stand-up comedy, kink, and you
Finally got some footage from one of these comedy open mikes, so those of you not able to catch my comedy shtick live can at least get a taste of it.
I call it shtick, but that doesn’t do justice to how seriously I take these sets. Every time I do stand-up in a new room, I’m constantly debating myself about which anecdotes and observations to use, what threads of my own thoughts to follow, what level of gutter talk to use, because in most cases I have no idea about what pre-existing level of sex positivity and kink acceptance the audience has, and that affects their response to my material more than almost anything, I think.
I feel a lot of responsibility for how I present my work, and it’s not just because I respect my callers, or at least I respect their urge toward sexual release. It’s also because I want the audience to get closer to that sort of respect, too, if they aren’t already there. I’m not going to be malicious or scornful about my callers and their desires, because if anyone in the audience shares those desires, I don’t want them to close down even further about them in their own lives.
Sometimes I look at my material and wonder people think that I’m going for shock value. I mean, I am, a little, or I wouldn’t insist that the hosts introduce me with my full title. But I also want to try to move beyond that in my stand-up, get to the juicy stuff, the taboo and fantasy stuff, the psychology, and I just feel like I’m going to be stuck wrestling with sex ed 101 and puritan value systems the whole time.
Sometimes I wonder if, because it’s my work, because it’s real, the sex talk is somehow less acceptable than the stuff the real comics spew out, which everyone understands is fake. Of course I’m going to be as explicit as I need to be about the work that I do, because for fuck’s sake, it’s my work. And I do want to put it out there the way it’s put to me. On the other hand, audiences vary widely in their understanding and acceptance of sex, fantasy, and kink. How much does my language about those issues ffect how they hear me?
I don’t know if it’s possible, but I want to find that bridge that’s going to enable us to meet somewhere in the middle, where I feel like at least some tiny fragment of my work is getting across and they feel like they can safely laugh. This set is actually my first attempt to approach that bridge in a meta way, my first real-time explication of Cameryn’s General Theory of Kink Relativity…