Is that a Bud in your pocket? Or are you just happy to see me?

There are some things we are just not supposed to talk about. Warts. Drug habits. Third nipples. Nose picking. Your parents’ sex lives. These are things that are not meant to be discussed.

My mother used to teach me not to say certain things. I always did of course, like the time I told Mr. Frankel that Mrs. Frankel boinked the neighbor in the shower while he was at work. I simply loved the reaction I got. This is not something I’ve outgrown with age. Instead, I crave talking about things I shouldn’t be discussing. Shock value is my best friend.

This is precisely why I want to talk about the Dance Floor Erection. That’s right, you read correctly. The Dance Floor Erection (DFE). No one talks about it but everyone know its there. It’s just like Caltech. Or Canada.

Let me just introduce a situation in which the DFE might, shall we say, pop up. Lights are turned low. Add a little bass. Maybe a little strobe. Perhaps a booty cam for good measure. Feelin’ it? Yeah you are. And you REALLY love this song. You’re backing that ass up like it’s your job. OOOH! And there’s cute Bobby. You move sexily toward cute Bobby who sees you out of the corner of his eye. He smiles. Score.

Cute Bobby is really, really cute, and if he doesn’t say anything, he’s really, really smart too.

So there you are, and you start dancing with cute Bobby. You throw in the newest little hip swerve you caught in that Britney video. You are the WO-MAN. You back that ass up again, you know, for good measure. Bobby seems to love it: Whoa! What’s that?

Yup, that’s right, it seems you have backed into, well, Bobby’s bobby. Bobby appears to be pitching his tent on your campsite. To put it bluntly, Bobby has a Dance Floor Erection. He’s been struck with a DFE. Poor kid can’t even control it.

This situation is not one that is strange or different or weird. In fact, it’s common. Very common. Every guy I spoke to has had a DFE at least once. And every girl has borne the erection’s burden in the back of her thigh. No one talks about them though.

We ladies choose to react in one of three ways: continue dancing (this time with a little twinkle in our eyes), walk away, or pretend that such a thing never occurred. This is why I’d like to bring the DFE out into the open. Perhaps encourage a little roundtable discussion surrounding the — ahem — magnitude of its presence.

Girls were eager to discuss the DFE. Over lunch at Commons, a close friend of mine revealed that “Even though I should be expecting it, it always catches me by surprise.” Later she conceded that her reaction to the DFE depends largely on its owner. If it’s a random guy, the DFE can get a little too close for comfort, especially if the aroused party insists on using it as a power tool in your hipbone. “I mean, that IS his penis!” exclaimed one frazzled individual.

I second that motion.

Meanwhile, if the DFE-er is a crush, such as the aforementioned cute Bobby, the erection might lead to bigger and better things, and can, above all, be quite flattering. As I was shrewdly informed on my way to econ class, “There’s a face behind the penis. It’s attached to someone, you know?”

Thank you. I was not previously aware of this.

My guy friends were less keen on delving into what lies beneath. In fact they shied away from it — some responded to my questions with grunts or strange looks. One guy angrily snapped, “How do you know about that?”

I replied that it’s hard NOT to know, though it depends on what you’re raising. Are we talking the Titanic or Tubby the Tugboat?

Regardless, when I did convince some of my friends to open up, I met with a variety of responses that ranged from DFE shame, “(sigh) — It really sucks. It just sucks,” to DFE pride, “Why be embarrassed? It’s part of my game!”

(Note that this last guy insisted that I called him “Rollo, the one the hos know.” Thanks Rollo.)

In all my hours of research, I was most interested in discovering how exactly the DFE-er reacts to his condition. There are three scenarios that may unfold following the raising of the flag, the salute of the chin, the call to attention. (Am I having a little too much fun with this?)

First, there is the ever famous and often used “Turn & Tuck”. The Turn & Tuck is a series of movements which culminate in the masking of the culprit. A turn away from the dancing girl using a Michael Jackson-esque spin, followed by a quick fell swoop of the hand which enacts the tuck-up (into the belt) or the tuck-under (into I don’t know what).

The result is a slightly uncomfortable but thoroughly concealed erection that will eventually simmer down. Even the most chipper of woodies will not survive the tuck-under. This move works best when the dancers begin by facing one another and end in the same position. A certain amount of skill is necessary here.

For the more confident sort, and for those that have received a positive reaction from their fellow dancer, the erection can be used to advantage as a tool of flattery but not of battery. A positive DFE reaction can lead from hip-hop at Toad’s to mambo in the bedroom — of the horizontal variety.

Finally the DFE can lead to what I have diagnosed as erecto-mania. Erecto-mania only lasts several minutes, which for the stricken seems like an eternity. The possessor of the DFE flees the dance floor thoroughly embarrassed, muttering excuses of needing a drink to the confused girl and claims that “she had bad breath” to his friends.

As he stands, humbled, by the bar, paranoia sets in. He is certain that EVERYONE in the room KNOWS what just occurred, that everyone in the room is zeroing in on his pants, wondering why they look like THAT. Erecto-mania may lead to sweaty palms, severe anxiety, jumpiness and perhaps even a slight tic. These symptoms last only a few minutes and may be easily rid by several more drinks (preferably shots of Dubra).

In conclusion, I would like to acknowledge the DFE as a reality of today’s world, something that grinding to Jay-Z or Nelly might encourage. I say, do not be afraid to discuss it and even to embrace it. Go to Toad’s this Saturday with a new attitude, a new acceptance of the Dance Floor Erection. Also, as a final note, do not worry — the spit or swallow column will come. I didn’t want to go to third base after only a few weeks of knowing you. Is that too much to ask?



Natalie Krinsky gives a shout out to Rollo.

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