Archive | psychology RSS feed for this section

Fifty Shades Of Salsa Gigolo.

20 Jan

The following references are from:
Fifty Shades of Grey
by E.L. James ».

This book is about a Dominant, who initiates his submissive.

Chapter Four, Pages 63-64
“… He Takes my hand once more. Holy cow — he’s leading me onto the dance floor. Shit. I do not dance. He can sense my reluctance, and under the colored lights I see his amused, sardonic smile. He gives my hand a sharp tug, and I’m in his arms, and he starts to move, taking me with him. Boy, he can dance, and I can’t believe that I’m following him step for step. Maybe it’s because I’m drunk that I can keep up. He’s holding me tight against him, his body against mine . . . if he wasn’t clutching me so tightly, I’m sure I would swoon at his feet. In the back of my mind, my mother’s often-recited warning comes to me: Never trust a man who can dance. …”

Chapter Four, Pages 63-64

Oh, that reluctance. I love that reluctance. It’s always intriguing to see what is possible with a salsera ingenue in our first dance. Will one dance be enough, or will I want more? Will she want more?

Chapter Seven, Page 101
“… “So you’ll get your kicks by exerting your will over me.”

“It’s about gaining your trust and your respect, so you’ll let me exert my will over you. I will gain a great deal of pleasure, joy even, in your submission. The more you submit, the greater my joy — it’s a very simple equation.”

“Okay, and what do I get out of this?”

He shrugs and looks almost apologetic.

“Me,” he says simply. …”

Chapter Seven, Page 101

I crave that feeling of taking a salsera ingenue up to her limits, and then some. I am willing to take risks, to see what kind of dance is possible for us. I am willing to make mistakes, and ask for forgiveness later.

Chapter Sixteen, Pages 287-288
“… “It’s the way I’m made, Anastasia. I need to control you. I need you to behave in a certain way, and if you don’t — I love to watch your beautiful alabaster skin pink and warm up under my hands. It turns me on.”

Holy shit. Now we’re getting somewhere.

“So it’s not the pain you’re putting me through?”

He swallows.

“A bit, to see if you can take it, but that’s not the whole reason. It’s the fact that you are mine to do with as I see fit — ultimate control over someone else. And it turns me on. Big time, Anastasia. Look, I’m not explaining myself very well . . . I’ve never had to before. I’ve not really thought about this in any great depth. I’ve always been with like-minded people.” He shrugs apologetically. “And you still haven’t answered my question — how did you feel afterward?”


“You were sexually aroused by it, Anastasia.” …”

Chapter Sixteen, Pages 287-288

When I sense a salsera ingenue’s complete submission, her desire for me to take charge, I don’t say a word and just take. No politically-correct salsa for me. I like my salsa raw. The dance is for me, and she is there for my pleasure. Salsa Gigolo First.
Salsa Gigolometer 100


Salsa Goggles (Salsa Goggolos).

21 Jan

After much research, I am pleased to present my findings on the Salsa Goggles effect:
Salsa Goggles
Unlike Beer Goggles », Salsa Goggles works on the person you are observing. The closer a salsera is to the dancefloor, the stronger the Salsa Goggles effect on the salsa gigolo. The more salsa lessons a salsa gigolo takes, the stronger the Salsa Goggles effect on the salsera.

The next phase of research will investigate the combined effect of Salsa Goggles and Beer Goggles. And in case you’re wondering, beer is now available in some Toronto grocery stores, but not yet on Toronto subways.

Peaceful Salsa Gigolo, Happy Salseras (Peaceful Salsera, Happy Salsa Gigolos).

5 Dec

The following references are from:
Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids - How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting
by Dr. Laura Markham ».

This book presents ‘Three Big Ideas’ for peaceful parenting: 1. Regulating Yourself, 2. Fostering Connection, 3. Coaching, Not Controlling.

Part One: Regulating Yourself, Chapter 1: Peaceful Parents Raise Happy Kids, Page 8:
“… The truth is that virtually all of us were wounded as children, and if we don’t heal those wounds, they prevent us from parenting our child as we truly want to. If there’s an area where you were scarred as a child, you can count on that area causing you grief as a parent — and wounding your child in turn. …”

Part One: Regulating Yourself, Chapter 1: Peaceful Parents Raise Happy Kids, Page 8

There will be times when a salsa gigolo won’t want to dance. Sometimes the reason is simple, such as injury or lack of spare time. Other times the reason is complex, like ‘not feeling it’, or ‘not in the mood’. Rather than thinking about what he can get by dancing with a salsera, a salsa gigolo may want to think about what he can give, and if he is feeling truly toxic, a salsa gigolo may want to stay home or ‘sit this one out’.

Part Two: Fostering Connection, Chapter 2: The Essential Ingredient for Peaceful Parents, Happy Kids, Pages 40-42:
“… our children need to know that we take joy in them or they don’t see themselves as worth loving. In fact, your ability to enjoy your child may be the most important factor in his development. That’s what prompts you to do — automatically — all the things that help him thrive, from cooing during infancy to rough-housing at age three and chatting at age five.

That deep connection is also what makes peaceful parenting possible. Children freely, even enthusiastically, cooperate when they believe that we’re on their side. When they don’t have that belief deep in their bones, our standards of behavior seem unfair, contradicting what they perceive as their own best interests …

… Here’s how this works during the normal back-and-forth that parents automatically engage in with babies. Your baby gazes at you. You smile and coo. She smiles back and kicks her feet in excitement. You coo and smile with more excitement to match her exuberance, and the two of you “dance” together emotionally, feeling increasingly loving and delighted. After a while, your baby has had enough excitement. She needs to calm herself, to return to a lower level of arousal. She looks away. Some parents would get in her face to coax more smiles, but you’re tuned in. You realize your baby needs a break. You speak more soothingly. She glances back at you: Is it safe to engage? Yes, it is. You are smiling gently, having ratcheted down your energy level. She snuggles down, content. You picked up her cue. She learns that she can make her needs known, and you will respond by helping her. It’s a delicious, safe universe. There’s excitement and there’s soothing. With your help, she can handle whatever comes. …”

Part Two: Fostering Connection, Chapter 2: The Essential Ingredient for Peaceful Parents, Happy Kids, Pages 40-42

For me these days, ‘feeling it’ is mainly about the music. If the music doesn’t fit my mood and doesn’t fit the available salseras, it would be like asking me to fake or make-believe a connection.

Even if there’s a trophic level 2.0 or 4.0 salsera » available, I’ve found it better to wait for the right song before asking her to dance, especially if it’s to be our first dance. This may require waiting weeks or months before dancing with a particular salsera, or even missing out altogether when she disappears from the scene before I can ask.

When the song is right and the salsera is right, it’s hard not to ‘feel it’, and it’s easy to give something to a salsera. 1 good dance and a salsa gigolo moves from the jerk column to the not-such-a-jerk-afterall column; from the I-didn’t-want-to-dance-with-him-anyways column to the I-hope-he-asks-me-again column.

Part Three: Coaching, Not Controlling, Chapter 3: Raising a Child Who Can Manage Himself: Emotional Coaching, Pages 94-95, 100
“… The primary developmental task for an infant is learning to trust. It sets the stage for all that lies ahead. Albert Einstein said that the most important question for each of us to answer is “Is this a friendly universe?” Infancy is when we answer that question.

Almost a hundred years ago, psychologist Harry Stack Sullivan originated the idea that infants pick up anxiety (which is a form of fear, or lack of trust) from their parents. Research confirms that a parent’s touch, voice, and movements can either soothe a child or stimulate anxiety. Babies’ stress hormones shoot up in response to angry voices — including those on TV — even while they’re asleep. Our calm voice, loving eye contact, and secure hold as we care for our baby gives her the message that the world is a safe place where she can relax and trust. …

… Soothing your baby not only helps her to learn to self-soothe, it helps her become a more calm, friendly, happy person, not just as a child but throughout life. Many studies show that babies who receive above-average levels of affection, attention, and soothing from their parents grow into adults who are more relaxed, emotionally regulated, and happier. … This ability to self-soothe is the precondition for emotional intelligence. And he’ll develop it as he learns to trust that you’re there to help him whenever he needs you, that you can read his cues and help him regulate himself. That’s the foundation of secure attachment. Based on his first year with you, he’ll conclude that it’s a friendly universe, and that he’ll be okay in it. …”

Part Three: Coaching, Not Controlling, Chapter 3: Raising a Child Who Can Manage Himself: Emotional Coaching, Pages 94-95, 100

I have to admit that it’s a real salsagigolomojo buster when the wrong salsera asks to dance to the wrong song. Salseras must get this all the time, when the wrong salsa gigolo asks them to dance to the wrong song. On top of this, salseras have to deal with the 101 salsa instructor wannabes, who try to teach on the dancefloor.

101 salsa instructor wannabes will try to teach a salsera 101 different ways on the dancefloor. Who does a salsera trust?

Salsa Gigolometer 80

He: Understanding Salsa Gigolo Psychology.

8 Feb

The following references are from:
He:  Understanding Masculine Psychology
by Robert A. Johnson ».

A book about what makes a man tick, from a Jungian perspective.

Chapter 4: The Grail Castle, Pages 49-50:
“… There are six basic relationships a man bears to the feminine world. All six are useful to him and each has its own nobility. It is only the contamination of one with another that makes difficulty. These difficulties are central to a man’s passage through life. The six feminine elements of a man are:

* His human mother. This is the actual woman who was his mother, she with all her idiosyncrasies, individual characteristics, and uniqueness.
* His mother complex. This resides entirely inside the man himself. This is his regressive capacity which would like to return to a dependency on his mother and be the child again. This is a man’s wish to fail, his defeatist capacity, his subterranean fascination with death or accident, his demand to be taken care of. This is pure poison in a man’s psychology.
* His mother archetype. If the mother complex is pure poison, the mother archetype is pure gold. It is the feminine half of God, the cornucopia of the universe, mother nature, the bounty which is freely poured out to us without fail. We could not live for one minute without the bounty of the mother archetype. It is always reliable, nourishing, sustaining.
* His fair maiden. This is the feminine component in every man’s psychic structure and is the interior companion or inspirer of his life, the fair damsel. It is Blanche Fleur, one’s lady fair, Dulcinea in
Don Quixote, Beatrice to Dante in the Comedia Divina. It is she who gives meaning and color to one’s life. Dr. Jung named this quality the anima, she who animates and brings life.
* His wife or partner. This is the flesh and blood companion who shares his life journey and is a human companion.
* Sophia. This is the Goddess of Wisdom, the feminine half of God, the Shekinah in Jewish mysticism. It comes as a shock to a man to discover that Wisdom is feminine, but all mythologies have portrayed it so. …”

Chapter 4: The Grail Castle, Pages 49-50

In salsa, a salsa gigolo bares his ego and his id, for all to see. Perhaps too, his mother complex and his fair maiden. A salsa gigolo may ‘black list’ a salsera, who does not take care of him and his ego, does not cater to his mother complex. Or a salsa gigolo may put a salsera up on a pedestal, she who brings to life the dance he envisions possible, she who can cater to his ideal for the dance, the dance being his fair maiden.

Chapter 7: The Long Quest, Pages 79, 81-82:
“… “The object of life is not happiness, but to serve God or the Grail. All of the Grail quests are to serve God. If one understands this and drops his idiotic notion that the meaning of life is personal happiness, then one will find that elusive quality immediately at hand. …

… A Frenchman, Alexis de Tocqueville, came to America more than a century ago and made some astute observations about the American way. He said that we have a misleading idea at the very head of our Constitution: the pursuit of happiness. One can not pursue happiness; if he does he obscures it. If he will proceed with the human task of life, the relocation of the center of gravity of the personality to something greater outside itself, happiness will be the outcome. …”

Chapter 7: The Long Quest, Pages 79, 81-82

In a social salsa dance, the quest for the salsa gigolo and salsera is to find the dance that is possible for them, for that one song. We do not dance to pursue happiness. We dance to find the best dance that is possible, and in finding this dance together, we are satisfied and happy.

Social Salsa Dance Constraints:
salsa gigolo – physical, mental, emotional, skill, rhythm
salsera – physical, mental, emotional, skill, rhythm
dancefloor – sticky, slippery, spacious, crowded
room – large, small, lighting, heating, ventilation, air conditioning
music – song selection, volume, tone, clarity
other dancers – physical, mental, emotional, skill, rhythm

I still remember the night when the dancefloor was empty, the room was large and beautiful, and I was dancing with a cute, responsive and creative salsera, who made anything possible. The DJ kept feeding us the music, song after song, as if it was just for us, and I suppose it was, since we couldn’t stop dancing. The salsera apologized to me mid-dances that she had a boyfriend, but then later asked me, “Is it just for the dance, or is it more?” I had to think for a second, and then laughed and admitted it was just for the dance. She turned and walked away, probably putting me on her ‘black-list’.

I Don’t Want To Talk About Salsa: Overcoming The Secret Legacy Of Salsa Gigolo Depression.

31 Dec

The following references are from:
I Dont' Want to Talk About It:  Overcoming the Secret Legacy of Male Depression
by Terrence Real ».

A book about covert vs. overt depression in men.

Chapter Three: The Hollow Men: Covert Depression and Addiction, Page 63:
“… In theory an addictive relationship can be established with just about anything, so long as the substance, person, or activity relieves the threat of overt depression. To accomplish this, the defense must transform one’s state from shame to grandiosity, from feelings of worth-less-ness to feelings of extraordinary worth and well-being. In common language, this sudden shift in consciousness is called intoxication. Along with the obvious effect of drugs or alcohol, one can also get “high” from the rush of physical violence, the applause of an audience, a sexual conquest, a killing in the stock market.

In covert depression, the defence or addiction always pulls the man from “less than” to “better than” — rather than to a moderate sense of inherent value. Defensive compensations for underlying depression can never move one directly from shame to healthy self-esteem, because such a shift requires confrontation with, rather than avoidance of, one’s own feelings. The covertly depressed person cannot merely vault over the avoided pain directly into wholeness, as hard as he may try. The only real cure for covert depression is overt depression … First, the covertly depressed man must walk through the fire from which he has run. He must allow the pain to surface. Then, he may resolve his hidden depression by learning about self-care and healthy esteem. …”

Chapter Three: The Hollow Men: Covert Depression and Addiction, Page 63

Salsa can be addictive to a salsa gigolo. For a salsa gigolo with covert depression, salsa can provide the intoxication needed to lift one’s state to grandiosity or “better than” through a variety of channels: the biochemical effects derived from the physical aspect of dancing, the explicit or implicit applause or approval of an audience of one or an audience of many, and the sexual conquest/ dominance display within a dance and potentially after a dance.

Not just the change of state, but degree of change of state. The more extreme the degree, the more intoxicating.

Chapter Seven: Collateral Damage, Pages 171-172:
“… Such are the rewards of false empowerment, when playing means winning and winning means dominating, when sex becomes “knocking them over,” and other people become “common, petty sons-of-bitches.” Glory, perhaps, for a moment. But warmth, richness, humanity? Not much. Nevertheless, if winning is lonely, losing is worse.

To fail in the agenda of grandiosity, of achieving specialness through dominance, is to lose one’s masculinity and pronounce oneself that most hated thing — a sissy, a “wuss” (a word that combines “wimp” and “pussy”), a girl. Those who seek to push boys out of the affiliative, vulnerable mode often use the threat of such gender ridicule … Once we realize that the elusive “masculine identity” does not exist inside the boy’s psyche, but rather that it is a social construct to which the boy must bend and comply, we can understand why it is impossible for most boys to feel secure about it. Being “man enough” isn’t something one has definitively once and for all. It is something one is granted by the community of men whom we experience as watching, weighing, and judging. To “become” a man — an act that is supposed to be quintessentially independent — in fact means that a male reference group consents to call one a man. The construction of manhood turns out to be as social as a sewing circle. Masculinity, unlike femininity, is conferred. And since it is bestowed, it can also be taken away. …”

Chapter Seven: Collateral Damage, Pages 171-172

In my non-salsa gigolo life, I admonished a man for being emotional by saying, “We are men”, i.e. “We are men, so we don’t get emotional.” In my head, I was thinking, “Be a man,” and “Man-up.” I was ready to attack his sense of masculinity to protect my own sense of masculinity. Not something I am proud of.

When a salsa gigolo is chuffed with himself, it is because he is on his way to becoming a salsa gigolo’s salsa gigolo, or a man’s man. I wonder if this sense of grandiosity is something to be wary of, to be sure a salsa gigolo is not using salsa to medicate for depression.

Chapter Ten: Crossing the Wasteland: Healing Ourselves, Page 286-288:
“… Appreciating the nature of trauma memory is key to understanding a depressed man’s recovery process. In a way, trauma memory is not memory at all; it is a form of reliving. Jeffrey is flooded by a physiological surge when he is rebuffed on the dance floor. In that instant, he is not a fifty-year-old man remembering the feelings he experienced as an eight-year-old boy. For a brief moment, Jeffrey becomes that boy. He looks out at the world, at the person who rejects him, through the lens of that abandoned child. He is “in his wound,” in his child ego state. The technical term for this phenomenon is state dependent recall. When the combat veteran who hears a firecracker spins around as if he had a gun in his hands, he is not remembering combat; he is back in it. …

… Current research indicates that traumatic experience may be stored in a different part of the brain from the higher cortical systems, which make sense of them. Several researchers have distinguished the two different circuits of memory, calling one the explicit, the other the implicit memory system. The implicit memory system stores habitual responses, physiological responses, and emotional associations. The explicit memory system is responsible for the recall of facts, verbalizations, and the construction of explanatory frames. To put it simply, the implicit memory system experiences, the explicit memory system knows and explains. A host of studies now indicate that they function as distinct neurophysiological pathways. Explicit memory involves the prefrontal cortex, whereas implicit memory involves the limbic system, particularly the amygdala and the hippocampus. What neurobiological researchers have learned from physiology is consistent with what I, and others, have learned from clinical experience. Recovery means bringing these two systems together. Van der Kolk writes:

“The goal of treating post traumatic stress disorder is to help people live in the present, without feeling or behaving according to irrelevant demands belonging to the past. Psychologically, this means that traumatic experiences need to be located in time and place and differentiated from current reality.”

Van der Kolk goes on to say that, in traumatized people, the body’s hyperaroused state may be too great to allow talking therapy alone to be effective. He recommends, and I agree, that clinicians should feel free to rely upon medication when needed to give patients a stable platform from which they can undertake the hard work of psychotherapy. The drugs of choice for treating post traumatic stress disorder should come as no surprise. They are Prozac and its family, the “serotonin reuptake inhibitors.” Serotonin has been identified as a critical agent in helping the septohippocampal system delay the “fight of flight” state of emergency hyperarousal. Serotonin is the same chemical whose imbalance is implicated in overt depression, impulsive aggression, “antisocial personalities,” obsessive-compulsive disorder, and possibly some addictions. Our knowledge about serotonin is relatively crude, but the one thing that seems tantalizingly clear is that the track of serotonin imbalance correlates, in some manner, to self-esteem, to trauma, and to depression — both overt and covert. Researchers like Bessel van der Kolk, Robert Golden, and H. M. Van Praag have called for a questioning of psychiatry’s fundamental idea of discrete disease entities. New research on psychobiology points toward a cluster of possible disorders and symptoms, ranging from depression to anxiety to aggression, which share a physiological signature — serotonin imbalance. As for recovery, the Prozac family seems to approximate chemically some of what healing work accomplishes emotionally and cognitively. It helps quiet the implicit memory system and strengthen the explicit memory system, or, said differently, it help decrease the intensity of the wounded internal children and bolster the skills of the functional adult. …”

Chapter Ten: Crossing the Wasteland: Healing Ourselves, Page 286-288

Salsa rejection, when a salsera declines a salsa gigolo’s invitation to dance, is about a salsera saying, “No, you are not man enough for me.” It is also about a salsa gigolo imagining his fellow salsa gigolos bearing witness to this emasculation.

It would be interesting to see a study, where a salsa gigolo reads a script to a salsera, whom he believes is also reading from a script. He would ask, “Would you like to dance?” And she would reply, “No, Thank you.” Then reverse the experiment, with the salsera asking the salsa gigolo to dance.

Hypothesis: The physiological response in a salsa gigolo being rejected is significantly greater than the physiological response of a salsera being rejected.

Hypothesis: The physiological response in a salsa gigolo being rejected after 0 non-rejections is significantly greater than the physiological response of a salsa gigolo after 1 or more non-rejections.

Hypothesis: The physiological response in a salsa gigolo being rejected, who self-reports a poor relationship with his father, is significantly greater than the physiological response of a salsa gigolo, who self-reports a good relationship with his father.

For now, I think the healthiest response to salsa rejection is to express sadness for a moment, and then to move on. “We are men”.


22 Dec

The following references are from:
by Hermann Hesse ».

This book is about a man’s internal struggles, and surprisingly, about his struggles to learn to dance.

Page 46:
“… The man of power is ruined by power, the man of money by money, the submissive man by subservience, the pleasure seeker by pleasure. He achieved his aim. He was ever more independent. He took orders from no man and ordered his ways to suit no man. Independently and alone, he decided what to do and to leave undone. For every strong man attains to that which a genuine impulse bids him seek. But in the midst of the freedom he had attained Harry suddenly became aware that his freedom was a death and that he stood alone. The world in an uncanny fashion left him in peace. Other men concerned him no longer. He was not even concerned about himself. He began to suffocate slowly in the more and more rarefied atmosphere of remoteness and solitude. For now it was his wish no longer, nor his aim, to be alone and independent, but rather his lot and his sentence. …”

Page 46

The man of salsa by salsa. The man of gigolo by gigolo. If a salsa gigolo is not to be ruined, must he give up salsa, gigolo, or both? What else must he give up, and for how long?

Pages 87-88:
“… “Now that shows,” I cried in a fluster, “that I was right! Nothing could grieve me more than not to be able to carry out any command of yours, but I can dance no shimmy, nor waltz, nor polka, nor any of the rest of them. I’ve never danced in my life. Now you can see it isn’t all as easy as you think.” …

… “Wait a bit,” she cried. “So you can’t dance? Not at all? Not even a one step? And yet you talk of the trouble you’ve taken to live? You told a fib there, my boy, and you shouldn’t do that at your age. How can you say that you’ve taken any trouble to live when you won’t even dance?”

“But if I can’t — I’ve never learned!”

She laughed.

“But you learned reading and writing and arithmetic, I suppose, and French and Latin and a lot of other things? I don’t mind betting you were ten or twelve years at school and studied whatever else you could as well. Perhaps you’ve even got your doctor’s degree and know Chinese or Spanish. Am I right? Very well then. But you couldn’t find the time and money for a few dancing lessons! No, Indeed!”

“It was my parents,” I said to justify myself. “They let me learn Latin and Greek and all the rest of it. But they didn’t let me learn to dance. It wasn’t the thing with us. My parents had never danced themselves.” …”

Pages 87-88

After all that work to overcome beginner’s hell, why would a salsa gigolo want to give it up? It must be for some higher purpose. A bargain a salsa gigolo makes with himself. Or a promise to the gods, that if he were to give up *this* that they would grant him *that*.

Pages 119-120:
“… We had put the gramophone on a chest of drawers among piles of books. And now my instruction began. Hermine turned on a fox trot and, after showing me the first steps, began to take me in hand. I trotted obediently around with her, colliding with chairs, hearing her directions and failing to understand them, treading on her toes, and being as clumsy as I was conscientious. After the second dance she threw herself on the sofa and laughed like a child.

“Oh! how stiff you are! Just go straight ahead as if you were walking. There’s not the least need to exert yourself. Why, I should think you have made yourself positively hot, haven’t you? No, let’s rest five minutes! Dancing, don’t you see, is every bit as easy as thinking, when you can do it, and much easier to learn. …

… In an hour she was gone, assuring me that it would go better next time. I had my own thoughts about that, and I was sorely disappointed over my stupidity and clumsiness. It did not seem to me that I had learned anything whatever and I did not believe that it would go better next time. No, one had to bring certain qualities to dancing that I was entirely without, gaiety, innocence, frivolity, elasticity. Well, I had always thought so.

But there, the next time it did in fact go better. I even got some fun out of it, and at the end of the lesson Hermine announced that I was now proficient in the fox trot. …”

Pages 119-120

With time, the internal struggles of being a salsa gigolo are lifted. A salsa gigolo slowly re-learns how to live again, without a constant flow of salseras in his life. At first, the withdrawal from salsera may feel like a piece of his identity or flesh has been ripped off him, but then he may pursue other hobbies, find other ways to spend his time, while marking his calendar.

Pages 147-148:
“… “You’re really doing splendidly,” she said. “Dancing suits you. Anyone who hadn’t seen you for the last four weeks would scarcely know you.”

“Yes,” I agreed. “Things haven’t gone so well with me for years. That’s all your doing, Hermine.”

“Oh, not the beautiful Maria’s?”

“No. She is a present from you like all the rest. She is wonderful.”

“She is just the girl you need, Steppenwolf — pretty, young, light hearted, an expert in love and not to be had every day. If you hadn’t to share her with others, if she weren’t always merely a fleeting guest, it would be another matter.”

Yes, I had to concede this too.

“And so have you really got everything you want now?”

“No, Hermine. It is not like that. What I have got is very beautiful and delightful, a great pleasure, a great consolation. I’m really happy –”

“Well then, what more do you want?”

“I do want more. I am not content with being happy. I was not made for it. It is not my destiny. My destiny is the opposite.” …”

Pages 147-148

And with enough time away from salsera, a salsa gigolo may come to realize that it was not about salseras after all, but rather something more selfish. It was about the beauty of the dance he can create for himself, for his own pleasure. And when he deems that he has kept his promise to himself long enough, and returns, it is with fresh eyes and a tentative heart, and a hope not to lose himself so completely again.

Salsa Gigolometer 80

Battle Hymn Of The Salsa Gigolo.

11 Jan

The following references are from:
Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother
by Amy Chua ».

A humourous early memoir of a high-achieving mother (and father) raising their two high-achieving daughters, who may or may not dance salsa.

Part One, Chapter 6: The Virtuous Circle, Page 29:
“… What Chinese parents understand is that nothing is fun until you’re good at it. To get good at anything you have to work, and children on their own never want to work, which is why it is crucial to override their preferences. This often requires fortitude on the part of the parents because the child will resist; things are always hardest at the beginning, which is where Western parents tend to give up. But if done properly, the Chinese strategy produces a virtuous circle. Tenacious practice, practice, practice, is crucial for excellence; rote repetition is underrated in America. Once a child starts to excel at something — whether it’s math, piano, pitching or ballet — he or she gets praise, admiration, and satisfaction. This builds confidence and makes the once not-fun activity fun. This in turn makes it easier for the parent to get the child to work even more. …”

Part One, Chapter 6: The Virtuous Circle, Page 29

I recall Malcolm Gladwell’s ‘10,000-Hour Rule’ »: 20 hours of practice a week for 10 years, will go a long way to achieving mastery. Thus, 20 hours of supervising said practice a week for 10 years, will go a long way to achieving mastery of supervising said practice.

As parenting is a 24-hour job, there are 8,760 parenting hours available in a year. By the end of the first year, a parent will achieve near mastery of being a parent to a 0-1 year old. A large portion of those hours can be carried forward to being a parent to a 1-2 year old. By the end of the second year, a parent will achieve near mastery of being a parent to a 1-2 year old, and will likely be ahead of where they were a year ago.

Part One, Chapter 12: The Cadenza, Page 65:
“… So I was in a cranky mood that day, trying to figure out which architect to hire — and how to make sure it wasn’t the parent of another student — when Lulu sighed again, more deeply.

“My friend Maya is so lucky,” she said wistfully. “She has so many pets. Two parrots, a dog, and a goldfish.”

I didn’t reply. I’d been through this many times with Sophia.

“And two guinea pigs.”

“Maybe that’s why she’s only in Book One of violin,” I said. “Because she’s too busy taking care of pets.”

“I wish I had a pet.”

“You already have a pet,” I snapped. “Your violin is your pet.” …”

Part One, Chapter 12: The Cadenza, Page 65

As a child gets older, the freedoms and choices available to the child expand, and parenting becomes more complex. There must be a point when the portion of accumulated hours of parenting experience that can be carried forward starts to decrease. Then there must be a point where it seems like all the accumulated hours of parenting experience doesn’t seem to help.

Here, I recall DRiVE », and how Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose can lead to self-motivation. It seems that Mastery can be drilled at an early age, but somewhere along the way, Autonomy and Purpose need to be introduced to the mix. A parent, who was a master at drilling Mastery, becomes a parent, who is a master at fostering Autonomy and Purpose. A child that was primarily externally-motivated becomes a child that is primarily internally-motivated.

Coda, Pages 224-225:
“… “Oh, no!” Lulu cried out once. “Am I supposed to be Pushkin, the dumb one? And Sophia is Coco, who’s smart and learns everything?” I pointed out that Coco wasn’t smart and couldn’t learn anything either. I assured the girls that the dogs weren’t supposed to be metaphors for them.

“So what purpose are they serving?” Sophia asked, ever logical. “Why are they in the book?”

“I don’t know yet,” I admitted. “But I know they’re important. There’s something inherently unstable about a Chinese mother raising dogs.” …”

Coda, Pages 224-225

How does any of this relate to salsa or being a salsa gigolo? I’m not exactly sure, but it may have to do with the order of things one may expect to learn: First comes Mastery, then comes Autonomy and Purpose? Or it may have something to do with the order of things to be taught: First drill Mastery, then foster Autonomy and Purpose?

Perhaps novice salsa gigolos and salseras, who have already achieved Mastery in some aspect of their lives, need less external motivation, and the early fostering of Autonomy and Purpose will help them develop internal motivation to pursue the drills that will help them achieve Mastery in salsa. Perhaps novice salsa gigolos and salseras, who are very young or who have yet to achieve Mastery in some aspect of their lives, need more external motivation initially, before the fostering of Autonomy and Purpose will be effective. In other words: Turn patterns for everyone.
Salsa Gigolometer 100