Times are moving swiftly. What was once deemed a socially taboo form of entertainment, indulged in only by the rich or the famous (or bankers), usually under the cover of darkness, is now mainstream family fun.
The family-friendly local leisure centre in the leafy suburban town in which I reside has introduced pole dancing lessons to its weekly timetable. So, in the glare of the light of day, with sun streaming into the studio through the windows (only partially obscured by the number of curious faces sneaking a peek), the local housewives can get a fix to rival any sexual fantasy in Fifty Shades.
Mr A deems it a sad pastime for either the vain or deluded, harbouring delusions of an inner pole dancer. Just cast a thought to the majority of those exercising their vocal chords on X Factor and you'll see his point. Having said that, the instructor is a friend of mine, and focuses solely on the strengthening aspect of it as a form of exercise – hauling one's entire body weight round a pole while contorting into various positions, legs akimbo. Forget about the simultaneously trying to look sexy part. I imagine an elephant hanging onto a lamp post might have better luck.
All that I have to go on, though, is a brief review gleaned from a fellow gym goer who actually partakes in the pole antics. Apparently after the initial self-consciousness wears off (I dare you to deny you weren't at all embarrassed in your first Zumba class), it's a superb workout and immensely fun.
Then I discovered that she is also my niece's class teacher at a local primary school. Oh, how the mums must wonder why all the dads are desperate to do their share of that school run!