Monday, June 29, 2015

I’m a Stripper, Not a Pole Fitness Instructor

OK, all you pole fitness instructors out there, we get it. You’re not strippers.

“Not that I have anything against exotic dancers, but what they do is completely different to pole fitness and what the sport has developed into,” says Eleanor Mills in I'm a pole fitness instructor, not a stripper.

I suppose the media may be partially to blame, they see a way to tie Strippers to an article and they think it’ll get more views.

Why else do all the articles about pole dancing studios have titles like: I’m not a stripper’: Maine pole dancing class aimed at fitness.

And you have to have your “I’m not a stripper” quote nestled in there.

“The energy here, the vibe, is integrity, art, dance, fitness passion — there’s no type of stripper vibe,” said 207 Pole Fitness student Buffie McLaskey. “As you can see, I’m not a stripper. I’m just a regular person.”

Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

I feel like I’m stuck inside the Seinfeld episode “The Outing” every time I read an article about pole fitness.

Of course, in the episode, the saying, "… not that there's anything wrong with that,” was referring to homosexuality, not strippers.

Throughout the episode, Jerry and George, and most of the other characters, fear being seen as homosexual, yet also feel guilty and afraid they will be perceived as homophobic…Seinfeld has stated that he is particularly proud of the episode, saying that it simultaneously satirizes both homophobia and excessive political correctness.

Listen, if what you’re saying in real life needs to be followed up quickly by “…not that there’s anything wrong with that,” then obviously, you think there is something wrong with it, or you wouldn’t mind having that “that” associated with you.

So, I’m asking all the pole fitness dancers out there to just get off their high horses and admit that, yes, they don’t like being associated with strippers for a reason—because being a stripper is looked down upon. Because being a stripper is seen as trashy and disgusting.

But, twirling around on a pole in skimpy clothes with your pelvis the center of attraction is high and mighty. And athletic. And strong. And feminist.

But strippers? That’s completely different.

And you want the world to know that there’s a difference between you and them.

But, you want to be politically correct, too.

You want to be friends with everybody. I get it.

It’s a lot like the way when I say I was a stripper, I expect the next words out of the listener’s mouth to be, “Oh, you were a prostitute, huh?”

“What? No! I was an exotic dancer! There’s a big difference between what I did and what a hooker does,” I would often say. “But, I mean, not that I don’t think prostituting should be legal, I do. But it’s different. That’s not what I did.”

So perhaps it’s all a natural reaction for us to elevate ourselves above the “negatives” associated with our professions.

And perhaps it’s not all about political correctness, but really about honoring the choices that other women make, even if we would not ourselves make those same decisions.


  1. Anonymous5:58 PM

    These pole dancers are hypocrites. It's exactly as you say. How can they not see what they do as highly sexual? They're sliding up and down a phallic symbol spreading their legs as far as they can. I don't mind if they want to entertain this way or work out in this manner, but let's be honest. I find the feather dancers of 1920s burlesque to be tame by comparison.

    1. Thank you for your comment!

  2. Hear hear! This very topic has been spinning in my head it's such a relief to see it written with such articulation! Thanks for posting :)