So, Christmas 2020, uh? Can’t believe we’re here already. 2020 has been quite the year for many of us, and a gift guide seems like a frivolous thing to associate it with, but hey – if there’s a year in which we need a (LOT OF) pick-me-ups, 2020 is that year. Read on to find items to please your pole dancer friends, partners and relatives this Christmas, just in time for Black Friday.
What to expect from my 2020 Christmas gift guide
This is my second Christmas gift guide and I love it even more than my previous one. The new collaborations I’ve secured make me feel like I’ve really grown as a blogger, and even more importantly as a person, thanks to the discovery of more brands, more inspirational people and more ways to be sustainable throughout the shitshow that has been our locked down 2020.
My 2020 Christmas gift guide is part wish list, part ‘tried and tested’ material, and it tries to follow a red theme not because I’m super unoriginal, but because red is my colour and it happens to look great over Christmas too. I’ve bought some of these products, some have been #gifted to me (as it’s highlighted in the subheadings mentioning them) and some are just at the top of my list of things to try. All opinions are, as always, my own.
Here are the categories I’m going to cover – click on the item you’re most interested in from this list to be redirected to it straight away:
So there’s a LOT of stuff here – and you have no excuse for not knowing what gifts you should get the pole dancers in your life now. Feel free to scroll down to the bits that you think will be best for you and/or the polers in your life, or take it all in for my special combo of 2020 gifts.
2020 sexy pole gifts
Shark Polewear red Vashkelita bodysuit
Shark Polewear is one of my favourite brands because their designs are both skimpy enough and comfortable enough for my taste, so much that even in their most revealing outfits I haven’t experienced any flashing. I have their Vashkelita bodysuit in black, and I’m dying to buy it in red too. So if you have a pole dancer in your life, make sure you put that under their Christmas tree!
The bodysuit (£56) available from Pole Junkie, who have their ‘BlackMail’ Black Friday sale on from today (23 November).
Hoodlum Fang Thong
If your vibe is more The Nightmare Before Christmas than Christmas, you have to get yourself one of Hoodlum Fang’s Halloweeny, bad-ass prints. As an out metalhead, Hoodlum Fang – the brand owned by non-binary, badass dancer Chloe, who have been educating the pole dance industry about inclusion of different gender identities throughout 2020 – has always been on my list.
Yet, I was DYING for Chloe to turn their spooky, rock n’roll prints into something skimpier. My prayers have been answered, and the response has materialised in this must-have super 80s, high waist high leg thong (£25). Perfect for all sexy Grinches.
Made by the incredibly stunning vegan pole goddess @ms.felony, Nandzins’ custom made shorts are THE shorts to wear during a twerk class and any photoshoot where you may want to make your peaches shine.
From booty shorts to garters and leggings, Nandzins’ shorts come in a variety of different patterns – from monochrome to snakeprint, from denim to zebra print. You can order them via DM on their Insta, starting at $85, at the account below.
Creatures of XIX Baddies loungewear (#gift)
If there’s one thing that 2020 has shown us is that good loungewear is versatile, sexy, comfy and ideal for both work Zoom calls and workouts. Which is why I had my eye on Creatures of XIX’s Baddies loungewear collection since launch.
Creatures of XIX is one of my favourite polewear brands, one of the few that has managed to hold up despite countless washes, inverts and twerks in their fitting but flattering and comfy sets. When they launched their Baddies collection, complete with pastel coloured loungewear options, I knew I needed to try them and felt super chuffed that they were happy to collaborate with me on this post.
The Baddies Jalapeño loungewear looked perfect for my trademark no make-up, red lipstick look that has become a staple of my workouts, my pole teaching and my now mostly Zoom academic/pole Zoom chats. The Jalapeño joggers are snuggly and so perfectly high waist that they are flattering both with a sports bra and with a crop top. The joggers have an adjustable drawstring and ‘puffed up’ pockets made to accentuate the shape of your hips, and they’re made with a super soft French Terry Fabric.
The joggers look great when matched with the oversized Baddies Jalapeño crop jumper, detailed with ‘Creatures of XIX’ branding on the cuff. The jumper has a dropped shoulder seam and oversized sleeve that feel like a hug during cold, grey winter days.
As you can see above, I’ve also worn them with a pair of Club Hella Heels and it seems like a match made in… can’t be Heaven, but you got the gist. The verdict: Creatures’ loungewear is the sexiest loungewear you can get this year, the perfect treat under your pole friends’ 2020 Christmas tree. Creatures have a Black Friday sale starting today so you better run before any item runs out!
Exo Wear bespoke outfits
I’ve been ordering from Exo Wear since lockdown and I think I have a problem – I literally want all their designs! I had them make some trousers for me that I’ve used both for Insta videos and to go out (when going out was allowed), and I’ve now ordered the below jumpsuit from them.
Based in Belarus, Exo Wear are an Insta shop sewing made-to-measure versatile, flattering designs. Their clothes are the right vibes for when you’re WFH and for pole – so basically all the time in 2020. All you have to do is pick a design and a colour, take your measurements according to their instructions and place your order. So if you have a special pole dancer in mind, get them them these incredibly personalised, flattering outfits and they’ll be grateful forever.
Pole Sweet Pole red jumpsuit (#gift)
I love a good jumpsuit. I love a cosy, snuggly jumpsuit. And I love an 80s, tight, OTT jumpsuit. Pole Sweet Pole’s Riot Red one-shoulder jumpsuit (£40) is more like the latter, and it looks great during stretch classes, in exotic pole videos and during your walk from your flat to your coffee shop, with a fur coat on top. I may or may not even have worn it while teaching Zoom criminology seminars from home. Shhh.
The jumpsuit clings to the body and stays put through every movement, and looks incredibly flattering on all of your curves. It’s both extra and comfy, and it’s the energy I’ll be carrying into 2021.
Pole Sweet Pole started their Black Friday sale over the weekend and are still going strong, so get your discounts in while you can!
I fell in love with The Underargument because they are a sustainable, inclusive, unique lingerie brand, and I can’t get enough of brands like this. Owned by French former digital marketer Maïna Cissé, The Underargument selects its models through an ‘anti-casting‘ form, based on the story they share rather than on their look or size. The anti-casting was born because, as Cissé told The Guardian:
“Being a minority myself … I saw a lot of brands wanting to tick boxes, and wanting to pat themselves on the back because they had chosen models of colour or supposedly bigger or curvier [models] instead of staying in the safe zone.”
I love a game-changing brand that challenges narratives, even when the narratives pretend to be inclusive. But there’s more to love about The Underargument than boldness: their designs are classy, timeless and stunning, following themes such as: no.09 For dreaming // Against sleeping; no.05 For loving // Against conforming; no.04 For sexy // Against sexism; no.02 For identity // Against stereotypes; no.01 For awesome // Against perfection and so on.
I’d like to think that pole dancing is a big fuck you to beauty standards, gender identities and conforming to a certain standard. So get your favourite pole dancers a brand that embraces that “fuck you”, with style.
The Underargument’s designs start at £47 and can be found here.
Club Hella Heels Chilli 8 Inch Classic Stiletto
Club Hella Heels are my favourite shoe brand at the moment, not only because – unlike Pleasers, ehm ehm – they support sex workers, but also because they are the comfiest and easiest shoes to dance in for me. Their Stiletto collection is named after Hellas’ favourite strippers, and it’s what I’ve got my eye on at the moment.
I have a ridiculous amount of their shoes, but too much is never enough, right? Keeping with the red theme, I’m currently looking at buying myself a pair of Hellas’ Chilli 8 Inch Classic Stiletto sandals, which are made to encourage you and help you point your toes and are as sturdy as they come (kip-proof, I found). Hellas have a Black Friday sale launching on 24 November and honestly, what are you waiting for? Buy a pair for the polers in your life!
Wellbeing for 2020 and beyond
Self & More Christmas bundles
2020 has WITHOUT DOUBT been the year of the wanker. Whether you embraced singlehood or were separated from partners, or whether you wanted to jump on the 2020 sex toy crazy train, pleasure-related companies have had an absolute boom, and I for one felt like experimenting. So give your friends some reasons to love themselves too and get them one of Self & More’s Christmas gift boxes.
From a beginner “First Base & More” gift box (£45) to a more premium “Best Sellers & More” box (£105), to kink and indulgent boxes – and boxes for people with a penis, too. And throw in a “Wanker” tee (£29) now that you’re there. They look fab.
Use my code: bloggeronpole for a 10% discount.
I’ve written and posted about my sports massages and osteopathy experience extensively, and I think by now you know that pole dancers are an achy bunch. Often however, what stops us from getting as many massages as we like is the very boring issue of money. So treat the pole dancers in your life to a sports massage or osteopathy package at their local or preferred clinics – and ‘thanks to’ teaching in lockdowns and to 2020, believe me, they will need them. If they’re Londoners, feel free to mention me to get them 15% off their first Kuu in the City session.
Thrive CBD (#gift)
CBD helps with sleep, muscular pain and anxiety, and no, it doesn’t get you high. But it’s often expensive or, frankly, boring looking. Enter Thrive, a new, stylish CBD brand arriving in a lilac bottle and tasting unlike any CBD you’ve tried before – either of peppermint or of blood orange. I went for the latter, which feels like a chocolate orange treat under your tongue when you’re on the anxiety struggle bus.
Thrive comes with recyclable packaging. Every CBD oil bottle is tested twice and features specific information about the batch you’re trying, so that the brand is 100% transparent about what you’re putting into your body. Give the gift of CBD this Christmas here, starting at just under £35.
Slashed It eBook
Pole dancers are businesswomen. They market their classes, their polewear brands, their studios, themselves. Many of us do pole alongside something else. And, because it’s 2020, we’re likely having to market and promote ourselves via social media.
Social media, as I’ve written extensively, are not the most welcoming, inclusive, easy-to-understand space for women, LGBTQIA+ people and non-white people, and trying to be noticeable on them and make money through them can sometimes feel like one giant struggle bus.
Helping the pole dancers in your life invest on their social media marketing strategy can give them a massive leg up against social media’s obscure mechanism – and Unsah Malik’s Slashed It ebook is the perfect way to do that. Part short marketing course, part step-by-step guide, Unsah’s ebook comes from years of social media marketing experience.
I know Unsah personally – we were in the same BA Journalism class at City, and we’re both born on 9 December lol… Except that she went on to be a social media editor at Elle when I was having my quarter life crisis. When I saw a bunch of media and marketing industry professionals review her book, I thought it was time for me to buy it too.
I’m getting some DMs about my career journey. This article here will be useful. You can apply these tips to pretty much any other industry too.— Unsah (@unsahmalik) August 1, 2020
Also, pls don’t compare ages and tell me you feel like a failure. You’re not. Point blank.https://t.co/ubmGbfYH9A
I HATE growth hackers and this is not a growth hacking book. This is about keeping your audience close and attracting new followers / customers, in a way that still feels true to you as a person or brand. And I can honestly say that my audience and engagement grew within a few weeks of implementing tips from the ebook’s first few pages.
If you don’t believe in any of this, Unsah made £15,000 from the ebook’s sales within the first few hours of launching, a practical example that her advice works.
The ebook is currently priced at £55 (discounted from £71.99) and once you have it, it’s updated for a lifetime according to new social media trends and changes. Plus, as soon as you buy it, you can get your own affiliate link, which allows you to make the money back and make money from it in the future. Hence my affiliate link plug – give the pole dancers in your life the gift of digital marketing stardom here: www.slashedit.co.uk/ultimate-ebook/rb4s0
Indi Pole mentorships or masterclasses
Despite the crappiness of lockdowns, 2020 has opened up the access to more online learning from some of your pole idols – and Indi Pole dance have been constantly delivering, with online pole camps, workshops and masterclasses that have helped many polers keep up their training and find inspiration even in the most boring days of self-isolation this year.
Now, they have launched some December masterclasses with the likes of Doris Arnold and Jazzy K to help us kip, choreograph and create sexy routines like no other. The masterclasses are an investment towards pole dancing skills, and treating the polers in your life to one of them might just make sure they’ll love you forever.
Twerk Technicians certification
Getting my Twerk Technicians certification has been one of the best investments I’ve made in 2020, both as an individual and as an instructor. With pole dance being such a melting pot of different arts coming from so many cultures – stripping, Black culture etc. – it’s incredibly important that we teach and learn something with full awareness of its origins.
The Twerk Technicians certs are incredibly well-priced for an instructor training course, and they are the perfect blend of theory – e.g. looking into twerk’s history, different styles and advice on how to help students get a move – and practice, with some killer exercises that made my butt rounder, stronger and peachier within just a few weeks of working on them.
Plus, the Twerk Technician certs are 100% 2020-proof, meaning that you can take them from the comfort of your room via Zoom – I passed my exam by twerking 7pm to midnight UK time, and your poler friends can do it too!
Find the certification here, starting at £115.
Private classes with your pole idols and studio packages
Help the pole dancers in your life support their pole idols and local studios by booking online studio packages, masterclasses or private 1-1 lessons. All you have to do is notice which polers and studios they tag the most on IG, check if they’ve got availability and book!
NSFW gift ideas
Scruffy Designs (#gift)
I’m a sucker for cute stationery and gift ideas, particularly when they have a NSFW twist. So when my fellow Italian Federica launched her online shop, Scruffy Designs, I was knew I had to include it in my 2020 Christmas gift guide.
Scruffy Designs‘ notebooks bundle (£6) is the alternative to your average, boring, WFH stationery. The notebooks are perfect to carry around in case inspiration strikes, and they fit even on the tiniest desk in your home office, adding a sprinkle of colour to those dull days of back-to-back Zoom meetings. Aaand if you want to add a twist to your pole dancers’ gift, wrap them in Scruffy Designs’ cute willy wrapping paper (£2.50), which manages to somehow be both classy and silly at the same time, to end 2020 with some extra good vibes.
Exotic Cancer keychains
Exotic Cancer’s Instagram account has been a constant source of education in my pole dancing journey, providing humorous insights about sex work and creating an aesthetic that is to die for.
Betty’s Bodies Portrait
Betty’s Bodies is an IG account created by an amazing black artist drawing killer portraits of diverse subjects – from full-body portraits to bum or breast sketches.
Her commissions are now open and I, for one, can’t think of a more personalised, thoughtful gift than giving the pole dancers in your life a portrait of their own bodies for a unique #sundaybumday.
Body part portrait commissions start at £45, but from Wednesday onwards you’ll be able to take advantage of Betty’s Black Friday sale. Read more on Betty’s Bodies commission page.
Flare LDN candles
Is a house even a pole house without some naked art? Flare London is a West London based independent shop making gorgeous body-shaped candles which are almost too pretty to burn.
Flare London is a vegan and sustainable shop that doesn’t use any plastic in the manufacturing process or in packaging. Even unsellable candles are melted back down and the wax is reused! Find Flare London’s candles, starting at £15, on Etsy here.
Liquid chalk grip is a pole dancer’s best friend, but with Dry Hands selling for similar prices to liquid gold, many pole dancers are looking for a viable alternative. Get them my favourite grip so far, Girlie Grip, from Pole Sweet Pole here at £10.50.
Yoga and splits blocks
Considering 2020 has meant dipping in and out of lockdown, many pole dancers left without studio poles took up yoga and stretching from home. This Christmas, you can help them in their stretching and flexibility journey with some yoga blocks.
Try Manduka’s Recycled Foam Yoga Block (£16), a lightweight yoga block made of over 50% recycled EVA foam, providing comfort, style and support.
One of my biggest pre-lockdown mistakes was not investing in a foam roller and boy, when all massage therapists shut down because of lockdown, did I need one!
Give the polers in your life the gift of less achey muscles this Christmas, with the Vari Massage Foam Roller (£32.99) from Yoga Mad. Offering varying degrees of intensity for at-home massage, the Vari roller is the best for myofascial release to help with tight muscles. The Vari roller doesn’t break down despite sustained use, and it has a range of different patterns for varying massages to suit your individual needs.
The Art of Drag by Jake Hall
The Art of Drag (£18.99) explores the fabulous mix of fashion, theatre, gender and politics that have created drag, the show-stopping entertainment we know and love today. In the book, Jake Hall delve into its ancient beginnings, to the present day and beyond through vibrant illustrations.
The Art of Drag is also a chance to support one of my favourite journalists and writers, the non-binary legend Jake Hall. They have written for Dazed Digital, i-D, VICE, Highsnobiety, INTO, Refinery29 UK, and British Vogue, among others, covering topics from sustainability in fashion to body-shaming in queer communities.
Buy The Art of Drag from Foyles here.
Whites by Otegha Uwagba
2020 has been the year where communities – offline and online – began talking about what it meant to be actively anti-racist. The pole dance industry, and communities within it, were no stranger to this, and Facebook groups and conversations became inflamed by discussions on race.
The founder of women in business newsletter Women Who, Otegha Uwagba, wrote a fantastic essay about navigating racism as a black person dealing with white people and their anti-racism efforts. It’s an extremely important read for those who do not want to stop at performative activism and want to help with real, tangible change.
Buy it from Waterstones here, at £6.99.
Olive by Emma Gannon
One of the best books I’ve read in 2020, Olive (£14.99) by Emma Gannon follows a successful journalist whose friends are all starting to have children – and who feels left out because she wants none. Whether your poler friends are more into buying heels than growing babies, or if they’re mothers themselves, this is a fun, thoughtful book about miscommunication with friends, different needs and stereotypes that your pole dancing friends will love. Support small business and buy it from Pages of Hackney here.
Sex & social media by Katrin Tiidenberg and Emily van der Nagel
Whether they’re pole dancers, sex workers, activists, educators or artists, chances are your poler friends have been shadowbanned at least once. Sex & Social Media is an accessible academic book that will explain you and them how and why this is happening, highlighting the discrepancy between the media headlines (people fearing sexy stuff on social media) and what popular Google searches show (people wanting sexy stuff on social media).
Finished @kkatot & @emvdn’s book “Sex & Social Media” in less than a day. So helpful for my research & so many important points on why social media platforms need to allow people to create safe spaces within them to express their sexuality 💜 thanks for resending @EmeraldSoc pic.twitter.com/IyKfQ7lDgw— Blogger On Pole (Carolina 🇮🇹🇬🇧🏳️🌈) (@bloggeronpole) August 22, 2020
The authors describe how social media have changed and shaped sex; address the common misconceptions about socially mediated sex; explain the spaces where social media sex happens, and the practices that count as social media sex. Buy it here (£16.99).