Music festivals are supposed to be a fun experience, dancing outdoors to the sounds of your favorite DJ. But every festival can face a few unexpected bumps in the road. A huge problem that the attendees, specifically the ladies, face is their issue with grinding.
Let’s start with the defining what grinding is. Here’s how Wikipedia defines it: Grinding, (also known as juking, freak dancing or freaking wining) is a type of close partner dance where two or more dancers rub or bump their bodies against each other, most often with a female dancer rubbing her buttocks against a male dancer’s crotch area. The male dancer will typically place his hands on the female dancer’s waist, hips, or buttocks. Sounds gross and scientific, I know.
Grinding gained widespread popularity with hip hop music and eventually moved to high school students and middle school dances where administrators of schools tried to ban it due to it’s sexual nature.
A predecessor to grinding as a sexually charged high-contact social dance was “The Bump“, popular in the 1970s, in which the contact between partners generally involved the hips or buttocks of one dancer “bumping” those of the other dancer in temporary contact.
When it comes to dance music and due to the sexual nature of this dancing style, grinding gained popularity in the EDM scene. With an intensely sexually charged and driven culture, grinding found a place to call home. But with this freedom comes a lot of responsibility. The big growth of the feminist movement, women’s rights and the conversations currently happening regarding sexual activity and consent, brought new light on the importance of communication and approval from both sides to this intimate form of dance and physical activity. A guy’s approach should be consensual, smooth and clear in a way that is communicated well to the partner (grinding on a girl and a guy is the same thing). The partner has to be willing and wanting to do that type of dance with you instead of being suddenly forced to or suddenly feeling your body on them out of the blue. It feels much better when two individuals are having a good connection and a fun time together, so always aim on having a decent, fun time first. It shouldn’t matter if they develop into something else at a later time. If they do, that’s cool if not, well you had a nice time anyways. Now ladies, if you’re suddenly feeling someone’s crotch on your body, there are several ways you can respond nicely which we will discuss further below.
Just because it’s crowded and there’s music playing, doesn’t mean you have the right to put your crotch near anyone you want. In the words of YouTube star Jenna Marbles: “I do not want your junk grinding up on my ass. We do not know each other. This is all happening so fast. Can I get pregnant from this?” (Seriously? no you can’t but it’s still something you might not want to engage in).
Dancing with someone, your eyes locked, and your dance moves matching theirs is a very intimate thing and unfortunately is not seen as a norm for dancing if you’re not with your partner. Today, there’s an accepted norm for ‘dancing’ across the majority of nightlife and it is sadly “grinding”. Strange how physical contact in this context can be seen as less intimate than the former style we described, isn’t it? At the same time it’s pretty hard to ‘mess up’ grinding. If you just met someone and you’re headed for the dance floor one might think, “I have one shot at this”. They probably aren’t really thinking something like “let me try that back flip I always wanted to do”. These days, it takes a lot of courage to break the ice and start dancing, leaving it all out there. Part of the primal nature of dancing is the attraction nature and the subtle cues to physicality. These can result in a form of attraction and admiration to the dancer. The flip side of this will be the person’s image. When they’re dancing (especially men) they’re putting themselves out there, a form of vulnerability and giving other the chance to judge them and see them. People don’t want to feel rejected and mocked for what they do, it’s just the way we’re wired. That’s why people should dance for themselves, to project their own confident nature and express themselves and relating to the music. This confidence is the attractive factor, the way they act and the way they project the fun attitude and the joy they’re feeling from the music.
People who grind are usually going for one thing: they’re targeting physical nature of the other person and trying to find out how they can have a pleasure-filled experience with them. At the same time, the partner could be their boyfriend, girlfriend, or just a contact they met at the festival. On the other hand, people who are dancing and enjoying their time will be able to better connect with their surrounding and have a more valuable experience, which can result in a better and more fun physical experience at a later time.
Guys: How To Approach
So you’re at a festival and you see that one sweet girl with an amazing smile, pumping her fist and dancing her night away. You realize through the flashing neon lights and streams of fluorescent lasers that there is something fun and unique about her, raising this new-found urge to get her attention. But before you make your move and go talk to her, a flood of insecurities and doubts halts your steps and forces you to rethink the whole situation.
An essential part of letting loose and enjoying the moment is comfort. Being comfortable around you is the key to having a good time and taking things to the next level. Creeping on a girl and suddenly grinding on the person you’re interested in out of the blue will ruin your chances. Keep reading as we will be discussing this in more details later on below.
A major thing to consider as well is the overthinking and over-reading the signals you get. Let’s say that both of you discovered that you’re wearing Kandi wristbands and necklaces. If she compliments you on the Kandi you’re wearing that does not mean she wants the D. it might just mean that she likes your Kandi and she’s a huge fan of this type of accessories. On another hand, never assume that just because a girl is at a festival, wearing eye-catching apparel, that she’s there to meet guys. Shaking her rave booty doesn’t mean it’s her National Geographic mating call. You have to understand that she might possibly reject you and you’ll have to respect that. Approaching a girl you like should happen progressively. Start by finding a common point, something that might spark a conversation (tip: the music and artists are already the reason you’re there no? why not start from there).
Accidentally “bumping” into the person you’re targeting is a recipe for failure. Most people find it creepy when strangers come behind them and forcefully grind on their unprotected back. After she shakes you off you’ll have a hard time trying again. If you want to dance with a girl, a back-attack isn’t the answer. Instead start a conversation while facing her or standing on her side. She needs to check you out as well and might probably be looking out towards the stage. When she clears you out, you will notice a conversation developing which will be your first major positive clue that the potential is there. Light dancing, a fun joke here and there, a nice comment on her outfit, all are things you can say and do after that. It doesn’t matter if you’re hot and heavy dancing with all your body touching. There’s something nice and mysterious about dancing with some distance, this sexual tension is good and will bear some delicious fruit at the end.
Why Sudden Grinding Ruins A Guy’s Chance
We now know that creating comfort and a nice, fun connection with the other person of interest is the way to go. It’s time to delve deeper into the reasons why grinding and the sudden force of self that some people do on others actually backfires and ruins their chances. There are things that still can’t be understood about this “grinding culture” which is also referred to as “freakdancing” this will better explain why grinding has a negative effect on your chances.
Who wants to be confined on the dance floor swaying back and forth?
The dance floor is the place to have a good time, to feel liberated without worrying about getting borderline fingered by Blackout-Drunk Billy that you just met. It’s flat out degrading to everyone at the festival to feel like they’re just there to physically please a stranger. For the person getting grinded on, it also makes them look cheap and disgusting.
Having Sex In Public
Grinding is the equivalent of having sex with your clothes on in public. Well, a little worse than that since only one of the duo in action is getting all the fun. The other simply became a pleasure tool. How would you feel if you were seen as this animalistic, degrading person in blunt sexual action? Back to how this ruins your chances: well, nobody in their own decent mind wants to be seen doing something THAT intimate in a public setting like a festival. Might as well go for the tent and keep things intimate and fun.
There are Other Types Of Dancing
A lot of guys say that they feel like they have to get their grind on with a girl or else they don’t have anything to do on the dance floor, which is stupid because: First, for a guy, grinding is just the laziest thing ever. Have you ever seen it happen? He LITERALLY just stands there. And second, the whole POINT of dance floor dancing is to have fun even if you look like an idiot, everyone attending is there to do just that. So embrace it!
If you’re that self conscious about how you look, notice the people around you. You’ll notice some random guy in a sweater vest and a random girl in her Forever 21 dress swaying back and forth in a way that resembles a pair of mating insects. Does this look cool? Not really, but it doesn’t matter. It’s just more fun. Of course knowing how to dance can be an asset but it is never a requirement. Enjoying your time, on the other hand, is THE requirement. If you’re interested, take a look at our blog post HERE discussing how YOU can go to an EDM festival and have a blast!
Dancing Does Not Mean Hooking Up
The time has come to state something loud and clear. Dancing does not mean you’re hooking up with the other person when the song is over. If someone is grinding on you, yes they’re feeling you out and it’s all quite arousing and sexual. But dancing in general is a sport, it’s a fun way to express yourself. Dancing and hooking up are two very different things, especially considering that the majority of guys don’t even ask to dance with you. Like a hawk honing in on a squirrel they come at you from behind and just assume that you’ll go with it, and then somewhere down the line assume that this means you’ll go back to their tent with them? That’s probably the part when they get rejected, hard.
For the couples out there who spend their time grinding on each other, well we’re all glad you’re feeling the love and on cloud 9 during your festival experience together. But there are other types of dancing as well and they’re as satisfying and fun (if not more). Might as well unlock and give these a try, the public dry-humping gets boring.
It Gets Boring
A lot of the fans of EDM and attendees of festivals talk about grinding as an escape from not being bored. Yes, it does kill the moon when you’re standing on a wall at the back. So you dance and you try to have fun on your own and have your way with a bunch of wild and fast moves. But that’s not an invitation for someone to come and rub on your crotch. Most of the people who comment on being grinded on or doing the act themselves talk about it being “not an amazing feeling”. As long as people feel like they’re not going to get bruised or hurt or whatnot, they’ll accept it for some time just to spice up the dancing experience and nothing more.
Other ladies revert to dancing and grinding with other women as sometimes they simply want to dance and not rub up on some stranger. Another girl in this case will do the trick. Just to move and dance in general and not for any sexual connotation.
It’s important to note that guys and girls will find it ok for grinding to happen when it’s with someone they know and are attracted to. Like being hugged from behind while moving to the music. The consent is there, the physical history might also be there so the connection between the two individuals is already established. On the other hand, grinding with a stranger can be a little nerve-wracking; it can still end up being fun if the other person is attractive to the subject and not the “grabby” type. An additional point to note is that grinding with a friend would seem like you’re crossing some boundaries, so it’s not recommended.
Ladies: How To Respond
So ladies, you’re dancing and having a good time. Maybe sending over a few good looks to this and that person on the dance floor when suddenly you feel a body sticking to your back side and you understand that someone is asking for a grind. How would you respond?
Simply Create Distance
If you’re not in the mood, if you don’t know the person and if you feel like you’re being forced into it, the first thing you can do is to create some distance between the both of you. You might not want to cut the dance short so abruptly, so this is a nice way to physically communicate that you don’t want to do that type of movement. If on the other hand you don’t feel like interacting with this person at all, then creating more distance or moving on to dance with some of your friends and people you know might seem like a better solution as it will isolate the person trying to ask for a grind and they will have to change their state.
Let Them Know You Don’t Want It
Bluntly, nicely, easily, softly, it’s all up to you and it depends how the interaction is going. Simply saying that you don’t want to do this will clarify your intentions and make things clear to everyone. You can then dance normally facing the person, if you’d like of course or ignore them and keep dancing with your friends and the company you’re attending the festival with.
Nothing Works? Walk Away
This is the “last straw” kind of move. After you’ve nicely made your point and asked for space, after you’ve moved away and tried to calmly separate yourself from this person and they still pushed for a grind, you can walk away and bet closer to your friends who will surely have your back and help you keep that creep away from you. We suggest having something like this handy personal alarm for emergency self defense. It sure comes in handy to help you at the most critical moments. Although we don’t recommend a confrontation, sometimes things can get a little out of hand. For this reason, this huge tool can be turned into a key chain that you can carry at any time. With a sharp attack head, all power is concentrated at one point, bursting with great energy. Youtube has instructional videos on how to use it, it will come in handy in your daily life a lot more than at an EDM festival. As we mentioned, this is a last-resort kind of thing, try to avoid any confrontation from the beginning.