As many of you Toy with Mes already know, I am quite the budding little pole dancer. I’ve been to three classes now, maybe four by the time you read this, and that makes me pretty much a “Pole Dancing Expert.” I’ve got the bruises and pulled muscles to prove it!
As a “Pole Dancing Expert,” the Toy with Mes asked me if I was interested in using and reviewing an at-home portable pole kit. I was thrilled to pieces to try it because I was going to get to practice my mad skillz and help others at the same time. It’s a total win/win! (I think the biggest winner is my husband who is now the envy of all his friends, and even a few people he’s never met. Did I mention the caché being a pole dancer seems to entail? Yeah.)
There are several different kinds of poles to choose from, but the one I got from the awesome people at AdultSexToys.com was Carmen Electra’s Electra-Pole Professional Pole Kit by Peekaboo. It claims to be the perfect pole for all levels from the total beginner (like me), to the professional pole dancer.
Let’s find out.
The pole shipped out quickly and came very discreetly packaged in a plain brown box. It’s all folded up inside because the pole itself comes in three pieces for portability, so it’s not as obvious as it would be with a solid, one piece pole–you know, the long, skinny, 20lb one your neighbors would see you dragging off your front porch in your platforms and g-string.
Inside the box is the aforementioned 3-piece collapsible dance pole, the ceiling plate, the base plate, spanner, assembly guide and DVD, and a not-so-discreet storage bag with CARMEN ELECTRA ELECTRA POLE written in huge hot pink letters on it.
Assembly is pretty easy, but if you’re all thumbs with this sort of thing, please, please, please have somebody who knows what they’re doing put it up for you. We like your teeth where they are. Even I, with my very, super handy builds-shit-from-scratch and uses-his-dick-for-a-hammer husband, managed to pull the thing over the first time I attempted a fast spin. While doing some research on this particular pole, I read that a lot of people have pulled it over during a spin and have been hurt, so test it out a lot before you try to do tricks on it (something they repeat more than once in the instructions, btw).
In fact, if you’re going to do anything fancy like that, you really do need to screw it into the ceiling. This Carmen Electra pole offers an OPTION to mechanically fasten the top plate with screws, OR it can be pressure mounted. Lots of other poles don’t offer both options.
Before screwing it into the ceiling, however, I was able to do a handstand against it and climb it. My 170lb neighbor and my 195lb husband were also both able to climb it without a problem. So, if you’re going to dance around it and maybe climb it a little, you should be okay without screwing it in. If you’re planning on really torquing it, use the screws.
The first thing I noticed is that this pole is a lot thicker than the one used in my class, so it’s taking some time for me to get used to it. There are some thinner ones on the market that might be easier to wrap your hand around–especially if you’re a beginner and you don’t have a lot of hand/wrist strength yet, like me. The diameter difference is a double-edged sword: a thicker pole puts less pressure on fulcrum points (and thus reduces some of the bruising) and it’s easier to squeeze between the legs, BUT it’s also harder to get a good grip on, especially if you have smaller hands.
The finish on the pole is also a little hard for me to deal with. The ones in my class are painted with a somewhat textured/grippier powder coat paint, and even with that paint, they’re still a little slippery. During class we often have to stop and wipe down the poles with rubbing alcohol to keep the surface clean. The Electra-Pole is chrome and is therefore very slippery, even when completely clean. I feel much less confident using it for more difficult maneuvers for this reason. Our class has different poles, and our instructors told us that the more advanced poles have slicker surfaces like the chromed Electra–harder to get a solid grip, but also a lot “faster” for spins and slides.
After anchoring it to the ceiling, I was able to do spins, etc. I weigh 120 lbs, but it says not to use it if you weigh more than 265. Some reviews I read said that people of only 105 lbs couldn’t do spins on it without it coming apart. I did not find this to be the case. Plus my husband pulled and tugged and even managed to do a something like a spin, and it didn’t budge. He said if someone a shade over 100 lbs broke it, it wasn’t installed properly to begin with, and I totally believe him. The thing is solid.
In all, I think the Electra-Pole is pretty awesome for a beginner with the following caveats:
- You have someone who knows what they’re doing install it for you. We put ours in the porn basement, which has an exposed joist perfect for mounting. If this is going in your bedroom, you’re going to need a stud sensor or stud finder to locate a ceiling joist strong enough to keep the upper mount stable–whether you screw it in or not.
- You don’t try anything crazy before you know for absolute sure that it’s secure. Even then, take it slowly as you increase your load on the bar.
- The size and texture of the pole is more for an intermediate or advanced level dancer, and is therefore more challenging for a beginner to use.
For me, at least, it’s really fun having it and playing around with it. Would I buy something different in the future if this pole dancing stuff turns out to be my thing? Probably, yes. I’d get a heavier one that’s one solid piece, maybe a little thinner, and meant to stay in place permanently. But since I’m just testing the pole dancing waters at this point and getting some practice in, it’s just about perfect–it can be relocated in a few minutes, even with the upper mount screwed in, it’s height adjustable, it has a gleaming chrome finish, can be knocked down and put away for when judgy people and relatives come over, and last but not least will get you mega points with the husband.