The Dartmouth — February 22, 2011
By Danielle Levin
Sex comedienne Cindy Pierce kicked off V-Week with a warning that her show would be a no-holds-barred, sexually explicit night, and then outlined her main goal of the program: to have women “be present in your body, regardless of how it looks or how you feel about it, [because] when you’ve got your pleasure zones dialed in, nothing can stop you.” Pierce’s material covered college and post-college sex culture on Monday during the hour-and-forty-minute long show in a packed Collis Common Ground.
Her performance ranged from the outlandishly humorous (tales of swapping Penthouse pictures with the boys on her baseball team), to the endearingly candid (a description of her first orgasm, which took place in her college’s library), to the purely heartbreaking (a personal experience with near-rape).
During her performance, Pierce identified three major obstacles in trying to find fulfilling sexual relationships: the lack of pleasure education, porn culture and the alcohol and hookup culture.
Pierce described the recent upswing in students’ high-risk drinking behaviors as the single greatest threat to healthy sexual relationships, in an interview with The Dartmouth.
On the subject of pleasure education, Pierce put forth her theory of “asshole tickets.” The idea is that men are granted a number of “asshole tickets” — essentially a license to behave callously — in proportion to their charm and intellect, and the tickets are accepted as legal tender everywhere.
Pierce scolded the critics who only “wag our fingers at young men” without providing guidance about to how to be a responsible, conscientious lover or partner, and went on to say that, “we, as women, we as parents, need to stop taking these tickets.”
The witty comedienne also criticized women for failing to share the “knowledge of orgasms” with each other. She described her quest to achieve orgasm as a series of discussions with sisters, older female relatives, teammates and fellow students, all of whom failed to mention orgasm as a part of sex. A pervasive theme throughout the performance was one of peer-to-peer guidance — she described how in reaction to her first orgasm she thought, “We really need to get the word out!”
Pierce lamented the alcohol and hook-up culture, which she attributed to a combined desire to find a release from academic pressures and a desire for social lubricants in order to facilitate attaining as much sexual experience as possible.
“Mileage does not guarantee experience,” Pierce said. Being truly good in bed requires “communication, trust, respect, humor and,” she added to laughter, “knowing a person’s last name.” She described the commitment needed for female sexual satisfaction both on the part of women themselves (“No guy is going to know how to give you an orgasm until you know how to give one to yourself”) and on the part of their partners, citing statistics such as the average time needed to achieve male and female orgasms (4 and 20 minutes, respectively).
Pierce emphasized that the peer-pressure fueled culture of drinking in order to hook up doesn’t disappear after college, and that individuals needs to make an active choice if they want to reject those pressures, saying, “seventh grade never ends ’til you grab it by its collar and pull it down.”
Pierce also talked about the alarming increase of vaginal reconstruction clinics — there were eight new clinics founded in one year in New York City alone — and the disconnect between fantasies created by pornography and the reality of sexual encounters. Anecdotal material from her male friends and men who have seen her perform showed the schism that porn is creating between the sexual expectations of men and women, citing questions she had been asked like, “Why do women like it when we come on their faces?”
Another split that needs to be addressed for the sake of healthy sexual relations was that of students’ private and public lives, or their “basement selves and classroom selves,” Pierce said.
Pierce has performed at Dartmouth V-Week twice, and has spoken to sororities, fraternities, teams and senior societies. She has also performed at numerous other college campuses.
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