… or at the very least, attend a burlesque performance.

No body shaming. The awesome thing about burlesque is that you can’t hide behind Photoshop. We need more real bodies out there to counteract all the Photoshop. And when it comes to performers, burlesque dancers are all ages, genders, sexualities and body types. And they offer zero apologies for what they look like.

stock-graphics-vintage-posters-0286 You’ll gain confidence. The positive reinforcement you’ll get in class is awesome. Even if you don’t take a class, attending a performance and seeing women with bodies just like yours, with curves and jiggles, and yes, cellulite, and seeing how sexy that can be … it’s empowering. Real people are sexy. You can’t f*ck make love to a photoshopped picture.

Total acceptance. Do you want to dance? Yes? That’s the only requirement. No prior dance or gettin’-naked experience necessary. Just sign up for a class, show up, and your teacher (and fellow students) will all encourage you to find your sexy.

It’s fun. Let’s be honest … we’ve all done a sexy dance alone at home. (And if you haven’t, good lord, let you hair down and put on some tunes.) Maybe you’ve thrown down some moves in public. (Or at least attempted it.) It was fun, right? Now imagine learning the most flattering way to do sexy moves. Even if you never do those moves in public, it’s still fun to know them. (Perhaps share them with a partner behind closed doors?)

Costumes! Make-up! Glitter? Fake eyelashes? Yes, please! Whether you’re wearing it, or seeing it on stage, fun make-up is fun.

Fun names. If you eventually decide to perform, you get to give yourself a fun stage name. Some of my faves are Dirty Martini, Nora Grets, Booty Garland, Lilly Rascal, and Hot Toddy.

It’s sex positiveIn a culture with slut shaming and rape culture (“she was asking for it!”), and being inundated with what men find sexy, and a media that’s scared of women enjoying sex … it’s refreshing to see examples of women owning their sexuality. Most burlesque troupes are 100 percent women – production, choreography, dancing, costuming, etc. It’s a true example of women’s sexuality. With zero shame.

If you’re in the Chicago area, check out Studio L’amour or Vaudezilla for classes and performances, and the Chicago Burlesuqe Calendar for performances. And let me know if/when you go to a show!! Maybe I’ll tag along. 

Have you ever taken a burlesque class? Been to a burlesque performance? If you were a performer … what would your name be? (Need help?)