Wednesday, February 1, 2012


Fitness Class Review: Pole Dancing

Reader, life really is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get, especially when what you get is unbridled delight and pride in your own ass clapping on a stripper pole.

I took a pole dancing class, y’all, and I liked it. Didn’t see that coming.

I’m not talking about some second-wave, porn-wars feminist dilemma or anything. I appreciate skilled exotic dancers. Just as ballet was developed in the court of Louis XIV to codify positions and movements that best sing the body electric, exotic dance is no less concerted and canny in its (graphic) exploitation of the female form.

I mean, have you ever been to a decent strip club? As in, NOT the kind of joint that serves up generic Spring Break-style titty-shaking in a bog of desperation and self-loathing? Quality strippers can channel that whole goddess-Salome thing to remarkably relaxing effect. They can unite all genders and persuasions with the hypnotic, ancient power of undulating lady bits.

I associated pole fitness, rather obtusely, with only upper-body strength. Good strippers have guns. I have little Olive Oyl arms and a big ol’ ass. The idea of supporting said ass, along with the rest of me, on some reverse-feminist pole of empowerment seemed to portend humiliation and a stop for ice cream on the way home.

As I discovered in my first-ever pole dancing class, though, Michelle Obama arms aren’t the only ticket to ride the recontextualized stripper train. Attitude, a sense of humor, an ass and some thighs you know how to use, a couple nips of whiskey — choose your weapon and put on some short shorts. (“But I hate shorts!” I hear you saying. I do too, but leggings and pants are too slippery. Embrace the shorts; roll them up like you’re one of the popular girls in P.E.)

On a tip from a friend, I went to a spot out in the ‘burbs in a crappy strip mall sandwiched between a real mall and the interstate service road. It was a second-story unit, and the interior stairs that took me there were painted black and positively assaulted by silver glitter. A good sign. The studio itself was even better: wall-to-wall hot pink, more glitter, mirrors, and a bunch of poles. Oh, and white Christmas lights, which would be our only lighting for the session.

The instructor, whom I’ll call Thalia because I don’t remember her name, was a big girl with a small voice and a sweet smile. After starting out with some crunches and squats, she had us grip and strut around our poles, introducing us to our new dance partners. And to Prince? Noooo problem. After a while, though, I sensed that spins and other beginner pole tricks were imminent. I gripped my pole, looked up at it and suddenly became hyper-aware of a couple things: gravity, and the sizeable piece of ice cream cake I’d eaten at an office birthday thing earlier that day.

But instead, we went into the “booty bounce” portion of the class, where Thalia used her preschool-teacher delivery to instruct us in the stalwart stripper canon of pussy-pops, pelvic rolls, and other assorted twerktastic moves.

“Ok, hold onto your pole in front of you, get low and pop your booty up and down,” Thalia said sweetly. “That’s right, up and down. That’s good. Now rotate your coochie in and out, in and out. Gooooood.”

That was all I needed to shake off the self-consciousness. You just can’t take yourself too seriously when you’re bent over looking at your butt jiggle from upside-down. Also, in my city of New Orleans, this kind of activity is actively encouraged through the bounce music scene. Bounce, if you don’t know, is a hyper, often explicit, dance-based kind of rap that’s been around for over 25 years and lends itself perfectly to exaggerated ass-shaking. It deserves a Hairpin article of its own, but in short, bounce = butts.

And I LIKE BUTTS. A lot. I like all the things you can do with ‘em. I like how round and cushy they are. Even if they’re flat, flabby, riddled with dimples, suffering from rosacea or covered in animal cracker-shaped birthmarks, they still look like butts. Which is to say they look like proof that, if God exists, he/she has a sparkling sense of humor.

So anyway, after all the booty love, it was time for pole tricks, starting with a regular old spin. Thalia advised us to not jump, at least not with this basic a trick, because it’s not sexy to visibly heave yourself onto anything if you don’t have to. You’re not going for a hairsprayed-ponytail gymnast vibe, but rather one that says, “I don’t really care whether I wrap myself around this pole half-naked, but it looks so damn good on me and it’s soooo easy, and how else does one pass the time? Tra la la.”

Also, you don’t need much momentum to spin seductively around a pole, something I learned when I panicked, jumped anyway, and found myself spinning rapidly around and down the pole as if I was in a McDonald’s Playland.

“Trust yourself, and trust your thighs,” Thalia said. “Squeeze them. They’ll hold you up. Remember, if your thighs ain’t workin, your coochie’s hurtin.” I took that in, filed it away for further reflection, and tried the pole spin once more — without jumping. She was right: slower is better, and thighs are to be trusted. Can I just say I looked good? Because I looked good. Any girl spinning midair in a pinup kneel looks good. You know what else looks good? Tilting your head and arching your back. So I did.

Thalia taught us how to spin down to the ground and end in a wide kneel in front of the pole, where we could continue with some booty pops and pelvic rolls. That was trickier — you gotta be loose as a goose in the crotchal area to p-pop or slow wind in that position — but even my meager results were rewarding.

We worked on different spin variations until Thalia went too advanced on me and I hit a wall. My arms were not up to the task of holding my entire body up with my legs in a spread-eagle split, nor was I ready to flip head over coochie and try an inversion. My wrists were feeling taxed, which told me I should just keep working on everything else we’d learned. Which, surprisingly, was still enough to get me sweating and in-the-zone-feeling.

We finished the class by putting all our booty-shaking, coochie-popping, pole-gripping moves together into a lil routine set to The-Dream’s “Fancy.” I followed a few of my classmates and slipped on some sexier shoes — my office-friendly red patent Mary Janes with two-and-a-half-inch heels. But let me tell you, stripper heels or not: (heels + pole + dim lighting) x The-Dream = FANCY. Fancy-feelin’ all over. I still couldn’t execute half the moves with real finesse, but it was a first shot, not the tryouts for Miss Exotic World.

Unless you’ve been previously warned about too much saucy mirror-gazing by a loved one or therapist, you’re in no danger of getting too much satisfaction from strutting around and ‘preciating your assets, even if it’s simultaneously hilarious and weird and terrifying. I left that glitter-bombed studio feeling worked out, energized, sexy, womanly, and really DTF. I bought a Groupon package for more classes the next week.

Takeaway: pole dancing: try it once, just to try it. Or just put on some music or a Twerk Team video and strut around in your underwear. We’ve only got one butt in life, ladies. Better enjoy it while we can.

Molly Reid is a writer based in New Orleans. She surveys the world of workout videos on her blog, worldofsass.blogspot.com.

Photo by Perov Stanislav, via Shutterstock

134 Comments / Post A Comment


HAHAHA Haven't even read this and all I can think of is poor poor Molly Fischer.


@hairspin Your thoughts are good thoughts, and they are also mine.

Come to the dark side, Molly, we have butts.


@hairspin I got to the use of "lady bits" and I came down here to say the same thing!


Best r&b/pop songwriter in the game.@v



I've been taking pole dancing classes for just over a month, and i'm COMPLETELY in love. This - from a former semi-profesh modern dancer. It is FUN. It is FUNNY. It is EXCITING and I feel like such a superstar when I do it. And I haven't been this fit since I was in my dance company. The good news is that I'm having a lot more fun doing this than I had in my dance company.

DO IT! Grab a gurlfran and DO IT!


Butts! They are the best.


I want to do this SO BAD. It sounds like masses of fun, even if you do the non-sexy "pole fitness" stuff the place nearest to me offers--I just haven't got round to signing up for it because I'm lazy. But I shall!


YES! I took pole fitness for over a year, and it was awesome. It's the only time in my whole life that I've ever been able to do chin-ups. It did wonders for my self-confidence, and it gave me a reason to buy a pair of 8" heels.


@remargaret Just remembered. I used the $10 i got from selling a gift an ex gave me to buy my first trial class. Yesssss.


Molly Reid is clearly the superior Molly.

Molly! Since you're in NO, I highly recommend one of Altercation's bounce classes -- when she's not touring with Freedia, she does private lessons wherever, and group lessons at the Allways Lounge. And then, of course, write about it for the Hairpin.

Also, I think you and I have mutual friends, which I feel compelled to mention (otherwise I feel weirdly sneaky?). Small world!

World of Sass

@Lemonnier If you're in NOLA and you like bounce, I have no doubt that we have mutual friends :) Bounce classes?! I didn't realize these existed beyond people's bedrooms! Seeing Freedia and her peeps take over Jimmy Kimmel last week made me soooooo happy. If you're in the French Quarter/Marigny area on Mardi Gras Day and you see a bald pantsless creature dancing in a trance state near something resembling a moon rover, that'll be me. Come say hello!


@MollyReid I left NO several months ago (it had become a very exhausting and sad place for me), and won't be back for Mardi Gras this year. But wait... are you referring to the Krewe de Lune? (full disclosure: I know Sarah and Eve.)


@MollyReid Yes! Big Freedia on network tv warmed my cold, cold heart.


@dokuchan Another vote for Big Freedia!

World of Sass

@Lemonnier Ah, Sarah and Eve! Yes, Krewe de Lune will be storming the Quarter on Carnival Day; too bad you won't be here. I hear you on the exhausting/sad aspects of nola, though. It's the flip side of the coin. The sad face in the Mardi Gras mask icon thingie. The reason I can't walk the five blocks to my boyfriend's house at night.

Creature Cheeseman

@Lemonnier Do I even have to say it? Bounce pinup at Allways?!!


@Creature Cheeseman The pinup to end all pinups! BEST IDEA EVER.

World of Sass

@Lemonnier Yes, please!


@Creature Cheeseman I'll be there! but ... drinking, not doing the actual workshop because I am CERTAIN that my body cannot do that.


"Also, you don’t need much momentum to spin seductively around a pole, something I learned when I panicked, jumped anyway, and found myself spinning rapidly around and down the pole as if I was in a McDonald’s Playland". This made me laugh like a loon. I am in NYC and there are tond of offerings like this, I must try. P.S. - I love your workout reviews!

World of Sass

@CrescentMelissa Why thank you! Next up: belly dance. I think.


@MollyReid "...whom I’ll call Thalia because I don’t remember her name...". You rule, Molly.


@queensissy I was rooting for Terpsichore, but Thalia, ok.
And yes, butts!

Daisy Razor

@MollyReid Belly dancing is GREAT if you love butts. Oh my goodness, the things you can do with a coin belt alone.


@Daisy Razor Tell me more. I have been considering belly dancing for a while but 1) all the classes I can find are at Adult Education centres and I have not had great experiences with their teachers/clientele and 2) I'm down with my fat belly, and my core muscles hidden under there are AMAZING you guys, but... I feel like that's still a hurdle of not giving a shit about body policing I have to jump? Which is maybe a reason to do it.

Come to think of it, I'm going to a bar tonight where they sometimes have bellydancers. Maybe I can ask someone.

lavender gooms

@Craftastrophies You probably won't see this but belly dancing is amazing! I take classes which are more dance classes than fitness classes and there are so many different bodies! We also wear tank tops or t-shirts though, so while your belly is out there, it is not OUT THERE, which I don't think I could hack.


@Craftastrophies Yes yes yes. Bellydancing is the dance that is for EVERY WOMAN in the entire world. My teacher would always talk about everyone has different body parts that are better highlighted by different moves, and you can choose whichever moves your body best enhances! You will discover muscles you didn't know about - which is very exciting. It's my favorite thing in the world, and it made me learn how to stare at my abdomen in a mirror with admiration, because not only was I not afraid of it, now it could DO something.


@Craftastrophies: Maybe email a teacher first to find out her opinion regarding bodysnark?

I loved my bellydance classes...until my teacher started in on the snarking. But she was a rare and cranky exception to the common love of a variety of bodies found in bellydance classes, I swear!

Give it a try--I think you might really, really love it!


@OxfordComma That is an excellent idea. The place I am thinking of signing up for has a couple of teachers who are... well, I wouldn't consider them to be very large, but I guess they are probably technically overweight. And they do not have flat bellies. So that's encouraging, although they do wear costumes with body-stocking middles, which I find a bit disconcerting? So perhaps I will email and ask, and then at least I have something to tell myself at the first class if I am feeling anxious about it - they said it was fine, etc.

PS <3 you, Oxford Comma.


@Craftastrophies : I think it will go a long way towards easing your (understandable!) nervousness.

Some dancers wear a sheer midriff garment to see their movements better (sounds crazy, but it *can* work), and some do it to keep their wobbly bits less wobbly.

And <3 you back, lady! Let me know how it goes, okay?


@Craftastrophies This is super old BUT most bellydancers I've seen in my city rock a squishy belly and several are definitely on the fluffy side. I say go and see if you like it!

Artressa Vandelay

It really is an insane upper body work out. I do my share of resistance training, but man, was my arm sore when I took a few spins for the first time.

Party Falcon

Best Time I Ever Got My Friends Two-Margarita Drunk at Applebee's and Took Them to 'Pilates'.

Surprise ending? They're still my friends.


@Party Falcon Two-Margarita Drunk me would never go to Pilates. Pole dancing class, though... remains to be seen.

Party Falcon

@SarahP They were both super into pilates and the class was at what was usually a pilates studio. So, you know, not a ton of trickeration. Or lying, even. Really.

Also, I was goddamn terrible, but I had a good time.

Party Falcon

@Party Falcon

Threadjack:I've always felt a little loser-y that I couldn't nail down my perfect my Six Word Memoir. But dude, this is it:

I was terrible, but I had a good time.

(Okay fine, 9 words. But it's perfect.)


@Party Falcon Totally worth the extra 3 words.


@Party Falcon I am going to steal this as my mantra to aspire to. I hate being terrible at things, especially physical things they give my anxiety. But it's holding me back, Party Falcon. Party Falcon, will you be my Party mentor? (The position requires only that you be your fine self).

Was it trickery of the How to lose a Guy in 10 Days kind, where she tells him she has Tickets for the stadium, and they turn out to be for Celine Dion?

Party Falcon

@Craftastrophies I will totally be your Party Mentor. Or Party Coach. Or Party Sponsor. Or Party Cheerleader. Whatever, we can work on titles later.

Anyhoodle, you, m'dear are awesome, I'm quite sure. So go someplace and shake your ass. Move your body and don't be perfect. Do the bellydancing thing you mentioneb up thread. Kickball, maybe? Hell, just go to the loudest, trashiest dance club, bring a friend or two, do a couple of shots and dance like you are the hottest piece of ass in the room. It'll be fun. Laugh at yourself! (And if you live in Indiana, I will totally do all of those things with you AND lend you my best sparkly tank top.)


@Party Falcon Yay! I have just found a promising belly dancing studio. I've missed half a term, so I have until end of March to get ready for the next one. I am signing up. I will be scared and terrible, but whatever. I will stick out one term and if I hate it I don't have to go back, but I must go for the whole term.

Also looking into swing dancing, but need my partner to be on board for that, which he is, but he's just started term again so I'll bring it up in a couple of weeks. I've set calendar reminders for both of these things and I am telling you here so I can't chicken out.

I am the worst dancer, I am so self conscious. It wasn't too bad until I went to China. Before then I was like 'whatever, no one is even watching you' but in China they WERE because I was the only roundeye in the room. Horrifying. Also, I find clubs overstimulating and unpleasant, in general, but that doesn't mean there are not many places I can move my body and have fun. Hooray! I am getting pretty good at laughing at myself, but I have all these issues with doing physical things in front of people, because of being the fat kid in gym class, and still being the fat one. Some people are always looking at you just waiting for you to fall on your face/ass. Well, fuck them. And also, they are not everyone so I just need to chill out about it.

Also, I like the way your mantra could read as 'I was terrible (Muriel)'.

Party Falcon

@Craftastrophies Only assholes are staring and waiting for you to fail, because they're too self-conscious to even try.

(Lest you think to deify Party Falcon, I only know that's true because I used to be that asshole. Which, I think if we were all honest, I think we've ALL been that asshole.)

Regardless, yay you! Find me when you start, email me if you chicken out, and then regale me of tales of your belly-circling fabulousness!

(Also, FYI, Party Falcon has been so many sizes in her life. My current form is plus sized and boobtacular. Never been happier.)


@Craftastrophies Oo! Do swing, it is great! Most classes you don't need to take a partner so you could start going even if your fellow is busy at the moment.



@Party Falcon I have now told some meatspace people that I intend to do this, in order to pressure myself into it, even more. Also, I'm STILL sometimes that asshole, and then I have to give myself a mental slap upside the head.

Daria Morgendorffer

@Party Falcon I feel like the assholes staring and waiting for you to fall are also the people who are great at dancing, and also super judgmental.


@Party Falcon "I was truly terrible. Good times."

If we're playing loose with the 6-word rule, though, I prefer "I was terrible at it. Good times." because this way it can't be confused with an "I was terrible to someone" sentiment.


I tried a class once at Crunch with a bunch of moms who had the afternoon off and at one point I had to bend down and gaze seductively from between my legs - behind me was a mirror that revealed so many things about my butt that it truly shattered me to the core. I had no idea it looked like that, and I haven't been quite the same ever since...


@parallel-lines Yeah, my experience has been that the athletic type stuff made me feel awesome. The "okay, now look over your shoulder like there's the sexiest man in the room" bit... awkward.


Seems only natural that I read your blog as "worldsofass."


@joythemanatee I only realized it wasn't that when I read your comment. I just thought "Oh, she wasn't joking about liking butts" and moved on.


@steponitvelma Me to. Exactly the same.


I wish I could remember what Korean music video I was watching that had the most pathetic booty bounce ever, but that is what it would look like if I tried to booty bounce. There is just not enough booty.


I took a pole dancing class and the teacher's name was Sharon Polsky. Born to teach the art of the pole?

Judith Slutler

Butts. Seriously.

I spent a couple of hours clicking through Big Freedia videos last year and it changed my life!


I've been doing pole for almost a year now and I'm absolutely in love and I have a pole in my living room and ahhhh does anyone want to come over and pole dance because it is SO MUCH FUN


@Jaya oh man, a pole jam sounds awesome... my sister just got one!!! I can't wait to have a ho-down in her basement.


@teenie Hah yes!! I just had a class from this woman. This is what I want to be. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Je0NXCR5DT4


@Jaya SO. GOOD.


@Jaya yes please! I have appropriate footwear!


@Jaya A friend of mine has a pole in her room and it's SO FREAKING FUN.

One time we were all hanging out, drunkenly spinning around her pole when my husband and his friends stopped by. They immediately commenced attempting pole tricks and I laughed so hard that I peed a little bit; it was amazing. Also... they were pretty good!


@Megoon The best part is watching my boyfriend try to give me sexy dances while we're watching TV. Though I'm not one to talk. I kicked him in the face once while attempting a corkscrew spin. Oops.


@Jaya I was just telling my boyfriend about the bar we used to go to in China that had pole dancing stations. Can I put in a good word for male pole dancing. It can be GOOD.

The Silver Lining

@Jaya http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-16736937

Bus Driver Stu Benedict

@The Silver Lining I was coming here to post that


I think I could maybe one day try something like this IF I had a friend with me. Boston 'pinners? WHO'S IN?

Daisy Razor

@SarahP Me. I'm in. I have always wanted to, but I've been too chickens hit to do it alone. I mean, read this bio and tell me you don't want this woman teaching you everything she knows: http://www.gypsyrosedancing.com/about-wendy


@Daisy Razor Be careful, I wasn't actually kidding. And that bio is awesome! And the pictures at the bottom! I die!

@SarahP I'M SO IN. I'm serious!!! Boston 'pinners, we need to do this, YESTERDAY.

Daisy Razor

@SarahP @S. Elizabeth Are y'all going to the next Boston pin-up? If so, we can plot there.

@Daisy Razor Okay seriously, how do I find out about these things? Because apparently I'm on some email list and I never get emails from it, and I'm frustrated that pinups aren't getting posted anywhere. How do I find out about these things? #frustrated


@SarahP I am DOWN for this, I love the idea of sexy exercise/sexercise



Man, those photos. The greatest.


@SarahP I registered JUST so I could RSVP yes to this!!! (true story) but I totally want to do this.

No, I'm serious. When is the next 'pinup?

Daisy Razor

@S. Elizabeth It's looking like 2/18? If you click "Hairpin Meetups" at the top of the page, you should see the Boston thread.


@Daisy Razor Whaaaat, I just missed the NYC pinup by a week! Why didn't anyone tell me ooooh I've made an idiot of myself.

nevernude cutoffs

@SarahP Hi Boston 'pinners! I missed out on this last year, because I bought a living social deal for a pole dancing class in Charlestown and never used it. But if a fun group of ladies want to be pals and go with me, I am SO DOWN. (And yes, I have hilarious appropriate footwear.)


I am psyched so many people are psyched about this! UM but not about the pinup being on the 18th, since my family's in town then so I can't hang out. Any of you who haven't already should join the google group, though, so we can be in touch about this.


@Craftastrophies Also, why don't you live in Boston? Think how much we could hang out.


@SarahP Guys guys guys! I was in GIRL SCOUTS with Wendy! That is all.


After my fiance dumped me and crushed my self-esteem years ago, I got into fitness pole dancing and it TOTALLY got me over the hump. I even had a 16' custom pole installed in my studio apartment (vaulted ceiling). These days I guess I have some mixed feelings about the "porno-chic" thing, but admittedly those classes made me feel sexy again.

My teacher (former stripper and, btw, Jenna Haze was in a class with me... now that's LEGIT) taught me three very important things that are key to poledancing:

1) Act like your hair is very very very heavy. It's so heavy that it's hard to pick up your head and you sort of have to fling your hair around.
2) Booty first, always. Getting up, squatting down, finishing a spin. ASS first.
3) Don't move to the beat, but rather move slowly to the sexy energy of the song.

Kinda miss it. Glad you had a good time, Molly!

World of Sass

@battlestarlet Love this. Thalia said at the beginning of class that instead of using counts for choreography, she just encourages people to move to their own rhythm with the song. Doing so was so freeing and fun. As for "porno chic," I'm pretty sure that term is a complete fabrication/provocation of Simon Doonan and therefore has no bearing on anything in real life. On a related note, ASS FIRST is my new mantra.


@MollyReid 'I enjoy life... ASS FIRST' 'I really throw myself into things... ASS FIRST' 'I'm pretty tired, why don't we just cuddle... ASS FIRST'.

The best mantra.


@Craftastrophies Oh man, I've got a big presentation coming up. Better get into it... ASS FIRST


@Danzig! AW YEAH.

PS is it weird if I ask if you've had your drink with the... Czech? lady yet?


@Craftastrophies I have not yet! She texted me the day we were supposed to meet and said she was busy (and being inexperienced I'm thinking WHAT DOES THIS MEAN). Turns out the Cloisters close way early most days, anyway. If I don't see her tomorrow (when classes start) then I'll send off another text her way.

Thanks for checking in though :)


Hmn. I have mixed feelings about this one*, but I would probably try it, except there's no way I'd wear heels.

*As in, yes, a "second-wave, porn-wars feminist dilemma." The saving grace for me here is that it's not performed for an audience, but rather for one's OWN gaze.

World of Sass

@D.@twitter Exactly. And what I loved about this class -- and should have made explicit in the article -- was that Thalia never mentioned anything about male approval. There was no "won't your boyfriend LOVE THIS???" It was all about working out, tuning into your body and the music, checking out/laughing at yourself and having fun.


@MollyReid So, so true! I took a few classes with a woman named "Star" who would come straggling in with thigh-high pink patent pleather boots, unkempt hair, and last night's makeup on, but that didn't stop her from making me feel like a million bucks while laughing at yourself the whole time. It's the last place you'd expect to feel empowered, but somehow, bizarrely, you do. And Star also made no mention of impressing the male gender. It was all about you.


I love this! I was once convinced to to a Living Social deal for a stripping class at StripXpertise and we learned the MOST ridiculous move called the 'Reverse Head' wherein we were instructed to kneel in front of a sitting guy and rub our foreheads back & forth over his crotch, moving our heads in a motion "Like Stevie Wonder." Stevie Wonder! Anyway it was amazing/horrifying/mostly amazing and now I have to try pole dancing too!

Party Falcon

@LizHo That is ... an illustrative description.

Das Rad

@LizHo Was the "Like Stevie Wonder" just a descriptor for the head motion, or for the entire move? Because right now I'm picturing Stevie Wonder rubbing his forehead on my crotch...


@LizHo Yeah, I would probably walk out if someone told me to do that, not gonna lie. Glad you had fun though!


@bitzyboozer @Das Rad - For the head motion! It was SO surreal. An image impossible to burn from your brain!

Jon Custer

Wait, is this the same Molly that... oh, nevermind.


I don't think I could participate in a fitness class, or anything in public, where the instructor used the word "coochie." Maybe I'm a prude, but: gross!


I dunno, I feel like you can only do this when you're aged 28+ when it's kind of goofy and ironic. At only 19, I'm sure everyone would just start calling me a whore behind my back.


(Ugh, you guys, you know who's a real whore?)


(the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration...the seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sat...And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigns over the kings of the earth. That woman's a real whore.)

World of Sass

@TheGenYgirl Noooooo that's just ceding power to the haters! There will always be numbskulls who attach all sorts of motives to a woman's desire to look or act sexy, even if she's 28+ and doing it once a week for a laugh, so why even give a fuck? You don't have to explain yourself to anybody, especially people who would judge you on your exercise preferences.


@TheGenYgirl I started when I was maybe 17? I don't even know now, but I vividly remember arriving and the class being mainly middle-aged ladies going to have some fun. There wasn't any shame to it though! As for other people, there were a handful of creepy guys who were idiots about it, especially as at the time here in Australia it really hadn't taken off at all. For a while people were spreading rumours that I was a stripper (presumably after hearing I did poledancing?!) and I told them there was no way I'd be working my shitty high-school jobs if I was making that sort of money! Anyway, my advice would be just don't tell people if you're not comfortable, but from my experience people ultimately don't really care/get over it quickly and support you.


yo guys, 28+ is um, not that old so to say that it would be goofy and ironic ... does not compute?

i am sure there are plenty of 28 year old women who do it and look/feel completely fierce while pole dancing, and also, i hope to be one of them.


@redheadedandcrazy No, I don't mean that 28+ is old, but I have the impression that most people view young, twenty something women as somewhat obnoxious and dangerous. Maybe this is a perspective badly shaped by too much Sex and the City at too young an age, but anyhow, that was the idea behind my comment.


@TheGenYgirl I took classes when I was 28, and my sessions tended to be full of mid-to-late 20s and early-30s looking ladies of all shapes, colors, and sizes, but there were definitely a few young 'uns in there. Nobody blinked an eye.


@melis : HA!!!


@TheGenYgirl : Lady. No.

Be your own awesome, not-obnoxious, and only-dangerous-when-it-adds-to-your-awesome self, and just let that kind of criticism roll off of you.

Take pole classes if you want to. Exercise caution about with whom you discuss said classes (ie: prolly not your boss), but enjoy the hell out of them. :)


@TheGenYgirl so what if they do? it doesn't actually make you one. And if you were a whore...well, that's ok too. Do what you want.


@heyits Amen.

I really hate the phrase 'he treats me like a whore' (or whatever variation). Because... it's ok to treat sex worker's that way? I don't think so.


@Craftastrophies I know. Sex workers = people. Just like me. and you.

Valley Girl

This sounds great! I've always had this fantasy of pole dancing to ACDC...One day. In the meantime I am watching the HELL out of those Twerk Team videos.

I know some of y'all are Drag Racers...Did you see Kenya Michaels dropping it on the premiere? On fire.

World of Sass

@Valley Girl The new Yara Sofia! Fantastic. Also, since you mentioned Drag Race and my roommate just sent this to me, here's a delightful piece on Ru: http://www.thedaily.com/page/2012/02/01/020112-arts-tv-rupaul-1-5/
This part is particularly relevant to this thread: "I’m not this body. I’ve had a great time with this body. It’s fabulous, it’s beautiful, and everybody’s is beautiful. I want to drive the bad-ass car around the block. I want to see what it can do. It would be a shame to own a big, beautiful gorgeous car and not use all the things it can do.”


@Valley Girl i just watched s2 and 3, i love it. my faves are raven and alexis!


@Valley Girl Kenya is on fiyaaa!!! also, are you forgetting the episode from season two where they all pole danced? so amazing.

Creature Cheeseman

Where did you do this class? I want it!

World of Sass

@Creature Cheeseman The studio (locally owned) is called Bodies in Motion and is located in Metairie. (I'm not affiliated with them in any way.)


I only went to a strip joint once, for a friend's bachelor party (his fiancee called in the middle of the dance to check in, it was weird!) but it was one of the good ones! The upper body strength on these women! THEY WERE WALKING ON THE CEILING. It was amazing.

They had the big gaudy plastic platform heels, too, but they served a practical purpose - after a routine they would spread and then *CLACK* the thick heels together, which is very loud, loud enough for stupefied drunk bros to snap out of it and realize hey, it's time to pay up.


So, when I read "sing the body electric," my mind went to Fame before it went to Whitman.... *looks awkwardly at floor*

rhapsody in bleu

Sooooo.... am I really going to be the first to comment on those awesome booty popping videos that Molly posted? Holy frack -- those butts! So hypnotizing. I can't stop watching!

World of Sass

@lucydances Oh man, the hours I've spent in bounce video K-holes...


Am I the only person who didn’t like it very much? I love the idea of it and I love to dance (and am pretty good at it, I think) but the pole dancing class was not that great. I have really sweaty hands so I basically could not hold onto the pole which was incredibly embarrassing. But even more so than that, I just came away completely covered in bruises, like COMPLETELY, and it took over two weeks for them to go away, and by the time they had all gone away I had lost the desire to go back and get re-bruised.


@Ellie The bruises definitely are in the "Con" column. It's insane how banged up you get.


@Ellie there are plenty of products to help your hands stick, like mighty grip, or you can use weightlifting gloves. for me, the bruises are a sign of accomplishment! i recently learned how to invert and i have these crazy bruises on my inner thigh from holding, but i'm loving every one of them because they indicate that i can hang upside down on a pole without hands, something i never thought i could do when i first started pole. :)


God, I would love to do this, but sadly I have a busted ankle complete with plate and screws holding it all together, and I'm really unsteady to start with, so I am afraid that they would make me buy stripper heels and I would fall and injure myself just walking around the room. Can I maybe just learn it through osmosis?


@Anji i highly doubt anybody will make you buy heels if you don't want to. lots of professional pole dancers compete barefoot. in fact, some competitions ban shoes :)


My gym evidently has a pretty good pole dancing class, which is made better by the fact that it used to be a school. I've always been a little sad that as a dude I don't think I'd ever feel comfortable taking the class. My girlfriend, a bunch of friends and I went to a strip club for the first time a few weeks ago and we've all been fascinated ever since. My girlfriend and I have spent quite a bit of time trying to figure out a move we call the Booty Quadrant.


I went to a pole-dancing bachelorette party with some of my closest friends, and we had an AMAZING time.

One of my favorite things about pole is just how sassy those 7" heels make my ass look--it's like you can't help but let it wiggle!

I kinda want to take a couple of real pole classes now that I've been doing Crossfit and hand-balancing--I know my upper body strength is waaaay better than it used to be. For serious, pole work = super arms.

Kenna Hopkins@facebook

I fully agree that pole dancing can be a good contributor to women’s health and self-confidence. I also firmly believe that every woman deserves to look in the mirror and be completely happy with the image she sees! We all need to embrace what we have been blessed with and learn to love ourselves even in our flaws. If spinning around a pole can allow for us to feel more confident and sexy then I am all for it. Although I agree with Reid’s blog I understand that pole dancing may not be beneficial to every woman who tries it! Each of us have are different shapes and sizes and our bodies react in different ways. This is why I encourage everyone to TRY it out! If you don’t like it then at least you gave it a shot eh? There are many other activities that can boost self-confidence and suffice for a good work out, but I say, why not try pole dancing too?

Cassandra Croucher@facebook

Molly, your witty account of pole dancing has totally made me want to give it a crack! I'm signing top for a class!

To all those avid fit pole dancers, do you bring heels with you to class or is it done with bare feet?


Pole Dancing Poles@twitter

Hi Molly,
I love your tale of your first pole experience. I've included it in a round-up of pole dancing virgin's first times on my blog to help inspire others who are to scared to give it a go. Thanks for your great writing!
Caitlin x

Zeki Yol@facebook

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