PDSM competition review –  boobs, butts and badassery

On Saturday 21 January, my pole pal Sophie and I attended the very first Pole Dance Stripper Movement (aka PDSM) competition and shit the bed and call me Barry it was INCREDIBLE! You all know I don’t blog about events, products etc. unless they’re something I 10/10 rate, so strap yourselves in as I’m about to gush (both in this here blog and from my vagina tbh) over just how awesome PDSM 2023 was.

Before I start fangirling over the competition, a quick bit about PDSM.  The brainchild of the utter tour de force that is Gemma Rose, PDSM is proud to showcase and amplify of all things Stripper Style and provides a safe and fully inclusive space, ran for sex workers by sex workers. Unfortunately, whorephobia and stripper erasure are still very much prevalent within the pole dance industry, so it is vital that events like PDSM exist to remind pole hobbyists (like yours truly) of the true roots of pole dancing and why they must be honoured and respected. Please click here to read more detail about PDSM.

Now without further ado, it’s fangirling time.  PDSM is a bloody great breath of fresh air in the UK pole competition scene. As a spectator who has attended many different pole competitions over the past seven years, PDSM really stuck out for me as one of the most unique and fun ones I have had the pleasure of viewing. First off, competitors can get fully nude! I shit you not I saw so many boobs on Saturday night that when I got to bed and closed my eyes all I could see were rows of bosoms. As PDSM is fully authentic to stripper style, nudity in competitor’s performances is both welcomed and encouraged (but not mandatory). I can imagine being allowed to fully let loose and be your genuine, filthy self would be liberating for a stripper style dancer!

There were many different variations of Stripper Style (SS) performed at PDSM. The comp itself was divided into five categories, USSP (Upcoming Stripper Style Performer), Sensual, Show, Striptease and Twerk, which enabled a broad spectrum of movement to be expressed on the stage. As a lover of all things Stripper style, it was fucking great to see how each category, whilst still staying true to its SS roots, differed from the last and just how much Stripper Style on the whole has to offer.

X-POLEDisclosure: The link above is an affiliate link, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Another massive win for me was how body positive the competition was. Not only did the fantastic compere Ruby Tease (more on her later) give an empowering speech on loving your body, but there were people of all shapes and sizes tearing up the stage on Saturday night. As someone who has been having a few body confidence wobbles lately, seeing people who had similar bodies to my own being absolute sexual powerhouses put a massive smile on my face and sent my wobbles firmly packing.

Furthermore, the venue for the competition was top tier. PDSM took place at the stunning Medusa Lodge in Birmingham which is a working Strip Club, in order to provide a truly authentic experience and for competitors who were strippers to feel right at home.  Thanks to the support of PDSM spectators buying tickets to the competition,  17 Strippers didn’t need to pay their house fees at Medusa Lodge that night, so supporting PDSM is a win as it’s directly benefitting strippers!

Whilst we are on the very important subject of sex worker’s rights, the legend that is Stacey Clare and United Sex Workers both gave very informative speeches all on Saturday on this key issue. It is a disgrace in 2023 that strippers have to pay house fees, are not entitled to holiday or sick pay nor a minimum wage and this must be changed immediately if not sooner I say! I am very happy that PDSM gave a platform to both Stacey and United Sex workers to raise and amplify their voices and spread their vital message.

As promised, another big shout out is owed to the compere for the night Ruby Tease. This was Ruby’s first time compering a pole comp and she smashed it! With the perfect balance of witty banter whilst not waffling, Ruby ensured the audience was nicely entertained between each competitor. If anyone reading this is looking for a compere for an event do drop Ruby a message!

The PDSM judging panel also did a cracking job. Consisting of current and former sex workers, not only did the judges have the mammoth task of judging each competitor, but they were also fantastic hype people for the competitors too. From where I was sat, I could really see one judge Sabrina Jade going nuts and cheering for every competitor on the night. I can imagine this was both lush and very well needed for all competitors, but especially those who may have felt the classic pre-performance nerves –  not that anyone looked even remotely nervous to me. Also, PDSM had a moderator Leila, who ensured the judging took place fairly. I thought this was a great touch and is something that all pole competitions ought to implement.

Overall I was completely blown away by how badass the first PDSM competition was. Gemma Rose and the team did a marvelous job of organising (the comp was so well organised in fact it finished 20 minutes early –  a rarity in the pole competition world!)  such a fun, inclusive and authentic competition which I believe has the power to create real change in the pole dance industry, in particular as to how pole dancing’s roots in the strip club are honoured. Every competitor was a joy to watch and showcased their own unique style of movement perfectly and lastly, the vibes were spot on all day. Here’s to many more PDSMs!

X-POLEDisclosure: The link above is an affiliate link, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn commission if you click through and make a purchase.

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