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Grinding the Night Away 

Published January 10, 2011 at 4:57 p.m.

By now, no doubt, you've heard about the grinding flap at South Burlington High School, first reported by the Burlington Free Press last Thursday. In anticipation of that chaperoning nightmare known as the Winter Ball, school officials banned grinding. As a result of the ban, the students revolted, refused to buy tickets to the dance and thus succeeded in getting it cancelled.

In a nutshell, those dirty teens in SoBu want to be able to rub their bits against one another to the autotuned strains of Taio Cruz. They don't want to give three feet for Jesus. No, they want to get straight up Biblical with each other. With their clothes on. And if they can't do it, then the school dance can suck it.

And who can blame them? Well, more specifically, who can blame the guys? All they have to do is stand there and sway while some girl crams her ass in his crotch. Instant fun! Now, some school administration populated by old, sexless people is going to tell them they can't get their nut off this way? Awww, hell no! Don't those old school people know that's just how we dance, the student body president said. 

For the girls, I wonder what is the attraction. What kind of pleasure are they getting out of it? The thrill of attention, perhaps? The feeling of power, maybe? Personally, it makes me feel like I need to take a shower with a power sander. I remember clubbing in DC when I was in college and feeling skeeved the fuck out when some stranger would freak me from behind (that's what we called grinding back in the '90s — freaking). Invariably, he would be in the military, wearing a leather jacket and totally ripshit. Oh, and he was wearing beer goggles. Sweet, just my type. 

The last thing I wanted was for my can to be on the receiving end of the flopping sausage in some anonymous corporal's pants. But maybe it's different when you're in high school. Maybe everyone's so jacked up on Five-Hour Energy and Red Bull cocktails that anything seems fun. Even getting dry-humped from behind.    

Not surprisingly, this story whizzed its way around the Web. Then it got picked up by a number of major metro news outlets courtesy of the Associated Press. The AP story ran on Fox News, MSNBC, WTSP Tampa/St. Pete, KTRK Houston, WRGB Albany and got ink in the Washington Post, the Arizona Republic and the Lexington Herald-Leader, among others.

A handful of news orgs put their own spin on the grinding moratorium, including JezebelNew York and Newser. The Boston Herald drew an entertaining comparison to Footloose, perhaps Kevin Bacon's best hair movie ever.

I'm wondering if, in the aftermath of all this outlawing and finger-waggling, if eventually schools will just have to capitulate and realize that today's kids are hard-wired to sexydance. It's now as much of their DNA as the Internet, text messaging and the Kardashians. Hell, at least they're not Grindring. What do you think?

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Lauren Ober

Lauren Ober

Lauren Ober was a Seven Days staff writer from 2009-2011.

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