Sultry Red enjoys going out to the movies and considers herself an amateur film critic. She likes to listen to music and has a vinyl album collection. She paints in her spare time, although it’s nothing serious. She likes dancing in clubs. She thinks you can tell a lot about a person by how they react to being asked to dance, and how they conduct themselves on the dance floor.
“Dancing is one of those human tests,” Red explains. “It’s kind of like a test of how you deal with your own body. Are you comfortable in your own skin? Or does using your body give you difficulty and make you feel and act awkward? Neither of these things is bad. I never think that a guy isn’t worthy getting to know just because he finds it awkward to dance. I actually enjoy a guy who isn’t comfortable dancing, because there’s an opportunity there. Most guys, they’ve never been taught how to dance. It’s weird that in society we just kind of expect people to know how. There was a time when dancing was a lot less spontaneous, a lot less free form. You actually learned how to do specific dances that had specific techniques. You know, the Charleston, the Hop, whatever. These are dances that you can do right or do wrong, and at some point, somebody shows you how to do it. So why is it that we don’t really do specific dances anymore, because we think that’s kind of lame, yet we expect people just to know how to dance? The only exceptions I can think of are like the Harlem Shake or, a million years ago, the Macarena. Those were fads with specific steps to them. You still hear the Macarena played at weddings, alongside the ‘chicken dance,’ but for the most part, everybody is on their own when it comes to dancing. You’re expected to know what to do, to figure it out as you go along, and to look good while you make things up along the way. To me, that doesn’t seem reasonable. If we never teach anyone how to dance, I don’t think we can reasonably expect them to be good at improvising. I mean, is everybody just supposed to be born with this unfailing sense of rhythm and timing, and if they’re not, they’re just, I don’t know, losers or something? That’s why getting irate over someone not being able to dance never made sense to me.”
Red goes on, “When I meet a man who can dance, that’s a great thing. If he’s comfortable in his body, if he’s able to move and look good doing it, well sure, that’s a turn-on. I like a man who knows how to move. There’s that old proverb, ‘never give a sword to a man who can’t dance.’ Makes sense, right? You want somebody with coordination and grace when it comes to something like swinging a sword around, I would think. And that condition, that state of being comfortable with your body, that translates into anything athletic that you do, including getting down and getting romantic. But what if I meet someone who isn’t comfortable dancing? Well, to me, that’s a chance to teach someone. I enjoy the interplay when I get up close to a guy, put my hands on him, and guide his hands to me. Then I explain to him how to do some basic dance moves, and how to get himself around that dance floor without embarrassing himself. When you do that for a guy, when you actually take the time to help him, he is incredibly grateful. That’s a wonderful feeling. Not only do you get to do something nice for someone, but you get to have fun doing it, and you establish a connection of trust and even loyalty with that person.”
Red explains that her love of music is genuine, and her vinyl collection isn’t meant to be pretentious. “I love album art,” she explains. “When I want to listen to music, I don’t break out the vinyl and start listening to a bunch of scratchy tunes. I know that vinyl is supposed to produce a warmer, cleaner sound, but I don’t actually believe any human being has the ability to hear those differences. A nice MP3 file and a good set of headphones is all I need to really enjoy my music. But I collect vinyl albums both for the history and because I love album art covers. I think when we stopped making music on something as big as vinyl albums, the artwork of album covers became kind of a lost... art, ha ha. But no, seriously, when the boxes got smaller and smaller, you stopped noticing the covers. Are you going to really appreciate the detail of a piece of artwork on CD jewel case, or on something as small as a cassette box? I know that for a while, CDs were in those big long containers, to fit in the old vinyl slots that music stores had. Music industry activism killed that box because it was a waste of packaging materials, but the basic size of the CD didn’t change, so the art was really small. And now, with everyone buying their music online and just downloading it, if you even see the art intended for the album, it’s a file in passing that comes with the download. You maybe notice it on your iPod or something when the song is playing, but you basically never notice it. Isn’t that kind of a shame? There used to be a lot of culture, history, and time that went into album art, and the pictures from famous albums are a big part of our cultural history. I collect vinyl albums because I hate the thought of that part of our collective history just sort of dwindling away, evaporating right in front of us thanks to the passage of time and the work of ‘progress.’”