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  • The pole and christianity

    Posted by x Sakura x on April 4, 2010 at 7:37 pm

    Haha I know the title may sound a bit daunting to the unreligious but I decided to start a discussion because something someone said at church today really upset me (when I know perhaps it shouldn’t)
    She mentioned my pole dancing and how impressive it was and I said thank you and said she should come to my house and have a go sometime, to which her response was "no i couldn’t, besides it’s a sin"

    Now for all I know she could have been joking, but it really kind of got to me. Pole dancing was something that worried me (I’m quite newly christian you see) but after reading a blog of another member comforted myself that I wasn’t doing it to be provocative and it’s essentially my way of keeping fit and having fun with friends, but am I wrong? Does god not like me doing it?

    I know that her comment has come from the stigma attached to pole dancing, but are there any other christians on this website that have the same worries? Or are there any christians on this site that don’t worry at all? Just kind of wondering what other peoples opinions are on the subject, and kind of hoping that christian pole dancers aren’t a rare breed https://www.studioveena.com/img/smilies/icon_e_sad.gif

    StephanieStorm replied 14 years, 1 month ago 9 Members · 18 Replies
  • 18 Replies
  • Solya

    Member
    April 4, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    I’m not Christian but I don’t think pole dancing as a hobby clashes with Christianity. Pole is really up for personal interpretation – you can pole dance for your bf, you can pole dance as a stripper, you can pole dance as a circus artist or you can pole dance as an athlete. Pole needs strength, grace, and perseverance to excel at, just as any sport. I bet no one has a problem with figure skating where women wear tiny dresses barely covering their knickers and they pretty much have sex with their partners on the ice rink.

    That said you don’t need to be a Christian to find strippery pole dancing distasteful. I really, really don’t like pole dancers in tiny string bikinis who shove their bum into the camera at every possible opportunity (and there are plenty of those). I do pole for sport and for my own personal development. So bottom line, however you interpret pole will decide whether it’s an indecent thing to do or not.

    I think your friend is just ignorant/lacking knowledge, saying that it’s a sin. Why is it a sin? Does the Bible have a passage on dance poles and platform heels? I think she automatically associates pole dancing with strippers and selling your body for money, which obviously doesn’t compute with Christianity. You could perhaps try to talk about this with her and explain that the pole dancing you do is far, far removed from the image that lives in people’s minds.

    Mind you, this is quite a mild form of ignorance… my pole club at uni is now officially called ‘slut club’ on campus, beat that lol.

  • polergirl

    Member
    April 4, 2010 at 8:42 pm

    I don’t have a problem with Christians pole dancing. I don’t have a problem with people pole dancing for fitness. I don’t have a problem with anyone pole dancing, at all. But I get the distinct impression that those who aren’t into "sexy" pole dancing have a big problem with those who are into it. I am not trying to be contrary, but I really do want to know why. Pole dancing, unless you’re talking Chinese/acrobatic pole/whatever originated in strip clubs. "Mainstream society" has kinda appropriated it, and, in the process, we’ve learned that it’s a GREAT way to get into shape. But does it really, *really* matter how/why we pole dance? Really? Why does anyone need to defend what they do, or how they do it?

    FWIW, I come down firmly in the "I want it to be sexy" camp, and I feel like lately all I’m doing is defending that.

  • Runemist34

    Member
    April 4, 2010 at 9:07 pm

    Just two things I want to address. For reference, I am not a part of any kind of organized or definable religion.
    am I wrong? Does god not like me doing it?
    Do you know exactly what His wishes are? You have only the bible to go by, and despite my own issues I may take with the bible, I don’t believe it is a complete work of all of His opinions, beliefs, and ideas. It was written for ideas that were so far back in the past, they didn’t have poles to dance on! Do you think He would be upset with you for exploring the body He gave you, and exploring the psyche that He gave you, as well?
    I’m sorry, it’s really hard for me to not allow my own arguments into this. It’s not your fault…so I just want to say that I’m not trying to attack you. I just prefer if people ask these kinds of questions, especially if the answers are going to affect your entire life.
    Second:
    FWIW, I come down firmly in the "I want it to be sexy" camp, and I feel like lately all I’m doing is defending that.
    I agree. I also fall into the "exploring my sexuality and being sexy" camp, and it’s really starting to bother me that it seems to be becoming unacceptable. I can accept people who do it for aerobics and fitness, and I would prefer the same courtesy extended to my side as well.
    Also, if you don’t like it, just don’t look at it. I’m not trying to be offensive, just logical. https://www.studioveena.com/img/smilies/icon_scratch.gif

  • Charley

    Member
    April 4, 2010 at 9:33 pm

    I agree with Polegirl, it does seem like there have been a lot of instances where pole dancing as the sensual type is being frowned upon. I think that pole dancing like other forms of dance can be sensual with being overtly sexual and offensive. I think most people choose to see pole dancing as "something sex workers do and sex workers are bad, desperate, sinful women." I think this permeates the Christian culture which makes good, upstanding, non judgemental Christians take on the stance that "Well, if that is what you do, it is okay for you to do it, but not me. It’s mimicking something that is bad and wrong. But don’t worry I still love you, God commands it!"

    I am a Christian and I think the biggest problem affecting Christian women is not "should we pole dance? Is wrong to pole dance?" But how we REPRESENT POLE DANCING. Are we sexy pole dancers wearing mini shorts and 9” shoes? That image creates the above paragraphs idea of what pole dancing is and is considered to be overtly sexual and wrong.

    So does this mean that Christian woman can only pole dance barefoot or in ballet shoes? Should we never post videos of sensual (not sexual) dancing for other women to enjoy (in a heterosexual nature.)

    This is a complex issue for me because I am tired of apologizing for being sexy. I’m tired of feeling like it’s wrong to want to be attractive or to feel attractive. I’m tired of feeling like my hips and breasts are things to hide.
    If you are interested there is a facebook group for Christian Pole Dancers.

  • Solya

    Member
    April 4, 2010 at 9:50 pm

    I feel that some of the comments were kind of a reply to mine so let me clarify a few things https://www.studioveena.com/img/smilies/icon_e_smile.gif

    I don’t think any kind of pole dancing needs defense. It’s everyone’s personal business what they do on the pole. We receive so much ignorance and abuse from the rest of the world anyways.

    Sexy pole dancing also needs some definitions I guess. I totally agree that pole does in part originate from strip clubs and I think the stripper heritage is good to balance against the more athletic lobby of pole dancers.
    There’s also nothing wrong with being sexy and sensual and discovering your sexy side and all. You do that in other forms of dance too don’t you?

    So what I slightly frown upon is crass sexuality. There are many dancers who do a string of explicitly sexual moves, often paired with little other pole skills. I frankly don’t think it’s sexy, it’s tacky and cheap. What I’m trying to say is you don’t need to be sexually explicit and imitate sex with your pole dancing to come off sexy. Alethea Austin pops to my mind – she does do some very sensual floorwork and booty shaking and all but she still comes off as very sexy and graceful instead of just cheap.

    No matter what everyone says pole dancing HAS evolved to a form of sport/dance from writhing against a pole in a strip club. And also the ones who lobby for pole as a sport do get a fair bit of opposition from those in the ’I want to be sexy camp’. If you remember there was quite a disagreement from the sexy dancers about some people wanting to get pole into the Olympics.

  • polergirl

    Member
    April 4, 2010 at 9:57 pm

    I agree with Polegirl, it does seem like there have been a lot of instances where pole dancing as the sensual type is being frowned upon. I think that pole dancing like other forms of dance can be sensual with being overtly sexual and offensive. I think most people choose to see pole dancing as "something sex workers do and sex workers are bad, desperate, sinful women." I think this permeates the Christian culture which makes good, upstanding, non judgemental Christians take on the stance that "Well, if that is what you do, it is okay for you to do it, but not me. It’s mimicking something that is bad and wrong. But don’t worry I still love you, God commands it!"

    I am a Christian and I think the biggest problem affecting Christian women is not "should we pole dance? Is wrong to pole dance?" But how we REPRESENT POLE DANCING. Are we sexy pole dancers wearing mini shorts and 9” shoes? That image creates the above paragraphs idea of what pole dancing is and is considered to be overtly sexual and wrong.

    So does this mean that Christian woman can only pole dance barefoot or in ballet shoes? Should we never post videos of sensual (not sexual) dancing for other women to enjoy (in a heterosexual nature.)

    This is a complex issue for me because I am tired of apologizing for being sexy. I’m tired of feeling like it’s wrong to want to be attractive or to feel attractive. I’m tired of feeling like my hips and breasts are things to hide.
    If you are interested there is a facebook group for Christian Pole Dancers.

    I heart you. I was born and raised Catholic, though I no longer subscribe to any church and don’t consider myself to be a Christian….anyway, what I wanted to say is that, in my views, the ultimates in Christianity of any sort are tolerance and grace, and your post just oozes them. You’re a class act, Charley. And you’re sexy, and you shouldn’t feel a need to apologize for that.

  • x Sakura x

    Member
    April 5, 2010 at 12:27 am

    If you are interested there is a facebook group for Christian Pole Dancers.

    I am interested! Do you have a link?

    I just wanted to make it clear I have no problem with sensual pole dancing! In fact I love to watch it. I admire these women and would love to perform like them, I just know that performing like that doesn’t going to ring sexy in my mind, it says beautiful and athletic.

    I’m glad you posted charley! I feel the same. I’d like to think that’s it’s how we feel in our minds and hearts that is what counts when we pole dance! I’ve never thought it’s wrong to feel attractive! I once had a sermon about desires worth knowing about yourself. I think it’s natural to want to feel attractive and want others to be attracted to you, I think it was intended.

    I think a lot of people are tired of defending what they do as a hobby! Although it did originate from strip clubs, it’s extremely upsetting to be made to feel guilty for a hobby that i share with my girly friends and which i’ve always thought of as quite innocent really! It’s not like I’m selling my body https://www.studioveena.com/img/smilies/icon_e_sad.gif

    Oh well, I guess it is a complex issue and one that’s not going to have a solid conclusion any time soon!

  • amcut

    Member
    April 5, 2010 at 4:43 am

    Poo on that!

    I’m agnostic, but I have some firm beliefs on The One God- and it’s that if he is infinite, then he is ALL things, and that’s why not only was mother theresa made in his image, but also hitler. My belief in that prevents me from feeling badly about starving children or people who were born into situations that made it difficult to be Christlike (children of ishmael, harlem natives, double y boys)

    SO. My infinite, all knowing, incomprehensible (who can comprehend infinity) Christian God does not find pole dancing to be sinful- unless you believe it to be sinful. If you feel as though you’re going against god, and still doing it.. Yeah, totally a sin! If you’re thinking, "Hey, lust me, lust me lust me" and you and your covenant frown on those kinds of thoughts, … then you’re definitely sinning. If you’re innocent, or find that pole dancing strengthens your faith- you’re doing a daaamned good job.

    So, she would be sinning, you are not sinning. Kind of tree-of-knowledge logic, because we weren’t sinful until became so through knowing! God made all these things, and who are you to say that they weren’t made to God’s specs! Infinite god being thwarted by a fallen Angel? I think not! If God wanted us in the garden, we’d be in the garden. Not to say that you didn’t make a promise with your God to do certain things- and if you deviate from your promise, that’s most certainly sinful to go against a promise that you made with God!

    …Gray areas like dance and drink (do they take away from your love of God?- some sects consider them a sin because they can.. but there was a whole lot of dance and drink in the bible!) you have to make a choice as to whether it is healthy for your faith. If you know it’s bad for you and you do it.. mhhhph.

    I guess it all depends on which god you believe in. Cold god, God is Love, Infinite God, Angry Old Testament God, Dead God, Limited God (The one having so much trouble with Satan), Unconscious Energy God.. Each would have a different response to your pole dance, I think.

  • x Sakura x

    Member
    April 5, 2010 at 6:00 am

    Thanks amcut! You take on things was really useful! https://www.studioveena.com/img/smilies/icon_e_smile.gif x

  • Runemist34

    Member
    April 5, 2010 at 6:40 am

    Amcut, that was the best explanation of that theory (which I share with you!) I’ve ever heard! https://www.studioveena.com/img/smilies/icon_cheers.gif

  • x Sakura x

    Member
    April 5, 2010 at 6:01 pm

    Do you know exactly what His wishes are? You have only the bible to go by, and despite my own issues I may take with the bible, I don’t believe it is a complete work of all of His opinions, beliefs, and ideas. It was written for ideas that were so far back in the past, they didn’t have poles to dance on! Do you think He would be upset with you for exploring the body He gave you, and exploring the psyche that He gave you, as well?
    I’m sorry, it’s really hard for me to not allow my own arguments into this. It’s not your fault…so I just want to say that I’m not trying to attack you. I just prefer if people ask these kinds of questions, especially if the answers are going to affect your entire life.

    I just wanted to reply to this part rumenist my lovely. I assure you huni I have asked myself these questions and I’ve come to what I feel to be good conclusions for myself. I’m not just following rules for the sake of following them. I tend to think about my actions in terms of my faith a lot! And with pole dancing I thought I was comfortabley decided (and think I am again after an intense bout of thinking in the car).

    I suppose it just threw me when this girl said it like it was fact! It is a sin! Well I don’t think it is. I think amcut has hit the nail on the head! Thank you all for your opinions it really helped! https://www.studioveena.com/img/smilies/icon_e_smile.gif

  • Charley

    Member
    April 6, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    Here is the facebook group for Christian Pole Dancers.

    http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/group.php?gid=107071045991600&ref=ts

    I heart you. I was born and raised Catholic, though I no longer subscribe to any church and don’t consider myself to be a Christian….anyway, what I wanted to say is that, in my views, the ultimates in Christianity of any sort are tolerance and grace, and your post just oozes them. You’re a class act, Charley. And you’re sexy, and you shouldn’t feel a need to apologize for that.

    AWWWWW thanks!

  • x Sakura x

    Member
    April 6, 2010 at 5:54 pm

    Joined, awesome idea btw x

  • Journey

    Member
    April 6, 2010 at 6:08 pm

    First off, bravo to you for talking about it at your church. I know here I’m the outspoken Christian pole dancer with a blog for the world to see, but I don’t breathe a word of it at church. I have privacy settings set up so my church folk don’t see anything with my pole stuff on my Facebook. I’m not ashamed of it, but it’s a battle I’m not ready for yet – I can’t even convince my family there’s nothing wrong with it, so I’m afraid of the reaction I’m going to get from my church.

    Something that really empowered me not too long before I started my blog was a post that Fleur did:
    http://www.studioveena.com/blogs/entry/Vanity-lust-pride-and-other-sins

    And lilbit’s comment, which I’ll paste here:
    "Fluer I think it’s great that you are taking a look at this and digging deep….however I don’t believe you are violating any of "Gods" laws and here’s why…once the apple was eaten "we" became aware of our sexuality, we were given free will and in that the ability to express ourselves. I am a very spiritual person and I have talked with the pastor of my church…his stand is that dance in any form is a personal expression and celebration as long as our hearts and minds are in the right place and we do no harm to others we have not offended God. He gave me something to read that really helped…I will post it on your blog as soon as I find it, maybe that will help you with your struggle. Pole dancing is NOT "UNCHRISTIAN" it is people’s perception of it and we have absolutely no control over what others think. Myself being a recovering addict/alcoholic when I chose to go out with friends I also have the ability to chose not to drink…no one is responsible for whether or not I do. In other peoples opinion’s I have two strikes against me, I’m a recovering addict/alcoholic and I pole dance! LOL I don’t give my power to anyone and I hold my head high because I am a child of God and have done nothing wrong…I could go one with all the things people feel I do that is in violation of "Christianity" If you ever come across a peom written by Mya Angelo (sp?) she wrote a piece on her understanding of Christianity, it is absolutely beautiful and well stated as to what is really is all about! Anyway…you in my humble opinion have and are doing nothing wrong…the people who perceive it as "wrong" have their minds in the "devils" backyard to even think that. I am clean and sober because of God’s grace which in turn has allowed me to do things I never thought I could…and poling is not only good for my body but for my soul! So you keep going because you are the epitome of beauty and represent woman in a beautiful light!! OK off my podium!! LOL"

    I started crying when I read that, and based some of my blog posts off of this idea.

    But also remember that perhaps your friend at church is trying to keep their head above water – maybe they are afraid that they won’t be able to separate out what is and isn’t sinful in their own mind and would just rather not take the risk. But maybe they really just are closing their minds and refusing to make the attempt – it’s hard to say. *shrug*

    If you’re having doubts yourself, just take a step back and be honest with yourself about how you see pole dancing and yourself when you pole. That’s where it can be sinful – BUT THERE IS NOTHING INHERENTLY EVIL ABOUT POLE DANCING. It’s only sinful if you make it that way, and don’t beat yourself up if you discover that perhaps you have been doing something wrong – just fix it! https://www.studioveena.com/img/smilies/icon_e_smile.gif We’re all sinners, so while it is kinda a big deal, it’s still no big deal… if that makes any sense. https://www.studioveena.com/img/smilies/icon_scratch.gif Remember that guilt is a tool of the devil, too.

    And I’m gonna stop before this gets as long as one of my blog posts… https://www.studioveena.com/img/smilies/icon_tongue.gif But remember that we’re all here and praying for you!

  • x Sakura x

    Member
    April 7, 2010 at 8:45 pm

    Thank you for sharing that Journey. It was so good to hear from someone who has thought it over too and it means so much that you took the time to post.

    I really think I am going to take a step back and get pole dancing all sorted out in my head again like you suggest! I don’t know why this one comment has thrown me so much. I know she didn’t mean it maliciously or anything and she’s a lovely girl and maybe you’re right about her feelings. I won’t force the issue.

    I don’t want to have to hide it from my friends at church. Even if they don’t truely get it, I know what pole dancing is all about really. I think after this first experience I will be better prepared for others, and you guys have helped so much. Thank you for your support. I’m so happy I found this site https://www.studioveena.com/img/smilies/icon_e_biggrin.gif
    x

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