Pole pas de deux

Pole pas de deux

Friday, December 23, 2011

Men, Poles, Sexism

(A version posted earlier on Studio Veena)

It's two days before Christmas and all through my house not an ill feeling was stirring...Then I noticed the following call in my Facebook timeline. (sic)" **CALLING ALL MALE POLE DANCER** PLEASE HELP me. Do you absoultly need a bare chest to pole? Can you compeet in a vest....? Then I read the thread. In essense something is cooking with certain competition rules regarding men dancing topless."
In my very best short Spanish/Italian temperament I posted to the supportive friends wall:

"Thank you M.E. I only have access to KT's thread in some other dancers time lines. I find the Olympic swimming arguments and guys topless in tiny swimsuits "distracting" offensive. 1) Our dance can be sexual. For both men and women. Get over the sexist crap. 2) Some of us could care less the Olympics. We are artists. The whole thing is sexist. When I ballet dance I have just as much hanging out in tights and a dance belt. Wow. Distracting... Pot Kettle Black.

I then posted this as my status:
"Sexism and discrimination against male dancers is alive and well. If our ass and bulge is hanging out its distracting. Tell me that at least 50% of the "dance wear" on Bad Kitty isn't distracting. Rules, competition, legitimacy, fitness. I'm an artist. If you don't like my sexy male ass hanging out don't look.

I have dealt with this subject from both scholarly and gut levels since I started blogging about dance. Dance can be sexual. You can find Allegra Kent's thoughts about dance here in my blog. Suzanne Farrell has also spoken out on the matter. Ballet is sometime choreographed with the men topless. Sometimes the ballet dancers appear almost naked. I don't ever have any intentions of competing but I get waxed. Everything. All gone. I wear tiny black stuff when the mood hits me. I  don't see anything different when a woman who normally dances barefoot comes to class with her heels in something really revealing just because. One of my initial blog posts here on Veena was about a reaction I got from a female dancer in my studio that had problems with my swimsuit. It was the very same reaction I saw today. 

I guess my heart will always be with the artistic in pole "dance" because you just can't logically judge art on a 0 to 10 scale. You like it or you don't. You might be offended, you might be inspired. You might be sexually aroused. Art isn't logical.

Dancers are performers. We are meant to be seen. The mirror, the camera, the heart. You can be technically great and stink because you have no passion. I try to make my dance as honest as I can make it. If I offend someone I am just as likely to move someone in some way. A few minutes after I posted my mini-rant on my page a female friend responded, "I like the "asspect" of male dance."
That kind of comment is one of those that keeps me dancing. I am just as empowered by the sexy in dance as any woman. I want to be attractive. Deep inside I want to be desired. Rules just can't change that.

I'm a dancer.


  1. Hey just got through the first 1/3 of your post and I had to comment. I think I definately saw you on YouTube a few years ago when I was first learning pole. Long story short, I was on a hiatus and now I'm back with a pole, and on the other side of the world :D . Anyways I just randomly got in to blogging a few days ago and started obsessively looking for pole blogs and lo and behold I come across you- the man who pole dances and I totally watched a couple of your videos. Just wanted to say props to you- and i *love* the fact that you are a science nerd like me! :D (meteorologist? way cool!) ... okay going to go read some more and then onto the pole :D

    1. Oh wow! Sorry I am so late getting back to you. On YouTube I am bobbygnzpk75. I don't publish much there since the music copyright rules tend to gut most of my dance. It's all pretty old. My newer stuff is on Studio Veena under my real name. ;-)

  2. I love this post! Still looking for your videos on YouTube - can't find them yet!