How Pole Dancing Healed My Daddy Issues

By Autumn Morris

Nothing makes me feel more safe and secure than dancing on a pole. It’s literally the best thing ever, and let me tell you why.

My relationship with masculinity has always been trash. It started as simple daddy issues. I grew up being second best to my little sister and frequently found myself skipping meals for days in hopes my father would notice. I craved to be seen, to be felt, to be supported, and to be understood, all of which my father could never provide. I allowed my experiences with my father to influence my expectation of those who are masculine-of-center. This expectation plummeted further when my first boyfriend became physically, sexually, and verbally abusive. My faith in masculinity took yet another nosedive after having more sexual assaults than positive sexual experiences.   

Needless to say, I’ve had very few fruitful exchanges with those who are masculine-of-center. Without an active example of healthy masculinity in my life, I began to suffer deeply. Although I identify as feminine-of-center, my own masculinity is instrumental in my character. My experiences began to disrupt how I viewed my own masculine energy. I was afraid to be masculine because to me that represents neglect, abuse, and violation. I didn’t want to be associated with such terrible attributes. Because of that, I became uncomfortably saturated in my femininity and uncomfortably isolated from outside influences and symbols of masculinity.

Living in fear of masculinity was super problematic for me. First of all, it inhibited my ability to love myself in my entirety. My fear and resentment of masculinity manifested as rejection of my own masculinity. It is impossible to fully and unapologetically love yourself while simultaneously rejecting yourself. Secondly, it inhibits me from having meaningful and intimate connections with others who are masculine-of-center. I didn’t want to keep rejecting my inner masculine, and I didn’t want to keep pushing away possible romantic partners. I wanted to heal.

Amidst my struggles with masculinity, I found pole dancing. It mesmerized me. However, I never expected the healing I would experience when I began pole dancing. The more I danced the more my masculinity issues began to fade and the more I desired to be around the masculine.

How do the two connect? To me, a pole represents what healthy masculinity should represent. It is strong, consistent, powerful, and supporting. When I am dancing on the pole, I have the option to fall into my softness and my feminine energy safely. I can dance freely around it knowing that the pole will not forsake me. It will not fail me. It will stand strong and support me as I move and grow.  With the pole as my masculine, my trust and faith in masculinity strengthens. I am then able to apply that trust to my inner masculine and how I view myself. If masculinity can be strong, consistent, powerful, and supporting, then so can I. The masculinity in me does not have to embody what I have experienced previously. As I dance around the pole, I feel connected, complete, and confident in myself in my entirety.

I truly become my best self on the pole. My energy becomes balanced and my headspace becomes centered. On the pole I exude confidence and I look fucking amazing. I feel like I’m worthy of being seen, worthy of being felt, worthy of being supported, and worthy of being understood. I have never experienced anything like it.

So yes, as stereotypical as it sounds, I heal my daddy issues and my masculinity issues through pole dancing. I encourage you to analyze where you stand with masculine and feminine energy and participate in activities that incubate positive relationships with both of them.  

Do you pole dance?