People keep asking for this, so here it is electronically!

Originally published in the Los Altos Conqueror, 2007.

The Restoration of Romance

“A lap dance without the chair.” You may call it by more subtle terms, like “freaking” or “grinding,” or you may rationalize that everyone else does it, but in your heart, you know exactly what it is.

Men, let me speak to you first. The activity that passes for dancing I witnessed at the Winter Formal is all about you. It’s exactly what the lower instincts of all men want: physical pleasure without relational obligation. It’s a one-night-stand in a tux. You don’t have to open your heart to her. You don’t even have to look her in the eyes. In fact, you couldn’t even if you wanted to.

But I know what’s eating away at you. If that sexy 15-year-old girl rubbing around in front of you was your precious little daughter—the one you had taught to walk, and play soccer, and whose first crush was on you—you would be sick to see her freaking someone.

I also bet that each time you “freak” her, you lose a little respect for her. You know it’s too easy. We never value and treasure what comes too easily. You may not admit it, because your friends might mock you, but in your heart you really want the princess—the one who is hard to get, the one who requires all of your strength and courage to win.

Ladies, you know instinctively that you are different than men. In many ways you are deeper, more profound, and more complex. And being a man, I don’t have the same level of insight into your souls. But test what I write here and see if it’s not true.

Ladies, you are wired with different needs than men. It has been said that men give emotional intimacy to get physical intimacy in return, while women give physical intimacy to get emotional intimacy in return.

It used to be that the Prom, for example, was the stuff of the romantic dreams of high school girls. The hours and days and weeks spent dreaming about being asked, choosing a dress, and trying different hairstyles grew in your heart the desire to be Cinderella at the ball. What was the guy’s job? To pay for everything, be a gentleman, tell you you’re beautiful, open your door, not embarrass you on the dance floor, dance the slow dances, and provide entertaining and occasionally deep conversation. Not an easy task for males (trust me!). Throughout the evening, if done well, this would build emotional connection. The whole time us guys were thinking, “if I play my cards right and don’t screw up, I might get a kiss at the door.”

But ladies, somewhere along the line you gave that up (with lots of encouragement by men, of course). You allowed the Prom to become about men. You stopped insisting on the emotional intimacy and deep connection. Now, he doesn’t even have to look at your face! And the floor empties when a slow song is played. Is that what you want in the deepest places of your heart? Is that what you dreamed about?

You see, there are two sides to men. The lower side of men is the side that wants the easy score, the one-night stand. But there is also a noble side of every man—the side that wants to be the hero, to slay the dragon, and win the beauty on the basis of his courage and character. In your man, you will grow the side that you feed. And if a man only wants to feed his physical lusts, then he is not worthy of you and he cannot meet your needs. If you allow it, he will wound you deeply. You may end up giving away that which is most precious and intimate without receiving anything of value in return. Ladies, you are worth so much more than that.

Men, you have a historic and sacred responsibility to protect your sisters, girlfriends, mothers, and then eventually wives and daughters. They need your heart, not your horny dance moves. Rise up to become that noble and heroic man that lives within you.

So should we just enforce a rule against freaking at school dances? I will leave that decision to others. But we wouldn’t need a rule if together, the students of Los Altos High School chose to honor each other by rejecting the practice as degrading. And frankly, it’s not very creative either. After all, lap dances don’t require much original thought. We can do better.

I have discussed these points with students before, and one response was “if we didn’t do it, people would think we were weird.” Are the students of Los Altos High School afraid to take a stand for what’s good and noble for fear of not being cool? (insert modern slang word here, I lost track after da bomb and tight—maybe sick?). The world has never been changed for good by those who are afraid of what others think of them.

You might say, “Oh Mr. Schmus, you’re just so naïve and old-fashioned.” Granted, I may be. But in this case, our modern world is dying for lack of ancient wisdom. We are replacing the way of the heart with the impulses of the flesh.

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  1. I love this article. It speaketh truth.

  2. Amie Ma

     /  February 12, 2008

    I remember reading this in the school newspaper about a year ago. You speak so much truth, out of all the articles, I remember this one profoundly.


  3. haha, I think your article was part of the reason why the dances are not as bad as it use to be. Girls actually complained after reading the article, (not about YOUR article, but to the guys.)

    Good Job Mr. Schmus!


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