I feel like, considering all the stereotypes that surround pole dancing, I shouldn’t have to say this to my fellow pole dancers. But it’s obvious to me that it needs to be said because I see (or hear) it happening. Men who choose to pole dance should not be opening themselves up to speculation about whether or not they are gay. Taken on a more general level, you probably shouldn’t speculate at all whether or not any person is gay, because it’s none of your damn business. Because people are more than the sum of their sexuality. Because this is 2013 and I shouldn’t need to say any of this. But this blog is about pole. And I’ve heard people make comments about men who take up pole dancing. And it pisses me off. Pole dance is for everyone, and it has nothing to do with your sexual orientation. So please stop judging people based on your own narrow stereotypes.
That being said, I feel like there should be more co-ed classes. If pole dance is going to be taken seriously as a sport, it should be open to all people. I occasionally attend one of two co-ed classes in my studio, and every time I’m struck by the fact that if men want to take up pole, they are really limited on options. For a while before my homework ate my life I was training at the studio ten or more hours a week- men don’t have that option. At many studios men aren’t allowed at all.
I understand why- part of it is that many women take up pole dance because they want to feel sexy. And most women don’t want to feel sexy in front of strangers of the male persuasion. Particularly not while wearing booty shorts. Part of it is probably practical- more dressing rooms would be required. More need to monitor and make sure men are there to learn and not to check out women in their booty shorts. More headaches. As a client, I enjoy being able to hang out with my girlfriends and not having to worry about men being there. I don’t have answers to any of these issues- maybe compromising and doing a few co-ed classes a week is sufficient. But I still feel like an opportunity is being lost. What do you think? Should all classes be co-ed? None of them? Do enough men have interest in dance for it to really matter one way or another?