I have a confession to make. I am the Madam of a group with a bunch of very sexy, half naked male pole dancers as members, who writhe around in very little clothing and make movements with hips that should be classed as weapons of mass destruction. And this all started because I wrote a book called Waiting for Rain which had a character in it who fancied himself as a bit of a mover and shaker and loved to dance and in particular, pole dance for his boyfriend. Rain Engel is a carpenter, building a customer made bar at a hotel in rural Stamford when he comes across Toby Prentiss, the General Manager of the hotel. Rain is shirtless, Toby hasn’t had any for a while and a kiss in the lost property room leads to a lot more.
Rain is a bit of an exhibitionist and he fancies himself as a pole dancer. So during the research I did, I fell in love with this performance art/sport and started stalking *coughs* sorry, following the artistes around YouTube and Facebook, posting random videos here and there on my Facebook page. It was amazing just how quickly people, men and women, latched onto the fact there was a whole new pole dance activity out involving men and before long I had quite a few converts. I met someone online, a lady called Shanella McBeth, who sent me some clips of men dancing in heels to further whet my appetite, and I was totally hooked. Eventually the demand was so great, I thought , why not form a group so we can enjoy these performances in peace and not clog everyone else’s newsfeeds up with sultry, sensual moves of men wrapping themselves around poles, looking like demonic snakes. The men not the poles.
And Male Pole Dance Groupies (and more) was born. The ‘and more’ was because we feature aerial artistes using silk and ropes and men dancing in heels and various things that bring us pleasure and make our jaws drop. At last count we have 141members and among that number we count 48 professional pole dancers, of varying experience and rank. We have World Champions, gymnasts, Cirque du Soleil performers, numerous people who are winners of various awards and titles, Irish dancers, Burlesque acts, teachers and coaches at Cirque schools across the world and those who are competing and trying to get ahead.
You can see the page and check out all the members names here –
It’s a diverse membership, spreading from Columbia, Russia, to the US, Europe, South America and Japan.
And these men all have a few things in common. They train hard, they work hard at what they do, they travel to promote their art, they have dedication and tenacity and they want to be seen as serious contenders for what they do and not the old stereotype of male strippers. These men are not ‘strippers’, they are serious professionals who deserve recognition for what they do and the effort and hard slog that it takes to get them where they are. Yes, of course we talk about their bodies and their sexy movements but that never overshadows the fact that these guys are professionals. There are sites out there dedicated to get these guys their dues – http://www.polemen.com/ is one of them.
Even the Wall Street Journal has espoused the benefits and given us an article explaining that pole dancing is not just for women. Oh and by the way, the artistes featured in this article- Keem Martinez, Matty Shield and Timber Brown – they are all members of our group.
I am a dedicated Pole Junkie. I have a little secret too. My new book trailer for Waiting for Rain will feature an amazing young man called Andre Corey from New Zealand. I was on the look-out for someone to do a simple dance for me to the scene at the end of the book and Andre, bless his heart, said he would do it for me. He took studio time, went in, choreographed it (he says it’s just freestyle, I say its sheer bloody perfection) and has given me four minutes of heart stopping, sexy, jaw dropping pole dancing that makes the knees weak and goes back to what I said earlier – it should be illegal for men to move their bodies like they do and thrust and writhe sinuously, causing palpitations and a lot more heat in other regions…but I digress. It was such a generous thing to do and I can’t thank him enough. So here’s a loud cheer to you, Andre ! If you want to see some of his work, here’s the link
This whole thing has another aspect to it, apart from the appreciation society we have built and the fan-girling that goes on in there. (And oh boy does it go on.) I’m a great believer in taking something from your book and finding that USP -unique selling point- that could draw a reader in and make them invested in your story. For me, the pole dancing in my book was the hook I needed to promote the book and get awareness of Rain and Toby’s story. There’s also a sheep phobia and some sheep thefts going on in the book but I didn’t think that would work as well as the pole dancing thing. You can only see so many Shaun the Sheep pictures and honestly, they are quite boring animals after all is said and done.
The pole dancing group has enabled me to draw people in and in fact, some of the dancers themselves are reading my current books as they say ‘having an author in here and not reading her work is the same as me not going to see my friends performances.’ It’s a sentiment I can only marvel at and thank them for. So while it might only one or two new readers, we all know that one leads to many, if word of mouth has anything to do with promoting, which I firmly believe it does.
So if you’re interested in the group pop down and join, come in, say Hello and prepare yourself for a rather raunchy and wild ride.
Susan Mac Nicol was born in Leeds, Yorkshire, in the United Kingdom. At the age of eight, her family moved to Johannesburg, South Africa, where she stayed for nearly thirty years before arriving back in the UK in December 2000. The first year Sue was back in the UK, it snowed on her birthday, as it did the day she was born in 19*coughs* and she swears this was England welcoming her back.
Sue’s career has mostly been in the financial services area and she specialises in what she calls “boring” compliance and regulatory work. That’s why she escapes into the world of writing and fantasy where she chats to her characters ad nauseum and is overjoyed when they reply. It beats the monotony of legalese, contracts, and legislation, and let’s face it, writing hot scenes between men can only be more rewarding.
Sue is a PAN member of Romance Writers of America and is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association in the UK. She is also a member of a rather unique writing group called the Talliston Writers Circle, whose “creator” is a man who is both a Bard and a Shaman. It makes for a really interesting evening and dinner conversation. She lives in the quaint village of Bocking in Essex, set in the countryside and not far from the sea, should she get the yen to eat oysters.
Due 24th February 2014
The village of Stamford, the quintessential chocolate box English scene, seemed an impossible dream for foster kid Toby Prentiss. Now he’s found a home among the haystacks and village fairs as the general manager for the Duck and Drake Hotel. With the fears and demons from his youth hidden away in this bucolic oasis, he’s very protective of who he lets in. Until he stumbles across shirtless carpenter Rain Engel building the hotel’s new custom-designed bar.
Working in the countryside, Rain prepared to face his biggest fear: sheep. He didn’t expect to deal with his second biggest fear: commitment. Toby’s controlled, tough guy façade coupled with his “find happiness where you can” optimism calls to Rain like nothing before. While Rain may be an exhibitionist, his romantic history forces him to hold his emotions close. As their relationship develops, secrets from their pasts drive a wedge between them: the ex-boyfriend who tore apart Rain’s trust and Toby’s history with the law. But can the secrets hiding among the quirky villagers bring them together? With missing sheep, pole dancing at the winter festival, and a crippling drought, everyone is waiting for Rain.