Horny Ice Dancing

There are many mysteries that one could point to as the defining question of modern pop culture. Who is Gossip Girl? What the fuck was the deal with the end of The Sopranos? Is Taylor Swift out yet? But, to my mind, all of these pale in comparison to a question I have been asking myself every day since February, 2018: are Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir fucking?

For those of you not caught in this eternal thought loop, Virtue and Moir were a team of Canadian ice dancers. They won gold at the winter Olympics in 2010 and silver in 2014, at which point they retired until they decided that silver was boring and returned before the 2018 Olympics, where they won gold again. They were very, very good. Like, the best who ever lived good.

Also? They were hot. Ice dancing is a notably horny sport, but these two took it to the next level.* Even in the censored version, their Olympic Moulin Rouge routine included a move that got dubbed the cunniliftus. Their eye contact was X-rated. The internet went absolutely mad. Some of the more reputable news sources tried to explain away their but are they though??? articles by using some sort of weird compulsory heterosexuality framework, but most of them just had a lot of gifs and keyboard smashes followed by some hardcore conspiracy theory. Virtue and Moir deny the rumors, but that only makes it worse.

The Nine of Wands has a certain single-mindedness to it. It’s not the tunnel vision of the Knights, but true focus. In the Nine of Wands, you don’t have trouble looking elsewhere, you just choose not to. It’s a mature single-mindedness, or maybe an inconsequential one. The only harm that the Nine of Wands causes is the harm of prioritizing. Which can be huge, but it’s based in a very clear, defined sort of caring, not some muddy, goal-oriented-just-for-the-sake-of-it attempt.

Part of the appeal of Virtue and Moir is that you know that to be Olympic champions they have time for exactly one thing, and it’s each other. It’s not just the way that they touch; it’s knowing how much they’ve touched in order to touch that way for those four minutes. It’s watching the blaze and understanding that we’ll never understand how much kindling there had to be. We’re all moths when it comes to the Nine of Wands. It’s utterly transfixing.

And watching Virtue and Moir turns us into the Nine of Wands, too. Though I respect it, I do not personally care which celebrities are doing what with which other celebrities, although I hope they are all having a nice time. But single-mindedness breeds single-mindedness, and I feel almost disrespectful not giving Virtue and Moir my undivided attention. Culturally, our shared collective lens for physical intimacy is mostly just sex, and we translate their intensity into our own language.

I do not have the devotion, talent, or ligaments to be a professional ice dancer. Also, I am 27 and I can pretty much only skate in a circle. But there are things in my life which I hope to bring a Nine of Wands intensity to, and I’m inspired by the intensity of Virtue and Moir, and my own intensity about their intensity. Strong rec on taking a break from what you’re doing and taking a few minutes to watch something about your own aspirational Nine of Wands. (Actually, strong rec on just taking a break if you can, I hope y’all are okay, inasmuch as that’s a thing rn.) I hope it brings you fire, to warm or to inspire or whatever it is that you need to burn.


*This gets a little complicated because there are sporadic sibling teams, and in 2018 Maia and Alex Shibutani, better known as the Shib Sibs, medaled, and people didn’t really know how to talk about them, leading to this excellent exchange between commentators: 

1: I mean, what’s wrong with a brother and sister skating together?
2: I have no problem with it at all.

1: They’re limited to certain song choices, but this is about the joy of dancing, and anyone can dance.


PS: My sister (brave, foolish) asked me for a Virtue and Moir conspiracy explainer. You can find 2.5 pages of receipts and another 2.5 pages of general pretty ice dancing here.


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