04 Jun Sex in Cuba
There was sex in the air alright, but it certainly wasn’t free. Do you want a companion? This was the token line thrown out to the naïve gringos. The tone is full of lust and is whispered into your ear as a skillful hand ever so slightly grazes the most sensual part of your back. But it isn’t really accurate to say that all, or even most, of the patrons were naïve. One look around a given nightclub venue and it appeared that they all knew the score. Hell, it was probably the reason they were in Cuba. Not that creepy, old, white men scouring the globe for something young and probably illegal in their own country is new – it isn’t, but what was different, is that the playing field of prostitution catered to both men and women.
The nuances were subtle. Even a keen observer watching the dance floor might not fully comprehend the scene or think it odd that such studs of the male species could have such beer goggles. Incredibly fit Cuban men with Adonis like figures twirling the white tourist women around the dance floor like draddles. Some were remarkably fat, others were old and withered, and some were just outright shoot-to-kill-and-mount-on-the-mantle hideous, but they were being serenaded that evening by stallions full of gusto. It is hard to really appreciate the scene without knowing just how sexy and enchanting Cuban dance is. Not unlike Circus Olay, bodies contorted and twisted effortlessly in positions that the human body was never meant to attempt. I don’t know if they were born with dancing shoes on or Italian sculptured, chiseled abdomens, but to see what the male form should look and move like, and to look down to see my beer poncho in the mirror was an instant self-esteem bungee jump. Fortunately, there were two rows of 60 Cuban women, dressed to kill, lined up on the sidelines ready to rescue my self-esteem and fling it back up to unjustifiable levels. It didn’t take long. A mere walk to the bathroom was like running a medieval gauntlet, except instead of spikes, bone breaking logs, and stones hurled at you to send you to death’s doorstep with a crowd yelling in glee, there were air-smooches, whistles, and ass grabs with a “Aye Papi”. Same same, but different.
It would be wrong to say that everyone in Cuba is a prostitute. Dead wrong. I am sure there is a grandma somewhere who has hung up here hooking shoes, or there are some who abstain from the fatty-fucking game altogether. I wouldn’t blame them – the looks, dancing skills and the personalities of most of the tourists, who would be eternally sexless without the right passport, would be enough to stop anyone from even making eye contact for fear of a rhino rundown. But with limited job opportunities (thanks Fidel) and mouths to feed, how can one judge what is necessary for survival? To do so would be as narrow-minded and culturally pretentious as it would be sexually puritan. And nobody likes sexual puritans. Sexual puritans don’t even like sexual puritans.
While I didn’t buy and didn’t get to taste the sweet Cuban fruit, which I am sure would be the aerobic work out of a century; it didn’t stop me from flailing about desperately on the dance floor in typical gringo fashion in an attempt to feel the Cuban rhythm of the night.
The rhythm laughed.