I cannot believe I’m actually writing about this. But, more than that, I can’t believe I’m actually doing it. I have become a devotee of “le pole.” But, I have to say, it’s not the pole that got me. With respect to empowering women, what Sheila Kelley has done is major. She created a workout called the S Factor (http://www.sfactor.com/) that is my new favorite form of exercise. It is so counterintuitive that a workout that originated in the world of strip tease and pole dancing could have such profound results with regard to women’s self esteem, their body issues, and their relationship to their sexuality.
If the runaway success of 50 Shades of Grey is any indication, it’s clear that women want more of one thing: sex. The novel and the eBook have given women permission to read what they really want to read, and it’s serving a purpose that feels like more than a trend. Now, I’m not saying that it’s a well-written book, but I think it is clear that it has been good for women. Sexuality has long been something that was reserved for the young, the beautiful, or the blush of a new relationship. But we all know that that doesn’t last forever. In my opinion, sexuality is a God-given gift to everyone and has no expiration date. And I think that women’s sexuality is having a rebirth of sorts. Embracing my feminine power and cultivating my feminine energy is a practice that I don’t take lightly. At what point do we decide that sexy is no longer available to us? At what point in a marriage do we mourn the loss of feeling that alive? I believe that sexuality is at the root of a feeling of aliveness.
The genius of The S Factor is multi dimensional. First, the room is very dimly lit and there are no mirrors. So, your experience of yourself is that—experiential as opposed to being distracted by visual cues, internal chatter, and judgment. The teachers encourage a lack of inhibition (let’s just say, your hands are free to roam). When you see these normal looking girls in their spangly booty shorts with a completely playful sense of humor, you can’t help but want to be able to enter that realm. It is a meditation where you hover in a thick fog of estrogen and open your body to what’s been slumbering within you. Then there’s the tempo of the class, it’s like you’re moving through molasses. The slower you go the sexier it feels, the sexier it looks, and the more tension is created, which actually sculpts your body in a significant way (this is just the cherry on top).
It feels as if I’m stirring a cauldron, conjuring some archetypal goddess, something fiery that longs to be seen and known. It’s a place where you can be anything. You can be any age, any body type, single, or married. It’s not about men, it’s not for anyone else: it’s for you. And what you do with it when you go home is another story.
I know you’re probably thinking all this sounds great, but there’s no way in hell I’m putting on no stripper shoes, least not in public. But I encourage you to explore with an open mind something new. Anything new. I think you might be surprised to find that you’ve still got it.