Is Pole Dancing a Good Form of Exercise?: He Says/ She Says


I don’t particularly like to exercise. I don’t find it fun, it’s hard and often boring to me. Lately I’ve discovered Exercise on Demand and it’s changing my life! One program it has is “Carmen Electra’s Striptease Workouts”! It brought flashbacks of last summer when I decided to become a stripper. I was working in Atlanta, GA for the summer and missing my husband, who was still in Utah. Here’s the experience I documented:


Dear Diary,

I never exercise, I hate it. A gym pass would be worthless to me because I know I’d never go. I hate running, I’m convinced I was born with shin splits, and I can’t run 20 yards without getting a side ache. I’ve been told it’s because of my breathing or because of my shoes but practicing “in through the nose, out through the mouth” and a nice pair of shoes later the aches are still there.

Striptease Workouts

I think workout tapes are pretty cheesy but I know if I could find one that looks fun I’d probably try it. By recommendation I was turned on to Carmen Electra’s “Aerobic Striptease Workout DVD’s” I’m too indecisive to just pick one so I bought the whole box set. I gave my husband a quick call to make sure I had his approval.

“Hey honey, you know how I never exercise?”
“Well, I found some DVD’s that I think will help me to exercise, I promise I’ll use them.”
“Oh yea?”
“Yea, it’s ‘Carmen Electra’s stripping workout DVD’s”
“Ok, get it!”
“Really? It’s $37 is that ok?”
“Oh yea, that’s fine, go ahead and get it!”

That went easier than I thought.That night I watched the run through of each of the routines at a friend’s house. We both laughed and said we’d try it that weekend.

You know how a lot of times when we say we’re going to do something… And turn over a new leaf we have to go all out? Like, when men say they’re going to fix up the yard so they go out and buy a new lawn mower and all new lawn equipment? Or when they say they’re going to repair something and they go and by a whole new tool set to do it? Well, the same concept goes here. I had to get a stripper pole.

An isolated stripper pole on a stage lit by an array of spotlights on a dark background

My Stripper Pole

The next day I began researching stripper poles. I found they ran between $85 and $300. I looked into the $85 one. I called the husband again and convinced him I HAD to have a pole to get really get into this exercise thing. “Perfect” I thought. It comes apart into three pieces (easy to transport back to Utah), and I can buy it at a Spencer’s store here and practice on it.

Despite the mixed reviews saying it’s a great party feature, while not very stable I took my chances. At the check out line I was very adamant about making sure I could return the item if it didn’t work how I wanted it to. “

No problem, so long as all of the pieces are inside the box.”Great, I took it home (to another friends house) and temporarily installed it.

“Dangit,” I screamed. “It only goes up to 8 feet six inches. How tall is your ceiling?” I demanded. “Nine feet,” my friend told me. I immediately got on the phone and called my husband.
“How tall are our bedroom ceilings?”
“???…I don’t know.”
“Well, what’s your guess?” I pressed.
“Think it’s 9 feet?”
“Oh, no, it’s not that tall”
“Are you sure?”
“Ok thanks.”

I moved the pole to a lower ceiling in my friend’s apartment… the hallway was a good testing height. I extended it to meet the ceiling, tightened it and made sure it was straight. Once I was satisfied I decided to take it for a spin. I put my leg around the pole and… SMMMMMMAAASH down it comes… I tried it again and got the same result. So back in the box my pole went.

I immediately began searching for another pole. $50 on Craigslist, a tall black stripper pole that’s “suction mounted.” She’s selling it because her ceilings are too tall… Good reason, it makes me feel a little better knowing it hasn’t been through too much already (or so I hope).

I email her and get a response the next day. I’ve decided to return the Peekabo Pole to Spencer’s the next day.

***The next day***

I’m next in line at Spencer’s when another employee comes up to me with a ‘what are you doing here’ look on her face.

“Can I help you?” She asks me.
“Yea, I just want to return this.”
“You can’t return that it’s an adult item….”

I’m going to spare you this whole conversation but basically, my normal timid/non-confrontational self would have walked away and started crying but this time I went off. I was not about to loose $85 for a piece of crap… Besides, what am I going to do with TWO stripper poles?

Long story short, I was able to return the item for a full refund… On a Spencer’s gift card (never use your debit car at Spencer’s cause they won’t give you cash back unless you ring it up as credit.) I sold the card on eBay for $75. I could take loosing $10, no biggie.

Meanwhile, I have this other Long-A stripper pole I bought from a lady in Atlanta sticking out from the trunk of my car through to the drivers seat. I bring it inside to experiment but I soon find my ceilings are too short. The woman I bought it from said it was 7 feet tall. I took in into the carport (no… not a garage, so all of the neighbors were watching me install my stripper pole in my driveway) and extend it to the ceiling there. I get it to stay and I tug a little. I wasn’t totally satisfied. I went into the house and grabbed a bar stool. I came back out, stood up on the stool and leaped for the pole… Imitating what a fireman (not stripper) would do. It was still standing!! I know the people across the street had to have been wondering what the heck I was doing but I didn’t care. I am so happy at this point. I lean the pole up against my bedroom wall for a few weeks and finally one weekend I get ready to mail it home.

I go to USPS and ask if they have any 7 feet tall boxes.—They don’t. And they can’t mail anything that tall either, so I go to the UPS store. The guy at the counter was already in a bad mood… I could tell when I walked in, no smile, no “how are you?” just a grumpy “I’ll be with you in a moment.” I proceed to ask him if he has any boxes 7 feet tall.

“No, but I can make one,” he said. “What are you mailing?”
“A pole.”
“How big is it?”I hold out my hangs in a circle, trying to demonstrate its circumference.“I can go get it for you,” I told him.

He just kind of nodded, but I went out and got it. I brought it in and he stared at me like I was crazy.

“What is this, some kind of pole to hold a truck up?” He asked me.
“No… It’s just a pole” I was reluctant to tell him the truth.

He asks me how valuable it is (I guess it’s some shipping question). I tell him $50, and he gives me a weird look. He measures the pole and it comes to 110 inches. I have no clue how tall that is.
“Eight feet five inches,” he tells me.

‘Seven feet my A’ was my first thought… The girl who sold me the pole was just trying to get rid of it!‘Ok, cool, mail it!’ I’m thinking. But he doesn’t look too happy. I tell him I still want it mailed and he takes it back to the back to make me a special box.

“I’m curious as hell to know what this is and why it’s not very valuable.” It wasn’t a direct question so I ignored it, hoping he’d drop it.”What is this?” He finally just asked.

Poor guy, I didn’t want him to think I was some kind of terrorist so I confessed.

“Well, my husband lives in Utah…” I’m trying to think of a way to put it. “And… Well… It’s a stripper pole, and he didn’t want to drive home with it so I’m mailing it.”
“Oh.” Is all I get from him.
“So now you’ve seen it all huh?” I ask.
“Oh no, I’ve seen a lot weirder.” I was hoping he’d give me an example to make me feel better but he didn’t.

So there went another $70 for shipping ($30 for actual shipping and $35 for making my a custom box).

***Later that week***

I’m “exercising” I’m learning a chair dance Carmen promises will get my husband off the couch and in the bedroom. It’s about 2 o’clock in the morning. I live in a duplex and I’m trying to keep really quiet so I don’t wake up the guy next door.

So Carmen is telling me to sit on the chair then lean back and put my feet in the air and toggle them back and forth… It’s hard to explain… But anyway, I have one of my hands on the ground to keep my balance (and that’s what she’s doing too). Now she’s telling me to make sure I keep my butt centered on the chair so I don’t loose my balance and fall over. Now I’m thinking ‘how am I going to loose my balance when my hand is on the floor?’ Well, I don’t understand physics, and I hate it anyway, and no sooner than that question came to my mind, next thing I know WHHHHHAAAAAAM!!

It’s the loudest noise I’ve ever heard, and I’m on the ground, chair and all on top of me. I could have sworn my butt broke through the hard wood floor cause I hit it so hard. My immediate reaction was silence—I was praying my neighbor didn’t hear. I was imagining hearing him getting up and yelling to me, asking what happened, and I really didn’t want to explain to him that I had just lost my balance and fell off my chair while I was practicing a lap dance routine.

I sat there for a few moments in silence (well, besides the sound of Carmen, she was still going) then I started to laugh. I turned the DVD off… I was done for the night.


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  1. LOL. You should send this to a grad school admissions office to explain your determinism! They’ll offer you a spot knowing you’ll succeed.

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  3. Hi Jennifer!

    Okay, this story is hilarious. I, too, discovered the Carmen Electra stripper routines on the exercise on-demand channels and tried out the little sample routine that she did on there. I looked into it far enough to snag a couple more routines off of YouTube, but that was about the extent of my stint.

    I’m a side-grabbing whiner that hates anything past a quick run due to those damn cramps, so I didn’t even get to the pole-buying stage. So kudos for getting that far with your stripping experiment!!

    Lately I’m looking into yoga and Tai Chi. Seems less aggravating and all I need is a yoga mat!

  4. This was the funniest thing I have read in a LONG time. I have heard pole dancing is NOT easy! I bought the Hip Hop Abs DVDs a few months ago. They have gotten very little use. HA! I’m supposed to be working on my #2 resolution right now… instead i am reading your blog. 🙂

    The Carmen ones sound very interesting. 🙂

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