, beautiful tanguera in the red-light milieu of Buenos Aires in the 1930s. 

So, by no means wear street clothes or standard milonga outfit!

Guide: We intend to create a classy atmosphere. Tangueras should not be all covered up, the more enticing gleaming skin (even nudity!) can be seen in the shimmer of the discreet lights, the more suitable. As regards the tangueros, we suggest elegant evening dress (suit, dinner jacket) as a simple solution. Women love this!

But the evening will also be open for intelligent variations, such as fancy dress, 1920s or 1930s style, uniform or else - anything that goes with red-light ambience."

So it seems that at this 'Naked Milonga' the women are 'strategically naked' and the men not...

These two German milonga each take a very different approach to nudity in Tango. 

'The Naked Truth'  aims to be a 'pure nudist milonga free from sexistic clothing and apparels' - total nudism for men and women. Whilst 'Nackter Tango' requires that  women (not men) dress to titillate in a 'red-light milieu'.

Can you imagine a semi naked or fully naked milonga being part of the Sydney Tango Scene, a listing in the Sydney Tango calendar? And would you attend? 

Perhaps we're not German enough for that (yet)...

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Source: Nackter Tango

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