She gave me a look that suggested I’d asked to lick the inside of her nostrils rather than purchase clothing. It was not an auspicious start.
Nonetheless, Thursday night found me and my mate Kate searching through railway arches at London Bridge for our pole dancing class. They are the kind of arches you’d expect to find Phil Mitchell chewing on a corpse. We walked in and Kate said, not entirely helpfully: “Feeling old yet?!” She was right, of course. We are waving at our forties. The rest of the class were smiling at their twenties. We have had babies. They have had A level results. I pretended not to notice, and after an exhausting warm up, we start the moves.
First up was “the Fireman” which involves spinning around with your legs together, pole between your knees. To get the momentum of the spin, you have to fall onto the pole at speed. I fling myself at it, leg cocked, miss, and take out a knee cap. Before I can recover we are into “the Fish Hook”. Hook your inside leg round the pole, lay the outside leg parallel and underneath, and spin graciously to your feet. It’s from a standing start, so staying on the pole at all, let alone creating movement, is achieved only with the strength in your arms. One leg on the pole; grit my teeth; hang on for grim life; other leg on the pole; pull as hard as I can. Make mental note that I have no upper body strength; fall to the floor; cry a bit. Next up is “the Swan”. Hold the pole as high up as you can, legs off the floor behind you, bent at the knees, toes touching, pelvis pushed forwards. Using the strength in your hands and arms, slide elegantly to the floor, landing on your knees. We have established that I haven’t got any strength in my hands and arms, meaning that my knee caps turn purple as they smash into the concrete floor and I hit the ground like a sack of wet sand. Sexy I ain’t.
There is a moment though, as I sit in the heap on the floor grinning with Kate, that I think I might do this again. Despite how hard it is, I’m determined to prove that I could have an alter ego as an exotic dancer. Or at least show the twenty something’s that it ain’t over yet.
Next week I have to do this in towering heels, while looking like a smouldering sex kitten. I have a new found respect for anyone that can do this without looking more like a sweaty sex offender.