Men Bust Barriers, Ride The Steel Python, at World Pole Dance Finals

We suppose there’s nothing intrinsically gay about guys pole dancing (snicker), but that doesn’t mean the dudes who entered this years World Pole Dance finals in Budapest last week didn’t get some sideways glances from the audience. This was, after all, the first time men were allowed to compete.

It’s not unreasonable that men would be drawn to pole dancing, an activity once reserved for strippers and kinky housewives. A statistically greater upper-body strength gives males an advantage in many of dance’s complicated moves. But the stereotypes and taboos are hard to break. Russian Evgeny Greshilov, who took the gold at the Budapest competition with an acrobatic routine set to “Hit the Road, Jack,” was one of just seven men in the competition. That’s compared to nearly 40 female entrants.

“When I tell people what I do, there is shock, ‘No! pole dancing is for women,'” dancer Matty Shields, who took the bronze, tells the Wall Street Journal. “Pole dancing can be masculine, too.”

Judging from Greshilov’s routine in the above video clip, we’re inclined to agree.