The Dartmouth — May 14, 2007
By Matthew Ritger
Clitoris! Female ejaculation! G-spot! Female prostate!
Now that that’s all out of the way, you should be ready to meet Cindy Pierce. Pierce is a mother of three, the inn keeper at the Pierce Family Inn just outside of Hanover, and a hilarious comedian who is bringing her one-woman show “Finding the Doorbell: Sexual Satisfaction for the Long Haul” to Dartmouth.
“The clitoris is an undergrad degree as far as I’m concerned,” Pierce said. “The g-spot, the female prostate, female ejaculation — that’s a masters.”
Personally, I was glad she didn’t explain how to obtain a Ph.D., but the show promises to be side-splitting, entertaining and even informative. One of Pierce’s male friends once said he felt like he was “just rummaging around, or trying to extract a booger,” when trying to pleasure a woman. Boys, if you’ve ever felt similarly lost, and girls, if you’re not a fan of being rummaged — this is the show for you.
Pierce grew up on the fast track as the youngest of seven siblings. Her parents pulled the plug on their life in Greenwich, Conn., when Pierce was six and relocated the family to Etna, N.H., and the inn. With the hilarious anecdotes of her wild siblings and her own unique adolescence, Pierce’s life has been replete with material for her show.
“I think of myself as an emotional hermaphrodite,” she said. For years, Pierce was (and still is) more comfortable in the presence of men. Growing up, she was the ultimate tomboy; she often was mistaken for a boy and kicked out of female bathrooms. First the lone girl on the Hanover High baseball team, she later captained both the women’s soccer and ski teams at the University of New Hampshire. “I knew there wasn’t a lesbian stitch in my body, though,” she added.
Pierce’s unique position as a liaison between the sexes has been a driving force behind her show, which essentially encourages open discussion of touchy but necessary subjects. Pierce has found that humor is by far the best lubricant for such discussion.
“She’s like a can opener,” said her husband, Bruce. “She’ll tell you anything about herself, and get you to tell her anything. She’s all about the truth. For her, it’s as if not telling everything were to lie.”
Though Bruce sometimes feels like he’s “taking one for the team,” the rest of us are lucky to benefit from Pierce’s openness.
“People are either buckled over laughing, or their mouths are hanging open,” Bruce said, describing the audience at one of Pierce’s shows. “But no one is bored.”
On top of her life as innkeeper, mother, wife and touring comedienne, Pierce is now in the process of writing a book based on her show. Pierce and her co-author and friend Edie Thys Morgan are hard at work on “Finding the Doorbell,” which is due to publish next month.
“Everyone we know wants a better sex life,” Morgan said. “And there are a thousand books out there about how to do it.” They begin naming the strategies competing books champion — tantric sex, 365 positions, one for every day of the year (“You’d have to put me on a salary to try that book!” Pierce exclaimed).
“This is the sex book for the people who wouldn’t even be caught dead in the sex book section,” Morgan said.
“I don’t want to be on a trapeze while I’m taking it from behind,” Pierce said. “I just want good sex!” Morgan and I both cringed.
“It just seems that sex has gotten so low on the priority list for so many couples,” Morgan continued. “Even exercise is higher.”
“Sleep! They’d rather sleep!” Pierce piped in. “When you’re having good sex, you think: This is great! I want to get up in an hour and do it again!” she said. “But you don’t tell your husband or boyfriend, because he’d set the alarm.” Morgan and Pierce then went off about the hyper-scheduled existences that many of their friends lead.
“These days, you can BlackBerry yourself into celibacy,” Morgan sad, laughing.
The book is targeted at monogamous couples, but Pierce is well aware that such couples are a highly endangered species at Dartmouth. Her show, which will take place this Tuesday in Occom Commons, will be catered to a college audience.
“My whole life is based on courage,” Pierce said. “I just don’t care what people say. That’s what my family taught me.”
Luckily for the rest of us, Pierce has taken that courage to the stage, using humor to transform life’s most awkward situations. No doubt we could all use a tip or two on how to learn the art of booger extraction — or at the very least, just have a good laugh.