The sexual revolution in the 1960s was great, but you know what? It didn’t fully take.
We can speculate about why. It could be due to periodic resurgences of conservative idealism over the last few decades, or it could be that Americans got too busy with consumerism and eating to care much about sex. But the inroads of that glorious revolution didn’t permeate our culture as well as was hoped. I mean, I was born sometime after it happened, and I’ve been waiting my entire life for the Christian right in this country to stop ruining all of our fun.
Historically, those exalted, self-moralizing dipshits have been the bane of folks like me who like to have a drink every once in a while, and particularly who aren’t ashamed they get randy and really like sex. The puritanical residue that sees sexuality as dirty and somehow immoral is still strong in the US, despite the 1960s. If strip clubs aren’t being closed down because they are too close to a school or a church, some asswipe is lobbying for pasties and a three foot rule for the dancers. Adult video stores and newsstands are picketed and eventually have to shut their doors under pressure from the “righteous”. We can’t have a breast exposed on TV, nor can we say or print many of the cool words associated with sex, like fuck and ass pirate.
Thank the god of pasty computer geeks that the Internet is slopping over with whatever kind of fetish porn anyone could ever desire. At least this wonderful bastion of sex and perversion is running strong withÂ few challengers in sight.
But despite the fact that the US is centuries behind many other countries in the world when it comes to sexual freedom, despite the fact that labels like slut and whore and pervert still have negative connotations among the populace, there are signs that the armor is developing some chinks.
This subject will probably be nothing new to you all, but I was listening to the radio on my way in to work this morning, and while trying to find some music on the damn thing (I didn’t have my iPod or any CDs with me), I came across a discussion about pole dancing.
Now, if you’re not familiar with pole dancing (and I find that possibility extremely remote among Skepchick readers), I’ll give you a little background: Many of your better strip clubs feature brass poles on the main stage or perhaps near the tables that the dancers can use in their performances. The poles are used as a highly suggestive prop by the more creative dancers, and also as a means by which an innovative young lady can demonstrate her athletic acumen. It’s a very entertaining feature that in some cases can actually add an element of danger to the strip club milieu.
At any rate, the radio discussion I was listening to centered on pole dancing classes that are available for the average woman. Anyone, your wife, girlfriend, sister, daughter, mother, or grandmother can sign up for a class, and a qualified professional will teach them how to do a pole dance.
Now, like you, I’ve certainly heard of these classes before, and have even seen some semblance thereof on television. But what struck me was the number of average women calling in to the radio program to say they took the classes and thoroughly enjoyed them. There was not a negative comment among them.
And I thought that was just great. I thought it was awesome.
These normal women, hailing most probably from religious backgrounds of some strength, were shirking the stigma their conservative brethren and sistren had instilled upon any sexually demonstrative activity, and they were enjoying themselves. They were exploring their own bodies in new ways, feeling sexy about themselves, and learning yet another way to excite their partners.
How could it be anything but extra cool?
The only drawback that I found in the discussion was the “disclaimer” that most of the callersincluded with their comments. Where most of the women confessed that they felt sexy and sexually energized by the pole dancing, they were all quick to point out that the pole dancing classes were mostly just a great form of exercise for them.
Ladies, come on. You made progress. Don’t backslide on us like that. If you just wanted great exercise, there a million different aerobics and spin classes you could have joined, all with music and what can be termed dancing. Swimming pools are great places to exercise. Weight rooms. Running tracks. Bicycle paths. Tennis courts. Etc. Etc. Etc. If you’re a sexual creature, and the pole dancing was enjoyable, don’t sanitize a step in the right direction by putting that disclaimer in there!!!
But this is the kind of progress I like to see; the kind of step I’m hoping to see more of before I shuffle off to impotence. Even if it is a baby step, at least it’s a step.