Keep Your Sense of Humor: My Comic Friends Talk Sex & Comedy

By Nicholas Tanek                                        

Sex is funny. Sure, it can be serious and romantic, but sometimes it’s silly or awkward, and you have to just go with it. Many of us do not like to think of ourselves as being conceived after our parents were laughing their asses off, juggling dildos, and shoving objects in each other’s butts. Actually, these days, I think that would have been cool if I was conceived like that. My point is that sexuality and humor go hand in hand. There are some comics who have made their whole career talking about sex. There are others who avoid it. (One comic declined to do this article because she did not want to be labeled a “sex comic.”)

I wrote a book titled Your Kinky Friends. The fetish community saved my life while I was mourning my fiancée, Lynn, who passed away in 2012.  My editor told me that I managed to write a funny book about mourning and being sad. I take that comment to heart because it was humor that helped me through some of my darkest times. Sex and comedy are two very important aspects of my life. They don’t necessarily have to be combined, but I have to admit, funny people are sexy. I’m not rich. I’m barely keeping up with my looks. I’m not even healthy. Basically, I nap and fart. But, you know what? Dear reader, if we hang out, there’s a decent chance that we’ll share some laughs.

So, I asked my comic friends four questions about comedy and sexuality. Here are their answers.

 

Virginia Jones

Virginia Jones is a comic who grew up in Portland, Oregon. She was a semifinalist in the 2013 San Francisco comedy competition and her monthly show, Glendalia, was applauded in LA Weekly. She has a YouTube channel with 80,000+ hits and a website with millions of visitors. She is a contributor to Buzzfeed and Love.TV.  Her album, Gothic American, was on WhoHaHa’s list of prominent female comedians’ albums in 2016. She was a contributor to both Laughing Matters (an art exhibit about women in comedy) and The Girl in the Show (a book about three generations of women in comedy).

 

Website: http://www.badinia.com or http://Virginiajones.social

Dates on http://virginiajones.live

Video on http://virginiajones.video

Instagram: http://instagram.com/badinia/

Twitter: badiniadones or  http://twitter.com/badiniadones

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/virginia.jones1

American Gothic by Virginia Jones is available on iTunes

https://itunes.apple.com/album/id1060203732?ls=1&app=itunes

What role does sex and sexuality play in your act?

I definitely talk about sex, especially when it concerns how women and men treat each other and what we expect of each other. You know, a joke can be, on one level, about Thai prostitutes, but it can really about our inability to ever possess another person.

How would you describe gender politics in the comedy scene?

I think comedy might be twenty years behind the rest of the culture! The industry still seems to regard women comics as a lesser, novelty version of men. There’s been a lot written on the subject. It all makes me angry.

How has being in comedy affected your love/sex life?

It destroyed my marriage, if that’s what you mean. My husband was very uncomfortable with me being on the road, and even more, with me being the center of attention. While I was on tour, he began an affair. So, we divorced and I moved to Los Angeles. He’s fine now. He married that lady and she’s not funny at all. So, he’ll do better with her.

Balancing comedy and a relationship is hard. All your evenings, holidays, and weekends are taken up with comedy and comedy-adjacent activities. You hang out with men and drink all the time. You need someone who will pretend to care about the wording of your amazing new koala bear bit. It takes a partner that is trusting but self-sufficient .That’s not the easiest thing to find.

What is the funniest sexual encounter that you can remember?

I don’t know if they’ve ever been funny! 

 

 

Brett Davis

        Brett Davis is the comic who hosts The Special Without Brett Davis, a live television show that includes various fictional characters and live bands. He is also the host of the very funny (and sometimes awkward) podcast, The Podcast for Laundry. In the podcast, he meets with guests who usually end up frustrated because they don’t want to make laundry puns for an hour.

The Special Without Brett Davis: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIjt2NHR34nH3J_525Dmk_g

The Podcast for Laundry: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-podcast-for-laundry/id1254592653?mt=2

Brett Davis: https://brettdavis.rip/

What role does sex and sexuality play in your act?

I do characters. So, sometimes my act is heavy on the sex talk, while other characters are more innocent or sexless. In terms of the former, I play a sex-obsessed older man who writes erotica about young Sally Field and tells hand job stories about Joni Mitchell. I also do a bit where I dress up as a little cupcake. That bit has a weird sexual Shirley Temple vibe to it.

How would you describe gender politics in the comedy scene?

I think sexuality is a big part of comedy these days. There’s less of the “breaking taboos” and more sex-positivity in general. Saying “penis” or whatever might get you an easy laugh still, but it’s not as easy as it once was. There’s a lot of thoughtful and funny discussion about sex in the scene right now. Also, there is much more policing of abusers, too, though more needs to be done.

How has being in comedy affected your love/sex life?

When I was single, I avoided hooking up with people in the scene. It isn’t a bad thing by any means, but can lead to awkwardness, and awkwardness is already abundant with comedians.

What is the funniest sexual encounter that you can remember?

I can’t think of any!

 

Chris Gersbeck

Chris Gersbeck is a stand-up comedian based in Astoria, Queens. He produces the popular live-riffing show Movies R Dumb and has made appearances on The David Feldman Show. Chris is also the co-host of Overkill, a podcast that picks a new pop-culture topic each episode and discusses it to death. When he’s not onstage, he can be found sitting in a dimly lit bedroom staring at his hands.

Links:  https://qedastoria.com/

twitter: @csgersbeck  or https://twitter.com/csgersbeck

Overkill: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/overkill-with-chris-and-colin/id1164199030?mt=2

 

What role does sex and sexuality play in your act?

I don’t really talk about sex too much in my act, but because I’m married, sexuality definitely plays a role. I recently discovered that my wife and I love watching Daredevil because we both think that dude is unbelievably hot. I think you’ve found true love when you and partner both want to double team the same superhero.

How would you describe gender politics in the comedy scene?

Comedy is still largely a male-dominated scene. But when you look at the people behind the scenes in comedy, at least in New York City, there are so many strong women who really make the scene what it is. And for me, right now, watching comics like Aparna Nancherla and Jo Firestone blow up is super exciting. That said, I host two weekly open mics, so I’ve seen my fair share of terrible male AND female comics. Myself included.

How has being in comedy affected your love/sex life?

When you get home at 1am every night, it definitely affects your relationship. But, I’m always thankful to come home to my beautiful wife after hearing guys tell Tinder jokes seven nights a week.

What is the funniest sexual encounter that you can remember?

A few years ago I really hurt my neck and my wife convinced me to go get a massage. I was super nervous because it was my first time doing that. Also, being naked in front of anyone is generally terrifying for me. Everything was fine and professional until the end when I totally got propositioned for “off-the-menu” services. I had to politely tell the woman, “Um, I think you got the wrong idea from my massive erection.” Needless to say, the massage ended right then and there.

 

Missy Narrance

Missy Narrance is an up-and-coming comic involved with sketch and standup comedy in Spokane, WA.

Twitter: @ShmupusMiss or https://twitter.com/shmupusmiss?lang=en

 

What role does sex and sexuality play in your act?

 I’m a newer comic, so it doesn’t play much of a role… yet.

How would you describe gender politics in the comedy scene?

Gender politics really depends on where you live. Things are evolving at a rapid rate and not everyone is going to know exactly what the new rules or terms are. I just try to be patient with others and be open to learning new things about others.

How has being in comedy affected your love/sex life?

I’ve been in a relationship for 14 years and only recently started stand up. So, it doesn’t have a big impact on my life. At this point, it becomes about not doing material about your significant other. Still, I ask him anytime I try material about him.

What is the funniest sexual encounter that you can remember?

One time, my ex called his mom at work and left her a voicemail. Then, we made whoopie. After that, we heard the phone busy signal. Still, I don’t know if the voicemail caught us. Oops!

 

Rene Polanco

Rene Polanco is a young comic from New Jersey who has been featured on Elite Daily and has a weekly show in Hoboken called Intelligentsa. He was also a finalist in the Make Me Laugh Festival.

Twitter: @PapoFantastico or  https://twitter.com/PapoFantastico

Instagram:   PapoFantastico

What role does sex and sexuality play in your act?

I try not to rely on sex stuff, but you definitely need a few sex jokes if you do really late shows or something like that. The sex jokes I have are usually when something crazy happens. For instance, I had sex with a woman I met about two years ago. After it was over, she said, “That was great. It was even better than last time.” The only problem was that it was our first time. She even asked me, “Are you sure?” The next day, I told a few comics about it at a show, and they insisted that I had to write about it. I still can’t believe she said that. But yeah, I’m a story-teller, so I rely on those types of crazy stories.

How would you describe gender politics in the comedy scene?

Comedy is just a reflection of society. I don’t think there’s a specific perspective on gender politics. Obviously in New York, we’re going to lean to be progressive and open-minded. Personally, I know gay comics, trans comics, a ton of bi-sexual comics, female comics who talk about pegging guys, etc. But, you also still see some of what I call “kitchen humor” from men who have a conservative view of gender. Seriously, I’ve seen some stuff that makes me go, “Yo, what year is it?” It’s a spectrum.

How has being in comedy affected your love/sex life?

Comedy has negatively affected my love/sex life. I go on a ton of dates and not all of them are good. Honestly, I’ll stay on a bad date just because I’m thinking, “Maybe I’ll get a joke out of this.” Also, women I go on dates with try way too hard to be funny. They’ll tell me a mean story about locking their sister in a closet or something and they’ll look at me like, “Isn’t that hilarious?”

I’m thinking, “No! Not at all. You probably belong in prison.”

The worst thing, though, is that women ask me to tell jokes on dates. I try to decline, but they’re so aggressive about it. It never ends well. I just wish they’d stop asking me to do a tight five in coffee shops.

What is the funniest sexual encounter that you can remember?

This is an easy one. I was doing a show at the Village Lantern, and this drunk, older woman came up to me after the show. She told me that I was funny and that I had a nice butt. Then, she asked me to come to her apartment nearby. I’ll never forget what happened next. She said, “I don’t want to fuck you, but I want to let you finger me so I can tell my friends if you ever get famous.” She even showed me her bra and (lack of) panties right there. I lied and said I had another show, and I left as fast as I could. She was hammered and I was uncomfortable. I always wonder if she really thought I was funny, or if my butt is just that mesmerizing.

Then, there are my answers…

Nicholas Tanek

I’m not a stand-up comic. I’m an author and a blogger. So, unlike the other articles, I will not answer any of these questions. I do wish I had the talent and bravery to go up in front of strangers and try to make them laugh.

 

So what have we learned from all this?

When I laugh with someone, a bond is formed. Every time I took Lynn home from her visits to the hospital, I made sure that I played The Best Show on WMFU with Tom Scharpling because it was guaranteed to make her laugh. I felt like I was helping her even if I only got a giggle out of her. The humor added a level of comfort and connection between us. After sex, in the calm of the afterglow, I usually ended up putting something funny on television.  It could be Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist, Kids in the Hall, SCTV, Mr. Show with Bob & David, or a comic’s stand-up special.  Just like sex, humor has healing properties.

More than five years have passed since Lynn died and every day something happens that makes me think, I bet this would make Lynn laugh. I look back at the sexuality and the humor Lynn and I shared and I feel very lucky that we experienced that unique kind of happiness.  I remember this one time where she made me wear a French maid outfit and a chastity device on my cock. She stood there wearing a strap-on dildo.  I’ll never forget when she smiled at me and said, “You look ridiculous… but it’s always important to keep a sense of humor.”

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Twitter: https://twitter.com/NicholasTanek

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