The Politics of Pole

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Can I rant for a little minute? No? Well, it’s my blog so I’m going to anyway ūüėõ

You might have heard that this week was host to come out of the pole closet day (Thursday, I think?). Well, I posted,¬†not even a picture of me, but the Bad Kitty pic that’s floating around the community with a quote about feeling strong and sexy when you pole dance. I got so much kick back from friends and family telling me it was¬†inappropriate¬†to post about pole dancing on Facebook.

Sometimes I wish we didn’t have to be¬†“inappropriate”. For example,¬†a few of my friends are swing dancers… like pole dancing it requires training, practice, special attire, and dedication to do it well. They’re as proud of their swing dancing as I am of my pole… but here in lies the difference – it’s socially acceptable for them to be proud, post pictures on Facebook, and talk about what they love in public.

They can invite their relatives to watch their recitals without fear of repercussion. They can send pictures of new moves to their friends without people thinking they’re coming on to them. They don’t have to censor themselves because they’re worried that it might influence their ability to be professionals outside their hobby. And I¬†guarantee¬†no one ever said to to my swing dancing friends “as long as you don’t start doing it for money”.

I was never good at sports as a kid, and I was so jealous of all my friends who had their parents come to all their games. I¬†desperately¬†wanted a soccer mom, and had a great mom who was more than willing to be one, but I sucked at soccer and I hated playing baseball. Now I finally having something physical that I love to do, that I’m good at, that I can show off… except it’s¬†stigmatized.

Somedays I don’t want to be a¬†political¬†statement, I don’t want to have to go into a 15 minutes¬†explanation¬†about why pole dancing is a real sport, I don’t want to defend anything. I just want to be proud without apology, and have a fan club in my corner (with the exception of TGIL who already is :)).

Catharsis and Pole Kisses

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The past 24 hours have been really difficult. Like shitty, weepy, life kicking me in the lady balls difficult. I’ll spare you all the sob story, just picture the worst situation you can and then times it by like a hundred.

But this is a pole blog, right? So let’s about pole. In the midst of everything, I found something about pole that I never knew before… it’s¬†cathartic¬†as hell. ca

When life gives you situations where there’s¬†nothing¬†that you can do, it gives you something to do. You can trust your pole, its not going to move on you, it’s strong, it’s something steady when the ground feels shaky.¬†¬†It¬†physically¬†grounds you in your surroundings, it bruises you so you look how you feel, it¬†exhausts¬†you so you can sleep. It makes my world bearable.

 

 

Lies My Pole Taught Me

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Image Credit: http://bit.ly/QlYcej

 

There’s so much debate in the community about how you tell people you pole, when you tell them, how much you tell them and I tend to fall on the more liberal side of the debate – I’m proud of what I do and I don’t really care what people think.

But… I also believe in choosing my battles. Not everyone is worth debating with and if they’re only in my life for five minutes, I’m happy to let them think whatever they like and walk away happy. Here, some of the itty bitty white lies I’ve told:

To the 90 year old cardiologist: “Oh yeah, I do lots of cardio and strength training… kind of like yoga!”

To the nurse: “I fell on the machine at the gym… a couple of times… treadmills can be dangerous!”

To the lady at the grocery store: I’m just really clumsy”

To my neighbor:¬†“Going to the gym again :)”

To my coworker:¬†“That IS a really weird place for a bruise, I have no idea how I got it!”

To the lady in my office when picking up my pole: “Yeah, this is a really heavy TV stand”

 

Am I the only one who does this? What lies have you told for the sake of keeping the pole peace?

 

Aside

It’s been a sad, sad week for Jenna… I had Lasik surgery last Friday and I haven’t been allowed to pole since. I swear, the pole in my spare room has been TAUNTING me. I’m not crazy as long as I don’t start talking back right? … Right??

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New Treasure Chest Shoes!

But a friend of mine, knowing my pole-sadness, send me a box of stripper goodies priority mail to get me through until Saturday when I can pole again. Remember those jet-set shorts I posted about? In the box! And some treasure chest shoes with light up balls to go inside (but I’ve been putting everything I own in them and taking pictures instead :P) I’m gonna try to put some Magic: The Gathering cards in them and make myself geek heels! ūüėÄ

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Glowy balls to make light up shoes ūüėÄ

 

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Do the chicken dance!

Pole Care Package!

The Pole of Legend!

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It’s here, it’s heeeeeeeeeere! Well, technically it was here a couple days ago but I wanted to wait until I had the full set-up in order to post ūüôā

X-pole in Box

My shiny new 45mm X-Sport has been successfully installed in my guest room, complete with mipole light on top! I freaking love this thing, it changes colors in time to the music and took about two and a half seconds to install. I seriously just turned music on and sat and watched it go for awhile – kind of like slutty Christmas lights.

 

POLE installation on the other hand… well, let’s just say my pole sister’s husband had to come over and help me because my inability to find a stud affects more than just my dating life ūüėõ

But here it is, and I’ve been playing on it every single day! I still love and prefer my studio time, but there’s something freeing about being able to play around without anyone watching or knowing that I’m holding someone else up. I hope this will help with my complete inability to freestyle for fear of looking like a Japanese child after watching Pokemon.

X-Pole… No… Nyan Pole!

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ARRRRGHHHH I thought I would be posting about my awesome new X-Pole tonight but I can’t find the freaking stud/plank/whatever-the-heck in my ceiling to save my life. Yes, I tried a stud finder, the knocking method, the finishing nail method, the cry and pout and threaten the ceiling method. No luck.

So instead… here’s what nerdy pole dancers wear to the studio, just in case you were wondering.

Sacrificing The Virgin

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For future reference: always be wary when your pole instructor says “today we’re going to¬†sacrifice¬†virgin skin to the pole gods”.¬†Just when I think perhaps,¬†mayhaps¬†that one day I will stop bruising like an overripe banana… my instructor finds new skin to attack.

Sacrificing a virgin, much sexier than tearing up virgin skin

I will say that my amount of bruising in standard pole places (knees, calves, thighs, arms…) has gone down significantly since I first started. Which I’m pretty impressed by because honestly, I thought it never would and had pretty much consigned myself to looking like a victim of domestic abuse for the rest of my life. But… there’s always new skin to torment.

After my first knee grip…

And the really messed up thing is that I KNOW it going in to a new move. When I first start to sink into my yogini it’s PAIN. Not like “oh, I wore these really cute but super uncomfortable shoes for too many hours, tee hee” pain, more like “holy @#$(*&!!! Someone is holding a burning torch to my side and then scraping it with a rake!” pain.

This one made wearing pants fun 

And that’s just getting in to it… holding it…UM OW! But the most success I’ve had getting in to tricks is when I prep talk myself “this is going to hurt, and you’re going to do it anyway”.

Floor work is a bitch…

There must be something seriously wrong with us pole dancers that we know “this is going to hurt like hell and even worse tomorrow” and yet we still bend ourselves into yoginis and teddys and geminis like champions. But I love it so much!

The Chicken Dancer

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I don’t like to dance in public. Not pole dance, regular “hey this is a great song!” dance. Why? I’m very, very, very incredibly white. Remember that “this is your home, this is where you live” speech from Hitch? That’s me! That’s about all I can do. Oh, and the chicken dance. I do a fierce chicken dance.

 

So¬†imagine¬†my surprise when I found myself out last Friday night… dancing, and enjoying it! My very dear friend is a get the party started sort of girl, if there’s music and about a foot of clear space, she’ll find the beat and start moving to it. I usually smile, shuffle from foot to foot and focus on staring into my drink. But I feel like pole is changing that.

Just out dancing on a Friday night ‚̧

When the music started this time I thought to myself “I body roll on a pole, in my underwear, in front of people. This bar has got nothing on me.” And for once, it didn’t. I didn’t get the awkward “oh it’s so cute that you try” smile that I got at my high school prom. I didn’t get the “I’m not with her” back away slowly I normally get at clubs. I was just a regular, normal, dancing person out on a Friday night.

 

So thanks, pole, for making me normal. Who would have thought anyone would ever say that?

18 Things I Want

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Sometimes, for lack of anything better to do, I’ll actually watch the trending topics on Twitter. I’m telling you, it’s every bit as interesting as cable! Today one came up #18thingsIwant. I like this number, 18 things is small enough to acquire but large enough to be a little dreamy. So, drumroll please… here are the 18 things I want for pole (or rather, 18 of the MANY things I want for pole).

1.¬†An X-Sport – I almost bought a¬†Platinum¬†Stages pole from Craig’s List, but on further inspection of the internets, it seems that they don’t have the greatest reputation. Plus, I like that the X-Poles don’t have to be drilled in to anything and can be put in the handy carrying case for when guests might actually want to use my guest room.

 

2. Dry Hands! – I ordered some from Amazon, can’t wait to try it out!

 

3. These Jet Set Shorts. I can only find them at Aerial Pole Artist and the shipping costs more than the shorts!

 

4. To street pole with someone! It just looks like so much freaking fun!

 

5. Someone to take my picture every time I do something cool. Seriously, when do I get my own paparazzi?

 

6. Martha Stewart glitter in every color. Is there anything pole dancers DON’T need glitter for?

 

7. To finally get my damn invert down. I love when pole dancers just go ‚Äúoops, look, now I‚Äôm upside down, tee-hee!‚ÄĚ I want to do that!!!

 

8. Some high-waisted retro-fabulous booty shorts.

 

9. A collection of shirts from different pole studios all around. I think it’d be cool to stop by other studios while I’m traveling and bring the shirts back.

 

10. For my side business of shoe-glittering to take off. Or to find some other way to help fund my pole habit.

 

11. A rhinestone bra, and the courage to wear it on the pole.

 

12. One really great routine that I can bust out and show off with.

 

13. A magical cure for bruises so people can stop thinking my boyfriend hits me… when I don’t even have a boyfriend. (Yeah, thanks for that painful reminder, bitches :P)

 

14. For everyone to stop posting that picture of a dog ‚Äúpole dancing‚ÄĚ on a piece of bamboo. It‚Äôs not funny.

 

15. For my work to install a pole and a swing so I can practice on breaks. (I know, I know, dream on)

 

16. Someone to say “wow, that looks great, I can’t believe you can do that!”. Just once… a day…. everyday.

 

17.  Light up stripper shoes. Why do little kids get all the light up shoes?!

 

18.  This painted on the wall in the room where my pole is going to go. How cool would that be???

When Are You a Pole Dancer?

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Titles are important to the people who have them. In my interpreter training program, you were NOT allowed to call yourself anything except an “interpreting¬†student” until the day you graduated – on your resume or anywhere else.

My engineering friends have mentioned similar rules in their majors. And I can’t¬†imagine¬†that people start calling themselves football players, actors, models, or singers until they pay their dues.Even in the gym, there seems to be a pledging process but you get to be a part of the in-crowd (gym rats?).

But I never felt that way with pole – maybe that’s one of the reasons I love it so much. From the first day I walked in the studio, there was a general acknowledgement that if you’re willing to strut in the heels, sport the bruises, and let the pole peel your skin off,¬†you get to be a pole dancer. It honestly is the most welcoming community I’ve had the¬†privilege¬†to be a part of.

Has anyone else noticed this in their studios, or do I just have the best studio ever (I think I do, but I may be a little biased ^_~)