Teenagers call it “freaking,” a style of dance made popular on MTV. Educators call it simulated sex and say it has no place at school dances. This clash between outraged adults and sexualized teens is being played out at homecoming dances, winter formals and proms across the nation, most recently at Aliso Niguel High School in Orange County, Calif.

Freaking has gained widespread acceptance in recent years, propelled by the mainstreaming of rap music and the sultry images in hip-hop videos. Critics say its unquestionably carnal positions — girl bent at the waist, boy thrusting behind her — go far beyond previous generations’ bumping and grinding.

Do you remember basement parties? I mean old school basement parties. Lights turned down low, you off in the corner with your special someone, Marvin Gaye playing in the background. Holding them close. Grooving. There was something special about that and not just in a nostalgic, “when I was your age” sort of way. I realize that this mindset goes against the grain of our hyper-sexualized culture, but I think we’ve lost something when we’re reduced both art and sex to dry humping on a dancefloor.

We’ve lost the sensual mystery of less is more. We’ve lost any sense of modesty that we can be beautiful and be more than sex objects. We’ve lost the notion that modesty protects and inspires allure. Since I think there is a propriety to dress, especially considering that how we dress affects how we carry ourselves and what our priorities are, I believe it as much when it comes to dancing.

Part of this is because I come at this from the worldview of an artist. Dance is a form of creative expression. Whole stories could be told in the movements of people’s bodies; passions felt and expressed, like in the movie Rize which documented the dance form, Krumping. For the dancers, Krumping takes on a transcendent purpose, becoming a way of life vital to who they are. At its core is the need to keep things real, placing itself in direct opposition to the bling-bling/commercial mentality of today’s hip-hop culture. The dancers want the moral foundation, the realness of things of substance. They want to matter. And I guess that’s the rub: sex doesn’t matter.

Yet singleness boils down to the discipline of chastity: abstinence before marriage, fidelity within marriage. If you are disciplined when you are single, it makes it easier when you are married. Let’s not boil chastity down to “don’t have sex”. Chastity is about the pursuit of purity. Chastity is the commitment to have sex in its proper place (different from celibacy which is lifelong abstinence, swearing off sex). Chastity is a discipline and we aren’t big on teaching our children discipline, then we act shock when we produce undisciplined adults. As far as we’re concerned, we’re human, it’s a natural drive and who is anyone to say what’s wrong or right. It’s easier to give in to the idea that we (teenagers and the rest of us) are all doing it anyway and try to curb the worst expressions of it. That’s where we are as a society: reduced to our basest instincts with no desire for anything better.

This is yet another piece of evidence in the case that I’m too old to club. Maybe I’m just out of step with everyone.

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