Haven't you heard? Pole dancing is a sport.
Of course, those of us with the bruises, calluses and pulled muscles didn't need an international sports federation to tell us that.
Maybe when you heard the news that pole dance is being classed as an official sport - a step on the road to the Olympics - you might have smirked and said to anyone within earshot "what's next? Pillow fighting?"
Like one columnist in the Guardian, maybe you filed pole dance into the same category as mud wrestling, wet T-shirt contests and twerking (side note: I have tried to twerk and it is not easy).
If you did all of that, you'd be wrong. But if you did all of that while refusing to listen to the thousands of women saying how strong and empowered pole has made them, you'd be both wrong, and belligerently ignorant.
I'll let you in on a secret that anybody who has ever tried the sport before judging already knows: a pole is more than just a prop to twirl seductively around.
Everyone who rolled their eyes at that line should take a moment to watch a video of a competitive pole routine, then try to say there's not a monumental amount of athletic skill needed to pull off most of those moves.
Even a beginner class will tire you out and leave you shocked at how something that looks so simple and effortless is actually so hard to do.
"But why don't they wear more clothes?" the prudish cry. Simple, bare skin helps you grip. Try hanging upside down on a pole by your legs while wearing jeans and see how that works out for you (tip: it won't work out for you.)
The upside to wearing less clothing by necessity is that you stop being self-conscious pretty quickly.
I've never loved my body, but when I started pole dancing I slowly stopped caring about how I looked and started caring about what I could push myself to do.
Isn't that what women need? A shift in focus from their perceived imperfections to what they can actually accomplish?
Nobody in a pole class will look at you and judge your cellulite, but they will cheer you on when you finally get a new move.
In fact, pole dancers are the most supportive, encouraging, confidence-inspiring group of people I've ever met.
Owner of Wellington studio Polaris Pole Dance, Amy Rowe, loves seeing the transformation students go through when they start coming to classes.
"I see all of my students get fantastically strong and fit," she said.
"They feel fantastic about who they are and what their bodies look like."
Rowe, who began pole dancing 11 years ago, said pole helped her recognise what her body was able to do.
"It's empowering to me because it does let me use my body in ways that I never thought I'd be able to. It combines elements of dance with more gymnastic elements and strength training, and flexibility, and co-ordination, and brings that all together into something that's quite beautiful."
It was great the athletic ability of pole dancers was finally being recognised, Rowe said, but she did not necessarily think pole should be included as an Olympic sport - an opinion that is echoed by others in the pole community.
While the tricks-heavy style of pole might suit the Olympic games, many dancers prefer a more artistic, flowy, sensual style.
Pole dancer Michelle Goh said the activity could "definitely be seen as a sport".
"I think pole can be whatever you want it to be - a sport for some, a performance art for others, or both. The beauty of pole is that you can apply virtually any genre to it, musically, aesthetically.
"But it can be so much more than just a sport for some dancers too. The only limitation is a lack of imagination, really".
NZ Pole Ventures Ltd director Karry Summers said numbers in the New Zealand Amateur Pole Performer competition, which has been running for seven years, have leaped from 30 spectators in each heat to 200-250 this year. Competitor numbers have also jumped from about 10, to more than 120, with more on the waiting list.
Summers' studio, Altitude Pole and Fitness, is one of the largest in the country and has around 300 members training between two and 15 times a week.
She is unsure how many studios have popped up around the country, but knows of at least 30.
So there you have it. If you remain unconvinced that pole dancing is anything other than entertainment for men, go try out a class.
I hope as you stagger home with aching muscles and bruises in places you never thought bruises could appear, you'll feel proud of all the things you never realised you could do.