The truth behind these photos is not as glamorous as it seems.

As people enter their mid-life years, some might find themselves splurging on a sports car or becoming romantically involved with a younger partner. Our reporter, Mr Sato, though, chose to deal with ageing differently, by signing up for pole-dancing lessons.

It’s been five and a half years since Mr Sato first twirled around a pole, and in that time he’s grown personally and professionally with each performance. In fact, he credits pole-dancing with giving him the confidence to recently pose for his first gravure photoshoot, and ever since then, he’s been keen to get in front of the lens again, this time with a pole between his legs.

Being a man of action, Mr Sato decided to take matters into his own hands and arranged his very own photo shoot, with the help of a few buddies and a photo studio, who let him use the rooftop as the location for his pole-dancing photos.

As for the pole itself, Mr Sato borrowed that from the pole-dancing studio he attends, and it was heavy — the total weight came to 102 kilograms (225 pounds), with the pedestal weighing 86 kilograms and the pole weighing 16 kilos.

▼ There’s a lot to carry when pole-dancing on the go.

Thankfully, Mr Sato once worked on track maintenance for Japan Rail in his early twenties, so he’s no stranger to lifting heavy objects — as part of his job he used to manually replace the sleepers on the railroad tracks, which weighed 60 kilos each.

The rooftop location, however, presented a whole new set of challenges, as there was no elevator so Mr Sato had to carry the equipment up four flights of stairs on his own. Plus, it was a hot day, with the temperature already exceeding 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit) when he arrived at 8 a.m.

▼ It was sweaty work, but Mr Sato eventually managed to set the pole up on the rooftop for the photoshoot.

Already, this was shaping up to be a less-than-glamorous day, but Mr Sato was determined to get the photos he’d dreamed of, with the sky behind his legs and the wind rushing through his hair. So he spent some time stretching his muscles, diligently hydrated himself, and approached the pole for his first pose of the day.

The pole is about 3 metres (9.8 feet) high, so it’s a sturdy structure, but it wasn’t as sturdy as the floor-to-ceiling types Mr Sato is used to working on. After seeing his first photos, though, Mr Sato knew he could make things work, but then he found himself coming across another unexpected problem…

▼ …sweat.

The friction between your body and the pole is part of what helps you stay in position, so having dry skin is helpful. Even in the studio, it’s important to keep the air conditioner on during summer to help keep your body dry while pole-dancing, but here in the great outdoors, there was no cooling equipment to keep our pole dancer dry.

▼ As a result, Mr Sato found himself sliding down the pole more than usual, so he had to grip on tight to hold his poses.

Mr Sato’s muscles were getting a workout with this rooftop photoshoot, but as he wiped his body down and donned his favourite robe, the sun broke through the clouds, the wind rushed through his hair, and he felt like a pole-dancing queen.

▼ Another impressive photo for his portfolio.

Remembering what he’d learned from his gravure photoshoot, Mr Sato extended his arm and leg, flexed his muscles, and looked off into the distance with a wondering stare.

▼ And then his sweat caused him to slowly slide down the pole.

If you didn’t know the backstory of the photoshoot, you’d definitely think our reporter was flying high in the sky, without a care in the world. Mr Sato likes to keep things real, though, so he’d like to share another behind-the-scenes photo to show us all what it was really like filming on the rooftop that day.

The photos captured fleeting moments within 90 minutes of Mr Sato sliding down the pole, while two equally sweaty blokes waited impatiently to return to the air-conditioning indoors.

In the end, though, Mr Sato deemed the photoshoot a sweaty success, and he now has a lot more admiration for the cosplayers who spend whole days out in the heat at summer Comiket with smiles on their faces.

The photoshoot is the latest accomplishment in Mr Sato’s pole-dancing career, and he even got to make good use of his custom-made, one-of-a-kind London boots. It just goes to show the sky’s the limit to what you can achieve when you put your mind to things!

Images © SoraNews24

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