Male pole dancing is on the rise, according to Diane Passage on the Huffington Post. There’s even a male pole dancing contest in the UK called ‘Mr Pole Fitness’. However Ms Passage is careful to make this slightly uptight, self-defeating disclaimer at at the end of her piece:
As I was discussing this topic with friends, the majority of both men and women were not turned on by the idea of watching a man work the pole. I personally am not a fan of a man who tries to imitate the sensual moves of a woman, but I do appreciate a man who demonstrates a masculine gymnastic style suggestive of what I might see in Cirque du Soleil – which does appeal to the masses.
In other words, so long as the male pole performer accepts that sensuality is the woman’s preserve and doesn’t ‘try to imitate it’ but rather pretends he’s taking part in an Olympic pommel-horse event or some circus act — instead of pole dancing in a thong — it’s still ‘masculine’ and therefore OK.
It seems to me that male pole-dancing is becoming more popular with men precisely because men are more and more disregarding what is supposed to be a woman’s preserve – particularly sensuality and inviting the gaze. Men today see women doing things – such as using cosmetics, pole dancing, and sucking cock – and think: Hey! That looks like fun! I’d like to give that a go!
And why not?
After all, women have been doing the exact same thing with the ‘male preserve’ for some time. It’s why so many journalists these days are female.
Here are some other clips of male pole dancers that probably won’t meet with Ms Passage’s approval. I’m not entirely sure they all meet with mine. However the last clip seems to gloriously short-circuit quaint (North American/Anglo) ideas of what’s acceptably ‘masculine’. The young pole-dancer may be gymnastic, but he’s definitely not pretending he’s on a pommel-horse. Instead he seems to represent the emergence of a beautiful new species of butterfly.
Spectacularly demonstrating that males can be both (eye-poppingly) masculine and sensationally sensual.