The thrill of dance...

Igor Sitchuk, journal PSYCHOLOGY TODAY, February 2019, original text is here

Dancers call it “tangasm.” And no, it’s not an orgasm that you get by dancing a particularly passionate type of Argentine tango. On the contrary! Sexual tension can actually cause disharmony on the dance floor. A tangasm is, however, absolutely comparable to an orgasm in terms of the pleasure it produces. What’s a tangasm, you ask? And why is there a tangasm but not a polkasm or a waltzasm?

A tangasm is based on sexual energy even though it’s purely psychological. There is no erection, as that would definitely ruin the entire dance – embarrassing for the man and frustrating for the woman. It feels very similar, however, but last much longer. A tangasm also doesn’t leave behind a feeling of sexual discontentment. This is true for men. It’s much more complex for women since a clear difference between a tangasm and an orgasm is hard to define because of the huge variety of female orgasms and ways of reaching them.

An experience full of adrenaline for sure

Contrary to an orgasm, reaching a tangasm does not require stimulation of erogenous zones. On the contrary! If a dancer begins to show signs of sexual interest it will lead to psychological tension, which will actually cause her to avoid her partner. People go to milongas (an Argentine tango dance evening event) to dance. Not for sex. To get pleasure from dance and to make your dance partner equally happy is morally and socially acceptable.

If my sources are being honest, a female tangasm can be described as a feeling of flying through the air, transporting to another reality, diving into sexual energy, getting out of your head, blending physical and emotional pleasure into one experience. Since I'm a man, I can only believe the descriptions women gave me....but I had to speak to many women to get an objective overall picture. I can describe the male tangasm based on my own experience. It is a feeling very similar to an orgasm, the only difference being that it’s not concentrated in the standard areas on the body. Rather, it flows through the entire body and feels most intense in the joints, eyes and teeth. Why here? I'm not sure...the tangasmic feeling rises slowly and once it reaches a certain threshold of intensity it's fairly easy to maintain it on this level. All the senses are heightened, reactions are faster, you’re able to focus on several things at once and have no problem dealing with all of them simultaneously. Theoretically, you could stay in this state for an unlimited amount of time but in practice I have not been able to maintain this level of adrenalin for more than 30 minutes - the intensity of the experience is too great. Following internal release, the feeling of the tangasm slowly dissipates but its remnants can still be felt the next day. What’s interesting is that every tangasm is different. I haven’t been able to have two that were the same. One could say that tangasmic experiences are very useful for men because it allows them to understand how women experience orgasm. It can certainly be considered good practice for men to become better lovers.

Can one be certain that his partner is experiencing a tangasm? There is no way to answer this question with a yes. A tangasm has no physiological manifestations since it is hidden deeply in the human psyche. Music, contact with your partner, feeling at one with the other dancers around you, the entire atmosphere of the milonga, all of these elements help release the needed images and feelings from the subconscious so that during a tanda (a group of three or four similar dances that a pair dances together) we’re meeting the prototype of our ideal self and our ideal partner, and an actual “lovestory in 10 minutes” plays out. Each partner acts as a catalyst in this psychological process.

It requires certain qualities, however! The man leading the woman must provide assurance and care for his partner. Every woman responds well to a firm and gentle hold that clearly and surely guides her movements to the rhythm of the music. This hold should provide comfort and a feeling of safety so that the woman can relax, forget all her worries and submit fully to the dance. The woman's ideal strategy is to cooperate with her partner. The woman should allow the partner to stay close, to keep in continuous contact with him and to help him express himself. I should mention that the only way for the male partner to express himself in the dance is through his female partner even though the reality may be different. The key aspect true for both the woman and the man if they wish to tap into the tangasm mechanism is mutual understanding and a shared experience through the dance.

Escape to tango

Truth be told, some people who have experienced tangasm often become addicted to it and have a tendency to use tango as an escape from reality. Sexual relationships are very complicated in the modern world. There are all sorts of risks associated with sex – unwanted pregnancies, STDs, negative reactions etc. There are also several fears associated with sex: inexperience, vulnerability, disappointment, loss of personal freedom and others. Tango isn’t sex and that's why none of these problems matter. Dancing is polite (no one will judge you for having a tangasm with three partners during one evening). Dancing is safe and you don’t have to dance with someone who doesn’t appeal to you. No one will drag you to the dance floor against your will. But all the while, you’re enriching your life, are getting rid of depression, are staying fit and feel needed by other people.

Working hard is also a key aspect to reaching tangasm. This also increases its personal value as is the case with everything that’s the result of honest hard work. Sexual experiences on the other hand are often available to people easily and without effort. If we're comparing orgasm with tangasm, the former is an experience but the latter is a rare special experience. It can be enjoyed by experienced dances as well as beginners but it’s a fairly rare and unpredictable phenomenon – many factors have to come into play including mood, mutual sympathies and subconscious associations.

It may seem that tangasm is only for the privilged, people in some sort of private club or a sect. It is and it isn’t. Yes there are many snobs in the world of tango but this elitism is the result of human character not the ability of experience tango. People show off their style but it's much like showing off the origin or the amount of jewelry one has. Showing off in tango has nothing to do with tangasms. The ability to bring your partner to tangasm can’t be the subject of pride or scorn. One cannot show off abilities which are immeasurable, internal and invisible.

The main obstacles on the path to tangasm are fears and psychological blocks. The best way of reaching tangasm for men is to concentrate on your partner and make her feel as comfortable as possible. The best way of reaching tangasm for women is to cooperate with the man, be open to the challenge and to play her part well. It really does take two to tango for a tangasm.

Why tango and not polka?

Now we can answer the question of why Argentine tango allows for tangasms? Why not other dances? The main reason and the secret is that Argentine tango is a contact improvisation where the form and method of movement isn’t important. There is no predefined rhythm in tango. Mutual understanding that allows the pair to move freely to any type of music is the number one element in tango. Those who understand this are opening the door to a secret chamber of the soul behind which lies the magical experience called tangasm.