peter power/torstar news service


Pole dancing, which is quite a physical workout, has generated controversy in one English town.

Like many couples, my partner and I come from different backgrounds. He’s not originally Canadian; we were each raised with different religions, upbringings and even cultures.

But because he’s British and we share the same common language and some traditions, I didn’t think that the cultural disparity would be a big deal.

However, I forgot to take into account that I was born and bred in the big urban city of Toronto, while he was raised in a small market town, 400 miles north of London, close to farms and plenty of open fields.

If anything, I thought he might be slightly less worldly than I. Well, imagine my surprise when I read this recent excerpt from the BBC news: "Pole dancing row in market town: Some residents say they think the entertainment is inappropriate.

"A row has erupted in an East Yorkshire market town after several local bars began to compete for trade by putting on pole dancing nights.

"Some local residents have complained the entertainment is unsuitable. East Riding Council said it was aware of people’s concerns and was monitoring the situation carefully."

Clearly, I was mistaken. Who knew that such steamy entertainment could thrive so far from the tenderloin districts of a big city? They don’t yet have a sushi restaurant there, but they have pole dancing?!?


Although I’ve never been, I’m aware of the many pole-dancing venues which exist in the Greater Toronto Area, and other major urban cities across this country.

A few of my girlfriends even took a "pole-ercize class" in the spring. They said it was great fun and pretty intense exercise, which they realized the following day when they could barely walk to the bathroom, or lift their car keys. Apparently, pole dancing utilizes great tricep and bicep strength, abdominal fortitude, and gluteal, hamstring and calf muscle strength, as well.

Of course, not every woman wants to make a career of pole dancing, nor do many have a pole in their bedroom for private personal use. But according to those who have tried it, it’s a fun fitness activity to do with friends in an organized class. And, as with most physical exercise, the more fun you have getting fit, the more likely you’ll stick with it.

As one woman noted, "now when I feel frolicky and flirty with my partner, a few twists of my hips, some clothing removal, and a door frame are all I need to incite a sexy evening."

Cheers to that, I say!

Maybe those small-town folk know more than we give them credit for! And I now think my husband’s cultural differences make him, well, more interesting.

If you’ve also found quirky sides of your partner’s "different" background to be amusing or surprising, send me an e-mail about it and I’ll publish a few of these in a future column.

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