Here’s a brief overview of a few pertinent verses:
- God’s good will is that sexual relationships only be enjoyed within the marriage relationship, where one man and one woman covenant together to belong wholly and exclusively to the other (Matt 19:4-6; 1 Cor 7:3-5).
The commands in Proverbs 6:15-23 are illuminating. There, the “son” of the author, and all married men in turn, are exhorted to enjoy their wives alone, not to share that relationship with anyone else (Prov 6:15-17); they are to be delighted in her breasts, not in those of another woman, and to be intoxicated in her love, not in the love of any other woman (Prov 6:18-19).
- Sexual sin is a matter of sinful desire in the heart (Matt 5:27-28).
So any sexual activity outside of marriage, whether it is penetration or watching pornography or imagining sexual scenes in one’s heart, is defined by the Bible as sinful. (And for someone struggling with such sin, remember that Jesus said that it would be better to you to gouge out your eye with a knife than to indulge in sexual sin. See this helpful article by Jared Wilson on the shock of that imagery.)
Basically, the point of pole dancing in places like strip clubs is for women to visually stimulate men’s sexual desires. And unless a wife is performing for her husband alone (and perhaps even then, for reasons I won’t get into now!), the passages above show that it is sinful both for the woman performing and the men watching.
You mentioned the message that pole dancing conveys. I like what Franklin Graham said about the recent Super Bowl halftime show: “This exhibition was Pepsi showing young girls that sexual exploitation of women is okay.” That’s what pole dancing conveys. Even though people like to talk about public nudity of women in movies as being “empowering,” it is actually degrading. It is treating women as objects for the enjoyment of men, whether the women involved have chosen to do it or are being forced to do it.
Pole dancing also conveys the idea that sin is enjoyable, when sin sends millions to an eternal Hell.
I hope that helps, Mildred! And please, I welcome anyone’s thoughts and meditations on Scripture.