Dating as a pole dancer: things (mostly) men have said to me

Since I’ve become a pole dancer, I have noticed that most people believe that I either have a very exciting love life, or that I’m a big hoe. I love expectation versus reality scenarios, so I thought I could compare what (mostly) men have told me with my very unexciting dating life for a laugh. Get ready for dating – the pole dancer edition.

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Disclaimer #1: this post is only dating-related. If you have more questions about the pole life, check out this post I’ve written about it here.

Disclaimer #2: I have dated/gone out with/slept with wonderful men and women who didn’t treat me like an object or a porn fantasy. But this is a post about those who do, so I’ll talk about nice peeps some other time.

Disclaimer #3: Don’t be afraid to tell me stuff in case you’d end up on me blog. Most things here are just common sense, really. So let’s get real.

“Your ass looks bigger on Instagram!”

I can’t believe I get to write A WHOLE PARAGRAPH about my ass. What a time to be alive! First of all, gee, I’m sorry. I mean, we all know things look better on the Gram. On the Gram, I’m wearing heels and probs some ridiculously tight polewear that make my ass look bigger and tighter. On the Gram, I’m filming from a distance so you don’t get to see the cellulite that beer, doughnuts and years on the contraceptive pill have given me. TBH, my friends were surprised too when we all decided to show our cellulite to each other and I showed mine like a badge of honour (#thingsgirlsdowhentheyretogether). But anyway, tough shit, sorry, I’m not a Kardashian. I’m just a regular girl.

“Dance for me like you do on Instagram.”

Uhm… Are you gonna pay me? I’m not a court jester or something. A PhD student has to pay her bills.

“You must have so much sex now!”

I’m typing this post in my Batman sweatshirt on a Friday evening in between a Friends binge on Netflix. Alas, my week hasn’t been full of steamy sex, but I did have pizza yesterday. It was lovely.

Contrary to what most people seem to think, my sex life hasn’t received a boost since I’ve taken up pole dancing. I’ve discussed this with some pole friends once, and actually we agreed that our sex drive has slightly decreased since we started to pole. It’s not that we don’t want to have sex, but that we get many positive effects that come from having a nice shag (confidence boost, adrenaline, endorphins) from pole dancing.

This has helped me a great deal to sort out my life in terms of not sleeping with fuckboys/girls just because I felt down. In times when I’ve been at my worst – may it be for loneliness, mental health issues, trouble with body image – I have not made the best decisions while choosing a partner. DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME KIDS. Learn from my mistakes, OK? I hope that this side of my life has now been solved through pole. The downside, if you will, is that I have less sex because I try to have it with people that matter to me more.

Please don’t take this as something that is valid for all pole dancers. It might be just me and my weird friends. It might also be that, after an abusive relationship, I’m warier of whoever I take home. Anyway, pole or not, I am lucky enough to sometimes be approached by people, but at the moment I’d rather have a relationship than a one-night stand, so Friends and pizza it is.

“You do know you are over-sexualising and objectifying yourself, right?”

Thanks for the heads up! Unfortunately this would still happen whether I was a pole dancer or not. One of my biggest frustrations and disappointments on dates or in conversation with men is that I could be talking about quantum physics, but some of them would still try to undress me with their eyes. Not because I’m particularly good-looking, mind you: just because I happen to have a vagina. Also, I don’t tend to talk about quantum physics – more about literature, philosophy, politics or something – but you get my drift.

So pole or no pole, I have been objectified by others anyway. By doing pole I feel confident, sexy, I have fun, and I am in control of the type of sexual image I want to portray. And you don’t have to undress me with your eyes cause I’m already butt-naked on Instagram! It’s a win-win situation.

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I have also noticed that people who ask me this have, consciously or subconsciously, already objectified me anyway. *puts sociologist and social media researcher hat on*. If this happened on social media, I would call it “concern trolling”, or trying to make a person look dumb by stating your opinion as a legitimate concern. A lot of the people who told me this proceeded to objectify me in various ways, such as assuming I would sleep with them even when my lack of interest or my “no” was pretty damn clear. Maybe, instead of just looking at what I do, try to listen to me as well.

“Just wanted to check your OK, u look so desperate babe.”

So on the day I finally got my handstand twerk I naturally posted it all over the internet, cause really, if you learn how to shake your butt upside down all you are is EXCITED. However my ex, who had been ignoring me for ages, decided that no, this bitch can’t be excited, this bitch is desperate. And he decided to write that under my post, with grammar mistakes. So my friends slayed him and he deleted it.

If you think that calling pole dancers attention-seeking or desperate on social media is going to get you noticed, chances are you’re not gonna get laid. Pole dancers overshare. It’s a thing. It helps us keep track of our progress and it’s a way to gain and get inspiration from the net. We’re not doing it for you, but for ourselves. And tbf, I challenge you to learn how to handstand twerk and not want to post it a little bit. Then we can talk.

“Can you give me a lap dance?”

So this is a tricky one. I have given friends lap dances – although they were girls and they had no interest in sleeping with me. I have given partners lap dances and the response has been mixed. Some people froze on me, thinking they’d have to deliver something similar, while some people loved it.

But a lap dance is not something you give away like a discount or a freebie. It takes effort, goddamn it! Try grinding and twerking on somebody in squat position for three minutes. It’s a fucking workout.

Also, people who have asked me this didn’t always have the right to. Like, if you are a random dude who follows me on Instagram, chances are I’m not gonna do it. I feel it’s something that’s given, not asked.

I’ve also refused to lap dance people in music videos because if I hump a chair doing acro stuff on my Insta, I’m in control of my brand. If I’m humping some dude, then that can be used against me and I’m not in control anymore. Choices.

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“Can you do those really cool tricks on me during your lap dance?”

Now let’s assume you’ve passed test one and that I will be giving you a lap dance. If you follow me on Instagram you will see that I can do weird acro tricks on chairs. I can headstand on them, balance on them or roll backwards off them. So if this is what you wanna see I have a question for you: are you Channing Tatum in Magic Mike XXL? If the answer is no, then probably not.

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I don’t have a Channing Tatum fetish – it’s more of a safety thing. If you are a dancer, a performer or someone who’s very coordinated, then I might try some tricks (not the balance one, cause I need the whole chair for it). If however you risk breaking my neck or yours, it’s better to stick to the boring but effective grinding. Necks are useful.

“You are too intimidating.”

I am a five foot five Italian girl who still has trouble peeling her apples. I own Harry Potter bedding and Kermit The Frog underwear. I have a few panic attacks a month and sometimes feel anxious about ordering food over the phone. In short: I am like most people if not weirder.

Precisely because I work with and research on social media, I know and hate it for the curated and fake images of us they help us create. But hey, they pay the bills/give me a nice lifestyle! So bring on the heels and the booty-shaking, just know that the rest of the time I’m either studying, eating or having a panic attack.

“You must be very good in bed.”

Believe it or not, being a pole dancer is not an indicator of your sexual prowess. Shocker, right? Now, I’ve never had any complaints…

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But if I’ve just performed four acts in a row at a pole showcase, you are probably going to have to do all the work. And possibly bring me carbs to bed.

“Send nudes.”

I have a no nudes policy because I research on social media harassment and can’t be arsed to deal with the backlash of that. Also, have you seen my Instagram? Don’t be greedy.

TL; DR

Don’t be a dick.

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Pictures: Carolina

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