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socks and cat

Not an exclusive deal

The bar/club in the University district that wants me to run pole workshops there, called me. They asked me to come in Friday night and do a demo on the new pole during their busiest hour. I'm sure they thought they were doing me a favor, giving me a chance to hand out cards to everyone in the club and such. But I told them I wasn't all that sure I was willing to pole dance in their club in front of men and that I could not in good conscience ask my instructors to do so. At least at amateur night there aren't any drunk men and there are MORE than enough naked professional dancers there for them to objectify, so as a clothed amateur I don't feel singled out in any way. Plus when we do amateur night, it's with a group of supportive women cheering us on. At this club, I would be the only woman on that pole and I would be in front of strange men that are drinking and no supportive girlfriends or students.

I finally agreed to do it on the 20th if I could get on the microphone and explain prior that this was a school for women and what we do and my website and that men could buy gift certificates for their ladies. But I guess my hesitence cost me because they told me they planned to call other pole schools in town and let them get in on the action. I feel pretty betrayed by that. I'm inclined to just let other pole schools do it and not bother. I think that was pretty low of them to turn around and offer it to other schools after they made a deal with me first. But I hate to give up a good promotional opportunity.

Comments

I don't think they see what you do as all that different from what you do. So they don't understand why you don't want your girls to get up and dance in front of a bunch of men, or why you don't want to.
A promotional opportunity that makes you uncomfortable and wouldn't be in front of the audience you serve doesn't sound like a good promotional opportunity.


Well there are women there too. I just didn't discuss them because the men are what I am worried about. But there will be women there.
You aren't hurting for business and your school speaks for itself. Stick to your values. :)
Agreed. Plus, the safety thing of a bunch of drunk guys doesn't sound like something you want your school involved in. If you are marketing toward women, it seems like this "opportunity" is against that demographic.

Erin
I don't even know where to start with this one.

I completely understand why they're confused, and why they'd give up on you after that conversation to pursue other options.

You portray such a mixed message. For yourself, and for your school, and it all gets tangled into a mess that people have a hard time understanding, especially a bar looking to liven things up, do something different, and keep people coming back.

You don't focus your school on the fitness side of the fence, you orient it towards women's self-image, sensuality, and sexuality (all linked)

You even take them into a strip club on amateur night to perform, passing it of as "not really performing for others because there's other naked strippers around to distract the men, and a friendly group in the crowd who are women"

Yet you put up videos of yourself, and even put on performances that are quite beyond showing off pole fitness skills where you can control the environment. You even come from a background of go-go performances in clubs with men, and men drinking and such.

Your own balance between sexuality, exhibitionism, attention, and purity, is just that, your own, not to be judged by others.

But when you so deeply intermingle your own complex identity on such things, with something that's so clearly divided into one of two primary roles by most of the world (either fitness workout, or sensual expression) you need to expect them to react based on those typical roles.

You're going to have a really hard time explaining your own personal concepts of pole dancing as "for women only, sensual express, without anyone watching unless they're other women, or friends at a B-day party, or whatever" and get people to get it right away.

Thus in your business dealings, such as with this bar, you need to understand their perceptions, the driving factor behind their desire to cut a deal with you, and accommodate how they view you. Your own personal conflicts around sensuality, exhibitionism, sexuality, and the proper audience for such things, are quite complex when factored into business dealings like this.

...such as your comment about not being comfortable yourself, or asking your instructors to dance when men were around. I bet that got an interesting reaction from the other end. Think about it from their side, do they really want to base a new promotion for their bar on someone that's that touchy, and possibly could chicken out at the last minute, or just walk out mid-demonstration on something they were promoting? Their view of an accomplished pole dance instructor is someone who is used to, comfortable with, and accomplished at performing for others. You just blew that image apart in their minds with your hesitation and restrictions.

I'm not saying change your own personal values. As much as I find them interesting, they're yours, based on your life experiences, and they must be valued and respected.

I am trying to point out that they seem to now and then create situations where you feel slighted, or betrayed when other people trying to deal with you at a business level, but you're dealing with them injecting some deeply personal drivers behind your decisions.

Perhaps it would be good to factor in a bit more of an "outside" view when reacting to how others react to you...