Body Confidence and Pole Dancing Classes

Now I love a good work out no matter what. On this fine Hump day, we are going to dive into what I learned in a series of pole dancing classes. There’s no need to clutch your pearls for this blog. There’s no need to dip yourself in the river to be baptized. I am not the only one who has taken a pole dancing class and I won’t be the last. It is an art form and it is a workout. What you choose to do with the skills learned is a personal decision. I have yet to quit my job and take on a stage name at this point and my house has been hit several times with economic stress. So it’s okay I promise, relax and read!

Disclaimer:

I am grown, married, and have children. This blog isn’t for approval meaning not only have I taken the class and enjoyed it I may go back 🤷🏾‍♀️

So now that we have gotten that out-of-the-way. I took a series of pole dancing classes right after the birth of my son. I did it because I was towards the end of my postpartum treatment and my therapist wanted me to learn better ways to accept my new body and my new mindset. I will say I got my entire life in class.

I like to think that I am a graceful dancer. I can pop it like a lot of women but I am definitely no Cardi B. That’s fine with me. I was paranoid to take the class because being a PK (Preachers Kid) there is never talk about erotic dancing outside of being taught that it’s for hoes and only hoes do these things. For the record that’s not true. The physical ability to pull yourself up on a pole to do a simple twirl takes inner guts, confidence, and upper arm strength. I had zero in my first class. I couldn’t even buy any. I actually wanted to quit the class. I took my best bedroom shoes, booty shorts, and a tank top but the simple twirl you see on television or strip club was hard.

In my head I was going to go, pop my hips and look halfway descent. The mirror revealed I looked like a dolphin out of water and a hot mess. My instructor let it be known we would most likely look like that for the first few classes until we came out of our head. She was right. I was more concerned with how I looked than technique. Foot placement and hand placement literally assists you in pole dancing, not how big my thighs looked or if my gut from having a C-Section looked right.

The women in my class all had various reasons for taking the class. Some to improve their confidence in the bedroom. Let’s face it body confidence matters there too. If you want to always have sex with the lights off because you’re ashamed of your body it comes off to your man. Confidence is sexy! I remember growing up and we were watching the Cosby Show when Claire has that black outfit and red jacket. I said all loud oh she’s sexy and my mom liked to had knocked me out reminding me I didn’t know what sexy was. She was right in what she was saying for a child. As an adult, Claire was sexy cause she was confident and sure of herself. The way she danced in the room (which by the way had nothing to do with the pole) was alluring in a respectful type way.

Body Confidence

When I got married I didn’t feel different when it came to sex physically, but mentally I was in my PK mind that I could at least be relieved that Hell flames weren’t coming for me like I was told it would years prior. It’s not a secret that I wasn’t a virgin when I married. My two older kids were at my wedding. But what I learned in pole dancing class was that I had yet to scratch into the surface of loving my body enough to appreciate its ability to be sensual like I had thought I was. Grown enough to have sex, but not knowing enough about myself, or my needs to be calling myself a woman.

I learned that as a woman I couldn’t achieve self-love which includes how I see myself in the mirror until I became body confident. I would meet this message again as I did Weight Watchers later down the road. I learned that size has very little to do with how confident you are. Just because you’re skinny doesn’t equate to having body confidence. A BBW can easily make you blush if they know who they are, accept who they are, and walk in confidence and you don’t. Confidence is a mindset. Body confidence is the ability to accept yourself flaws and all, walk in a room, and own it.

I didn’t love my body. I was looking at what was left of my body at the most vulnerable time of having a baby. I like to shout out Dr. Y. She knew what she was doing sending me there. If I could learn to love myself at my heaviest, I could learn to love myself at any size. If I could learn to love myself in that vulnerability, I could learn to shift my mindset towards positivity. If I could learn it was okay to let my guard down I could relax within the stress I was experiencing at the time. Having to change my vocal point was difficult. My instructor made us look at the mirror at every class. She made us own our body and she definitely made sure we didn’t waste our coin. If you showed up, show up and give it your all.

Strength

It takes incredible upper body strength to pull yourself up or slowly come down on the pole. I said it before and I’ll say it again, the women who do it gracefully without hearing that shrieking sound on the way down, bravo. It’s not easy initially. Pole dancing is a great way to tone your arms. Although it’s super sexy, it’s not about selling sex. We do acknowledge that women use it to sell the illusion of sex. Let’s get that out-of-the-way so you can take away something today. They do sell illusion of seduction. How a woman makes her money is for another day. You’re feelings on that won’t change until you take a class. To just get up on a pole and look sexy is work and any woman who chooses to do so earned every coin they scrap up after the end of their shows, period!

Here’s a few take aways:

  • I sucked at pole dancing classes until I relaxed and allowed myself to tap into it
  • It was hard and I wasn’t as graceful in the beginning
  • I can’t get up there and pop like a professional but I can own that pole and dance graceful by the end
  • I conquered a fear of tapping into my sexuality. As a woman I should be okay with my own body at any size and in any condition
  • I did bring the skills of being able to be confident home. It is what it is. Lights on or off I can enjoy sex. For my PK followers let me tell you what I learned if you gon (yes I said gon) have sex at least enjoy it. I ain’t having sex to be lying around so my husband alone gets his.

Owning your sexuality is important. Even at church bachelorette parties the women sit and talk and laugh and get excited bringing women lingerie. They talk about how much sex they are going to have yet no one says it’s okay to enjoy it. It’s not necessarily implied either. My PK experience was about being there as a tool for your husband and that’s a blog for a different day! Why are you doing all of that for the lingerie to sit in the closets or drawers collecting dust because no one says it’s okay to enjoy sex? This is mind-boggling. I grew up hearing “save yourself for marriage.” So then when you get married, then what?! You supposed to just pray that it’s okay or not participate?

Pole dancing class took me so far out of element so I could come back to my element and love the body that I carry around. Essentially you are on a pole twirling your body weight but off the pole hate the same body?! Off the pole tell yourself you’re too fat? You’re too skinny? You don’t have enough butt or breasts?!

On the pole, own it and then wipe the pole down, grab a shower and love all of you! Love each and every part of you. That lesson is necessary. Like my instructor let us know, if you can pick it up, bring it back down and love it too!

Pole dancing for the everyday woman

There are traveling pole classes that come into various cities including yours. They teach you body confidence, self-love, and how to conquer the fear of being in front of others learning something you know you don’t do well. They have Groupon lessons that many women take classes with their closest friends and there was even a mother and daughter duo in my class. I don’t know if my mom would take one but the momma in class was showing and telling us some things about womanhood and I was taking it all in.

Pole dance classes make great Girl’s trip events and of course bachelorette party ideas. Some take them for exercise which I would definitely take in addition to my cardio and weight lifting I do now. I know plenty of gym instructors who take them to pull in another level in the classes that they give that have nothing to do with this the pole. I would recommend a few but this ain’t a sponsored post.

Pole dancing isn’t for hoes. Anyone who has this ideology hasn’t for sure taken one. That’s the first thing they teach you. Can you learn body confidence off the pole? Yes. Test your level of body confidence by getting on one and I’ll be the first to tell you it needs work. There’s pure vulnerability being on a pole. What you can do, what you can’t to and what you lack shows up on the pole every time. Who you think you are is forever challenged on the pole.

FYI this post isn’t telling you to take a pole dancing class. I’m just saying on this hump day if and when you do:

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Ask Toi: How do I know if I should Give an Ex another chance?

Hi Reader,

Any ex that you would even give 5 second of consideration should be held at a higher standard than anyone you date. You have history together. There is a reason they are an ex.  Remember that!!! For you to entertain them and cut off potential quality people for your future, that ex has to already demonstrate growth that isn’t connected to the potential of a relationship with you.

This means not lip-service of IF we get back together. It has to be an already they are already walking in the light. They should be walking in a certain higher level of growth that is catching your eye and not just them “old feelings” coming back. My husband is an ex, he demonstrated after some years apart that he was walking in growth that was not attached to the idea of us being an us. Can your ex or does your ex walk in growth that if you and him/her do not reconnect he or she will continue to walk in? If you are doubtful of that, the answer is move on. Thank God for the memories, remain cordial, but continue growing so you can walk and find the one whose growth is enough to speak to the growth that you are walking in.

Dating is hard. Going back to someone you once was with is easy but hard to separate the past.  It’s never good to not have a vision for what your life should be. Sometimes an ex doesn’t fit that. Let me give you an example. Before getting with my husband two ex tried to come back. One was married so you can tell the level of integrity that showed on my part to entertain it had I and his for pushing the issue. The other one was homelessexual meaning he had no place and needed resources. They both were great men back in the day for the period of my life I had entertained. They didn’t fit my life anymore. They have both last time I seen them are better or at least I hope they are. Not everyone on memories alone is suitable for your life. When I think about the hardships and the ways I have gotten through them with my husband there is no way it would have worked out with those other men. That’s not shade towards them at all. Do not go back to potential or to what could be. There’s many relationships that come together on what could be that end up in what the hell is….

 

Good luck and make some decisions not based on history or potential.

Valentine’s Day Message

I would like to say Happy Valentine’ Day to all who celebrate this holiday. Sending you love and peace today and everyday.

white and pink floral freestanding letter decor

Photo by rovenimages.com on Pexels.com

To my husband, I love you! Another year of love to push through this life with! To want to still wake up and pray with you and push you to being your best self as you do the same! To wake up feeling safe in body and mind-I don’t take that for granted. To know you are being honorable in a world of Futures……….thank you!

To my children, mommy absolutely adores you! Y’all turn up to that candy so y’all can turn down at bedtime so mommy and daddy can drink our wine and fall asleep on the couch!

To my friends and family, have a loving day!  Some of my best points in waking up to text messages of encouragement from dope friends who are out here trying to be whole and happy is the best!

To my readers, I send you abundant love!

To my single readers and friends-I know today is hard. You question your when.  It hurts and its okay to say it hurts. People will tell you how you should feel and how to process today. I say process it in a healthy way.  Process it in your way! I get it. I used to wake up and decorate my apartment and watch all of the girlie romantic comedies, go out on dates or hang with my family or friends. Night was hard especially if you feel or don’t have anyone to hang with.  It will pass but it doesn’t change the depth of feeling you feel today! I understand!  Sending you an extra genuine dose of support!

Valentine’s Day Snub

This day can be so super dramatic. Between the movies that make it bigger than life. So often, we even I get caught up in this day. What I think is important is to be honest about where you are and your expectations.

When my husband and I dated in college he really outdid himself. Without even having to say anything he really did a good job. Before him I really was blessed to date and whomever I dated just naturally got it right. I love holidays of all kinds. I love the art of celebrating. It breaks up life. It gives you small victories to look forward to. So for me it’s another celebration. It’s not just above saying well as a married couple he should show love so this one day doesn’t matter. I post holidays of all kinds and everyday I get excited to find a way to celebrate one of those holidays so Valentine’s Day is one as well.

I used to not be so vocal in my love for the day because everyone would make these claims of how commercial they were. As a preachers kid holidays depending on which ones you celebrated were deemed wrong. As I came into my own, I realized how happy celebrations made me feel. So I don’t allow others’ feelings to fall on me. I won’t allow people to say that a commercial holiday doesn’t matter. I’ve heard it all from what if your husband wasn’t able to make the day special?! How is that possible when he and I can make heart shaped cookies and watch a movie feel special?! End of day I enjoy his presence and I enjoy celebrating these types of holidays with him. It’s a perk of having him in my life.

So there’s never a Valentine’s Day snub for me. Although I understand that some don’t feel the same as I do or as blessed as me in regards of having someone to share the day, I don’t want to snub my feelings to appease others. I can have empathy without dissing my own love of the day!

I respect everyone no matter where they are. There were many years that I spent with family, by myself or just with my girlfriends. Some years in my singleness I felt fine and other times I was heartbroken. Admit where you are. Own it! But be okay if you like me love these love holidays!!!!!

Ask Toi: Valentine’s Day Edition: My wife states she doesn’t want a Valentine’s Day gift should I not get one?

Getting a gift for Valentine’s Day just because you are married is not mundane. I dislike people making the excuse that if your husband loves you he doesn’t have to show you love on Valentine’s Day. If your spouse loves you and wants to shower you with a gift on that day he can.  If you as a couple have come to the conclusion that you don’t exchange gifts that is fine too. Just be sure that when you state you don’t want a gift you are mature to make that decision and not give your spouse Hell come that day because you made a decision to be something you aren’t.  It’s okay to be married and exchange or not to. I encouraged that man to honor his wife’s words, by getting something and not giving to her that day but finding another day to give her a gift. This way if she by chance is one of these women who say things but don’t mean it he will still be covered and if she is standing by not wanting to exchange, he has a gift to give her as a thinking of you gift.

man and woman surrounded by grass

Photo by Ricardo Esquivel on Pexels.com

Ladies, I want to encourage you if you can’t stand by your decision to not give gifts, do NOT ever tell a man something you can’t stand by 100%.  This is the same thing when you get into an argument and you tell that man to leave the house and you don’t want him to leave. Or you get mad and use the big “D” word out of anger. This is a larger principle of not saying things to either look like the “cool” wife or to say things out of anger that you can’t back up.  Out of all of the times that I have argued with my husband I have learned not to say what I don’t mean. If you want a gift, it’s perfectly ok to say you want to exchange on Valentine’s Day.  What’s not okay to do is to play games or say things you think they want to hear. This will disappoint you in the long run.  This you should have known mess that people pull in relationships shows lack of maturity. Relationships are about communication and saying or acting in one manner that isn’t who you are makes it hard for either one of you to walk in love because you spend more time recovering from idle messages!

 

Inis Nua Theatre presents the American premiere of Box Clever by Monsay Whitney

I had the elite privilege of attending Box Clever for my Friday night fun. This play directed by artistic director, Tom Reing was outstanding.

Let me set the stage for you:

Marnie is living in a women’s shelter in London with her 4-year-old daughter. She is headstrong and says whatever comes to her head. While attempting to protect her daughter she is also dealing with her past boyfriends and the drama that ensues from their lives. This is a 2 women show. Ruby Wolf plays Marnie and Rachel Brodeur plays all of the other roles. This isn’t simply two ladies talking back to each other. Both of these ladies put so much passion into their interactions that they made me believe I was in London with them and entangled in Marnie’s frustration.

Now for those who would want to attend this production let me forewarn you, Marnie doesn’t mince her words. There is some cursing. However when you take a step back if you’re a mother trying to keep space for your daughter nothing Marnie said I didn’t want to stand up and verbally co-sign. This play hit a personal moment for me. Growing up and being in a shelter for a bit I saw what I remember seeing in my own mother. It took me back and it was done so well that it tapped into that part of my past. I didn’t feel ashamed. I did feel slight sadness thinking of the lack of resources available to her. I felt proud of my own mom for doing what she had to do to get us settled. Every emotion of upset, pain, frustration and anger I felt and so will you.

I’ve grown up around the arts and I will tell you Ruby and Rachel are professional and more than exceptional in their acting. By the end if you didn’t laugh, get mad and cry (some moments at the same time) you aren’t human. I would love to see the play again. I encourage all of my readers to attend this show if you’re able.

Box Clever will be showing up until February 24, 2019. Tickets are from 25-35 dollars a piece. All of the performances will take place at the Louis Bluver Theatre at the Drake, 302 South Hicks Street in Philadelphia. Thank you to the cast, and all staff who from the door to the theatre floor showed care to all of their guests. Thank you again for the reception afterwards as well.

A little more about Inis Nua Theatre:

  • Inis Nua means New Island
  • They produce provocative contemporary plays from Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales
  • Based in Philadelphia, they have been in production for 15 years
  • They have produced 17 American premieres, 13 Philadelphia premieres, and 1 world premiere
  • They won 6 Barrymore including the prestigious June and Steve Wolfson award for Evolving Theatre Company in 2014

To purchase tickets, Box Clever

Ask Toi: How much is too much for a first Valentine’s Day?

I would say rule of thumb spend what’s in your budget.  Do not over spend for any holiday.  Also since it’s your first one I would focus on something that you heard your partner talk about, likes, etc. So if you heard they like to run, maybe a gift card to their favorite running gear store. I can’t say what I would spend, I know my average for a first time Valentine’s day would be 75-100.  It’s a lot more money involved when spending for a man in my opinion.  So that is where I would keep it. I have been known to spend on my husband when we were in college dating. But again, clothes like a sweater of high quality cost more back in the day and that was before I was doing online shopping etc. Do not feel obligated to purchase anything that you will regret. I always asked myself while shopping for a new love interest, if we broke up on February 15th how would I feel about the purchases?  If you answer is clear your spending amounts will be clear too.