DATING AS A POLE ARTIST #TRUESTORY
Posted on 16 March 2016
I love baking, witty sarcasm, and sunsets with my glasses of red wine. I cry anytime I hear the song Under Pressure by David Bowie & Queen. I lived and worked in NYC for a decade and therefore am really happy to be back in Austin. I love the art of pole dancing. I own a small business.
That was my profile on Hinge, Bumble, Tinder, Match, Coffee meets Bagel, etc. for about five minutes as I verrrry quickly learned that this whole women-who-choose-to-pole-dance-as-a-sport-or-art-thing is still a controversial subject with the muggles outside of our community.
The thing is, I'm a recovering Career Woman, now keen to find my Intended / Beloved / Beshert, get married, have some kids, get some dogs (maybe not in that order exactly) and otherwise get on with my fairly rad life. Also, I'm a woman with her heart on fire for the strong, sensual feminine movement pole dance classes can offer. So I opened a studio dedicated to pole artistry. No big deal right? Well... about that. As I have jumped into the World of Dating, I've been learning otherwise.
I'm pretty sure that the Average Guy is kind of excited by the idea of dating a girl who takes a class here and there as he's thinking it's for him to "enjoy" at some point, but what about the one who takes her classes and competitions super seriously? What about the woman who teaches? Or owns her own studio?
The Feminist in me insisted I answer any, "What do you do for work?" or "What do you do for fun?" questions outright, because duh I am super proud of pole dance, pole sport and pole artistry altogether. However...
I've stopped being so open about it all. I found that too often the gentleman caller on the other end of the line was either too excited for what he seemed to assume would be greeting him upon our 1st or next meeting (ummm... slow your roll bro, not happening), or it would seem he assumed I am a professional Exotic Dancer and for that reason he was over it.
Let me just interrupt our conversation here to be crystal clear with you; I support ABSOLUTELY EVERY dancer in our pole fitness community including those who do or did work as Exotic Dancers. So, when a dude was suddenly super dismissive as he incorrectly assumed I was or am working in a Gentleman's Club, I was neither pleased or amused with him. BYE FELICIA.
Meanwhile, I decided to change my game. I edited my profile (removed all mention of pole and business ownership), then when I received the very normal, "What do you do?" questions over text, I tried being vague and responding with "I'm a dance teacher."
Which was silly (at best).
When someone tells you they're a dance teacher what's the thing you ask them next? Indeed, you ask them to get specific on what kind of dance... which looped me back to where I had started.
These days, I sidestep the question altogether until we are talking in person and I answer it honestly only if I give an eff about continuing to get to know him. I unapologetically deflect the "What do you do..." question with, "I don't want to talk about work with you!" or better yet, "What do YOU do for work? For fun?" etc. Turns out, asking them to tell me how they feel about their work, which also provides insight on who they are as a Man, is the way to go. I have yet to have a guy notice I'm avoiding his question directly. If I feel like they are the kind of guy I'd like to see again, I choose to share my love for the pole arts and community. It's a choice that, perhaps unbeknownst to him at the time, is not one I take lightly. I share only with men who I think can handle the truth respectfully and reverently... i.e. appropriately.
Recently, I found myself on a date with a man who I 'met' online. I liked him enough, so I told him about my pole dance classes. He asked the usual questions and then some more until I finally asked him, "What do you think about all of this?" His response was, "Well, I am just now learning about pole fitness as a competitive sport... I had never heard of any of that before. I don't think I know enough to have an opinion yet."
At which point I realized honesty really is a priority for him.
He's not a man who jumps to conclusions.
And so I realized I kind of like him.
Serena Hicks owns Bon Bon Barre and is a certified Warrior Goddess Training facilitator in Austin, TX. She dotes on her rescued cat, Kitty Bon Bon, is obsessed with her Instagram account and hopes you'll tag her (@BonBonSerena) to tell her when you come out as a poler in your dating process. If you have an in with Eminem, she's begging you to make the introduction. Meanwhile, she wears an Artista size Medium and gets compliments absolutely EVERY time she wears her Midnight Mermaid Artista Hollywood Leggings. www.BonBonBarre.com