Why we are No Longer 'exotic'
Updated: Apr 7
Is Exotic a passionfruit, a wild cat, or just an inaccurate dance style reference? In the recent weeks we’ve changed the names of classes used to be known as ‘Exotic’ and removed the term from our websites. After all the years of using the term and having the word Exotic closely identified with our high heels classes, as well as in the global sexy pole community, we’ve decided to move on and find a new term to better describe our sensual pole classes on heels. Keep reading if you wanna know why we did that and why you should too!
Recently social media was storming over the new understating of the term ‘Exotic’. If you missed the storm or need to refresh on the data, check the following links:
I mean, even Teen Vogue wrote about it
You might think after watching and reading this: ‘come on…it’s just a word. We all know what we mean when we say ‘exotic’’. What we know for sure is that words have impact, and it’s not always easy to recognize it when we are so used to using them. Researching and evaluating the words we use gives us a chance to reconsider our values and how we want our future communication to look like. In the pole community we strive to maintain an inclusive, accepting and loving community open for people of all colors, ethnicity, religions and genders.
If improved word choice is going to help us get better at this, damn right we gonna take the chance and change our glossary.
What we took from watching and considering the information shared on social media about the word Exotic was that:
a. The term is simply false and does not at all describe what we do. A quick definition of the word Exotic gives: ‘’originating in or characteristic of a distant foreign country. For example, exotic birds.’’
b. The term might be offending to BIPOC/mixed race folks, often referred to as ‘exotic’ looking people, which is the last thing we would ever want to do.
c. As a pole community we must conform to a higher standard, which is inclusive and ethical.
Over the years at Pole Flow we have taught hundreds of ‘exotic’ classes and hosted a dozen of ‘exotic’ workshops. The word Exotic has become strongly associated with our brand and it was hard to let it go. However, after being confronted with this new understating we had no doubt we would right away change our terms. By doing so we were saying goodbye to ignorance and accepting new inclusive ethics in our pole community: ethics that take in consideration all parts of society, including BIPOC. How fckn hot is that.
Pole Dance as a community has rightfully gained the reputation of a colorful, open, inclusive and versatile community where people of all colors and background can take part in. This is what makes us unique and appealing to many students, hopefully to you as well! It is our job to maintain and prove that we deserve this image. On a personal level (Lee here), as Pole Dance teachers I feel our responsibility is much bigger than just being a badass business womxn, or teaching people how to do a handspring and to look sexy AF on the pole. We also share responsibly for sharing and educating about the history and origins of pole. It’s our job to honor the people who have paved the way to where we are now. And moreover – it’s our job to honor the people who keep joining and growing our community from all sections of society. So thank you for listening and helping us and the pole community spread the #nonexotic word!
If you feel intrigued by the topic we encourage you to find more about it by searching the hashtag #eroticnotexotic on social media. If you love pole, love the people who do it. Read, listen and share - Your voice matters! You will now find our high heels pole classes under the name ‘Heels Sensual Flow’. Just as sexy, just as hot ;) Peace out and looking forward to sensually flow with you soon.