Ray Gunn

2013 International King of Burlesque Ray Gunn, a 37-year-old Ravenswood resident, strikes a pose. (Naughty Little Cabaret / August 28, 2014)

Ready to take a spin? Read up on these tips and tricks for mounting the pole and protecting your goods, courtesy of local dancers and some national polebrities.

Choose your jock strap.

“You can spend $50 on a ballet belt, or buy a three-pack of peach-colored women's boy shorts from Walmart for $3.99. I wear three pairs of underwear and short, short yoga shorts." —Joel Lessing, 53, Forest Park

Hair can pinch and pull.

“I don't fully shave, but I do trim, especially around areas where you're going to be hanging from the pole, so that's behind your knees for leg hangs and your forearms for arm holds." —2014 U.S. National Pole Champion Seanmichael Rau, 28, Berkeley, Calif.

Show some skin.

“It's the best way to anchor yourself on the pole, especially if you rub a little bit of pole wax on you." -- Jose Amador, 27, Westchester

Rethink short shorts.

“I’ll wear briefs. There are other men who will wear booty shorts, and I feel like I don't want to go on stage and spread my legs and have balls and penis going everywhere." —2013 North American Pole Champion Josiah "Bad Azz" Grant, 26, Los Angeles

Recognize a ball-crusher.

“If someone is teaching you something and it feels like it's not going to work out for your anatomy, that's OK. Maybe your arms are too short, maybe your torso is bendy. Some things don't work for everyone." —2014 U.S. National Pole Champion Seanmichael Rau, 28, Berkeley, Calif.

Point those feet.

“Whether you have a dance background or not, this is just a staple in all types of dance, including pole, and will make your technique look so much more polished." —2013 International King of Burlesque Ray Gunn, 37, Ravenswood

It's about you, bro.

“I basically encourage people to not be judgmental, to live to make themselves happy and do what pleases them to keep them happy." —Joel Burns, 25, Bronzeville

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