Does Sex Sell Pilates Sessions?

Does sex sell Pilates


I recently got hired as a Pilates instructor at a tony health club. The management asked me if I could offer free demos to introduce their members to Pilates, and to meet me.

Clearly this would be for their members who have been living under a rock for the last ten years. I’m saying ten just to be nice, because those in the know, knew about Pilates in the early 90’s.

Who doesn’t know what Pilates is? Madonna, Gwyneth and Tiger all do Pilates for crying out loud.

I’ve given so many friggin’ demos since I became an instructor. Sometimes it feels like a real soul killer to have to continuously sell myself.

That being said, I decided to suck it up, adjust my attitude and sell, sell, sell. It’s been a tough work year. I lost several clients back in March, and I haven’t picked up new ones. I did leave the country to teach Pilates in Dubai for two months last summer, so that couldn’t have been good for building a client base and continuity.

I believe that I deliver quality Pilates instruction, with the added bonus of a kick ass personality, but the evidence doesn’t lie and I wondered if I might be doing something wrong.

Maybe it’s my laissez-faire attitude towards beautifying myself for my clients. As unimaginable as it may be, perhaps my winning personality isn’t enough. I know, I can’t believe it either. Could my client drought be because I don’t wear make-up, or blow dry my hair before I hit the Pilates studio?

I never felt that I should have to succumb to shallow and superficial practices. I choose to sit comfortably crossed legged on my high horse, espousing ditties such as, “Like me for who I am, and how I can help your Quasimodo posture. You’re not here because of my long and luxurious hair.” Aren’t I adorable and misguided.

It was the same when I lived in L.A. and auditioning. I believed that my talent alone would get me hired, not my fuckability. I think we can all agree that my strategy was both flawed and incredibly naive.

What’s wrong with putting on mascara and showing a hint of tit (men do Pilates too ya know) if it’s going to get me clients? As an experiment, I wanted to see what would happen if I made an effort. Would I attract more clients?

I had my first Pilates demo last night. I put on make-up, as if I were going to a wedding, and I changed my clothes a half dozen times, finally deciding on a head to toe Lululemon ensemble. My Astro pants gave me a camel toe, and a wedgey. Perfect. I went with a tight purple Define jacket, wearing only my bra underneath. I smoothed out my hair, and flat ironed my ponytail. However, I did not shower. It was my little secret. Between me and… me?

“Chaka, Chaka, Chaka, Chaka Khan Chaka Kan, Chaka Kan , Chaka Kan Chaka Khan, let rock you”  — Sorry, it just came on my itunes.

After two long hours, several women and men asked to see exercises on the Reformer. I can’t be certain what brought them over but, unlike the proud, naive, and stubborn girl, who wouldn’t sleep around in Hollywood, I now have no problem showing skin and combing my hair.

Even if the superficial brings me potential clients, keeping them is where the true talent lies. That, or I can offer to sleep with them. You don’t have to tell me twice.

8 thoughts on “Does Sex Sell Pilates Sessions?

  1. thegirlfriendmom

    First and foremost dear Michael Ann, you laughed. I know, the whole thing sucks but if I don't take it too seriously and not take it as a slight on my independence, or who I am and what my core beliefs are, then it's just a game and I can deal. Thanks for reading.

  2. Michael Ann

    Besides making me laugh, this post did sort of T me off too. I guess it's just a fact of life that looks matter. You are gorgeous, and I'm sure even without make-up you look great! I can't imagine what the problem is. BUT.. maybe a 1/2 way thing would be good. Just a bit of makeup, groomed hair and cute clothes. Nothing over the top. I think it's a good experiment and good luck!

  3. thegirlfriendmom

    Oh, Keesha, it is such a racket sometimes but I'm just trying to straddle both ideas.

    Thanks for stopping by and I'm with you, if my spin instructor is in full Kabuki make-up, I am NOT going to climb up that hill that she's screaming at me to climb!

  4. Astra

    I don't trust an instructor who's made up to the max! When I go to a spinning class and the instructor is all glam, I'm tempted to walk over and see if she really is adding on that tension!! Sincerity is the key to MY repeat business.
    This post was a hoot – quality instruction and kick ass personality top all!!

  5. Keesha

    I hated that part about selling oneself to clients, which is part of the reason I don't teach Pilates anymore. I found that my best market was older people with severe anatomical issues who wanted slow detailed sessions, not people who came in because they heard somewhere Pilates would give them Jennifer Aniston's ass.

    More power to you. And yes, these days you do have to be a lululemming. I do love their stuff – it IS like buying a new behind, but to some, if you're wearing say, champion from Target you might as well wear a trash bag.

    Good luck. I'm sure you'll get some good followers, just as you have with this blog.

  6. thegirlfriendmom

    Hey Brenda- thanks for stopping by and of course I'm tickled pick to have made you smile and laugh. I'm going to do whatever it takes to get me some clients. Pride, and morals have gotten me bubkis!

    You're funny… never get anywhere near exercise! Now that made me laugh. Thanks for stopping by.

  7. Lynne Favreau

    Full make-up? No way! I'd never expect an exercise instructor to be made up, but showered and dressed the part, yeah that makes sense. Of course I never get anywhere near exercise so I'm no expert.

  8. brenda

    I'm sure it's your aware winning personality that draws them.. 🙂 You're words made me smile, ok and laugh, even though I know you were trying to be oh so serious. I personally never understood why women donned a face full of make up when they hit the treadmill, but could be because I don't find glistening (sweat) and smeared makeup attractive. On the outfit I agree. Work out attire has grown and comes in a wide variety of colors and can expose a variety of body parts that might attract potential… clients!?

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