Can art & empowerment conquer the stripper pole?

Via Waylon Lewis
on Jun 11, 2011
get elephant's newsletter

“Fit For A Goddess” ~ Kontraband.


Turning Exploitation into Art.

Given that most of us may not hold the stripping pole and all that surrounds it in the highest regard…the culture of craving and loneliness and alcohol about it would seem depressing, dark…it’s refreshing to see this, presented as a sort of athletic art, with a side of healthy attraction.

Can art and empowerment conquer the stripper pole?

Can it be something we’re happy for our loved ones and sisters and daughters to do, if it’s not a codependent sort of sexual exploitation, but a delighted dance?


About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


10 Responses to “Can art & empowerment conquer the stripper pole?”

  1. elephantjournal says:

    Heinz Robert I am impressed!

    Adriana Guastavino I took a pole dancing class a while ago – it's not as easy as people think. Takes incredible strength and agility to do what this gal did in the video. Very impressive. Brava!

  2. Sandy says:

    Pole dancing is definitely athletic and spiritual when it’s not about “stripping” in a club. As a teenager I worked in clubs and would swing around poles and slowly take my clothes off. I was about as spiritually bankrupt as you can be at that time. Years later I returned to the pole for fitness and it became an instrument rather than a prop now. I’ve been pole dancing as art/excersise for myself only, (not for money/men) for 5 years now. In many ways I see it as yoga gone vertical. Breath in movement is key, and strength and flexibility are everything. I only started taking yoga less than a year ago and it has made me a much better dancer to understand those connections and mechanics when I’m twisting and flipping on 2″ chrome piping 15 feet off the ground!

  3. Jay says:

    "Empowerment" comes from knowing one's True Nature. Acting out on a stripper pole, as if it were some deeper practice is delusional. Inhabiting authentic empowerment is the consequence of the integration of a coherent inner knowing. The sort of athleticism displayed here is impressive, and no doubt sexy, but it's nothing to do with empowerment, and most likely still degrading exhibition.

  4. Madhyapatha says:

    Let's get real here. Pole dancing does not empower women. Let's stop using our bodies for sexual manipulation and objectification and reveal our real power as women.

  5. Madhyapatha says:

    I couldn't agree with you more. As a woman, it is really frustrating when women think this stuff is empowering and spiritual. It is delusional and still loaded with patriarchal conditioning. Thank you for your post.

  6. Yogini5 says:

    Athleticism and gymnastic prowess of the same order of magnitude and type that is celebrated profusely, recently redefining yoga as well as pole dancing–irrespective of pole dancing's origins.
    What adds respectability to the one (pole dancing) could modify and polarize the original reputation of the other (yoga).

  7. Madhyapatha says:

    'Redefining' Yoga, as you put it, is exactly the problem here. Most Westerners do not understand Yoga and therefore try to redefine and make it their own. The system gets lost, as it can be seen here in the example of pole dancing.

  8. Aftan says:

    My husband finds my yoga incredibly sexy. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder… and the perspective behind that eye.

  9. madhyapatha says:

    Of course, embracing our sexuality through dance is an ancient art form, but it's important acknowledge the origin of this specific dance.

  10. […] notion that pole dancing can be an art. And particularly if you dance or do yoga, you may find this Jenyne Butterfly […]