@loripalminteriTweets by @loripalminteri
Un Movimiento Muy Sexy
It’s a conversation I’ve been subjected to many times. The one where men talk about how men are far hornier than woman. I think it probably mostly true. Then again, I hate blanket statements. People who believe in blanket statements lack imagination and disregard the true originals out there— because they are one of the many. But among comedians, I can always be most honest.
“Maybe you’ve just never had sex with a Latina before,” I say to them, grinning. And then I leave it there, because weirdness and mystery go together like Charlie Chaplin and silent film.
Here’s the thing. I grew up very white in a very, very white town, with a Catholic family that is very uncomfortable about sensuality (yes I mean sensuality, which has to do with the body but not always sexual… figure it out). Not all cultures are super fucking awkward about fucking as a thing that we all do and desire. It was from Spanish cultures that I learned one of the sexiest things ever is a sexually confident woman.
Once I was in my early teens, I was going to Puerto Rico with my best friend’s family to visit her Abuela. We also took a family vacation to Dominican Republic one time. Both PR and DR played the song, “La Bomba” all the time— a super catchy tune by King Africa that just makes you want to move your body, even if you were, like me, an awkward skin and bones little white girl.
Most stereotypes come from places of truth. Every time I went to Puerto Rico, Lauren’s cousins were off for some holiday I never heard of and people were partying in the streets and park on the clear blue water. It was confounding to me, even then, since I was growing up in a middle class union family. “Do you guys EVER work or go to school? Get a job.” As a teenager, I attended school, got mostly straight A’s and had two jobs. It was confusing to me how people could just enjoy life so much and not constantly have harrowing anxiety. How American of me.
I most specifically admired the Latina women. It was, for me, the first time I really witnessed women embrace, harness and celebrate feminine sensuality and sexuality. Granted, I wouldn’t finish puberty till I was 23 or 24 like a freak of nature, and they were full blown women at 14, but I came from a place where women were insecure about their bodies and desires. [Shame! Shame! Shame!]
When the family took a vacation to Dominican Republic, where tops were optional, there was the most beautiful Latina woman who only wore thongs, vacationing by herself, and on occasion seamlessly moving to “La Bomba” (un movimiento muy sexy). It was hard not to stare at her. She had the looks and swagger of a 30 year old Penelope Cruz. My Dad and the other father of the family we were on vacation with would steal each others disposable cameras and sneak pictures of her. This way when we developed the film of the family vacation, we had a bunch of pictures of this woman’s mostly nude perfect body. We all found this hilarious (we were never fully prudes, you guys, we all had a pretty sick sense of humor). My kid brother stole those pictures and hid them in his room. I found them once and called him a “fucking pervert” which is something I called him frequently. But to be fair, he was a teenage boy, so yes, yes he was.
When I worked in catering hall kitchens, I worked with mostly Spanish guys and gals and Polish people. They were all hilarious. We all made fun of each other constantly, in ways that would get us all canceled today. But it was in good fun. I was even friends with this Mexican dishwasher after I threatened to get him deported because he groped me once. Redemption is something we should leave room for. We all hated working there, for minimal money. We all had a mutual goal of drinking on the job and not getting caught. It was us verses the management, always. The peasants verses the upper class. Years after I worked there, I got a call from a lawyer asking if I wanted to join the lawsuit against the catering hall— the management was stealing money that was supposed to be tipped to the staff that we never saw. We always suspected this. I did end up getting a small stipend from that lawsuit.
I do regret never learning Spanish. Between all the time I spent at the LaPinta’s or working with Spanish kids— I could have learned the language if I asked them to only speak to me in Spanish. I just never did. We were more into sneaking drinks and dancing. Yes, dancing. My house growing up always had music, thanks to my Mom. Mom could often be seen singing and dancing while simultaneously cleaning. I’ve inherited this from her. When cleaning, I’m also jamming out. I even do little dances when I run or work out. My life is scored by good music. Constantly.
I’ve been told I’m a pretty good dancer, “for a white girl.” And I’ll take that backhanded compliment. The Spanish guys were usually equally impressive when it comes to dancing as their female counterparts. Even better, when you see a couple, young or old, compelled to stop whatever they are doing and dance together. Much of what drew me to my friends in Spanish cultures was their lust for living, often celebrated by spontaneous dance parties. The energy is contagious. I wasn’t called “gringa loca Americana” in my world travels for nothing. Picture a completely androgynous blond breaking out dance moves I picked up from various groups of people I’ve met from my walks of life. Fun for me is making people laugh. And dancing in the middle of a dance circle to “La Bomba” served as way of making people laugh without a wise ass comment. Todas las mujeres lo bailan!
Anyway. The first girl I really made out with would be a super sexy Latina woman who followed me into the bathroom of a comedy club I had just performed in, and aggressively took hold of me and kissed me against a bathroom stall. It was hot. I cannot lie. The other comics (all male) were extremely jealous. It became a running joke that if one of the comedians was into a girl, that I was going to steal said girl. And being highly competitive, I would sometimes pursue women that my guy friends were into just to cock block them and laugh in their faces. It’s a real power move.
In my travels to Europe, the Europeans also mock Americans for our weirdness about sex. Why does the topic, even the word make you Americans so uncomfortable? While they might not be as overall thirsty as the Spanish people, they approach the topic of sex in a much healthier way than we do. Especially the woman.
Why is it that in the states, women often aren’t aware of the “power of the pussy” (I don’t care for nor am I comfortable with this term) until it’s almost too late for them to harness it? Why are so many of us so uncomfortable in our own skin, and down on our bodies?
Social media is causing even more body dysmorphia among women. Despite all the bull shit “body positivity” movements. Furthermore, women spend their 20s wondering how to get a guys attention when like… you already have their attention by being a woman.
It all comes down to this though. The ongoing battle of the sexes. The internal battle of the sexes. Most of us really fucking suck at communicating with each other. Social media isn’t helping, really, because it lacks honesty. To be honest, I’m rather shit at communicating when talking to someone. I’m a far better communicator through written word. Communication really is the key. And when you’re truly intimate with someone—and I don’t even mean fucking—I mean truly, truly intimate… everything is discuss-able. I’m not saying doable. Discuss-able. Every. Thing. Open doors to communication. If not. Ask yourself if it’s true intimacy you’re afraid of and why.
To you women out there, from me, you are sexy. Put on “La Bomba” and fucking dance.