Rules for dating a pole dancer

The petite Californian has jewels stuck to her forehead and purple-sprayed hair, but her sturdy bikini displays a six-pack that any lifeguard would envy.

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Meanwhile, a neat line of suited judges – all but one female –frown in concentration as they evaluate each of the athletes’ compulsory moves according to strict criteria.

What to a clubland habitué would seem a perfect Chopstick and an elegant Spatchcock is to these stern-faced critics merely the requisite F34 and F46.

After the applause dies down, four young women in 1950s-style bikinis climb on stage.

Two sweep the floor while the others shin briskly up the poles and polish them from top to bottom with checked dusters.

Standing on her head, she grasps the pole with her thighs and hauls herself upright, then swings out horizontally at 90 degrees and rotates slowly.

She back-flips over to a second, rotating pole and begins to spin around it like a top.Most competitors are wearing Bridget Jones-style big pants and crop-tops, though men are permitted to go topless.“You have to show some skin, or you don’t stick to the pole,” explains Coates.Last year, Swansea University Students’ Union briefly banned its student pole society, claiming that the sport was “inextricably linked to the multimillion-pound sex industry” and that women who took part “have been deceived into thinking this is a way of taking charge of their sexuality”.And although pole has ancient roots in China, where it was used by circus performers, and in the Indian Mallakhamba tradition, in which wrestlers train by performing gymnastics on wooden stakes, pole-dancing itself is said to originate from the travelling fairs during the American depression in the 1920s, and the hoochie-coochie dancers who performed their belly dances holding on to the central tent pole.“We’re going to have to find a larger venue next year,” says KT Coates, president of the IPSF.

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