the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

I Want to Be a Samba Dancer

Lately, I have read some posts where bloggers write about their longing to be “truthful and honest” on their blogs. I think about this issue, too, but I have a difficult time choosing my reality. What is truer — the facts of my daily life, my emotions connected with specific events, or the chaotic mess that goes on inside the head?

Yesterday, we took Sophia’s mother out for mother’s day. We went to a Brazilian restaurant. Sophia wanted me to dress up for her mother, but I brought very little with me from New York, so I hobbled together a look that was a fashion emergency. I wore blue dress slacks, a green shirt, black shoes, a brown belt, and different color socks. Just like the typical guy. In most ways, I am the typical guy. I don’t care what I wear. I would have preferred to wear jeans and sneakers.

In the restaurant, Samba dancers entertained the guests by dancing in the aisles. They were a lot of fun to watch. Did I fantasize about dancing with one of them? No. I fantasized about BEING one of them! For that moment in time, I was enchanted by their costumes. I wanted to be flamboyant like that, wearing feathers on my head, and shaking my goods for adoring fans. Imagine how good a samba dancer feels, knowing that all eyes are on HER!




So what is the real me? The schlumpy guy wearing two different socks or the one wishing he was dancing the Samba as a seductive woman? Can a man ever get the same amount of attention as a female Samba dancer? I doubt it.

If I were a beautiful woman, I would wear the hottest clothes, and strut down the street with my ass shaking. I would be like one of those women in those shampoo commercials where, after I washed my hair to near orgasm, everyone in the street would turn to look at me — the ultimate expression of glamour. I believe those commercials where the product is for a woman. I do NOT believe those Axe commercials where women jump the guy because he is wearing some crappy cologne.

So, what is my reality? Boring guy or closet cross-dresser?

Is this entire post bullshit? By tomorrow, I might think so. But for this moment, while I am typing this, this is my reality — because I am thinking about it. I want to be a female Samba dancer. I also think about threesomes and being an astronaut. So, what is reality?

After returning home from the restaurant, I told Sophia about my fantasy of being a sexy female Samba dancer. I was surprised that she WASN’T surprised.

“You would not be happy as a woman,” she said.

“Why not?” I replied. “I think it would be cool to have both men and women admire me for my beauty, mystery, and sensuality — something you just can’t get as a man.”

Just by chance, Sophia had just downloaded a new photo app to her iPhone, which helped her prove her point.

I would not be a good woman.



  1. liv

    perception is reality, or so i’ve heard.

  2. V-Grrrl

    yeah, most women aren’t “beautiful.” We’re just OK, and some of us are ugly, and we walk down the streets not feeling all eyes are on us but that all eyes look straight through us as if we weren’t there. So yeah, Samba dancers get it, but the rest of us schlumps are just treated like roadkill. Do I sound bitter?

  3. eliz

    This is a common desire for men, I’m told. Not only do men want to be beautiful women, but they also be slutty women and have all the sex they feel they’re denied by women because they’re really men. Like being a whore would be payback for all the rejections at closing time at the bars. So I understand. Was I informed correctly, in your experience of being a man who sometimes fantasizes about being a beautiful and adored woman?

    I think all women want to be samba dancers, too. And probably sluts, also, because we aren’t allowed to be sluts in polite society. We’re too concerned with what the neighbors may say to indulge our inner samba slut.

  4. Elaina

    Somehow when I picture a man as a samba dancer, I think of the SNL skit “Mango.” Hey, Mango pulled it off. “Don’t touch the Mango.” I know you’re saying you’d want to be a female samba dancer but somehow I still see Mango.

  5. Sherendipity

    omg, my eyes! I can never have that image erased, can I?

  6. Jack

    I love being a man and never want to give it up. Being a woman would be far too weird, at least for me it would be.

  7. Annie

    Trust me Neil, you would get tired of all the stares and looks. I was very attractive when I was in my 20’s and I hated the attention. Now that I am older and have let my hair go grey, I get a lot less of it and now I appreciate it more. The photo is a riot :-).

  8. Ellen B.

    Hahahahaha! My first laugh of the day! Great photo of mousey, Renaissance Neil!!!

  9. MetroDad

    You are the coolest and most open blogger I know. I love the fact that you have no bounds. That being said, you owe me a new pair of eyeballs. Mine are on fire.

  10. AnnieH(the other Annie)

    I know, I know. It looks fantabulous, and it is. For a while. But, there’s a dark and secret glass ceiling in the Samba biz and those gorgeous headpieces cannot break it. Mostly cause they’re made out of lightweight plastic baubles, but whatever. And the tanning that’s required…it’s brutal, Neilochka. It’s why unions were invented actually.

  11. Nat

    Honesty is in the eye of the beholder. Wonder if the blingy bikini chafes…

  12. 180/360

    picturing you as a female samba dancer will make me smile for the rest of the evening. i don’t think i’d bring this one up to your therapist though. 😛

  13. Venus

    Hmm, is this how men see women? That we desire all eyes on us all the time or should? I guess therein lies the problem between the sexes.

    Truth is, if you were a woman you would probably find it very boring because none of the stuff you are fantasizing about would ever happen. Instead, you would be stuck under a glass ceiling at work and dealing with confusing male mixed signals in dating and, well, that’ll be that.


  14. Zoeyjane

    I’ll trade you for 24 hours. How about that?

  15. ingrid


    I think you’d make a *great* woman. But I’d probably be jealous of your abandon and wildness…

  16. movindowntheroad

    I agree. (with the last part)

  17. Chris

    Oh, dear. You’re not an attractive woman.

    I’ve fantasized about being a belly dancer. So cool.

    “Is this entire post bullshit? By tomorrow, I might think so.” I feel that way about most of my posts. I have a manic moment, want to write something, but once it’s done and over, I think… that was stupid. Like watching dirty movies.

  18. maggie, dammit

    Oh LAWD.


    Anyway, I agree; You would not be happy as a woman. You think you’re neurotic now? You think you second-guess yourself? i realize it’s a sweeping statement but honestly, this culture is designed to make women feel like shit. God bless the samba dancers.

  19. Miss Grace

    Can’t you be both?

  20. better safe than sorry

    and why can’t you be happy as a sharp dressed man? that way, you don’t have to wear a flower in your hair.

  21. Jane

    Help! I’m blind! So freakin’ funny!

  22. C

    I love this post!!!

  23. lindsey

    ok, hysterical post. no other words!

  24. Claudia

    HAHAHAHAHA!!!! I was researching some images for ashort film I’m directing and found this blog. I’m one of the samba dancers you saw that day and absolutally love what you wrote in your blog, that is the kind of thing I’m passionate about, bringing fantasy to the world throught the passion I feel for my culture. Of course, we (samba dancers in US) get all kinds of responses, not everyone gets the fun spirit of the dance and some get a little unconfortable with the Brazilan natural sexiness, but it’s great to bring something new to other cultures and observe the effects of it. The effect on you was such a delight!!!! Hahahahaha! I wish you all the best and let us know when you’ll come back with your wife, I want you both to wear our headpieces and dance with us!
    Claudia Castello

  25. Claudia

    Also, I’d love to send you acopy of the film when it’s done, it is about your dream coming true:
    A short Vaudevillian tale of a young man’s eventually journey from a star-struck janitor to glamorous samba star.

  26. James

    I couldn’t agree more man. If you want tips on what to wear if you go through with it heres a good site.

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