As those who have followed my blog in the past or know me personally will know, I tend to internalise things. I’m working on expressing myself and have found something that makes me feel truly empowered: pole dancing.
I’ve been having lessons for the last two months, and can feel myself getting stronger, feeling sexier and doing something a couple of times a week that is truly just for me, where I can escape everything else.
Rather than internalising the bad things, I’m projecting them through a hobby – I’ve tried this through group exercise classes but there’s just something different about pole, I’m working on improving my moves, learning more, rather than repetitive exercises with little development, as with some of the gym classes.
I’ve discovered a whole new community, I’ve come to respect all those throughout history who have embarked on a pole journey – whether that’s the Chinese and Indian men who competed in pole strength activities, or the strippers who defined modern pole. I don’t know details but it’s so interesting finding all of this out. I’m pretty sure that the sexualisation of pole came from females being ‘allowed’ to do it and the historical perception of women as ‘to be looked at’ so in a way that part of pole may have stemmed from sexual objectification. But I do pole for me. No disrespect to those who do pole for adult entertainment, that’s a personal choice, but for me it’s about being in a room away from the rest of the world, separate from all other parts of my life, totally new, that let’s me truly be me.
I already feel like I’ve improved so much and have definitely become a pole addict. Which I never would have anticipated a year ago. It keeps my fitness up, it’s a new social circle, I’ve met some lovely people (a couple of irritating ones too, but I just avoid them!), had the pleasure of being taught by some amazing instructors in a safe and friendly environment and developed such a passion and appreciation for how difficult the more advanced levels really are!
Those are my brief thoughts of the night – perhaps I’ll expand on them at some point. I’ve been meaning to blog for a while but I’ve been a little up and down recently. This is something that keeps me going.
Final comment: As I’ve got into more online communities and researched more on pole, I’ve come across a lot of stigma and hate and it really saddens me that these amazing, strong, beautiful and talented male and female sportspersons alike (because it’s a sport, just as gymnastics is, the moves are pretty similar, your bar is just vertical instead of horizontal!) are so downplayed in the public eye, and so unnecessarily sexualised with absolutely no basis. ARGH, this is getting me riled. As are offensive comments I’ve seen posted or privately sent to anyone that posts anything to do with pole on their public social media profiles… it’s ‘ok’ when women are half naked in adverts, across billboards, for someone else’s pleasure…but god forbid a woman decide how much of her body she shows in what position for herself! (Men pole dance too, but they aren’t sexualised in the same way and I hope they don’t experience this too – I’ve just not heard of it, doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen to them too).
The world is messed up. Hang in there.