Why Are You Posting What You Are Posting?
Feminism and sex, or sexiness, or sex appeal. It’s a tricky subject.
I personally like to think that the rise of feminism could signal a rise in ownership of sexuality and sensuality. I think that, operating within the pole community, I see a lot more women who are taking ownership and doing so proudly. But, I am also seeing a strange trend in the intent behind such content.
As an avid scroller (lurker) of Instagram, and somebody is who deeply connected to the pole community (or, at least, has been networking in it for many years), I’ve started to see a separation in vibe. I see some amazing, incredible polers who are consistently sexy in their posts, and it works for them. I have no issue with it; it’s who they are, and they are unapologetic about it, and that’s awesome – and often inspiring. These folks own who they are; they own their sexuality; they create this content for themselves, with a purpose or intent that they are fully aware of and own.
But, I also see people who post sexy photos or videos that don’t quite sit right. I’ve wondered a bit if this is internalized misogyny on my part, but a discussion with a friend helped crystallize what I was feeling: that this content isn’t born from the same place as the content that doesn’t bother me. It comes down to the authenticity behind why it is being posted.
There is a very subtle difference between content posted out of ownership of self, and content posted for attention and validation that thinks it is posted out of ownership of self. When you look at as much of this content as I do (by virtue of being in a community that traffics heavily in such content), that shift starts to become a little more obvious.
This entire conversation with my friend began after I saw a recent post by Felix Cane, where she calls out the potential narcissism of the Sunday Bumday movement (I say potential because I don’t personally believe it’s always narcissism driving those posts).
And a lil bit of my bottom. Because that’s what we do on Sundays now. Put pictures of yer butt up because… it’s… Sunday… here’s a thought why don’t we have Sunday save a child from starving day? I’ll put pictures of my butt up if it encourages awareness for third world nations. If I started a foundation to support a Nepali Orphanage would you donate $1 every Sunday? If you would, I’d post a pic of my butt. I’d like to use my ass for good rather than for narcissism 🍑 🍑 🍑
Initially, I appreciated that she went against the grain (“Yay! Finally someone else who doesn’t care about Sunday Bumday!”), but if you sit with her language a bit, it starts to sound like slut-shaming. I don’t think this was her intention, mind you. But it did start me thinking about feminism, pole, and content, which is why I am including it.
I’ll applaud folks who participate in Sunday Bumday if that’s truly what they want to do for themselves (good for you! PS, cute butt), but I’ve never felt comfortable participating. I think I have like two SB posts on my entire Instagram, mostly because I felt like I should participate, not because I was totally down with it for myself. It felt too much like I was trying to get attention to validate something, and that made me deeply uncomfortable, because it’s not me. And I’m not saying that’s what anybody else was definitely doing; I’m simply saying that it felt (feels) that way FOR ME, so I refrain.
But if you want to do it for yourself, THEN DO IT. Find your type of sexy and rock it. Just…do it for you and your own reasons. What is your intent? For whom are you producing this content? And why?
Posting sexy content for feminist reasons comes down to the knowledge, choice, and awareness of why you are posting what you are posting. If it’s just for you, awesome. If it’s for your girlfriends, or fellow polers, own it. If it’s for the male gaze, rock it. Whatever it is, make it an authentic expression of you and what you want. The inauthentic stuff won’t serve you.