Ding-dong, taboo is dead

Vermont Cynic — October 2, 2006

By Dave Sachs

Cindy Pierce points to her crotch in conversation like it’s casual body language. And it is, for the self-proclaimed comic storyteller whose specialties are the ins and outs of sexuality.

“People tell me, ‘There’s no comedy in sex, and you help me take a lighter approach,'” Pierce says, referring to her one-woman act, “Finding the Doorbell.” Coming to the Flynn Center for Performing Arts on Oct. 7, Pierce calls herself out via awkward stories of sexual unfamiliarity and confusion in order to bring the somewhat taboo subject of sexual pleasure to the forefront.

The “doorbell,” and where one might find it, just may be a metaphor for that slightly elusive spot on a woman’s body that has enjoyed mythical status in the past but is by no means an urban legend. Pierce wants to share that knowledge with everyone-women and men.

“Don’t waste your time on how your body looks,” Pierce says. “Take some responsibility for your pleasure.”

Pierce’s act takes responsibility for everybody. It’s meant to elicit discussion about pleasuring the other sex in an open manner, and it takes a comic approach to do that, she says.

A sort of jovial martyr, Pierce makes fun of herself so that others can laugh at her absurd experiences-going to a men’s room and trying to wash her hands with a urinal cake for instance-and in turn laugh at their own absurdities, sexual and otherwise.

Growing up an athlete and a tomboy, Pierce was one of the guys. “I call it dual citizenship,” she says. “I was always up close in the van with the boys from [ski] racing and baseball. My development was tragically delayed.”

Perhaps because of instances like these, Pierce says “Doorbell” cheers for men as much as it does for women. “No men-bashing. Not a drop,” says Pierce. Pierce, who has performed at the University of New Hampshire for college students there, says that “Doorbell” rings true for most students; it’s a much-needed lesson, she says.

“This is our window, in college, where it’s socially acceptable to ask questions,” Pierce says. “Soon after, there’s this societal cultural driven thing that you’re supposed to know.

“In college you should get into this habit of asking for guidance-get your wise panel of friends to help-people would be getting some good lovin’!”

Cindy Pierce’s “Finding the Doorbell,” currently being tweaked by a New York director, will eventually become a book-a manual on sex and the importance of communication.

Candidly hilarious in conversation, it is evident that Pierce is not only a comic storyteller but also a teacher, a crusader and a shrink.

Pierce will be visiting a sex, marriage and family class at UVM this week. Also, tickets are half price ($14) for any student with a college ID.

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