I never thought I would have to explain to asexuals that belly dancing is NOT inherently sexual or seductive and then have them not get it. While I probably shouldn’t have assumed that they wouldn’t be influenced by stereotypes, we’re always discussing how a particular fictional relationship doesn’t have to be seen as sexual or how you can appreciate someone’s beauty without being attracted to them or aroused. In spite of this, someone brought up belly dance as a way to “engage” a partner in an asexual-sexual relationship. I tried to clarify what it is, yet I continued to see comments about how it’s particularly appealing to sexuals.
I could go on and on about how belly dance is not sexual, unless you consider all dance forms sexual. There are some great articles about belly dance and sexuality (and how it relates to Orientalism and misogyny) so I won’t say too much except the following:
1. A belly dance routine can be seductive, but so can a ballet or Irish step dance routine.
2. You can find a belly dance erotic, but that doesn’t mean it was the dancer’s intentions (so you better be careful what you say to her).
3. Some people may choose to learn it to feel sexier or to entertain their partner, and that’s fine. However, when you start actually studying it, you learn the rich history and community. The movements are not what’s sexy; it’s the confidence and love of your body that is.
I don’t know which people insisted to you that bellydancing is sexual, but asexuals are not a monolith. And it likely has nothing to do with their being asexual that they might have those (common and ignorant) ideas about bellydance.