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Flirty Girl Fitness

As I walk my dog each morning on Randolph, I have passed by the soon to be opened Flirty Girl Fitness center. I thought, "Oh just another gym," until I saw a sign that read, "Are you fit enough to strip?" Basically, the Flirty Girl Fitness center will offer you for a monthly fee of $120 unlimited classes in stripping, pole dancing, lap dancing, and boxing with pink boxing gloves.

Having done my undergraduate thesis on phone sex, I've kept up on the sex work arguments and I think there is a certain empowerment that comes with having control over one's sexuality (if that is the case) and a viable choice of exploiting the higher profit margins of the sex industry. The rise of female producers, regulations about public health with the AIDS crisis, and safer working conditions has helped in the porn industry at least in the US. Street workers still are extremely vulnerable, but the shift to prosecuting the "John" instead of just the prostitute has at least in the legal sense made things more equitable. There is, of course, exploitation in the sex industry, but not more exploitation than in the mining industries, or the oil industries.

Yet, the idea of paying someone $120 per month to "lap dance your way to physical fitness" strikes me a somewhat problematic. Okay, for let's say, a 40+ white woman who has had her sexuality repressed by her suburban lifestyle, taking a weekly "Chair-strip tease" class can empower her by putting her back intouch with her sexuality. There are no men allowed in the class, so it is supposed to be a safe environment. But if you are a young woman, a woman of color, the oversexualization of your person is often the source of your disempowerment. Endulging in masculine fantasies of hyper-sexualization, is perhaps not the best route to reclaiming your sexuality. Looking at the gallery images of the Flirty Fitness site, the majority of the people are young women of various racial/ethnic groups.

I guess you could do it for yourself, but a trip to the Ole Sex Shop is probably a less expensive and more effective alternative therapy. So interesting enough on Randolph, there is a real strip tease club which I also pass by when walking the dog in the morning. It will be interesting to know what the women there will think of the new "gym" down the street. My bet is that they would want to tell the women to come there and earn the $120 as opposed to pay it out. One does not know which represents the true empowerment.

   

Comments

Dori

I am currently in transit. When I arrive back in Melbourne, I will respond to your important email.

Thank you,

Dori Tunstall

Dunia Binaraga

That's truly an innovative idea. Good Luck for your plans. By the way-you are multi-talented figure who even don't need my good luck. But.............I couldn't control myself or say I just wanted to say "Hello".
http://www.duniabinaraga.com/

Allison F

I've tried their Toronto location and have to express how disappointed I was with this company. The employees are exceptionally rude and catty towards the members. I actually get that 'sorority house' feel there, but unless you're in the main circle, you're on the outside and the victim of criticism. Not at all appreciated as someone who has paid good money on a 'punch card' to try out their services.

So they can be touting that they are empowering women, but in all reality, the employees have been seen to snicker and gossip behind their backs.

I do not recommend this company to anyone.

Rachael

Thanks for the information...I bookmarked your site, and I appreciate your time and effort to make your blog a success!

Haley

Hi Dori,
When I heard about Flirty Girl Fitness, I had conflicting opinions of the gym myself. While I think you have a valid point about the differences between repressed suburban women and younger women exposed to the ubersexuality of music videos and the like, I think that Flirty Girl Fitness is most definitely a postitive environment for women to have fun and tap into what it means to be a woman.

I am an instructor at Flirty Girl Fitness. I teach Salsalicious and Pil-a-tease. And the other day I took my first class on the pole - "Intro Pole 101". I felt like a kid at a playground. It was so much fun to spin, twirl, and hang on the pole, kin to the monkey bars if you ask me. And then when I put the spins and twirls together to fun music, I was reminded of the woman in me. The bottom line here is that women smile and laugh and get in shape at this gym. It doesn't feel like a workout, yet you are toning muscles and working your cardiovascular system. I'm sure other gyms like Flirty Girl would agree that it's definitely something to try out before making up your mind. Please join us for a class sometime. I'd really like to hear what you think after taking a class, especially since you have an interest in anthropology. This could be an interesting study in subcultures in America. Perhaps you'd find a common thread in our clientele worth researching.

Sincerely,
Haley

Kim

Hi Dori, interesting take on Flirty Girls! I would like to invite you to join us for a complimentary class at Sheila Kelley’s S Factor - Chicago. We launched in the West Loop this month and I really believe that you will LOVE it. S Factor is a sensual mind and body workout that’s been featured on Oprah seven times! Though others may try to imitate it (ahemmm...FG), only S Factor truly caters to the mind and spirit – digging deep into the female psyche to uncover each woman’s unique, innate sensuality - while achieving amazing physical results. Won’t you please join us for a class? I feel like you will be MOST impressed! - Kim

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