What I Learned About Sensuality From Taking a Pole Dancing Class
I would never call myself ugly, but now, looking in the mirror, I could see the toxicity from a newly ended relationship seeping from my pores, draining from my body, and it was ugly. Then I heard author and life coach Matthew Hussey say something on his podcast Love Life that gave me hope—something about how healing from a broken heart would take a lot of time and that it was normal to feel the way I was feeling. Things will get better, he said.
He also mentioned this is the period where self-care is crucial. He was right: I needed a new routine and new faces to keep my mind occupied. I decided it was a good time to look for a fitness class on Groupon.
This was when I found my first pole dancing class.
Muscles are as tough as heartstrings
The first class started with some floor moves, arching our backs like cats, and learning how to move our heads from side to side, so our hair falls across the face. It wasn’t until I stood up with my back against the pole to do a backslide that Amy, the instructor, walked over to remind me to watch myself in the mirror. At first glance, I was a bit startled. Arched up against the pole, stiff, with one arm raised, I could’ve been the Statue of Liberty.
Amy reassured us that this class was a safe place where no one would be judged. She said not to look to the right or left of you because every person in the room was at a different level of expertise; instead, look at just yourself in the mirror. When I took my first back slide down the pole, I could feel my bottom lip quiver. I was releasing an immense amount of tension, and replacing it with self-discovery. And yeah, I was emotional: Many of the moves we were learning involved touching my own body or moving in a way I only would have done with my ex. But now, I was doing this for myself.
I think Amy could tell I was holding something in, so she stood close to watch my moves, encouraging me, telling me to let go. The other women in the class were also encouraging; the more experienced ladies had achieved a level of complete acceptance, love and respect for one another. Amy said sensuality is something you first have to find inside yourself: love yourself, love your body, love your heart.
The class was empowering, but it was not easy, and I was sore days after my first class. Week after week, I stepped out from the room of mirrors feeling increasingly sexy, confident and womanly.
It’s all about you
I realized quickly most women in my class weren’t doing this for their partners—they did it for themselves. It’s like reaching into your core to pull out something from deep within yourself, a flame. Doing so helped me realize the sensuality I was looking for in a man was already in myself.
Eventually, flipping my hair around and wearing heels to class became the norm. For the first time in my life, I started baring my midsection publicly—and felt sexy doing it. I preferred the slower routines because I loved how pole dancing could be theatrical and how it allowed me to use my hips and my touch. I didn’t even know how to move my body this way before.
Dating again would mean I would become a much better lover, more sensual and less afraid of getting what I wanted. I also began realizing how routine and boring my sex life was previously. Let me be clear, though, pole dancing, although sexy, is not about sex. For me, it is about sexual confidence and feeling beautiful.
Some of the ladies in my class were at the same crossroads as me: It’s incredible how we as women banded together under the same circumstances as though the universe knew exactly how to mend us. Over time, I was able to pick up the pieces of my broken heart. I was a different person as Matthew Hussey said I would be, and he was right. I was going to be OK.