Countdown to Beijing Includes Pole Dancing Exposé

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By CHRIS RASMUSSEN

pole_dancing_dog.jpg

Yes, that is bamboo.

Today brings me to a subject that I often wanted to explore in this space with the intellectual depth that the topic deserves.

In advance of the Beijing Olympics and in a human interest story unlikely to be covered by NBC during its coverage, The New York Times on Friday reported that Chinese youths are participating in a fitness craze occurring in the States: pole dancing.

Pole Dancing is not yet an Olympic sport, while rhythmic gymnastics is, although the latter sounds dirtier, is more inexplicable and is far less practical from a commercial standpoint.

What's shocking is that the Times devoted valuable column space to the topic, even though the Grey Lady of American Journalism usually attempts to shy away from the titillating. The headline of the Times piece: “From The Erotic Domain, An Aerobic Trend In China" implies the editors' discomfort, de-eroticizing the topic with a headline providing the sobriety one expects from the Grey Lady.

Future New York Times headlines include:

“Researchers Find that Dirty, Noisy Intercourse Leads to Dirty, Noisy Children.”

“Dancers in Adult Establishments Poorly Compensated by Barely Tolerate Patrons.”

“Mentally Unstable Effective in Bed, Problematic in Other Contexts.”

It should be noted that participants describe pole dancing exercising as “liberating” and increasing the self-esteem of the participants when it takes place in the confines of a gym, while completely soul-crushing and demeaning in other contexts. This author does not quibble with the distinction: such are the vagaries of sexual politics.

Pole dancing is an effective way to exercise. I can assure you, however, that watching others pole dance is not. So I’ve heard, anyway. I’ve read that in medical journals, which I only read for the articles.

I would do some research on the subject, but I get enough sexual frustration at home -- and I don't even get the pay channels.

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