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Such a tease.

It's about time I wrote something on the class that has gotten me all worked up and sweaty every morning.

No, it's not Math 2. Although that gets my palms sweaty in a different kind of way - it's a different kind of rush when you're computing percent increases and VAT at seven o'clock in the freakin' morning. (I'd like to think of it as the "anti-rush" rush: the huge feeling of annoyance that takes over you for being awake so early in the morning that it eventually wakes you up because the irritation in itself already generates energy.)

What else is there to talk about? Striptease Aerobics. :>

First, the history: It really wasn't something I was expecting to take this summer. In fact, taking up PE wasn't even a part of the plan. My goal was to take at least one subject this summer: either Math 2 (which is my last GE course, and in fulfillment of the requirements for the Ateneo LAE application) or PI 100 (aka The Rizal Course.) I pre-enlisted in all available classes for Math 2 and PI 100 in the morning, not minding the huge demand and apparent aggressiveness of every other upperclassman out there. I needed a subject, period. About two days before the deadline of the pre-enlistment period, I was lurking around the pre-enlistment module, looking for what other subjects were available. I decided to check out the PEs, and lo and behold, they were offering Striptease, which I have always enlisted in since first year and never got. Obviously, the demand for this subject is intense - it's a for-women only class, and I bet every girl in the university was secretly raring to strut her stuff. I nonchalantly clicked on the "Enlist" button and never thought of it again.

Long story short: I got in. 25 slots. The demand 200+. If that's not "meant to be" I don't know what else is. It's the universe telling me it's my fate to take this PE before I graduate! (Or that it's my fate, as in, it's my fall-back job in the future when all else fails. Ha!)

Before I forget, it's a Striptease Aerobics class. Meaning, we don't literally rip off our clothes in class and bare our jelly-bellies as we grind to Lady Gaga. We dance using repetitive steps but with sensual movements. We touch and whip our hair, we stick out our butts, we crawl on the floor - we bite our lip with gusto. Even our warm-ups involve serious hip-thrusting action. But it's a dance.

We've spent the last few days putting together the combinations we've learned so far. We're getting better and better each day! At first, we only had sexy-shoulder-moving, now we wipe the floor with our backs and knees. I never thought I could sweat so much just by a few seemingly "simple" sexy moves. A three- to four-minute song could make your legs ache and your tongue beg for hydration. It's that intense. It's a total body workout, really.

My classmates and I joke that we have newfound respect for strippers now. It requires complete submission - you must not hesitate to spread your legs, slither on the floor, and rock your hips back and forth. We only dance for an hour or so each day and we feel like we hiked and climbed the Himalayas. For anyone to do it with precision every night for endless hours on end is very, very impressive, indeed! But all bastos hirits and possible anti-feminist notions aside, it is an important realization to discover how fierce and unstoppable the woman can be - we only have to unlock the potential of our minds and of course our bodies to come to terms with ourselves.

I have my insecurities about my body, I'll be the first to admit that. I hate that my front is well-endowed in my puson area and not somewhere north. I don't think I have the most bootylicious rear, and I have an underdeveloped torso fluidity. I'm the last person on earth, nay, the universe, to think that I'm sexy. (Thankfully, I think, The Boyfriend is the first, but that is irrelevant, and this is just me convincing myself to feel better. Ha. Ha. Hahaha. End rant.) But looking at myself in the mirrors of the dance studio, one hour everyday, every week, seeing myself swaying my hips in rhythm to Katy Perry's "E.T" - I can't help but feel hot. At least in those few precious moments, crawling to "Kiss me, ki-ki-kiss me," I feel that I deserve to be kissed, that I need to be kissed - and I can make you, just watch me throw my head back and caress my hair. It's a powerful feeling.

It takes a certain amount of courage to stand in front of a mirror, having my body staring back at me, while stopping the voice inside my head from having the urge to count the pounds and the inches. But once the song starts, that voice is tuned out by the desire of the flesh itself and I'm forced to move, to dance, to feel.

It's funny that a lot of the reactions I've been getting from friends range from jealousy to shock, but I'm surprised, even disgust. I guess sometimes it slips my mind that UP is typically more liberal than others, and that it takes a while for other people to welcome the idea of sexuality and sensuality as part of our everyday culture. (Hey, it's not everywhere you see a university offering Sekswalidad at Kasarian as electives and having a naked man for an iconic symbol.) This is what I will always be grateful for about our university - it widens our perspective on a lot of things we usually just put into boxes. I'm not surprised there is a stereotype that UP students are wild - but see, that's because society has such a boxed up notion of "wild." For most people, "wild" is the boy who openly discusses sex with his partner, "wild" is the professor who teaches his students how to use a condom, "wild" is a girl who opens her legs and grinds her hips up and down. Regardless of the circumstances, "wild" is wild for a lot of people - but why should it be a bad thing? If being "wild" makes you better understand your body, allows you to comprehend your choices, and gives you the opportunity to make the right decisions, then why shouldn't you be "wild"?

Going back, I'm obviously looking forward to the rest of the summer - this is the most fun I've had in a non-major class in a long time. It's about time PE started getting really interesting. And the best part about this? Hell, this is a practical skill I could actually use in the real world! Future husband should be pleased.

In a somewhat unrelated photo, this is UP during the summer.
It's our university's version of "snow." Tufts of cotton float in the air and sprinkle the grass with their immaculate whiteness. Beautiful, I tell you.
(I wish I took a better picture though; the campus is always a sight to behold.)

Thank God, I'm in UP :>