0018: Fervor Friday With Carolina Of Blogger On Pole

 

When we honour each other we dismantle the old patriarchal paradigm of competing. When we let go of competition we open up to the possibility of abundance, our belief in scarcity is weakened. The power of women choosing to hold the highest vision for each other, the power of women standing together loyally and lovingly is not only a radical act of defiance, but what gives birth to the healing of the world.

 Ladies and Gentlemen today it is a real honor to bring to you the phenomenal pole goddess Carolina of blogger on pole

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First of all I want to thank you for taking time to do this interview, my first question is, Who Carolina from Blogger On Pole?

I’m a 26-year-old pole dancing academic, writer, blogger and social media consultant. I’m Italian and I’m based in London, where I’m doing a PhD in criminology focusing on social media harassment and where I teach both criminology and journalism at university. Here I also perform, write about feminism, mental health, travel, fitness and lifestyle for my blog blloggeronpole.com. 

Moreover, at this moment, how do you spend your days?

I feel like I live a lot of different lives at the moment as I’m re-training as an academic after a career in PR, so I spend quite a lot of time working on my PhD, teaching at university and assisting academics with their papers. I also often write research papers myself – I’ve got one focusing on RuPaul’s Drag Race online fandom coming out this year, and a couple more on cyber harassment that have recently been published – and speak at conferences. I’m particularly excited about going to Iceland in May to present my work!

 

I have just started doing some social media consulting, helping people and small business independently promote themselves on social media for a small fee, putting my former PR and social media strategy expertise to a good use. 

 

I self-published a novel called Bad/Tenderfocusing on abusive relationships, so I spend quite a lot of time promoting that, trying to get interviews, profiles and reviews for myself. It’s gone quite well so far, and I’ve been featured in Cosmopolitan, About Time, Kettle, Sister, British Vogue and a bunch of other sites. As an independent writer, I am working really hard to find a literary agent and a publisher for my next novel, a kinky detective story. It’s very hard to get anyone to even feedback on my work, which is quite frustrating, but I do think people are looking for new, raw writers that tell things like they are – not a fan of romanticizing abuse for instance, and the fact that I refused to do so has gone down very well with my readers. 

 

Writing-wise, I also try to post at least one article a week on my blog bloggeronpole.com, reviewing events and venues in London, talking about the pole life or about issues that matter to me like mental health or feminism. 

 

I also train as a pole dancer either with my pole at home or at studios all over London pretty much every day. I’m preparing for two competitions at the moment, Floorplay and Exotic Generation UK, both in London and on the 11thof May and 1stof June respectively. I’m very excited and I love my routines, can’t wait to show them to whoever comes to see me!

Can you tell us about your upbringing?

I was born in Sardinia, Italy, a beautiful, safe and warm town that I left at 18 to study in London. I found that I wanted more of a challenge, and coming from a family of travelers – my parents work for an airline – London was the obvious choice because of the opportunities it offered. I would say I grew up in a very accepting, feminist household where my parents always supported me and never limited me in what I could be. 

How would you define yourself, and what purpose inspires you?

I’m a writer, blogger and a pole dancing academic. I am becoming what I wanted to be as a child and that inspires me: not having limits in what I can be, whatever that is. 

Carolina I see that you studied Criminology and are doing a PHD. Can you tell us a little about that journey and how did you choice criminology as a course of study and career?

I have always wanted to study criminology since I can remember. As a child, I liked horror stories and crime dramas, and loved mystery books. Yet, when I decided to move to London, I was afraid that studying such a complicated subject in a language that wasn’t my first would have been to hard, so I picked journalism instead – I love writing, and some form of investigation was involved in journalism, or so I thought. I fell out of love with journalism quite fast, after I learnt all the constraints and ethical dilemmas journalists have to face, and I kind of lost myself and went into PR. 

 

After a few years in the business, and after having suffered burnout, I collected an award for my BA Journalism dissertation and realised I wanted to get back into academia, so I applied for a Master in Australia, got in and moved. I wanted to be as far away from London as possible, thinking it was the problem, while the lifestyle I was leading was what was bringing me down. I ended up graduating with distinction and getting into a PhD here in London, and I think I really found my path. As a cyber-criminologist, I can blend my interests and professional expertise with my academic background in criminology and I never stop learning. I love it.

Dancing is therapeutic, I understand that you discovered pole fitness during a really dark time in your life, how do you feel dancing helped you heal?

I started pole dancing during my MA in Sydney, where I felt very lonely, didn’t know anyone and I had just come out of an abusive relationship. I hated my body, didn’t feel confident at all and didn’t really love myself. Pole dancing sounded fun because I used to do artistic gymnastics as a child and I missed the danger of being upside down. I went in hoping for a new fun sport to practice, and never looked back. The pole dancing community is beautiful, supportive and accepting of difference. Seeing my almost naked body and showing it to my fellow pole dancers helped me love it and myself again, and now I actively perform and compete because I love it and I want to show the world that women can be sexual and also professional.

Goddess, I also noticed that via pole fitness you gained confidence to step in front of the camera and take some incredibly gorgeous pictures, can you tell us a little about this experience?

Ahaha thank you! Well, pole shoots are very popular in the community and Sydney had some amazing photographers, and considering at the time I was still working in PR and earned quite a good salary I decided to give myself a gift and do a few photoshoots.

 

I used to be quite awkward in front of the camera and sometimes I still am, but I think pole turned me more into a performer. The shoots were a nice way to show off my new skills, outfits and shoes and worked as a memento from Sydney.

Let’s talk about twerking, can you tell us why its so empowering and why do you feel society deems it dirty?

Twerking is massively misunderstood. I was lucky enough to learn from people who learnt twerking as part of their heritage, like my amazing teacher Chanelle from Twerkology Nation, a company that educates people about the origins of twerk, and also empowers abused women or people with mental health issues to use their body, feel sexy and have a fun workout. Twerking is a huge part of the African and Caribbean community, and unfortunately it has been misunderstood and sexualised. Like many other forms of dancing, it canbe sexy, but it’s a skill, it’s an art. It doesn’t deserve the bad reputation it has.  

 

I think more than anything, I find it empowering because it’s something I never thought I could do. I am still learning, and I’m not perfect at it – again, I feel so privileged to learn from the best – but I remember when I first started and I was like: “BUT MY BUTT DOESN’T MOVE!” 

 

It was one of those things when, instead of giving up as I often do when I can’t pull it off straight away, I stuck with it and could see the results really quickly. . It’s a really fun dancing technique you can use on a night out, it’s fun to add accents and beats to pole routines, and it gave me strong, muscly thighs! I’m so proud of having taught twerk a few times already, and I’d definitely like to keep on teaching my own style of it – twerking to metal music.

What are your thoughts on recent reports of Instagram shadow-banning sex-positive post?

I’m so over it. Especially because it seems to be targeting women in particular. It’s really sad because many young people are now getting a great, positive and healthy sex education through Instagram when their parents are embarrassed to talk to them about it, and this shows that the platform doesn’t want this to happen.

 

I’ve spoken to Instagram about this – to their credit, they were swift in their responses, but they were non-responses. It appears that art is fine, but recently many erotic artists were banned at the hands of a group of users who don’t like women expressing their sexuality through art. Nipples are a no-no, although I doubt seeing a nipple would shock or harm anyone. 

 

I think it’s scary because many people like myself use Instagram to promote our work, and being subject to the “Insta police” is worrying – at the end of the day it’s all related to one’s concept of morality, which can vary greatly from individual to individual.

 

Plus, as someone who researches on cyber-harassment, to be fair I’d rather have platforms regulate or stop toxic behaviours like trolling or revenge porn, or unwanted dick picks, than an artist who is publishing a post promoting their own work.

 Why do you think Instagram is targeting woman’s sexual empowerment?

I have no idea. I asked them and got no response. 

Tell me about how these challenges have empowered you as an activist?  

I wouldn’t say they have empowered me, they scare me. But it was cool to be able to at least get through to Instagram, and I am lucky to be part of a supportive community of people who fights this everyday. 

 

Do you think we’ll ever over come this- will sexuality ever be accepted by mainstream? 

I don’t know. I do hope so, and I am working towards it. I think even ten years ago I couldn’t do what I do, and we wouldn’t be talking about sex the way we do. But sometimes it’s easy to forget that not everybody is as sex-positive as we are, and when you hear certain thoughts or read certain statements it throws you. Means there’s still some work to do! 

 

What does sexual empowerment mean to you? Moreover, how do you believe sex educators and pole fitness/dance can empower others to find their sexual authenticity

One main thing I noticed about myself when I got into pole was that before I used to have sex to feel better about myself, to feel wanted and liked and that would rub off on me, I would like myself for the attention I received. When I started poling I realized I already felt good about myself and didn’t needsex for that: this helped me weed out a lot of toxic people and time-wasters, and also get rid of my own toxic behavior in terms of perceiving my self-worth according to what others thought of me. Sex isn’t always a solution to your own inner struggle, so I think what the pole life has done for me was to teach me to love and accept myself, and that in turn has put me in charge of my own needs and my own sexuality. So I hope something similar can be done for others.   

What led you to embrace your sensuality and why is doing so important?

I feel I have my own way of being sexy when I dance – being fast, using beats that most people would hate (e.g. very screamy songs) but I am living my truth. I think the possibility of really being who I wanted to be on stage, the person I sometimes can’t be when I’m feeling depressed and anxious, helped me embrace my sensuality and release the tension.

 

It’s so important because historically women are often toned down in society, while in pole I can be too much. It’s a way for women and everyone to express themselves fully.

Sex, self-pleasure, deep intimacy… are topics that don’t seem to be as readily or openly accepted by society yet. Why is this?

Because of societal and certain religious beliefs we have historically been hiding our sex lives from people. It doesn’t mean you should walk into a room and go all TMI on your colleagues, but discussing what’s ok or not in bed, what’s pleases you, is basically health talk. But I guess we hadn’t come to that yet, until the past Century that started a revolution. 

 When you are caught up in your head or just really busy/distracted in life, how do you get back to earth (and into your body)?

By pole dancing, or sitting down to have a nice meal. Or having a glass of wine on my sofa with lit candles and incense in front of me.

 Do you have a favorite ritual?

I meditate for a few minutes before bed every night, with incense and lit candles in front of me to ease my breathing. 

 

What do you want to tell woman who are seeking to take on their own passion projects, and make them their career?

I think the main thing I would say is that it’s bloody hard work, especially if it’s a side hustle, but that you can’t just wait and think “What if.” It’ll make you suffer. So lock yourself in a café with a notebook, plan things out, do your research, see if it’s possible, and just do it. It’s what I did and the outcomes have surprised me. 

Carolina, thank you for sharing your time and energy with us where can the Kinktra lovers find you?

You can find my blog at http://bloggeronpole.com/

 

My Instagram, Facebook and Twitter are at @bloggeronpole https://www.instagram.com/bloggeronpole/

 

My novel Bad/Tender is available from:

· Kindle: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bad-Tender-Carolina-Are-ebook/dp/B07DKG97TZ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1528535001&sr=8-1&keywords=Bad%2FTender+Carolina+Are

·  Apple Books:  https://linkmaker.itunes.apple.com/en-us/details/1372702645?country=us&mediaType=books&term=Bad%2FTender&type=ebook

·  Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/bad-tender

·  Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/bad-tender-carolina-are/1128521523?ean=9781912643158

·  Google Play:  https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Carolina_Are_Bad_Tender?id=6tdVDwAAQBAJ

 

 
Jessica Bramlett