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The Charisma Game
by Frank Kermit
This is a Group Activity I created for you to practice with others.
I created this for use when I was running weekly workshops for single for dating.
I have included it in my coaching workbooks:
I'm a Man, That's My Job
I'm a Woman, It My Time
The premise: Each person in the room will offer one compliment to every other person in the room, WITHOUT expecting a compliment in return.
When someone compliments you, you are instructed to simply say “THANK YOU”, without offering a compliment back.
There are a few different ways to do it.
For a larger group, have them walk around without saying a word, approaching as many people as they can. When they get face to face with someone, they must offer a compliment, without expecting one back, and the person being complimented must say. “THANK YOU” before saying anything else.
For smaller groups, or groups of people with limited mobility, you can have everyone sit in a circle and each person takes a turn in complimenting all the other members in the group, one by one. In this set up, allow everyone some time to write down their compliments to others in the group without having anyone share them. Smaller groups ideally have everyone wearing a name-tag (use first name or nickname)
Finally for very small groups of people who are horrendously shy, you can resort to people writing down the compliment for each person on a number of pieces of paper, then all the papers are collected and the host of the evening will pull out each one and read them out loud.
Do not use this one unless in extreme circumstances. It is a last resort method of doing it. It does not reach all of the goals needed.
The compliments can be superficial.
It can be based on a physical feature like a smile, complimenting the person’s eyes, mode of attire, or style of clothing.
If you start the group meet with the Charisma Game, most all of the compliments are going to be superficial, as most people will likely not know each other.
If you run the Charisma Game 3-4 times over the span of the group meet (which is the way is usually works best), at each start of the Charisma Game you an instruct people to compliment how the person has participated in the group meet thus far.
Finally, set a time limit. The Charisma Game is to happen for a 2-4 minute span at most with medium sized groups. You do not want the same people pairing up during the same segment of the game.
The point of The Charisma Game is:
-To teach people that going up to meet a stranger
to make that person feel good is OK to do
-To teach people strangers coming up to meet you and
attempt to make you feel good is OK to do
-To teach people how
to simply accept a
(Which some people have a hard time doing)
-To teach people that saying
and not to feel obligated to compliment
back just because
someone complimented them first
-To teach people not to expect anything back
and not be attached to an outcome when they try to
meet someone new
-To build up people’s
confidence in being able to compliment others, and
for people to have their confidence reinforced by
the compliments of others
-To give people a
chance to meet each other in the group settings
are going to be regular ongoing meetings
-To teach people that the more times you approach
the same person over the course of the workshop,
the easier it gets each time, and carry that comfort
outside the workshop space
The Definition of Charisma as I teach it, is to make a person feel good about him or her self, while at the same time present a positive impression of yourself to them.
If you can do that, then you have Charisma.
THE ART OF CALIBRATION PROGRAM: FROM CREEPY TO CHARISMA EBOOK
The use of compliments is how you make a person feel good. HOW you compliment a person without the pressure of expecting anything said in return is how you start to train yourself to make a favorable impression of yourself in the process.
Some of the things that would happen is that people from the workshop would get used to talking to people they liked as well as talking to people they did not like, which is a good social skill to develop.
Some of the people would approach me afterwards and tell me how difficult the first few were, but once they got used to it, they felt more comfortable as they did it more often.
Some people would take me aside and complain that everyone complimented him or her on exactly the same thing (for example, everyone complimented one person on her hairpin, and never on anything else). If this happens, it is a sign for the person to “step up” and give people something else to compliment. It is a great way for someone to learn they may not come across in the ways they thought.
Get a group of people together and try it. Good luck!
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Believing in Yourself
Confidence is sometimes seen as a measure of how much you believe in yourself. Being able to go outside while wearing a suit and not feeling out of place? That’s confidence. The ability to stand up on a stage to speak to an audience? Confidence. Suggesting workplace changes to your boss for the sake of improving their business? Once again, confidence. If you believe in yourself and wash away the doubt, you’ll find that it’s much easier to live your life and make the right calls.
Your appearance is a huge part of your confidence. Whether it’s the clothes you wear or the smile you put on in public, your confidence can be determined by your outward appearance. You should keep yourself well-groomed, browse for custom suits that make you look comfortable and also practice better body language. Just remember that your appearance will be the first thing people see, and that’s how they will typically judge you the first time around.
Negative thoughts are pointless, useless and don’t serve any purpose other than to scare you and make you doubt. If self-belief is one of the keys to a confident lifestyle, then lowering your worth and spreading negative thoughts is a quick way to destroying any belief you have in yourself.
On the contrary, promoting positivity is a sure way to bolster your own self-worth. Learning to spread positive messages and thinking in a positive manner will help you maintain our confidence. Being able to smile and think logically in the face of adversity, be it a problem at work or an issue at home, will help you deal with problems quickly and efficiently. Your positivity will eventually grow on people and become infectious, and people will see you as a driving force of positive energy that will motivate them.
Knowing yourself is half the battle when aspiring for confidence. As mentioned before, confidence is how much you believe in yourself, but if you’re unsure about your own principles then this is almost impossible to achieve. Learn more about yourself by exploring things that you hide away from the public. Live the life you want to and embrace the thoughts and feelings you have. You’ll find it much easier to believe in yourself and grow confidence if you have a good understanding of your own personality.
There are many other ways to promote confidence in yourself, but these should give you a fantastic foundation to build upon. Just remember that finding confidence is an endless journey of self-discovery.
To Belly Dance Or Not To Belly Dance
Written by: Pillow Talk Gal
Updated February 28, 2018
When I was asked if I wanted to take part in a belly dancing class and write an article about it, I was really excited. Then, the more I thought about it the more I began to worry a little. I have never really attended any kind of dance class (if you don’t count when I was little) so belly dancing seemed like a bit of a leap. I have to admit though; I was curious and nervous at the same time.
The day of my first class had finally arrived and my excitement/curiosity had made me almost an hour early. At least parking was a breeze (I found a spot literally in front of the building). I had some extra time to kill, so I decided to sit in the park right across from the dance studio. Despite the honking of cars and bustle of the city, it was very relaxing and helped to calm my nerves a little bit.
Then, before I knew it, it was time to meet the group and start my belling dancing experience.
I was met by Brooke Megan (teacher and belly dance guru) with the warmest of smiles and the most welcoming of greetings.
The studio had a very warm and inviting vibe and I was instantly put at ease.
An introduction to the rest of my fellow dancers was given and everyone was gracious and friendly towards me (the new comer). Students had the option to bring their own hip scarves or to choose one from Brooke’s wide, not to mention beautiful, collection. Not having any of my own, I chose one of Brookes’ (I would later find out that she’s owned this particular hip scarf for 8 years- no pressure).
Once everyone was ready to begin, we all took our seats on our mats and Brooke began her introduction to what holistic belly dancing is all about.
The class was a safe space where women could share their thoughts and emotions without judgement. After Brookes’ explanations, we all sat in our circle and experienced the openness of touch with one another.
We all paired up and gave our partners hand massages using essentials oils (this exercise is practiced openly to learn to relax and give of ourselves but also to receive from others.
We were given a small demonstration as to how to massage the hand then we were off (of course it is clearly mentioned by Brooke that any and all activities done in the classroom are not forced upon students and anytime anyone is not comfortable with something, they are free to sit out with no judgement or issues). This said, I sat back and allowed my partner to give me my hand massage.
At first, I was clearly not relaxed as my partner was so keenly able to detect (by simply feeling how tense my forearm was). Then as she calmly told me to relax and enjoy, I found myself surrendering to the calming music playing in the background and found that my massage was actually very pleasant.
I found myself letting go of my tension and just giving into the moment.
Once we had given and received our hand massages, we gathered in our circle once more and captured what we had taken away from the experience, in our journals.
The group then proceeded to share their thoughts on the massage exercise and what they had taken away from the experience. I myself shared how impressed I was with my partner’s ability to almost immediately detect where I was holding all my tension in my forearm (carpal tunnel syndrome- a common job hazard among writers) and therefore she was able to relieve some of the pain.
Now that our spirits were open and our emotional palettes were cleansed, it was time to warm up our bodies and belly dance. We started by stretching out and getting our muscles ready. Then came the moment I had been so anxious about: experiencing what belly dancing was all about.
Poses and stances were front and center and I awoke muscles my body seemed to have forgotten I had.
We observed ourselves in the studio mirrors so as to mimic what Brooke was showing us (to the best of our abilities).
Brooke gave us a phenomenal example of what we could eventually accomplish with these wonderful moves and she performed for the entire class.
It inspired us all and definitely made me want to give it a whirl.
The amazing part is by this time I wasn’t feeling self conscience at all. I was totally comfortable in the environment that Brooke had created for the class.
We all moved to the music, holding our belly dance poses and receiving encouragement from each other and Brooke.
The aspect that surprised me the most is that as a woman, I have spent the better part of my life trying to make my body giggle as little as possible.
Now, I was being encouraged to shake all my little bits as much as I could and it was fabulous! No shame, just pure liberation and enjoyment of the female form in all its glory.
As we danced and learned how to move our bodies, time seemed to just fly by. Before I knew it, the class had come to an end and it was time to cool down. Brooke gave each and every one individual high-fives and congratulations on a job well done. It was such a rewarding experience.
So that marked the end of my first belly dancing experience (the first of many to come). As I said my goodbyes to my fellow belly dancers, I mentioned how I was looking forward to the next class.
I made my way home and discovered that I had a level of renewed energy and optimism that I have not felt in a very long time. I felt a boost both mentally and physically (even though my muscles were telling me otherwise).
I am so looking forward to next week’s class.
-Pillow Talk Gal
About Pillow Talk Gal
Born and raised in British Columbia, she is a professional woman managing a career, marriage, and a teenager. Life can be challenging at times but she's a firm believer that everything in life happens for a reason, and more often than not, she tries to understand those reasons.
"Join me in my journey throughout life’s issues and I guarantee you’ll be left pondering an issue or two." - Pillow Talk Gal
*Disclaimer: All photos of Brooke Megan are copyright Brooke Megan and all persons in the photos retain all their rights, interest and titles in the photos. All photos appear here with written permission on file with Brooke Megan.
About Brooke Megan and House of Lavender
- Holistic Belly Dance Group
Located at: 5582A Sherbrooke Street O, Montreal, QC H4A 1W3
Telephone number: 514-814-7557
Face book page: House of Lavender: Beauty and Wellness
Brooke Megan has been teaching belly dancing for 8 years and has extensive experience in dance through her teaching at Carlton University in Ottawa.
She herself was introduced to belly dancing through group lessons and was compelled to share this wonderful art form with others. She has performed at the Shenkman Art Centre in Ottawa, various art galleries and cafes. Her goal in offering belly dance lessons is to educate people with regards to the beauty and strength of exotic dance. She wants to have people experience this art form at a grass roots level.
Her six week program is open to all who wish to explore their creative side all the while relieving stress and getting fit.
For more information call 514-814-7557 or check out her Face book page: House of Lavender: Beauty and Wellness
Bad Sex? Speak Up!
by Kristin Casey
In response and review of a New Your Magazine Article
As an intimacy coach, my time is spent immersed in topics of dating, relationships, and sexuality. Aside from working directly with clients, I keep up on relevant research, articles, books, opinion pieces, and the occasional, well-thought-out blog.
A variety of evolving attitudes and perspectives informs my work and feeds my passion. Half of what I read is inspiring and encouraging.
The other half…not so much.
A recent piece in NYMag.com (a copy of said article is at the bottom of this post, for the purposes of fair use fair copying as a review of the article, and to provide a balanced perspective) relayed the experiences of female college students, a diverse population of smart, savvy, autonomous adults, who feel something between chagrined and victimized, by a widespread epidemic of bad sex.
The premise of the article seems to be that this situation needs further interrogation.
That this “vast expanse of bad sex — joyless, exploitative encounters that reflect a persistently sexist culture” needs to be acknowledged.
The question is, by whom?
If, like me, you’re thinking by the dissatisfied women’s partners, of course,
you’ll want to read on.
Here are a few key points from the article:
- The title, “The Game Is Rigged—why sex that’s consensual can still be bad and why we’re not talking about it” seems to presume two things. First, that by default, men have all the control and are taking unfair advantage of it, and second, that the only thing a woman must do to ensure she isn’t to blame for bad sex is consent.
- They Make Assumptions. When these women don’t like the way a man touches them in bed, they can’t or won’t bring themselves to say anything about it because they “assume it won’t matter to him.”
- The question was posed, “how can they [women] get guys to get them off?” (Seriously, that was an actual question, as if the phrase ‘let me show you how to get me off’ never occurred to them.)
- A woman gets drunk at a campus party thrown by men she doesn’t know. She makes out with more than a couple of them, then the next day feels weird, confused, and dissatisfied by “what went down.” She eventually decides “campus feminism” is at fault for acting like Yes and No are simple concepts. (I don’t even know where to begin with this one. Literally, there is nothing simpler in the entire universe than Yes or No.)
I hear this stuff from women all the time, daily, in person and online. I’ve been hearing it since my teens. (I’m currently 49.) I could write a book on this topic, and maybe someday I will.
For now, my question is,
Where is the accountability?
Where is any attempt to take personal responsibility for one’s choices, behavior, and sex life?
Where is any indication these women understand they have as much control as the man in bed—as much as they choose to wield, in fact—and with that control comes not just the power but the duty to be as “good” as they expect him to be?
My next question is, what is this nebulous force “campus feminism” and why is it tasked with addressing these women’s problem?
Why aren’t the sexually dissatisfied women—presumably feminists themselves—addressing it with their individual sex partners?
(I hate to point out the obvious, but honestly, I feel like I just solved their entire problem.)
This quote from the article is most illuminating.
A 29-year-old editorial director of a well-known feminist website, has just described her longstanding unsatisfying sex life.
She winds up feeling bad for not having done the work of telling her partners how to make her feel good.
“What I want is not for me to have that burden. I want one of my male partners, who are wonderful men who care about me, to have just once been like, ‘No, this is unacceptable to me. I’m not going to continue to have sex with you when you’re not getting off!’ And I can’t imagine that happening.”
To be clear, this thing she pines for yet can’t imagine happening, is a fairytale scenario, akin to waving a hanky for a prince to ride up to save her.
Is this what we’re calling empowerment now?
Is this how “campus feminism”—or any feminism—works?
(No, it’s absolutely not.)
The “burden” of learning what brings a woman sexual pleasure belongs to her alone.
The burden of conveying that information to her partner(s) is also hers alone.
It’s not only unreasonable to place the burden on men, it’s illogical.
Even more absurd, is an outspoken, influential feminist stating on record, without a hint of irony, that she can’t be expected to experience sexual pleasure until it’s presented to her, by a man, on a silver platter.
This isn’t how feminism works.
More importantly, it’s not how good sex works.
Yet this willful obtuseness is pervasive.
A few examples off the top of my head:
- She Still Had Sex?: A woman I know (in her late-20s, professionally accomplished with an advanced degree) met a man on Tinder and invited him to her home, only to discover she wasn’t attracted to him in person. Though she said he seemed perfectly nice and unthreatening, instead of calling off the tryst, she made the decision to have sex with him “because it felt like the path of least resistance.” After he left, she sent him a rage-filled text for “allowing” her to go through with it. She stated that he should’ve sensed her disinterest and bowed out of his own accord. (Because he didn’t read her mind and act as her moral compass for her, she was livid.)
- Great Fatigue?: I once heard a woman say that the process of insisting on condom use caused her “great fatigue.” (Is she having sex on a treadmill? How much energy does it take to say “deal-breaker, dude”?)
- How Dare He Ask Her What She Likes?: At a group lunch recently, a friend of a friend complained about new lovers who ask her “what do you like?” in bed. The other women at the table laughed mockingly at these nameless men with their awkward ignorance. (She refused to answer the offending question posed by her hapless lovers, by the way, and instead would wait till later to gleefully chastise them to friends.)
- Saying Nothing At All? At the same luncheon, minutes later, another woman expressed dismay about men who mimic porn moves in bed. She called them cartoonish and ignorant. When I asked what she said or did to redirect their behavior in ways she found more pleasurable, she and the entire table stared at me blankly. (Because I’m the one who doesn’t get it!?)
The above anecdotes were shared amongst women only,
done so after the fact.
More recently, I witnessed an online verbal attack directed at a man. On a popular feminist blog, in the comment section, a thoughtful and sensitive young man expressed insecurity about his general datability and sexual performance. He then made a casual observation suggesting women have it easier in bed (since women, more than men, are given the option to be passive during sex). It didn’t go over well.
He was verbally abused, rudely shut down, and blatantly denied the space to share his honest experiences, simply because they weren’t in-line with the going narrative, constructed by female commenters—a narrative, I might add, about the male experience. One reply in particular, struck me as exceptionally insensitive. An angry, accusatory young woman refused to believe this man (or any man) could be effected by expectations beyond that of his current partner. She said all he had to do was find an understanding girlfriend and “boom.” He’d cease to feel stress, pressure, or self-doubt about his manliness. She insisted societal expectations weren’t a “thing” for men. They’re only a thing for women. This, on a website known for long thought pieces on rape culture, internalized misogyny, fat shaming, cat calling, trigger warnings, safe spaces, and bullying in all forms. (Well, almost all forms, it would seem.)
It is stressful for a man to enter every sexual scenario believing his “man badge” is on the line. Why is that hard to believe?
(Especially by women who find it overwhelmingly stressful to say anything along the lines of “please touch me differently.”)
A man’s entire life is comprised of win/lose moments. They’re raised to be competitive, to earn their stripes by impressing the rest of The Pack. These rigid masculine roles are so ingrained as to be systemic.
Men are bombarded from all directions, by parents, peers, society at large, and their own internalized image of what “real” men are.
Of course, some women are ambitious too and prioritize career success, but in our society that’s considered their option.
For men, it’s an expectation. It’s placed on them at birth.
That burden is integral to the male experience.
Men labor (literally) under the belief they’re 100% responsible for every success or failure in life, including every sexual encounter.
That’s how sex becomes about scoring points and being a stud, versus sharing intimacy and pleasure with a partner.
Complicit in this skewed vision of what constitutes “good sex” is every woman who wanted something different—more foreplay, a softer touch, less tongue, more tongue, or whatever special (or banal) thing happens to turn her on—and failed to convey those specific desires to her partner.
But if men are to shift their perspective—if we expect them to drop the “stud role,” with its performance-oriented approach to sex—what then?
As is made clear in the NYMag article, women can’t or won’t state their needs, much less take charge in bed.
If they’re so unhappy with the way men are doing it, when will they ever speak up?
When will they become participants in bed, instead of passive, silent, disgruntled audience members writing scathing reviews after the fact?
The dissatisfied women in the article cited power imbalances as the cause of all their problems. In a way, I suppose that’s true. Yet women can reclaim their power at any time by
1) finding their voices and
2) using them.
And not to freelance journalists or to each other,
but to their male partners.
Women who cannot ask for what they want in bed,
shouldn’t even be having sex.
They’re better off in a tower somewhere,
waving a hanky out the window,
awaiting a fairytale prince to save them.
Kristin Casey is an intimacy coach in Austin, Texas. She works exclusively with male clients, specializing in overcoming performance anxiety, dissociation, various forms of dysfunction, and related intimacy issues.
the views of the author do not necessarily represent the views of Franktalks.com.
It is important to present different views/mindsets, and that includes material that may be deemed controversial in nature.
The Articles produced in this post were written by the authors and all rights, titles and interests in these articles belong to the authors (or whoever they assigned those rights too). These articles are published here and are used herein under Fair Use and Fair Copying for the purposes of reviews, and remain the property of the author.
SEX ON CAMPUS
The Game Is Rigged
Why sex that’s consensual can still be bad. And why we’re not talking about it.
By Rebecca Traister
Last winter, Reina Gattuso was a Harvard senior majoring in literature and gender studies and writing a biweekly column for the college newspaper, the Crimson. She covered a variety of subjects, among them her sexuality (she identifies as queer) and Harvard’s byzantine class hierarchies, and she wrote a regular feature called “Four Dollar Wine Critic.” In February, she dedicated her column to the subject of sexist sex.
Gattuso is not against sex by any means. “I don’t say yes. I say oh, yes. I say yes, please,” she wrote. And she did say yes at a booze-soaked party hosted by a group of men she didn’t know. One of the men told her that because she was bisexual, he assumed she was “particularly down to fuck.” He said she could make out with his girlfriend if she would hook up with another of the men.
“I have so much to drink my memory becomes dark water, brief flashes when I flicker up for air,” Gattuso wrote. “I’m being kissed. There’s a boy, then another boy. I keep asking if I’m pretty. I keep saying yes.” But in the morning, she wrote, “I feel weird about what went down” and was unsure how to express her feelings of dissatisfaction and confusion over “such a fucked-up experience.”
Eventually, she realized that what she was grappling with was not just the night in question but also the failure of campus feminism to address those kinds of experiences. We tend to talk about consent “as an individual process,” she wrote, “not asking ‘What kinds of power are operating in this situation?’ but only ‘Did you or did you not say yes?’ ” Feminists, she continued, “sometimes talk about ‘yes’ and ‘no’ like they’re uncomplicated … But ethical sex is hard. And it won’t stop being hard until we … minimize, as much as possible, power imbalances related to sex.”
It may feel as though contemporary feminists are always talking about the power imbalances related to sex, thanks to the recently robust and radical campus campaigns against rape and sexual assault. But contemporary feminism’s shortcomings may lie in not its overradicalization but rather its underradicalization. Because, outside of sexual assault, there is little critique of sex. Young feminists have adopted an exuberant, raunchy, confident, righteously unapologetic, slut-walking ideology that sees sex — as long as it’s consensual — as an expression of feminist liberation. The result is a neatly halved sexual universe, in which there is either assault or there is sex positivity. Which means a vast expanse of bad sex — joyless, exploitative encounters that reflect a persistently sexist culture and can be hard to acknowledge without sounding prudish — has gone largely uninterrogated, leaving some young women wondering why they feel so fucked by fucking.
Feminism has a long, complicated relationship to sex, one that has cycled from embrace to critique and back again. By the time a generation of women woke feminism from its backlash slumber around the millennium, the sex wars of the 1980s were long over. Some second-wave feminists, including Andrea Dworkin and Catharine MacKinnon, had seen sex, pornography, and sexism as all of a piece, finding it impossible to pick the strands of pleasure from the suffocating fabric of oppression. So-called sex-positive feminists — Ellen Willis, Joan Nestle, Susie Bright — set themselves against what they saw as this puritanical slant. The sex-positive crusaders won the war for a million reasons, perhaps especially because their work offered optimism: that sexual agency and equality were available to women, that we were not destined to live our sexual lives as objects or victims, that we could take our pleasures and our power too. They won because sex can be fun and thrilling and because, for the most part, human beings want very badly to partake of it.
So it was only natural that when feminism was resurrected by young women creating a new movement, it was self-consciously sex friendly, insouciant in its approach to the signs and symbols of objectification. No one would ever mistake these feminists for humorless harridans or frigid dick-rejectors. But the underpinning philosophy had shifted slightly. Sex positivity was originally a term used to describe a theory of women, sex, and power; it advocated for any kind of sexual behavior — from kink to celibacy to conscious power play — that women might enjoy on their own terms and not on terms dictated by a misogynistic culture. Now it has become shorthand for a brand of feminism that was a cheerleader for, not a censor of, sex — all sex. Feminism’s sexual focus narrowed in on one issue: coercion and violence. Sex that took place without clear consent wasn’t even sex; it was rape.
In this line of thinking, sex after yes, sex without violence or coercion, is good. Sex is feminist. And empowered women are supposed to enjoy the hell out of it. In fact, Alexandra Brodsky, a Yale law student and founder of anti-rape organization Know Your IX, tells me that she has heard from women who feel that “not having a super-exciting, super-positive sex life is in some ways a political failure.”
Except that young women don’t always enjoy sex — and not because of any innately feminine psychological or physical condition. The hetero (and non-hetero, but, let’s face it, mostly hetero) sex on offer to young women is not of very high quality, for reasons having to do with youthful ineptitude and tenderness of hearts, sure, but also the fact that the game remains rigged.
It’s rigged in ways that go well beyond consent. Students I spoke to talked about “male sexual entitlement,” the expectation that male sexual needs take priority, with men presumed to take sex and women presumed to give it to them. They spoke of how men set the terms, host the parties, provide the alcohol, exert the influence. Male attention and approval remain the validating metric of female worth, and women are still (perhaps increasingly) expected to look and fuck like porn stars — plucked, smooth, their pleasure performed persuasively. Meanwhile, male climax remains the accepted finish of hetero encounters; a woman’s orgasm is still the elusive, optional bonus round. Then there are the double standards that continue to redound negatively to women: A woman in pursuit is loose or hard up; a man in pursuit is healthy and horny. A woman who says no is a prude or a cock tease; a man who says no is rejecting the woman in question. And now these sexual judgments cut in two directions: Young women feel that they are being judged either for having too much sex, or for not having enough, or enough good, sex. Finally, young people often have very drunk sex, which in theory means subpar sex for both parties, but which in practice is often worse (like, physically worse) for women.
As Olive Bromberg, a 22-year-old genderqueer sophomore at Evergreen State, sees it, modern notions of sex positivity only reinforce this gendered power imbalance. “There seems to be an assumption that is ‘Oh, you’re sexual, that means you’ll be sexual with me,’” Bromberg says. “It feeds into this sense of male sexual entitlement via sexual liberation of oneself, and it’s really fucked.”
And again, this is all part of consensual sex, the kind that is supposed to be women’s feminist reward. There’s a whole other level of confusion around the smudgy margins when it comes to experiences like the one I had at college 20 years ago. It was an encounter that today’s activists might call “rape”; which feminist hobgoblin Katie Roiphe, whose anti-rape-activist screed The Morning After was then all the rage, would have called “bad sex”; and which I understood at the time to be not atypical of much of the sex available to my undergraduate peers: drunk, brief, rough, debatably agreed upon, and not one bit pleasurable. It was an encounter to which I consented for complicated reasons, and in which my body participated but I felt wholly absent.
“A lot of sex feels like this,” Gattuso wrote in May, after her popular Crimson columns drew the attention of Feministing, a website at which she has since become a contributor. “Sex where we don’t matter. Where we may as well not be there. Sex where we don’t say no, because we don’t want to say no, sex where we say yes even, when we’re even into it, but where we fear … that if we did say no, or if we don’t like the pressure on our necks or the way they touch us, it wouldn’t matter. It wouldn’t count, because we don’t count.”
This is not pearl-clutching over the moral or emotional hazards of “hookup culture.” This is not an objection to promiscuity or to the casual nature of some sexual encounters. First of all, studies have shown that today’s young people are actually having less sex than their parents did. Second, old-fashioned relationships, from courtship to marriage, presented their own risks for women. Having humiliating sex with a man who treats you terribly at a frat party is bad but not inherently worse than being publicly shunned for having had sex with him, or being unable to obtain an abortion after getting pregnant by him, or being doomed to have disappointing sex with him for the next 50 years. But it’s still bad in ways that are worth talking about.
Maya Dusenbery, editorial director at Feministing, says that she increasingly hears questions from young women on college campuses that are “not just about violence but all the other bullshit they’re dealing with sexually — how they can get guys to get them off, for instance. I think they need feminists to put forth a positive alternative vision for what sex could be and isn’t. And it’s not just about rape. That’s not the only reason that sexual culture is shitty.”
And it’s not as if that culture disappears upon graduation. Dusenbery, who is now 29, speaks of her “great feminist shame”: After a decade of sexual activity, she very often still doesn’t get off. “In one way that feels so superficial, but then, if I believe sexual pleasure is important, that’s terrible! Come on, Maya! Communicate!” She winds up feeling bad for not having done the work of telling her partners how to make her feel good. “What I want is not for me to have that burden. I want one of my male partners, who are wonderful men who care about me, to have just once been like, ‘No, this is unacceptable to me. I’m not going to continue to have sex with you when you’re not getting off!’ And I can’t imagine that happening.”
Gattuso, who is now on a Fulbright fellowship in India, writes to me in an email: “I sometimes think that in our real, deep, important feminist desire to communicate that sexual violence is absolutely and utterly not okay … we can forget that we are often hurt in ways more subtle and persistent … And we can often totally forget that at the end of the day, sex is also about pleasure.”
Pleasure! Women want pleasure, or at least an equal shot at it. That doesn’t mean some prim quid-pro-quo sexual chore-chart. No one’s saying that sex can’t be complicated and perverse, its pleasures reliant — for some — on riffing on old power imbalances. But its complications can and should be mutually borne, offering comparable degrees of self-determination and satisfaction to women and men.
After all, sex is also, still, political. Contemporary feminism asks us to acknowledge that women “can have as many partners as men, initiate sex as freely as men, without being brutalized and stigmatized, and that’s great,” says Salamishah Tillet, a professor of English and Africana studies at the University of Pennsylvania and a co-founder of A Long Walk Home, an organization that works to end violence against women. The problem arises, she continues, with the feeling that “that alone will mean we’re equal. That alone is not an answer to a system of persistent sexual domination or exploitation. These women are still having these encounters within that larger structure, and men are not being asked to think of the women having sex as their equal partners.”
The black feminist tradition has never completely bought into sex positivity as a means toward a political end. Stereotypes of hypersexualization have always made it harder for black women to be believed as victims of sexual assault and also made it harder for them to engage in a sex-positive culture. Just last year, bell hooks startled an audience during an interview by suggesting that “the face of … liberatory sexuality” for black women might be celibacy.
I am not suggesting that contemporary feminism do away with its sex-positive framework or with its anti-rape activism. But it may need to add a new angle of critique. Describing the strain of popular sex positivity often simply understood as “You get it, girl,” Brodsky says, “I think of it sometimes as Lean In for good sex. In that there are these structural factors that are conspiring against terrific sex, but at work or in the bedroom, if you have the magic word, if you try hard enough, if you are good enough, you can transcend those.” Like Lean In, this kind of sex boosterism can be very valuable. But, continues Brodsky, we need to add to it, just as we do in the workplace. “We need both collective solutions and individual solutions.”
Dusenbery imagines a world in which feminists stop using the language of combat — as in combating rape culture — and instead set out to promote a specific vision of what sexual equality could entail. “It would include so much more: from the orgasm gap to the truly criminal sexual miseducation of our youth to abortion rights to the sexual double standard. Broadening the scope would not only push us to provide the same kind of deep analysis that’s been developed around rape culture in recent years but also help us better see the connections between all the inequities in the sexual culture.”
One thing that’s clear is that feminists need to raise the bar for women’s sex lives way, way higher. “Sure, teaching consent to college freshmen may be necessary in a culture in which kids are graduating from high school thinking it’s okay to have sex with someone who is unconscious,” says Dusenbery. “But I don’t want us to ever lose sight of the fact that consent is not the goal. Seriously, God help us if the best we can say about the sex we have is that it was consensual.”
*This article appears in the October 19, 2015 issue of New York Magazine.
Dating: What do women really want?
by Pillow Talk Gal
Dating can be a veritable mine field, from how to dress, what to say and how to act. There is no exact science to dating, no how to manuals we can read. We are often left to follow our instinct and sometimes those instincts can be either bang on or dead wrong.
As a woman I can only speak to men who are looking to find out what not to do if you plan on seeing a woman past the first date.
Below are just a few personal tips that I hope will help to make the mine field a little less daunting.
Tip #1 : Dress to impress.
Most women will take note of a man’s appearance right away. While you are busy checking her out, she is actively doing the same but in a very different way. While you may be checking out her body, she is doing that as well, but in so much more detail. She is taking note of every little detail right down to the amount of facial hair you have and whether it’s been properly groomed.
She is looking at your hands to see if your finger nails are dirty, she’s taking note on how much cologne you decided to put on (tip: less is more) and yes she is even checking to see if there is a tan line where a wedding ring might be.
Some would say appearances don’t matter, not true.
The old saying ‘’first impressions are important’’ is key!
In life they say you have to dress for the job you want, well dating is really not that different. Women love it when a man makes an effort to look good, it shows they care, not only about their date but themselves as well. (this should be a given but it’s worth mentioning)
A man who doesn’t have a good sense of style can be a complete turn off for some, where others can see it as a challenge (a fixer upper kind of guy).
Either way, it’s best to play it safe and go with a nice collared shirt (no tie) and a dressy pair of jeans.
You can never go wrong with business/casual style.
Tip #2: Leave the past behind.
Nothing is more off putting than a man that seems to not have moved on from his last relationship. We all have our relationship baggage to deal with, but dealing with it while you’re on a date with another woman is not that time (this lesson applies to women too).
If you’re out with a woman who just happens to enjoy the same kind of music as your ex, or she happens to like the same kinds of food as your ex, whatever you do, don’t bring it up!
Mentioning any kinds of similarities between a date and an ex can lead not only to insecurities on her part, but also make you look like you’re still hung up on your ex!
Of course, if you were in a serious relationship and are back on the dating scene you might notice you have a specific ‘’type’’ you are attracted to, which is fine.
There are bound to be some similarities, just don’t go out of your way to mention them, especially on the first date. She will lose interest in you faster than you can say ‘’when can I see you again?’’
Tip #3: Confidence versus arrogance.
Women love a man who is confident, but not to the point of arrogance.
It is a big turn on when we see that a man has confidence in himself but at the same time he is humble about that confidence.
For example, there is nothing worse than being with a guy who is good looking and acts like he knows it.
The turn on for us is, he’s good looking but thinks he isn’t (I know it’s weird but it’s true).
Tip #4: Keep some thoughts to yourself.
If you’re on a date with a woman whom you find very attractive, refrain from making awkward remarks about specific things you find sexy about her (especially on a first date).
You might find she has a great body or sexy lips and that’s fine, but making a point about how you happen to find those traits sexy is just creepy.
For example, your date happens to have very full sexy lips, don’t blurt out ‘’you have the most beautiful, sexy lips I have ever seen!’’.
It comes off as if all you’re looking at are her lips, which leads a woman to think all you’re interested in are her looks and not getting to know her as a person.
If the relationship progresses past a couple of weeks, then those kinds of comments most probably could be a turn on, as opposed to making her want to run screaming in the opposite direction.
Keep your cool and instead of fixating on her looks, listen to her when she speaks. Really take an interest in what she has to say.
A man who can have a real conversation with a woman is so sexy and believe me, she will notice if you’re not actively listening, so really put some effort into it.
If the chemistry is good, you will find there won’t be much effort required.
It can be tough out there and sometimes a few tips can go a long way.
-Pillow Talk Gal
About Pillow Talk Gal
Born and raised in British Columbia, she is a professional woman managing a career, marriage, and a teenager. Life can be challenging at times but she's a firm believer that everything in life happens for a reason, and more often than not, she tries to understand those reasons.
"Join me in my journey throughout life’s issues and I guarantee you’ll be left pondering an issue or two." - Pillow Talk Gal
Past Pillow Gal Posts:
The Jackson 5 Were My Brothers
by Nat King Pole
So the Jackson 5 are my brothers and we just sing and dance all day. Well at least in my mind they were from age 6 to well... now at 55 lol.
I was raised an only child in a small town of 200 on the border of Ontario. Everybody was very white and spoke English or French.
| || |
One day I heard a Jackson song on the radio and up until then I'd only heard country music as my mom was a country music artist. I was hooked and asked my mom who that was and could she buy me that record.
I was 6 years old and I was hooked.
From that day on it was all about the Jacksons followed by Motown and Martin Luther king and African American history.
I'm getting ahead of myself.
Let's see how can I explain this?
I knew from as far back as I can remember that I was different although I didn't know there was a name for it which was lesbian and I also instinctively knew it was something that was not acceptable to be in mainstream society.
Now the Jacksons became my héros just because I loved the music and the dancing but as I got older I learned that they were also part of a group of people that were not loved and accepted just like me.
When I learned he was shot I was devastated as I figured we were doomed to be hated forever.
But black people understood oppression and therefore would understand who I was and accept me.
I had found my people! Ok I'm about 8 yrs old at this point.
I didn't quite get all the subtilités of prejudice.
| || |
So I spent my days listening to Jackson records and watching black sitcoms and living in my mind with my black friends.
The kids in the neighborhood thought I was weird, didn't even know who the Jacksons were, and really weren't interested in learning dances.
I wanted an Afro I wanted everything they wore, I never missed them on TV and just bought everything I could get my hands on that I could with my 50 cent a week allowance.
The one and only time I'd ever dare disobey my parents is if it had to do with the Jacksons.
Now this was pre VCR or anything else so if they were on TV past my bedtime I was screwed. So I'd stay awake and creep downstairs and turn on the TV with no sound on and stick my face on it till it was over.
Then I'd spend hours trying to copy what I'd seen. I knew every lyric and move by heart. Man, I was the 6th brother.
Now all this put me in the loner weird nerd kid category until secondary five (Grade 11) when it happened.
A talent contest. That weird nerdy kid is actually trying out.
This should be hilarious they thought.
Well no one knew what I'd been up to all these years.
| || |
My folks were there with my grandparents and I came on stage in the school auditorium that was packed to the rafters. When I heard the first notes of my brothers I just became someone else and danced my heart out and the place erupted!
Everyone was standing and going crazy!
My parents and grandparents were crying and I won and my whole life changed dramatically that day.
Since then I've seen the Jacksons a total of 3 times live and am going for four this June.
But last year I actually got to meet them for about a minute and take a picture with them. I thanked them for taking the time to meet the fans after a show as they surely must be tired.
And I said I'd dreamed of this meeting for almost 40 years. I only wish I could've conveyed what they truly meant to me.
Today I'm still performing
and it's what gives me the most joy in life.
That's when I can be who I really am
and it's just as magical as it was
when I was in my parent's place
just me and my imaginary brothers
-Nat King Pole
About the Author
Nat king Pole is Montreal's busiest drag King and has been for 15 years. As well as performing regularly In his hometown he's been making ladies swoon in Toronto, Quebec city, Ottawa and in Philadelphia, Boston, Provincetown Etc. He sings Live, writes his own parodies, dances and is just plain sexy. They call him the panty whisperer. His website is: http://natkingpole.com/
To read Nat's past post:
Is there such a thing as Happily Single?
By Frank Kermit
Is being single really that bad?
After all, when a person considers the amount of pain that a relationship or casual dating can cause, it may seem that just skipping the whole dating-thing altogether might make for a more peaceful life.
Could it be that intimate relations are simply not for everyone,
and maybe you happen to be one of those people?
How do you know if being alone is the right choice for you
and is it even possible to be content, o
r even fulfilled in a life without romantic love?
As always, that answer is completely up to you.
The people who struggle with this question the most
are those people that
never actually had an overly positive,
intimate relationship with someone before.
If that is coupled with an environment
that was emotionally sterile
while that person was growing up,
it makes trying to find the motivation
for seeking out a relationship almost obsolete.
Without having experienced
what a health loving relationship can be,
or not having experienced the positive attributes
of being with someone that cares for you,
it is challenging for someone
to see the value is pursuing a goal
they have no concept of.
Then the consideration comes in that some people are simply too damaged to be in a relationship.
There are cases where someone may be struggling with a personal demon like an addiction, or still coping with a history of abuse.
Those demons may limit their capacity for intimate relationships of any kind.
In these cases, people tend to be encouraged to work on themselves before entering into romantic relationships so that the challenges inherent with romantic relationships do not distract the people from the healing process, nor allow the romantic relationships to exasperate a persons energy causing them not to have the personal resources to slay the demon.
This is most commonly understood when someone enters a drug and alcohol treatment center where patients are forbidden to have relations with each other and contact with loved ones must be limited.
Dismissed as laziness by some,
the lack of willingness
to put in the work required
to change behavior patterns
is nothing to scoff at.
Changing anything in your life forces you out of your comfort zone.
It takes work.
The motivation to make such changes may very well require that someone hit an absolute rock bottom before having enough gumption to finally make that change. The same principle applies to changing the status of a persons love life.
It is unfortunate that people require that kind of rock bottom to reach a point where the pain of staying where they are is finally greater than the pain of making a change.
When I am asked if it is better to be in a relationship that is bad, or being alone, I often quote one of my inspirations.
"Are you better off with that person,
or better off without that person?"
There is no set answer.
It completely depends on the context of your situation.
There are a number of other factors to consider
in the answer to this question.
- Are you very miserable,
- or just so-so bored with your partner?
- Is your partner a good parent to your kids,
- or are your kids in danger around your partner?
- Are you fighting day in and day out with your partner,
- or have you settled into a quiet existence that you find bland?
- Is your partner someone you can rely on,
- or is your partner a dead beat?
- If you were alone, would you be able to manage
- Are you just a negative person
- will continue to find fault with your life even if your leave?
| || |
Ending a relationship is NOT always the answer when things are rough in life, because life is also going to be rough on you when you are single.
There are always consequences to either lifestyle to choose, the question remains which consequences are you more adept to handle accepting?
Some people are just comfortable being alone, and there is nothing wrong with that. If you are happier being alone, then take pride in that. If you complain about being alone, then do something about it.
If you complain about being in a relationship,
again do something about it.
| || |
Communicate with your partner and find out what is possible to change the areas you are not happy with, to see if you can work to build the relationship together that you will find fulfillment in.
If you are trying to figure out if you want to give up on love or not, one of the ways to decide this for yourself is to sit down and work through the differences between your feelings towards single life and your desires for the kind of lifestyle you want for yourself. Start with your ideal lifestyle and work your way backwards to your current present date.
Once you have that ideal (and REALISTIC) lifestyle mapped out, see if you are the type of person that can actually attain it, and if you would be able to attract the kind of partner that you yourself would need to be.
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Your Choices Today Become The Past
You Have To Share Tomorrow
By Frank Kermit
Young adults tend to discount how the choices they make today will impact their futures tomorrow. At least, when it comes to relationships.
The best example of this is the young adults who are swayed to enter into the world of the sex trade.
These 18-23 year olds are convinced that what they do today just to make enough money to get by will not be something that affects their futures.
Sometimes it is people within the industries that try to convince potential porn stars and exotic dancers how no one will ever recognize their faces in the future.
Sometimes it is the young adults themselves who rationalize that since they do not have any aspirations to form a public career that the chances of this being used against them are nil.
However, that is simply not the case.
Stories of former porn stars losing their jobs as high school teachers are real.
When their past catches up with them in the hands of underage students who have passed around sex videos of the teacher through their phones, there is very little a teacher can do.
Even when the former porn stars in question are ready to handle the ordeal of having every one of those students knowing such intimate images of the teacher, it may not matter.
The school administration and sometimes the parents of the students as well, may demand that the teacher be fired anyway.
Stories of former exotic dancers or escort service providers, running into past clients at boardroom meetings are real.
Does it matter that a university student put themselves through school with sex trade work and independently earned that entry-level executive position?
To some it may not matter at all.
To others, it could matter a great deal,
and enough so that it could be an obstacle on a personal career path.
The best advice anyone can give to a young adult is to remind him or her that even if they have no interest in a career that could be affect by their choices today, or even if they do not plan to be parents, over the course of a lifetime, things can change very dramatically.
No one can predict exactly how things are going to change and turn out.
As a young adult, you may not really care about the consequences of your actions…but the older adult you become may feel differently about it.
With all that said, I want to be fair
...and state that there actually are a number of sex trade workers that are more than happy doing what they are doing, do so proudly and are willing to admit it and accept the fact that this part of their lives will follow them forever.
Those who have the best grasp of this are those that fully accept the consequences of their past (and possible present) career choices.
That means that they acknowledge the good elements (the hours, the pay) and are forthright about the bad elements (bad clients, discrimination, possible unsafe working conditions).
An insider on the porno industry once told me that many of the flight-by-night starlets that disappear after a handful of appearances end up living very normal quiet lives as married soccer moms.
They also live with the fear that someone who knows them may find their obscure videos, recognize them, and threaten their new life with it.
If you have a past that might threaten your future, the best things you can do about it is be honest with your future long-term partner and check out if they also can accept it, and handle the potential consequences.
If you are getting into a serious relationship with someone, to the point where you are thinking about getting married, then you must consider putting your fiancé through the ultimate test before he or she becomes your spouse.
Think of your deepest, darkest, most horrible thing that you did in your past that you make it a point not to tell anyone.
If you think that sharing that experience would cause your fiancé not to marry you then you have a choice.
Take the chance and tell them anyway knowing you might lose your relationship, or do not get married and end the relationship altogether.
The truth about all our pasts has a funny way of surfacing, and at the worst possible times.
At some point it is very likely that your future spouse is going to be made aware of elements from your past.
The best thing you can do is prepare your spouse-to-be with whatever it is that someone might try to use against you and your family.
It is better your future spouse hears it from you before it becomes an issue that could threaten your future children.
Whether it is bullies in the schoolyard that taunt your kids with proof of your past, or extortionists who would seek to blackmail you by threatening to reveal your scary secret,
being honest with your soon-to-be spouse is the best way to build a foundation for a relationship that will withstand any outside force that attempts to destroy you.
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Athlete and Vixen: Making of a Pole Dancer - Part II
by Melanie Lynch
I last posted about Pole dancing being a sport and that not all Pole dancers are strippers but I asked the question ‘what is so wrong with stripping anyway?’
When I started Pole dancing I found that I would get so frustrated with everyone implying I was a stripper. As years went by I started participating in more shows and met so many great women.
They were all out there trying to be brave, showing up in small costumes and hoping they would put on a performance. Some of these fantastic women were almost naked and some were actually stripping. I marvelled at them and loved them for the courage on stage but quickly learned that although they were strong on stage backstage they were nervous balls of energy getting their courage up and trying to remember their routines.
I discovered that there really was
nothing different between them and me.
So once again, let’s start at the beginning. When I started my Pole journey, I went to my first class and I was wearing full-length leggings and a tank top. To me this was revealing.
As we progressed I needed to climb and so the leggings changed to shorts. I learned to hold the Pole between my legs (yes, I am aware of how that sounded) and the shorts got a lot smaller.
Then the ultimate thing happened, I started to flip upside down and needed to position the Pole across my abdomen.
So my tank tops needed to turn into a crop top or sports bra. Let me tell you, after you have had three children, your first instinct is not to show off the stomach area.
As I stood there, I had to fight the urge to cover my stomach with my hands. But Pole is so much more than exercise.
It’s a community.
A loving, welcoming community that encourages women to not apologize for the way they look.
These ladies push you to grow, express yourself and be bold!
At the same time as I started attending Pole shows,
I also started going to Burlesque shows.
The first time I went to one, I was completely blown away. I had never seen anything like it.
These women came out with the most amazing, decadent, creative costumes and performed with such sublime beauty that it took my breath away.
They were stripping but the show was more than just removing their clothes, it was a celebration of beauty, whether it was the movement, the costumes or the woman themselves, it was simply beautiful.
I had the privilege to watch one performer named Coco Framboise who came on stage wearing the massive fur boa which she slowly undressed behind.
It was a cheeky tease because you would only see glimpses of her caramel skin behind the white softness of the fluffy boa. She was mesmerizing and the crowd absolutely loved her. There’s nothing like the crowds at these shows. The first thing you notice about these crowds is that they consist largely of women and these women scream, shout and catcall the performers in encouragement.
They show their appreciation for what is happening on stage. I was drawn to try this too and so signed up for the Coco Framboise School of Burlesque.
I wanted to learn how to exude
that kind of confidence and beauty.
Burlesque and Pole have so much in common.
They celebrate the beauty, power and courage of women and all are welcome.
It doesn’t matter if you 18 or 80, it doesn’t matter what size you are and it doesn’t matter if you’re a gymnast or dancer or have two left feet.
All that matters is that you’re out there expressing yourself, enjoying life and no matter what happens; the community will always be there to cheer and scream.
Of course, some of those who are not exposed to the beauty of these worlds look upon from the outside in judgment.
I once read one of those Facebook postcards that said something like “some women feel empowered by covering themselves while others by taking their clothes off, who are we to judge” and it spoke to me.
There’s a lot of criticism about women taking their clothes off or objectifying themselves and I won’t go into all their arguments here.
You can’t take two steps without running into their voices and you can go read about it yourselves.
There’s something to me that just doesn’t fit about this mindset.
- Firstly, not everything is about men. Sometimes we do things for ourselves. Imagine, going out there and feeling beautiful and powerful in an alternate existence than your everyday life. We spend huge amounts of time and energy as good mothers, wives, daughters and business people every day sometimes it is nice to step out of that world and in to one where we can feel free and be bold.
- Secondly, there are barely any men in the audience we usually just perform for each other.
- Thirdly, there are usually men behind the scenes telling us not to do that. Trying to own our bodies and telling us what to do. This is us telling them ‘forget you’.
- Lastly, most of the time women don’t feel powerful or beautiful in our everyday lives and we are often reminded that we are not the girls portrayed in the magazines. WE need to find that feeling for ourselves and Pole helps some of us to get to that mindset but still there are some people that keep telling us we are wrong. I want to say that we are not wrong!
WE are strong and determined.
We do not want to be told anything about ourselves anymore.
We own our lives, our bodies and the way we choose express ourselves.
You are not qualified to judge me or others who enjoy this activity.
This is our choice.
Why is it wrong to be us? We are not hurting you or ourselves.
In fact we are having fun and life should be fun.
Maybe no one will understand what we are trying to do and that’s ok but all I ask is that the judgment stop, and that you just sit back and enjoy the show since we have worked hard to pull it together!
If you think I am crazy and wrong, well that’s ok too because I have a whole community of women that are there with me cheering me on and supporting me every step of the way and I really didn’t choose to do it for you anyway.
To read Part 1 of this series,
Melanie Lynch started pole dancing seven years ago for fun and exercise. Eventually, she became a Certified Pole Instructor with the Canadian Pole Fitness Association (CPFA) and began teaching all levels of students. After a few years of dancing, she started performing for audiences. In 2016 Melanie decided to enter competitions. She made it into the Ontario Pole Fitness Champion, in the Masters Category and finished 1st runner –up. She trains at Pole Fit Nation.
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