This post is unlike anything I ever imagined myself writing because I haven’t even talked about it much. Now I’m telling the ENTIRE internet, but I think it’s important for me to talk about and important for you to listen. This post touches on my opinions of strippers vs nonstrippers and how these opinions have changed.
What even prompted me to write this? 100% because of the Women’s March (also OMG Halsey.) from this past weekend and the unapologetic boldness of Gymnastic Olympian, Aly Raisman.
You guys, these videos had me in tears. Almost all the comments were so supportive, which was amazing.
We all know that online support from strangers can be quite powerful. But unfortunately, it can also be true that we, females, can also have the MEANEST words. Backstabbing stuff, you know?
So I urge you to take this little experience of mine and all this rambling into your own life and make it your own.
Now let’s get onto this personal story about pole, my opinion of strippers, and how it has changed…
Obviously by this point you know I pole, and often times when pole comes up in random conversations, it is either a conversation sparked out of pure interest, or it’s sexualized. When the conversation turns to the latter, it was common practice for me to defend my personal dance style and turn then conversation away from pole.
I had been poling and training seriously for about 1.5 years before I stepped away due to injury. During this training period, I wanted nothing to do with the other side of pole – strippers and sex work – but only the modern and contemporary flow side of pole.
The other side never appealed to me because I was scared of others’ opinions. I was scared that if I associated myself with strippers and heels, friends and family would not take my dance background and pole explorations seriously. This dance background told me it was okay to do pole ONLY if I wanted to modernize it and make it more artistic, athletic, and flowy. Some time passed, and I hadn’t touched the pole for my own enjoyment. When I finally recovered, this little voice popped into my head. It went something like this:
“You should go to a strip club because YOLO. Be a stripper for just one song. You’ve never been. What do you have to lose?”
(PS: if you’re a future employer reading this, hey, hello what’s up! Enjoy the read, Ma’am//Sir.)
And you guys… the serious version of me would have told the little voice to GO AWAY, but guess what happened? A friend and I went to this strip club.
When I walked in I basically shriveled up within myself. I just stared and observed the dancer on stage for about 20 seconds, almost flaking and running out, but decided I had to stay. I marched my booty up to the DJ booth and asked how to get the OK to use the two stage poles.
Talk to the manager? You got it, homie. So off I went to the manager, and before I knew it I was giving the DJ my song request. I requested Mad by Solange – a totally different genre from the other songs playing before mine.
And in case you’re curious about how it went?
It was hands down the hardest dance performance I’ve EVER given, not because I was unprepared, but because I had to channel my inner sexy (and I have to mention, with my sundress and nike spandex (lol))… and channeling sexy is something I rarely do (but, goals.). To be completely honest, I never felt more awkward on stage.
I gave myself a two second pep talk and then the adrenaline kicked in. This was me finally finding my lady balls. I’m glad to say it ended up being okay.
As I look back and reflect, I realize it was one of the most empowering things I’ve done. ALSO, I want to mention that after my performance I talked to one of the girls who went on after me, and later said said I should be her dance partner. Flattered??!! Duh.
This little voice that got me on stage ultimately changed my entire perspective of strippers.
Although I don’t believe it’s something I’d do again, I’m glad I got up there and had an open conversation afterwards.
Connecting, instead of judging is ALWAYS the way to go. You don’t know anyone’s story, motives, or goals just by looking and stereotyping. Of course I’m guilty of it, but it’s moments like this that help me realize how powerful it is to be open to conversation.
I feel so inspired by the strength of those who hold a public voice. As for me? I hope my experience nudges you NOT to judge so quickly, especially when it comes to activities you aren’t familiar with.
Basically the point is this:
Do not be quick to judge. Put yourself in someone else’s shoes. Empathize, even if your specific situation is a million times different than the other person’s… listen with your two ears. Just open up the conversation. You don’t have to agree to everything, but understand that people choose to do things because it works for them. Listen to people’s stories, experience adventure, and agree to disagree.
In the end, we can only grow and become a force if we support one another. Please go be a kind and genuine human today. 😚