Dançar Gostoso! Europeans Tell of their Sexiest Forró Dances


Forró dancers at a ball in Paris. Photo copyright Chen Ken.

Forró dancers at a ball in Paris. Photo copyright Chen Ken.

Forró dancers at a ball in Paris. Photo copyright Chen Ken.

It’s a slow song, but hearts are thumping wildly. Lips trace an earlobe, sweat merges on shirt fronts, fingers clasp, unclasp, intertwine. What can make a dance so stimulating that some girls say they’ve come close to orgasm? When is it so intimate that it becomes a temporary, feigned falling-in-and-out-of-love?

Illustration by Johanna Thomé de Souza.
Illustration by Johanna Thomé de Souza.

We’ve previously discussed how a passionate — but also rather silly — Brazilian dance, forró, is on a tear through Europe. Ask dancers why it’s getting so popular, and they’ll talk it up as a community activity — it’s less show-offy than salsa, they say, and the dancers, known as forrozeiros, form smaller, more welcoming tribes. A significant minority of the dancers are also just addicted to Brazilian music. But what they rarely mention, unless they’re drunk, is the opportunity to slither their bodies against each other, to experience something that’s intensely romantic — but just-for-pretend. (That said, a lot of dancers do hook up.)

So to look at the sexier, sometimes-less-acknowledged side of forró, we asked readers of this blog and forrozeiros on forums to share their sexiest moments on the dance floor. Oddly, only women sent in answers, and no French people. Here’s what they said (names have been changed):

Carrie, UK: My sexiest forró moment was during a forró-reggae song, pressed tightly against an extremely sexy black Brazilian with dreadlocks and an amazing body.

Eva, Central Europe: My sexiest dance was at my very first forró festival. Leading a dance was a new experience for me; until then I had just been a follower. An absolutely wonderful lady came up to me and told me she was upset about something that had happened that evening. I was so carried away by her beauty that I wanted to do whatever it would take to make her smile again. So I gently hugged her and we started moving to the music.

She was a great dancer; she could follow anything I did. The way she looked at me gave me more and more confidence. I was able to do some figures, and everything I tried worked well. It was so great to hold her and feel that she would follow my every move. I got more free and creative and we remained together for three or four more songs. In the end, she not only smiled, she kissed me! It’s not that difficult to make a woman happy. You just need to listen to her — even if she’s not speaking!

Jenny, UK: My hottest dances are usually with people who really know how to move, and especially with Brazilians. I get turned on when a man gyrates, when he puts his leg between mine, when he kisses me and gets a hard-on…

Luna, Catalonia: There’re guys who just barely touch you and yet it’s extremely sexy. It’s not about how a guy moves, but rather it’s about my mood, and who I’m dancing with. There’s nothing specific that a guy should do. Sometimes you feel his heart racing during a xote [slow song], and that’s a turn on. Sometimes you feel his erection, and it’s very hot — but that could also of course be very annoying, depending. I don’t care about the feel of a guys’ legs, but I love touching his hands and his neck.

A forró dancefloor has a different energy than an orgy, where there’s just sex everywhere. Forró is about the internal moment that can happen between two dancers — and then just disappear. It’s great to have this experience and that afterwards nothing else happens necessarily. You can escape from the world, have an adventure, get turned on, and then relax and dance with someone who won’t get you at all turned on.

My sister tried forró and found it to be an invasion of her space. She couldn’t understand it. You have to get over that attitude, or else just not dance forró.

Lidia, Catalonia: Once a man whispered to me that he liked the way he could wrap his hands all the way around my body. I adored the compliment; it made me feel thin and attractive.

Maria, Brazilian in France: Forró becomes a sport, or more than that, even. A really good dance with someone is like sex. If you dance with a hundred men it gives you the same adrenline as if you’ve just had sex. There’s a game of seduction, there’s contact with a man’s skin. But at the same time, you respect society’s rules, you respect people’s relationships.

I can dance all night and still have energy the next day. But, oddly, if I don’t go dancing the night before — and even if I get eight hours of sleep — I’ll be tired.

Sarah, UK: One guy quite nearly gave me an orgasm while dancing. He knew the exact angle to position me against his leg. He went ka-chunk — pushing me down against his leg — and ka-chunk — pulling me up against him. Then he held the small of my back and moved me. Wow.

A forró party in Lapa, Rio de Janeiro. Courtesy of and copyright by the illustrious Johanna Thomé de Souza.
A forró party in Lapa, Rio de Janeiro. Courtesy of and copyright by the illustrious Johanna Thomé de Souza.

 

 

Addendum April 19, 2016

As noted above, this covers just one aspect of forró. Before you go thinking that this dance is all about sex, orgasms, and flirting, please see the comment from Camila below.

4 Comments

  1. Alisson
    April 1, 2016
    Reply

    Sorry Dear Reporter, but your article is pure sensationalist journalism!
    I live in Brazil and I dance Forró for a decade!
    I dance in the main night clubs from Brazil every week, and I dance in classes a few times every week too!
    In all these years that I dance Forró in the Country that invented it, NOBODY has ever said anything close to what your “friend” Sarah said: “One guy quite nearly gave me an orgasm while dancing”.
    The absurds written here in your article, brings two questions questions to the top of my mind.
    1) Does Sarah really know what an orgasm is like?! Or Does she has any kind of biological problem?!
    2) What is the reporter’s mind problem to take what Sarah said as some kind of truth about Forró?!
    Here in Brazil, not only the young people dance Forró, but many old people too! Many of us even take our families to the Forró Events, and you make an Article showing Forró as some kind of Sexual or Pre-Sexual Activity?

    You know nothing about Forró to be writing the absurds that you are writting here, you offend those who dance and like Forró and you also offend the Brazillians and the Dance Culture that we have, trying to make not only the country but also its people look like some king of Indian people that live in the forest and walk around naked with no shame.

    People that read this kind of Article, do not take his or my word for it. Use your good judgment and your mind. Use Google, use youtube, type there: “FORRÓ” and see for your self what Forró really is and if there is a remote possibility for a healthy and with no biological problems person to have anything close to an Orgasm while dancing Forró! Many rhythms and dances (if not all of them), can be sensual. Dance in its nature is a form of interaction between men and women, but that doesn’t make the dance itself as something sexual.

    Don’t give credit or publicity to sensationalist reporters. Force than to study, to work and do something good at their jobs or let’s force them to find something else that them can be good at, not only to them, but to the community.
    To Misstate/pervert/disfigure a dance, a country and a culture like this should even be a crime. Absurd and repulsive!

    • April 19, 2016
      Reply

      We try not to leave too much sex-negative vitriol like this lying around in the comments section, but I’ll let this one pass, because I want to point out:
      • To say that how other women experience sexual pleasure is indicative of a “biological problem” is rather offensive; it is an unfortunate and common byproduct of a misogynist, sex-negative culture.
      • It’s absolutely true that forró is a family activity as well, and is not at all sexy in that or in most other contexts. For more on that, see the rest of the coverage of forró on this site.

  2. Camila
    March 31, 2016
    Reply

    Hey Mose,
    I appreciate you writing about forró in other pieces of work you’ve done, and I understand you are from the forró community and you want to show the world sides of forró that are unknown to the public. I get that. However, I think the way you chose to do that on this one just sends such a distorted reality of how the forró nature is really like.
    Let’s not be naive. There are of course situations where people hook up with each other and are just looking for someone to get laid. They even fall in love and have babies! We have that everywhere: in salsa, in tango, in electronic music. Everywhere.
    But the way this article is written is just sending the idea that if you’re looking for a place to have sexual pleasure then forró is the place to go. Well, nothing wrong with that! Go for it! However, people who are not from this community are perhaps stopping themselves from going to a forró party because they often see it as a “too intimate”, “sexual”, “invasive” dance, just like you’ve described in this article. This can be something they don’t want.
    I totally agree on the freedom of speech and you can write whatever you want. But my main problem with this one is the fact that we, forrozeiros, fight so hard to make people see forró the way we see it – as a fun, engaging, stress-liberating, this, and this, and this – that when we hear people say things like “oh, forró is just too sexual for me” / “Oh, I don’t want to go to forró and get attacked by some guy/girl, as I just want to dance”, we get so outraged by their perception of it! And we straight away defend it with everything we have “Nooo! Don’t think that! It’s not like that at all! You’ll see that you’ll have fun, people are nice and respectful, and the music is great!”.
    So in my opinion, this article is not helping it in any way, instead I feel like it’s written in a too sensationalistic way..
    I understand that in your comments policy you almost send the message of “if you didn’t like my article then, ups, sorry, too bad!”.
    Well I just wanted to tell you that I totally know, for a fact, that these things happen in forró and there’s nothing wrong with that. People can do whatever they want. What I’m defending here is that people who are not forrozeiros should get other ideas of how forró is really like, the main things that make people fall in love for it.
    Thank you anyway for writing about forró in other posts (which I’ve read). 🙂

    • April 19, 2016
      Reply

      Hi Camila! I agree with pretty much everything you said here. Some people do get the wrong idea about forró, some people do think about it as more sexual than it is, and some people are unnecessarily made to feel uncomfortable or scared off because of that. And as you mentioned, I think my other articles do cover the other aspects of forró quite well. And I’m also glad to have your comment here to remind people that the flirting/sexy/sensual elements are just one rather small part of the whole.
      But as I said in this post, the sexy stuff is an interesting part too, and for various reasons people are afraid to talk about that. These were all real women recounting their own (I assume real) experiences with forró — I put down exactly what they told me. They wanted to be anonymous, but you probably know and have even danced with some of them! There is sex negativity (e.g., see the comment from Allison) in the culture that shames people — particularly women — for these sort of experiences, and there is of course the fear of encouraging people to get the wrong idea about forró, as you mentioned.
      I’m adding an addendum in the article pointing people down to your comment; I think it’s important! Thanks for sharing.

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