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The Zumba saga continues: “I thought we were dating.”

ALFRED, Maine (AP) — The first man to go trial on charges that he patronized a prostitute who worked out of her Zumba dance studio contends he thought he was engaged in a romance.

Alexis Wright, the fitness instructor who pleaded guilty to running a prostitution business, doesn’t have to answer questions from prosecutors at the trial of the alleged client, a judge said Thursday.

Prosecutors had wanted the 30-year-old Wright to testify in next week’s trial of Donald Hill, a former Kennebunk High School hockey coach. Under oath Thursday, Wright declined to answer questions about him, other than to point him out.

“He thought he had a relationship with her,” said his lawyer, Gary Prolman.

Where, oh where, to begin?

Those of you who follow my ramblings may recall a post I wrote in the not-too-distant past concerning the Zumba dance/tax evasion/sex trade/stupidity scandal in my home state. For everyone else, here it is.

So here I am, vacationing my head off in the land of a thousand dances, Downeast Maine, when I encounter the above coda to the original story in the local broadsheet. In it, we learn that one of Miss Wright’s 68 clients is fighting his charge of patronizing a prostitute because he claims he thought they were DATING.

Meet the Missus!

Meet the Missus!

Now, I can see why you might think that some denizens of this little corner of paradise, like  residents of similarly far-flung and/or remote locales, would be less sophisticated in the ways of the world than their urban cousins. It’s a fair assumption, though I must point out that naiveté and stupidité are not the same things.

Because really, what kind of moron do you have to be to think that a woman who demands money for having sex with you is your girlfriend? Does that make the waitress who serves you pancakes your wife? Is the nice lady at the dry cleaner who irons your shirts your mommy? Perhaps, if you tend toward the metrosexual, you believe your manicurist is actually your concubine.

Or maybe you’ve just spent one too many Saturday nights on the sofa indulging in heavy petting with a blow-up doll while watching Vision Quest for the three-hundredth time. I don’t fucking know, but I am certain that when the woman you’re doing the horizontal mambo with once a week has a revolving door on her vagina, and you have to take a number for a “date,” it should be apparent to even the meanest intelligence that she’s not doing it because she’s really really into you.

Any more questions?

Honestly.

“It was just a Zumba class, Honey”

“Shake that groove thing, Norman!”

Add this, if you will, to the pantheon of history’s filthiest matrimonial lies, right alongside “I was just standing next to my secretary/Mrs. Hot Shorts from next door/the arresting officer when she sprayed herself with perfume,” or, “I have absolutely no idea how lipstick got on my jockey shorts,” or my personal favorite, “Don’t worry, I’ll pull out BEFORE, I promise.” Not that I have any first hand knowledge of these, as Mr. Slattern is a model of propriety and rectitude. But one hears things.

Now, unless you live in the great state of Maine or its environs, the story of the prostitution ring operating out of a Kennebunk Zumba studio may have escaped your notice. I happened upon it only because I was “up home” last week closing up shop at our little hideaway, the chateau debris by the sea, or as we like to call the process, opening up the rodent hostel for yet another festive winter season. So amidst the washing, stowing and folding, imagine my delight at stumbling upon the coverage of this local cause célèbre in the daily local newspaper. Apparently the instructor, one Alexis Wright (which I strongly suspect to be an assumed name) had been trading sexual favors for cash, which is bad enough, but to make matters worse, she had not been declaring the income, and so like Al Capone, was busted for tax evasion, in addition to over a hundred charges of prostitution.

All of this is sad and tawdry, but here’s what has me flummoxed. What woman in her right mind believes her husband when he announces he has lately got a yen for more exercise and has decided to join a Zumba class? For those of you who are not familiar with Zumba, here’s my favorite description:

…a dance class spirited with Latin and international beats, a mix of rhythms, resistance training and hot and spicy aerobic conditioning. Zumba’s combination of interval training and body sculpting in an easy-to-follow dance format will have you shredding calories and grooving your body into super shape. 

Let us, for the nonce, skip over the obvious question of how, exactly, one goes about “shredding” calories and focus instead on the hot and spicy grooving. Look:

Now, can you possibly imagine a group of middle-aged, heterosexual Maine men – even in as cosmopolitan an area as Kennebunk – gathering in a group to do this? Neither can I, though it certainly is entertaining to try. For some reason I get an image of Fred Flintstone trying to rhumba with Charro, and once that picture comes to mind it’s mighty tough to shake it.

“I wanted them all. Every. Single. One”
Courtesy AP via the Portland Press Herald.

This brings me to my second question. What could conceivably be running through the mind of a man who is paying a woman for sex? Now whether it’s a lap dance or the full Lovelace, it is well beyond the realm of possibility that the woman is having any fun. If she were, there’d be no need to tip. And yet, somehow certain male brains seem capable of processing this experience as “I think this young, gum-snapping, surgically enhanced gal likes me,” or at the very least, “I’m prepared to believe she doesn’t despise me or find me pathetic.” Wrong on both counts, buddy. Unless you’re a Brad Pitt lookalike with stack of C-notes the size of a Winnebago and a Lear jet parked outside, there is no way a sex worker of any stripe is going to find you hot, or even lukewarm. Not possible.

So why do it? I guess you’d have to ask someone from the published list of johns (who range in age from 34 to 65, every single one of whom should have known better). Maybe they’d say it was the spicy aerobics that got them all overheated. Or perhaps it was the prospect of illicit relations with a winsome, sweaty fitness buff. Who can say? In the end, who really cares?

In any case, ladies, if your better half ever evinces an interest Zumba, I’d suggest consulting an attorney. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

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