Cheers Sexy People!
Wow! I am so excited to be welcoming Amy Bond, Founder and CEO of Pole & Dance Studios to the Loving Without Boundaries podcast next month. Additionally, Amy is one of the co-stars in the awesome documentary, Strip Down, Rise Up. I spent this past weekend recuperating from my first vaccine dose and watching this movie, which was released earlier this year, and was just amazed at the beauty and strength of these pole dancers. The importance of this documentary is to show how pole dancing is being re-framed by women as part of their journeys to reclaim their bodies and their lives.
While the movie’s message is extremely important, it is not new to me since I have taken my own journey via the pole. In fact, in 2013, I “graduated” from my pole fitness / dancing class, becoming a newly minted “Pole Master.” In order to graduate, we each needed to choreograph a routine to a song of our choosing and perform it in front of a live audience made up of our family and friends. It is hard to describe what an accomplishment this felt like to me. I hadn’t choreographed anything in my life (unless you count routines to songs from the movies “Grease” and “Fame” in my friend’s living room when I was about twelve years old… but I’m thinking “um, no” on that one. 🙂 ). I chose a song that smelled of female strength and picking yourself up off the floor again and again, against all odds – kind of a “rising Phoenix” idea. My routine was less about being playful and more about personal strength and perseverance through adversity. I was quite nervous with my hands lightly shaking, but got quite “zen” about 15 minutes before I performed my dance. And I must say, I think I rocked it (as did my fellow graduates)! At the very least, I hit all the poses, was on queue for every beat of the song where I was emphasizing a drum beat with my body movements, and most importantly, I did not fall off the pole. Ha! How about THEM apples! I should maybe add here a reveal: I started pole dancing at age 43 and was 44 when I performed. One of my friends who also graduated became a grandmother days prior to her performance, and she’s in her early 50’s. Wow! Now THAT is inspiring! She commented: “Pole reminds me that fit and sexy is ageless.” Hellz to the yeah!
If you find this at all interesting, check out this hot 61-year old woman rocking it on the pole!
Why do I bring this up? It’s certainly not to brag – I have a LONG way to go and so much more to learn in pole dancing, and I eagerly await every moment of it. No, it’s to talk a bit about “stigmas” and non-positive assumptions that every day citizens can make about others. When I first started pole dancing, I was leery about telling people. For some reason, I felt a little ashamed and was worried about what other people would think of me and my new hobby. I told them I simply had “dance class.” When asked what kind of dance, my response was “modern dance.”
After months of this (and me falling in love with the art of pole dancing), I decided to experiment and just tell a few close friends. One friend made the assumption that I was taking these classes so that I could start earning extra money as a stripper / erotic dancer at a nearby strip club. Um, no. Another friend asked if we danced naked in class. Um, no again. I overheard the receptionist at our studio say on the phone to a potential customer: “No, this is a pole FITNESS studio. We don’t teach girls to strip.” All the students in the lobby giggled at that one. Why jump to the slut shaming, non-female empowering assumptions? We may know pole in America as coming from the strip club. But whether at a strip club, or at a fitness studio, it is still a beautiful art form full of graceful body movements, celebrating strength and empowerment and control over the body through practice, talent and skill. The human form is gorgeous, and I see no harm in people doing what they love. No need to assume or suggest if someone likes to dance around a pole, it must be about sex and money. And for those for whom it is a profession and they do it with hardly any clothes on if any at all, so what?
Similarly, one of the concerns I had about “coming out” as polyamorous was what people would think. What kind of assumptions were they going to make? Did some of my fears come true? Yes. Some assume that if you are polyamorous, that must mean that you are promiscuous as well, and want to have sex with every Tom, Dick and Harry that rolls into town. Um, no again. I actually am quite choose-y. Since I have been with my husband (over ten years now), I have only had sex with three men total. And two of them are my husband and my boyfriend (the third is a very close friend of ours to this day). After I “came out”, one of my friends literally put his hand down my pants at a party at my house (without my consent or provocation) where both my husband and boyfriend were in attendance. I was horrified. Frankly, he caught me off guard and I didn’t know how to properly handle it. I just walked away and tried to remember that he was probably drunk and barely knew what he was doing. But would he have done that if I had not told him I was polyamorous? Definitely not, I am sure of it.
So for those who are not aware, polyamory is about having multiple loving relationships at a time with full consent of everyone involved (aka NOT cheating behind someone’s back). It usually involves sex, but not necessarily. Those involved might have kinky sex together, or they might have “vanilla” sex together. You might be promiscuous and be polyamorous, but one can also be demure, selective while preferring the missionary position and be polyamorous. Non-consensual touching is NOT cool in any environment. And no means no. Respect the boundaries. And enjoy your journey.
If you would like to read a “for beginner’s” description of polyamory, check this link out:
Wishing you peace, love and happiness,
(and thrilling, fun sex too!)