“Can you teach me how to pole dance!?” I’m asked for the third time this week by my friends, my boyfriends friends, and even strangers. “Sure!” I say with a smile, secretly scanning the room for a small corner to scream in. This isn’t the first time I’ve been asked by regular people to let them soak up the fruits of my labor for them to have a cool story to tell or a risqué snapchat to post nor will it be my last. I’m happy to oblige but only after some education on why this request is more than a little annoying.
Let’s say you make pizza for a living. You flip and flip and flip away tirelessly day in and day out, not for fun but to please hungry customers whom you don’t even particularly like anyway. This IS your job after all. Your paycheck depends on how well you make pizza. And let’s say in an alternate universe it is frowned upon to make pizza for a living. Only desperate, attention seeking, money hungry people make pizza. How entirely uncouth of you to want to make pizza instead of bartending, babysitting or wasting away in an office. Now imagine after you’ve mastered the perfect pizza toss all of your friends suddenly want you to teach them how to do it. They are elated to learn and brag and show their friends how they tossed a pizza for a night for fun, while all along you’ve been tossing the same pies for years while living under societies side eye JUST because you do it for money. See the frustration?
Not everyone hates strippers, but we are definitely not welcomed by society with open arms either. Some people are genuinely excited and sit starry eyed listening to my strip-capades and show every stranger at the bar my pole dancing videos while sticking up for me from hundreds of miles away, (shout out to my bitches, you know who you are.) Some women give me an “Oh that’s cool!” when they find out I’m a stripper while secretly hoping I never come within ten feet of their husbands. And some people STILL ask my boyfriend condescending questions behind my back as if they’re still not quite convinced that I’m not a total slut, con artist or alien. It’s not hard to pick up on people’s body language and I’m not oblivious to judgement, which is why most of the time I just stay home. So when someone asks me to teach them to pole dance it’s like a slap in the face. You mean you want me to teach you how to dance on a pole without all the physical, mental and social repercussions of being a stripper? Sure, let me get right on that.
This brings me to the subject of pole dancers. Man do I hate pole dancers. Dancing around in their little outfits, having their little pole challenges and all the while screaming “I’m not a whore, it’s OK because I’m not a stripper!” Please. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck… I’m not here to argue about the origins of pole dancing, or whether or not I hate the sport, the whole point is why am I still catching flak from suburbia while they’re being praised for it? Why is being a stripper such an abomination? You do realize we were all born naked and are naked right now under our clothes *gasp* and if religion hadn’t composed a social construct saying it is immoral to be naked there would be no such profession as stripping, right? You all created this monster. But I digress.
I really don’t hate pole dancers. I’ve actually met some awesome women who even frequent strip clubs to support their slightly less clothed pole sisters. I haven’t run across any totally hateful accounts in awhile, and maybe that’s because I only follow a select few, but apparently the Internet was so full of condemnation that Elle Stranger created the #yesastripper hashtag to combat the constant berating strippers receive. It’s a way to stand proudly as a stripper and to say yes, this is my job and I am valid. I guess suburban pole dancing housewives were getting so much hate that they felt the need to post #notastripper under their pole videos and flip the script to focus on the real problem: strippers. Oh, I’m sorry, did someone call you a whore? I eat whorie-o’s for breakfast, GTFO.
Nonetheless I’m not surprised when normal people want me to teach them to pole dance. It’s fun, risqué and not everyone does it (which has been the tone of my whole life by the way.) Anyone who knows me personally would stick up for me and I can say that confidently. I’m not worried about my friends, it’s the rest of the world from which I need deliverance. I’m not asking my friends to be some kind of stripper advocating vigilante, but if you hear someone speaking illy, please set the record straight. I just hope the same people who have the audacity to ask my boyfriend if it’s just as much fun to see my tits at home as it is in the club don’t have the audacity to ask me to come climb up my pole at home. No, you may not, but feel free to climb up a building and jump off it.