For a couple years I’ve dreamt of showcasing my pole dancing shoes on a shelf in my bedroom. Much in the same way I display my wigs, I wanted to take the shoes out of the bags they were crammed into inside of a closet and enshrine them on a high throne because, well, they deserve it! They work hard. I trot around in these shoes, clack them together, and drag them across the floor in figure eights and sensual circles every week. My beautiful Pleazers make me feel sexy and confident.
So I finally hung that shelf recently. I see my shoes as I fall asleep and first thing when I wake up in the morning. They are a reminder that my feminine practice is an essential component of my life.
I bought my 7-inch holographic heels in 2020 when shelter in place was in full effect. The dance studio was closed, but we were all joining the dance classes through our computer screens and doing the best we could from home. I had a very small, awkwardly-shaped plot of free space in my bedroom. I couldn’t fully extend my limbs without knocking into the bed, dresser, or wall. But nevertheless I loved the movement. It was pure therapy during a very scary, uncertain, and traumatic time.
When I wasn’t in my classes, I took advantage of what seemed like ample free time to dance freely on my own. I remember so clearly turning on the red light in my bedroom and putting on a sexy outfit. I wasn’t dancing for anyone else. I just needed to move and feel like a woman during a time when the world around me was dealing with some seriously sobering events. My dance was not done in vain. It allowed me to reconnect with myself at a time when my nervous system was in shock.
“When a woman decides not to play by patriarchal rules anymore, she has no guidelines telling her how to act or how to feel. When she no longer wants to perpetuate archaic forms, life becomes exciting—and terrifying.”The Heroine’s Journey, Marleen Murdock
Many women have a strong caretaker role–their Demeter archetype is strong. They want to solve all the world’s problems for their family, friends, and community. With no time for respite.
Disease, poverty, institutionalized racism, widespread homelessness, democracy at risk of collapsing, sexism, [fill in blank with anxiety-inducing issue].
Okay, but first…
Give me one hour to put on some fire-red lipstick and angry-dance to some Dana Dentata.
Give me an afternoon to hang a shelf for my collection of feather boas and lace-front wigs.
Give me a week to hibernate in solitude at a getaway cabin in the forest so I can create art.
Then, and only after then can I begin to think about how I can play my part in creating change in my corner of the world. But you best let me play first.
To embrace your feminine practice and rituals–despite whatever “serious” is happening outside–is more important than most people realize. It’s exactly when the world around you feels like it’s falling apart that you must return home to yourself. It may seem insensitive or even offensive to doll yourself up and slip into a sensual trance–or whatever it is that makes you feel like an embodied woman. But honoring your femininity is when you become most impactful to those around you and most able to make difference.
Women best serve others by serving themselves first. Reconnecting with the physical body, creating a deep spiritual connection to oneself, and appreciating one’s femininity, however it may look–this is the path to wholeness and enacting change.