An Unorthodox Way To Get Over A Breakup

female dancer in costume looking over shoulder
Love, Heartbreak

Burlesque dancing helped one woman get over a breakup and revisit her sexuality.

I started taking burlesque dance classes after a breakup. I loved dance classes as a kid, and I now had more free time and figured it would give me a sexy new hobby to discuss with future dates. I didn't think about the amount of anxiety it would cause me. I just wanted to become an expert in the art of the tease. Lemondrop: How To Do A Striptease

 Burlesque dancing is not stripping. Clothes are removed slowly, slyly and often with a story that just happens to climax in a g-string and pasties. The titillation comes from removing the clothes, not the dancing that happens once they're off. But to me, the difference is self-awareness. A burlesque dancer is willing to play games with her sexuality in order to entertain you. She will not only look you in the eye while removing her bra, she'll probably wink. She knows you're in on it, too.

My first class was terrifying. My teacher, Ms. Exotic World 2005, expected us to dance in heels, but that was nothing compared to the pain of having to vamp in front of a mirror, giving myself the eye and bumping my hips dangerously. I giggled uncomfortably when she told me to jiggle my cleavage, blushed when she told me to look up and watch myself dance. I left that night thinking that it was too embarrassing and that I was done. Lemondrop: Love Your Body—This Week At Least

But, at home alone, I vamped.

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Sucked Into Seduction

Over the next couple of days, however, I found myself staring at my reflection in the mirror as if it were someone I wanted to seduce. I started going back every week, and I was hooked. It was an amazing workout, and I enjoyed being so ridiculously sexual without actually having sex. It was freeing to separate the two.

I learned how to really see myself and figured out what movements made me look sexiest, as opposed to just copying the bland, open-mouthed girls writhing in videos. I bonded with classmates over who had the best hair toss or the best walk. We all bought gorgeous lingerie that only we saw. My thumbs were rubbed raw as we practiced removing g-strings over and over, and we all came down with "Burlesquer's Elbow", from taking off bras too many times in a row. Lemondrop: Dangerous by Design: Fashion-Inflicted Inujuries

Continue reading about the author's experience on lemondrop.

Written by Emily Gordon for Lemondrop.