Let’s hear it for the boy!

All Shapes and Sizes

All Shapes and Sizes – Comic from July 1st, 2013

“What’s the big deal?”

That’s the question I ask when it comes to men and pole dancing. I don’t understand why some studios feel the need to exclude men from joining our studios and our classes. I’ll check a site and and it’s explicit on the FAQ Page. “Sorry, no men allowed!” It seems unfair to assume that men don’t need to share in our “safe space” of sensual and erotic expression. It’s no secret that men enjoy sexual and erotic content from sources like tubev sex Chinese, so why can’t they be allowed to participate in pole dancing as well as girls? What if that’s what they want too? What if they want to join in as we learn hip rolls, hair flips, shoulder rolls and aerial tricks?

10 years ago, I had just moved to Los Angeles and I was looking for an activity to do. My beau used to break dance often and I would come with him to his practice spots. My favorite was always Justice by Uniting in Creative Energy J.U.I.C.E. I was a wide-eyed, bushy tailed college student, nerdy with glasses on and I definitely didn’t look like I belonged in the underground hip-hop dance scene in MacArthur park. And yet, as the weeks went by, I met his friends and they welcomed me. They dragged me from the corner I sat at and taught me how to 6-step, top rock and baby freeze. I had a BLAST! One of those friends was Krazy Kujo, world-famous breakdancer and now a popular Chinese Pole artist. It was such a warm welcome. I learned that how I looked and my gender was not going to be a factor if I really wanted to learn how to break dance.

Back to the present, I’m now a dedicated pole dancer. I’ve been in a few classes where I’ll see a guy with a dancer’s body saunter in and I won’t bat an eyelash. Deep down, I’m excited! I think to myself: “Has he pole danced before?” “I wonder what he’ll think of it!” “Yikes. Maybe he’s really good. I can’t wait to see what he does!” But the fact he has a penis doesn’t make me uncomfortable. But I’ll look around the room and I’ll see worry flash in someone’s eyes. Someone will cast a shy glance downward as they walk by. I’ll sigh exasperatedly.

Maybe for some, it’s the idea that we’ll be in our skivvies in front of a man that makes us squirm. Maybe we’re afraid of showing our sensual side in front of a stranger of the opposite gender. For some, it’s those same awkward jitters you get on your first day of pole dance class when you’re told that shorts are required uniform. Remember when you were nervous to be exposed and vulnerable in front of other women. How much more in front of someone of the opposite sex? Is that the deal?

When I recall how welcomed I was to break dancing, an art form that was so foreign to me, I remember to extend that hospitality when faced with men who want to try pole dancing. Leave the stereotypes at the door. I don’t understand why a man should be denied admittance to a pole class. In my mind, it’s not a girl’s only club.

What are your thoughts about men joining in your pole dance classes? Do you have a good reason as to why men should not be welcome? What’s your take on having only certain classes open to men?

To close, I want to share my three favorite male pole dancers:

Josiah “Bad Azz” Grant

Suwasit

Krazy Kujo (Chinese Pole)

This post is part of our entry for the “Pole Dancing Bloggers Association” February 2014 Blog Hop on the topic, “Pole Dancing & Men.”

8 thoughts on “Let’s hear it for the boy!

  1. I 100% agree with you on this. I LOVE pole with a passion, and if a guy wants to experience that same feeling of being part of the awesome community that pole is, who are we to deny him that?

  2. The studio that I go to, Polecats Manila (in the Philippines), has a Men’s class – the pole tigers! They are also welcome to join the mixed level pole classes. 🙂

  3. In theory, I agree with you, but in practice, I know I would never have found the opportunity to love pole if the classes had been mixed. Much of my self- esteem and body issues have a link to the way I think I appear to the opposite sex, and the women- only environment is somewhere where I’ve been able to feel safe and grow in my confidence.

    It tugs at my sensibilities about what is right and fair, especially if I think about turning the tables and there being men only dance studios refusing admission to women. But I’m very grateful to have my women’s only classes, and I’m glad that it’s an option.

  4. I personally don’t have an issue with men being in a class, as long as they are respectful and are there for pure reasons; I think the issue is not only about how women feel about their bodies, sensabilities or energy being exposed to a man’s, but how intimate they feel pole dancing is as an art form. I had a conversation about this with one of my classmates, and she is absolutely opposed to having men in the classroom, for the simple fact that she does not want to share that aspect of herself with a male outside of her husband. I understand that sentiment and respect it. I don’t think men in the classroom shouldn’t be forced on any woman that isn’t comfortable with it. Besides there maybe serious, underlying reasons why a woman may not be. And maybe she needs time to work through it.There is nothing wrong with having unisex classes and gender specific classes; when a woman is ready and willing to be in a class with men, then she will be.

  5. I love it when guys join the class. Many of the girls bring their male friends, boyfriends, or husbands and the instructors always try to cater to everyone’s tastes. I find it weird that some studios are exclusively for women. The rule at my studio is that men are allowed in if they participate and not gawk. Although, everyone is free to watch in amazement when someone executes an advanced move. 🙂

  6. Thank you so much for posting this!
    I am a male circus performer, mostly performing on an apparatus called the cyr wheel. I have been really interested in trying out fitness pole; sadly all the places that I have inquired about are ladies only.
    I can understand reasons why to hold women only classes; needs for personal growth, significant others, I can imagine even some skills are more ladies friendly. I also agree with the comment by RS, I also do not think that men should be forced on women. Joining a co-ed class or a ladies only class should be an option. To disclude males completely from a studio though? I just don’t understand that logic, it’s discriminative and frankly hurtful. I guarantee that the men wishing to join pole classes are doing it for very similar reason; fitness, wanting to feel attractive ( or sexy) in ones body, and maybe even a little showing off. I would imagine that men participating for the wrong reasons would be quickly weeded out by challenges and bruises of this sport.

  7. Many studios exclude men because they say there are few men interested in pole. But by excluding at the start Are you not hiding the fact that pole can be for men and creating the problem? Anyone remember when aerobics classes were for women only? Now there are almost always men in the fitness classes.
    By shutting out half of the population, it limits expanding pole dancing as a sport and art form.

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