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Proper Pole Attire in Class

By on October 16, 2017

Someone has to say it, so I will:

Dear polers attending class, please consider wearing proper pole bottoms and tops to class instead of the underwear you have been wearing all day at work.

I surprise myself by writing this, since we are many years down the road from the advent of pole legitimizing itself as a fitness workout and sport. But seriously, why are students still wearing underwear to class?

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First of all, pole is a sport and whether they are attending a tricks class or a choreo class it’s likely that students will be sweaty, moving and breathing hard. For pole, skin contact is needed so it makes sense to wear shorts and sports bras, as this is clothing that is also appropriate for an intense workout. Pole is a form of dance. Dancers wear appropriate dance clothing to maximize movement range, long hours of training and to provide coverage of all parts of the body that are not typically meant to make a show in a dance performance.

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It makes sense then that clothing choices for pole should include inspiration from fitness and dance. Do people go to gym and run on the treadmill in cotton underwear? Nope. Proper pole clothing is made from stretch fabrics that allow for movement and coverage. Often these fabrics are “wicking fabric”, meaning that they are designed for sweat collection and faster evaporation. On top of it, these fabrics are hygienic.

Which brings up the second big point: hygiene. My guess is that most of us don’t want to share a pole with someone who has worn underwear all day at work and then peels clothing off and hops on the pole. Let’s talk hygiene. Although many polers are very clean and take lots of showers, all parts of the body end up touching the pole. I don’t know about everyone else, but I want clean bits and pieces on the pole, particularly if I have to share a pole. When someone wears fresh clean pole shorts with extra va-jay-jay coverage, less parts will be on the pole and more fabric will be covering the important parts. Diseases are spread through fecal matter, just saying this isn’t all about the lady parts, but the other hole too. It’s good pole manners to be clean.

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The third fact is that it’s distracting to see loads of vagina and nipple. I mean accidents happen and it usually produces a good laugh in class, but it becomes distracting when there is a constant show. Let’s face it, seeing someone’s bits is like looking at a train wreck: you can’t look away. The rate of pop out is significantly lower now with proper pole attire versus the early days of pole. Granted the sport’s history is unique, yes there are roots in the strip club, but there are also roots in gymnastics, circus, dance, acrobatics and Chinese pole.  Attending pole class normally is about paying to learn new moves or a routine, not to witness the repeated flash of vagina from the girl next to you in cotton Victoria’s Secret underwear. For the record, I am not against underwear as an overlay or as a costume element. As long as it’s clean and not something that has been worn all day. It should never be the only thin layer separating you and the person spotting you.

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The fourth point is that companies like Bad Kitty® have created full coverage pole shorts in a variety of styles. Why not wear the proper attire for the sport? The first generation of polers solved this issue of proper pole clothing: we developed pole shorts and cute sports bras for the full-body, complicated, gymnastic movements of pole.

Just in case you weren’t poling ten years ago, here is brief the history of pole clothing for pole fitness (pole wear). One of the major reasons Bad Kitty® came about was because polers did not have appropriate clothing. Back then, the choices ranged from volleyball shorts, cheer shorts, dance shorts or swim suit bottoms (which never ended well). The search was for the goldilocks zone: short enough shorts with enough coverage. Sports bras were another tricky task, the second one flipped upside down it was a crap shoot: the ladies might come out or might stay in. Many a class involved seeing nipples, vagina and sometimes both. If this sport was to become mainstream in America, the vag and nips would need to stay in place. Bad Kitty® was the first company to talk to pole athletes and see what they needed. Also, the first clothing manufacturer to test shorts on pole athletes and see if they have enough coverage, movement in the fabric and if the clothing could perform at a high level of athletic endeavor. The point is, pole clothing has been developed, why not wear it.

Pole class is a communal space where it’s nice to consider the experience of the other polers in the room. If showing the room what you got is part of the excitement of going to pole class, it might be time to consider why this is the focus and not the sport and dance itself.  Pole shorts and sports bras are not terribly expensive, they allow for better movement and more time spent focusing on pole not on wardrobe malfunctions.

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Rebecca Stokes
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Rebecca Stokes

Rebecca is a certified personal trainer, aerial studio owner and has developed training certification in the aerial arts industry.She is a journalist and is working on her Masters in clinical mental health therapy.
Rebecca Stokes
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