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Pole dancing.  It's the new rage and classes are filling up in record speed as women, young and old, are flocking to learn an art form as old as time.  

When I first heard about this latest trend, I recoiled.  Isn't this a step backwards for women?  Haven't we fought long and hard to not be seen as sexual objects?  Have those of us who burned our bras and joined the ERA (does the ERA still even exist?) completely lost our minds if we even contemplate signing up for one of these classes?  Haven't we worked hard to stop the objectification of women and were diligent in teaching our daughters that they would be wiser to invest in their intellect rather than a piece of metal designed primarily for the pleasure of men?

Or am I simply old-fashioned and repression is at the heart of my revulsion?  Is this a generational thing, a sign that I truly am getting older and am no longer able to comprehend the social trends of the young and reckless?  This could be the case except women my age are signing up for these classes in droves.

I first got a whiff of this pole dancing sensation when visiting my two twenty-something sons in California.  They told me they have a friend who is a "great guy" who keeps a strip pole in his basement.  This young male loves to meet women in bars and bring them back to his home so they can dance for him.  He has never had a shortage of willing young women (have they never seen "Silence of the Lambs" or "Looking for Mr. Goodbar?).  I expressed dismay and my sons waved me off like a Victorian prude.  

My two twenty-something daughters signed up for pole dancing classes and loved them.  They said it was a blast and a great workout.  Who am I to judge, but still, my stomach was unsettled.

This past week, my husband and I went to the home of a single middle-age man for dinner.  When our friend excused himself for a moment, my husband leaned over to me and whispered, "Oh, Sam removed the strip pole that was standing smack in the middle of the kitchen.  Maybe he thought it would offend you."

Offend me?  I wouldn't say it would offend me.  But to be totally honest, if I had seen a strip pole in the middle of this guy's kitchen, I would have lost my appetite and wondered all evening if there would be expectations of me stripping on the spot.

This past weekend, one of my daughters organized a "party bus" to go to a concert in Denver with a large group of friends.  She said the bus came inclusive of a strip pole situated at the front of the bus.  WTH?

Strip poles have become mainstream!

What is more disconcerting is that given the examples I listed above, the only consistent theme is ME and my disapproval.  So clearly the problem isn't with the strip pole dancing, it's with my discomfort with it.  Right?

Ironically, the older I get, the less opinionated I am.  My mid-life has been a renaissance time in my life, a time of reinvention, daring to go places I've never dared to go before.

But this?  I have two close girlfriends who are egging me on to go to one of these classes with them.  So why not?  Why not explore my inner vixen, my hidden temptress, my seductive side?  Why not don some fishnet stockings, high heels, mega-Victoria Secret maxi-push up bras, adorned with pasties that promise to surprise and tease?

I may be old enough to be a grandmother, but I'm still young enough to slide up and down the shiny shimmery metal of a pole with the background gyrations of music that would prompt me to go wild and forget every feminist principle I've believed in.

Or is it the ultimate feminist liberation to do whatever I damn well please, and if that includes a love affair with an inanimate object, so what?

I've learned to text, twitter, Facebook and LinkIn.  I've always vowed that as I aged I would never get old in the way that I think.  My life has been full of surprises, twists and turns.  And wouldn't it be ironic if learning to be a big tease were the biggest liberation of all?

Only one thing is stopping me. It's that feeling in my gut that learning to strip pole dance would be acquiescing to the primal desires of the unsatisfied male, not to mention the aches and pains that would be sure to torment me after the first class.

But then again, there are times when one shouldn't over think things so much and just go for it, just for the hell of it.  Surely there would be no harm in checking on upcoming classes.

To be continued.

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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mztracy wrote Aug 9, 2010
    • If I could I so would!! Woo hoo!  



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Lisa Middlesworth wrote Aug 9, 2010
    • Go have your love affair with this shiny silver pole. Enjoy the new experience and let yourself be free to enjoy the experience.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Denise Richardson wrote Aug 9, 2010
    • If I ever get the home I want I plan on having a pole installed in my bedroom. "LET THE GAMES BEGIN! LOL"



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Lesa Townsend wrote Aug 10, 2010
    • Check out the videos at
      flirty girl fitness dot com

      The women in the videos are having fun and obviously doing the routines for themselves, not for any potential male audience.

      Sexy dancing, at its heart, is about the woman owning her inner sexual energy and then expressing it to the world.  Our sexual energy comes from the same place as our creative energy, so the more you are open to the sexual energy, the more creative you can be in the rest of your life.

      Don’t let the enthusiasm of men stop you from expressing your inherent feminine beauty and sexiness.  Do it for you.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Marya1961 wrote Aug 11, 2010
    • According to my hub once our basement is a finished rec room, there will be a pole installed right smack near the bar..should make for an interesting evening..happy  Enjoy those moments, they only come around once in a lifetime!estatic



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Susan Haley wrote Aug 12, 2010
    • Amazing! Your columns always make me laugh. Providing laughs is a gift in itself. Go for it! What the heck!

      The only thing that scares me off is getting in a rather provacative position and locking up. :) Talk about a comedy of errors. I’m doin’ good to walk without stumbling into walls! Sad, too, because I used to be quite the dancer, or was that ‘rocker‘. Rock and Roll fed my energy. I’m afraid rockin’ now would have rollin’ on the floor in grotesque grappling to re-stand. :))

      When’s the next installment?

      Best,
      Susan Haley



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Kathryn O'Hara wrote Aug 13, 2010
    • How funny!  My 20 something daughters also pole dance.  They don’t do it for guys, although they can and have.  They do it because they enjoy it.  But I am with you.  It ain’t my cup of tea.  I do love belly dancing, though and find that much more enjoyable and erotic than using a stupid pole.  I don’t NEED a pole...I can shimmy all by myself!  A pole is a crutch needed by the young and insecure...



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Susan Haley wrote Aug 13, 2010
    • Atta girl, Missuso!

      We didn’t need poles in our day! I love to dance and still do at home when no one can see me fall with dizziness! And I still jam 80’s rock and roll in my car, too! I’ll never grow old in my head. The bod, tho, balks on occasion!

      Have a shimmying weekend!
      :)
      Susan



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