Earlier this year, I did a lap dance performance for my fellow students at pole dancing class. I had been trying to raise awareness and secure donations for my friend's bike ride in the AIDS LifeCycle event. One of my classmates offered to donate $5 to the cause if I tried out some newly-learned lap dance skills on her. I donned my thigh high boots and swayed, sashayed and wiggled around on the floor -- all in the name of supporting a good cause (and came out of class with $41!). Within hours, I had it up on YouTube. I had hoped it would bring in a new population of donors that we just weren't able to reach with previous Facebook postings -- the straight male.
Later, my boyfriend commented that it was good that he was comfortable in our relationship and trusted me because some guys might not be very excited to see their girlfriend's sexy dance all over the internet. My initial internal reaction was: "Why would you care if I put a video like that on the internet?!" It never occurred to me to even ask him if he was comfortable with my posting. He is a secure guy and has never acted jealous before. I started pole dancing classes almost two years ago and I go to class all the time in clothes I'd never otherwise be seen wearing in public. He always kisses me goodbye and tells me to have fun with the twirly girls. His comment did remind me that pole dancing, and the sexiness that most instructors will teach you along with the fitness side, is still associated with stripping. I imagine the stereotype is that most men want their "lady in the streets, freaks in the sheets." What better way to get that than to get your girl to go to stripper class?!
And the end of the day, though, it takes a confident man (or woman) to allow their significant other to explore that sexy side. And by "allow," I mean they don't start a fight every time their love leaves for class. Even if you only want to learn how to do tricks on the pole, the connotation that pole dancing or pole fitness is stripping is still there. I know for myself, as much as I want to be strong and do tricks, learning how to be sensual and dance is important as well. It is a whole package in my eyes. And I need my man to understand that I am doing this for myself -- and maybe a little bit for him. My ultimate plan is not to work at the Crazy Horse (although, maybe if I had a little more rhythm, I'd consider it!). I am happy in the comfortable and safe setting of my studio or my home.
There is also a fine line to walk by having respect for your relationship. Each relationship is different but not everyone will be comfortable having their significant other shaking their money maker for strangers, even if only in class. If you are thinking about getting into pole dancing, but aren't sure how your significant other will react, start by bringing up the fitness aspect first. If they are stuck on the "stripper thing," try to move past it by saying that you have no intentions of becoming a stripper, and that this adventure is about you finding your sexy side and building your own confidence. That could translate into more fun for you as a couple. At the end of the day, it comes down to trust. Hopefully you are in a loving and trusting relationship so that you both can build each other up and support different interests and activities.
My boyfriend did say that he thought long and hard about whether he was comfortable with my lap dance video. Ultimately, he decided that he was okay with it. I wasn't stripping and I'm not bumping and grinding on strange men. Plus, he realized that asking me to stop what I'm doing would be like asking me to change my personality and he loves me -- all of me -- no matter how strange he sometimes thinks I am!