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I Blush, I Blush! How a New York Times Dance Article Made Me Cover My Eyes

08/21/2012 01:06 pm ET | Updated Oct 21, 2012

I admit, it's partly my fault. I did start an inquiry into sexy novels, steamy scenes and seductive software. But this whole erotic thing has gone way too far even for me. Yesterday I'm minding my own business (which doesn't always involve sex) and reading the Sunday Times just as I do every Sunday. I needed to get away from my prurient thoughts and the erogenous new novel I'm writing. Basically, I turn to the Times just like most people in order to educate myself and to elevate and cultivate my thinking. I always leave "Arts & Leisure" until the last as a kind of dessert.

Lo and behold, I am greeted on the front page of my favorite section with the high flying crisscrossed legs of a very naked man followed by an article by Alastair Macaulay entitled "The Dance (Fully) Exposed." (Some of you may have already read this piece, cut out the picture and put it on your refrigerator door.) After studying the photograph and others, I read the article. Oy, talk about explicit! (I think Mr. Macaulay probably got away with this because he's British.) I won't quote the details that he went into in describing various naked dance performances he's had the (privilege/opportunity/dismay) of having to attend. At some point Mr. Macaulay got off the nude bits and body parts and back onto his critique of naked dance with this comment:

"When tights are removed from ballet, the art itself is changed." Okaaay. Then he goes on to say:,"The look of the bare leg drastically changes the entire aesthetics of the form. Muscular details of thigh, knee, calf become suddenly distracting." (As does a big picture of a hunky naked ballet dancer, I might add.) I could have come to this very same conclusion without all the fancy phrasing or a graduate degree in the philosophy of dance from Oxford.

What's my point here? (Other than please, please no more naked dancer pictures.) I think some of us writers whether we are dance critics; novelists or advertising copy writers (watch for my diatribe on erotic ice cream and candy commercials) are being pushed to push the envelope on sensational and sexy stuff in order to keep up with the times.

How about we get back to a simpler, more innocent period -- back to brown paper book covers, omitted words, maybe even a healthy dose of censorship? Then we can start all over again with just a little bit of titillation at a time. Build the excitement up slowly so we can make naked dancers and hot writing fun and exciting again.

In the meantime, I think we all need a @#$&%^& break!