Sex Talk

An uncomfortable couple, DEBBIE and STEVE, sit facing the audience. They are wearing preppy sweaters and khakis. Debbie holds a pile of note cards. Sappy/romantic harp music plays as a soothing female voice over begins.

Voice Over: And now, Sexploration of the Soul with Dr. Carmen Juarez and her lover Francois Durand. All of your most intimate sexual inquiries answered every Friday night, here on Channel 43, Hanford Public Access.

    Harp music fades out.

DEBBIE: Hello viewers. Thanks for tuning in. I'm Debbie McIntosh and this is my husband Steve. We’ll be filling in for our neighbors Carmen and Francois who are currently at a... (looking at her cue card) “self administered spa weekend and sexual staycation.” (Looks at the audience and then to Steve, showing him the card.) Wait, does that mean they're just at home? 

STEVE: (Coughing uncomfortably.) Uh, well, umm, maybe we should just get going with these here, ah... intercourse... questions.

DEBBIE: Now please forgive us, we've never been on TV before, but our dear neighbors asked a favor of us so here we are.  So, to start off we've got a question from Indiana. Phil A. asks: “I have a small penis and sometimes I worry that I'm not completely satisfying my girlfriend. Are there any positions we should try?”   

    There's a beat while Debbie and Steve think.

DEBBIE: Well... there's always missionary. Umm, Steve?

STEVE: (Making wildly awkward hand motions.) You could, ah, theoretically, place the female on, ah, on the top of the male.

DEBBIE: Right, I’ve heard that's a good one, too. Or you know what? Sometimes Steve and I just like to lie parallel on the bed, hold hands, and watch Grey's Anatomy. Sometimes I’ll let him touch my bosom through my nightie. Ok, let's keep going. Steve, do you want to read one? (Hands him the cards.)

STEVE: (Hesitantly.) Okay... This is from, ah, Rita N. in Colorado. “Is it normal to, ah, pass gas during, ah, orgasm?” And, ah, it looks like Carmen actually wrote an answer for this one.

DEBBIE: How nice. Read it, Steve.

    Steve reads the next paragraph as awkwardly as anyone could ever read anything, stuttering, coughing, and sweating.

STEVE: “Before orgasm, the in-and-out motion may trigger gas because the penis rubs against the anus through the vaginal wall, so it’s not unusual for a little gas to escape. ” Oh my God, I think I'm going to be sick. (Putting his hand over his mouth and quietly gagging.) She drew a diagram, Debbie.

DEBBIE: Oh, calm down, dear. (To the audience.) He has a sensitive gag reflex. (Taking the cards back and looking at them.) Hey, if you turn it sideways it kind of looks like Woodstock.

    Debbie continues to turn the card, viewing it from all angles with curiosity. Steve tentatively decides he won't be sick after all.

DEBBIE: Our last question comes from Becky C. of Vermont. Becky asks, “My boyfriend and I having been having sex for a few months now and it's been going well except every couple of times the condom breaks. It's making us really nervous and we've tried different brands. Kyle says the inside of my vagina is rough like a cat's tongue. What can we do?” Okay, we can do this one, Steve.

STEVE: We can?

DEBBIE: Yes, I was hoping for a question like this. Grab that bag under your chair. Now, Becky, it seems to me you might be putting the condom on incorrectly which causes it to break. So, Steve is going to demonstrate the proper technique while I instruct.

    Steve pulls a banana and a long string of condoms out of the bag and stares at them in horror.

STEVE: I don't know about this, Debbie...

DEBBIE: Mrs. Klein first showed me this in 7th grade health class but it is still a useful learning technique, I think. So Steve is going to begin by opening the condom.

    Steve rips open the condom with shaking hands and sends it flying over his shoulder. He jumps up from his chair to retrieve it and comes back carrying the unwrapped condom gingerly between two fingers.

STEVE: (Peering at the condom.) There's a piece of a cheeto stuck to it.

DEBBIE: Just wipe it off. So now Steve is going to grasp the banana which we're using in place of the penis. Grasp it, Steve. And now he's going to place the condom on the tip and unroll it down the shaft.

    Steve picks up the banana and awkwardly tries to put the condom on. He decides to switch hands and drops the condom again. He sets the banana on his lap and picks up the condom and unrolls it half way and attempts to slip it onto his violently trembling hand, stretching it open his fingers. He roughly grabs the banana and tries to shove it into the opening, grunting and coughing. The whole time Debbie is stuttering instructions over his shoulder.

DEBBIE: Wait, what are you doing? Steven-- Hey. No, don't unroll it yet. You're not listening to me. Steve, gentle. You're going to break it. Ah, that's not-- You've got to-- etc.

    Steve continues to wrestle with the fruit and latex. Steve struggles until he has reduced the banana to mush, smeared on his chest and face, and lodged the condom in Debbie's hair. He finally accepts defeat and stares shell shocked at the audience. Debbie plucks the condom from her hair and turns to the audience exhaustedly.

DEBBIE: (She’s pissed.) Well... that's all the time we have. Thanks for, umm, tuning in tonight.

    Debbie walks off set unceremoniously, chucking the cue cards on the ground, leaving Steve sitting wide eyed and defeated in his seat.  

VO: You've been watching Sexploration of the Soul with Dr. Carmen Juarez and Francois Durand. Sexplore your body and soul further, next Friday night, here on Channel 43, Hanford Public Access. The production of this program was made possible by donations from viewers like you. Thank you.

    Fade to black.




Feminist Fairy Tale

           Curtain opens on TERRY, an actress practicing for the lead role in “Sleeping Beauty.” She wears a princess costume. Her acting is campy and over the top as she wanders around the stage holding her script.

TERRY: Oh, woe is me! Forced to hide deep in the woods for sixteen long years by a witch’s curse. And with only my fairy godmothers to keep me company.

She touches her forehead with the back of her hand theatrically.

TERRY: Oh, how I long to fall in love! Whenever will my betrothed, Prince Phillip find me here in this dark, enchanted forest? My fairy godmothers have blessed me with the gifts of beauty and song but what good are these if I have not a husband?

           Terry drops her princess persona suddenly, looking closely at the script.

TERRY: Woah, I am not reading this. Doug, have you even looked at this script? This is incredibly sexist.

           Doug, the director, walks briskly on stage.

DOUG: Of course I looked at it. And of course it’s a little old fashioned, Terry. It’s a fairy tale.

TERRY: (Incredulously.) “For what is beauty without a man’s eye to admire it? And what is song without the ear of a man to deem it pleasant?” Seriously?

DOUG: It was a different time!

TERRY: Oh my god, the next line says, “For to pledge your unconditional obedience to a man is the only true path to happiness for a woman.” I’m not doing this!

DOUG: Okay, this isn’t working. I’m recasting.

TERRY: Fine by me!

           The two storm off stage in different directions.


*   *   *

           A new girl has been cast as Sleeping Beauty and Terry is now in the part of the evil witch. She sits in front of a spinning wheel in a black cape.

SLEEPING BEAUTY: Oh, my. Somehow, I have found myself in this small room at the top of a deserted tower of the castle! I am so lost. Whatever will I do?

TERRY: Hello, dear Princess. Come over here and speak with a lonely old spinster for a spell.

SB: Oh, hello Granny. What is this contraption you have spinning so merrily before you?

TERRY: Why, this is a spinning wheel, my dear.

SB: A spinning wheel? How fine. What is this…

           SB reaches to prick her finger on the spindle but stops as Terry continues speaking, unscripted.

TERRY: Yes, a spinning wheel. An instrument of female domestication in the patriarchal household.

           Enter Doug.

DOUG: Dammit, Terry. That’s not the line!

TERRY: (Speaking more loudly and ignoring Doug.) Yes! As you can see my position of power as a strong matriarchal figure is diminished by this unpaid housework I am forced to do here in this tower.

SB: Um, Doug?

DOUG:  Just prick your finger and fall down, Julie.

           SB goes to prick her finger but Terry slaps her hand away.

TERRY: Don’t give in to this oppressive system, Julie! The spindle is an obvious reference to the penetrating phallus!

           SB/Julie finally pricks herself and falls down.

DOUG: Alright, back to the drawing board.

TERRY: God dammit, Julie. You’re the anti-feminist, you know that don’t you?

           Terry and Doug both march off again, leaving Julie limp on the floor.    


*   *   *

           Sleeping Beauty lies motionless on a bed with her hands folded gracefully on her chest. Terry has now been demoted to Tree and stands in the background in a brown sweat suit. She holds her paper leaf covered arms above her head, swaying slightly.

           Prince Charming enters and kneels at Sleeping Beauty’s bedside. As the prince says his line Terry sighs frustratedly in the background, making comments like “Jesus. Oh, come on. You can’t be serious, etc.”

PRINCE: Oh, my beautiful Sleeping Beauty! I am here to rescue you, my sweet, helpless damsel! And from here until eternity you shall be by my side, obedient and loving, the perfect wife! The perfect cook and maid! The perfect mother to our twelve strapping, future sons! I must just bestow upon your perfect lips true love’s kiss.

           The prince bends over to kiss SB. Terry breaks her tree persona and runs over to stop the prince.

TERRY: Woah, woah, woah! Does no one else see what’s wrong with this? This girl is totally passed out! You can’t just go around having your way with completely unconscious women.

PRINCE: (Rubbing his eyes in exhaustion.) Jesus, Terry… Not again.

TERRY: Consent is not the absence of a no, mister!

           Doug runs out on stage again.

PRINCE: Doug, I don’t know what to do here. She’s unprofessional.

TERRY: And am I the only one who cares that she’s only 16 fucking years old? That’s statutory, right there.

DOUG: God dammit, Terry. You are ruining this play!

TERRY: Oh, I’m ruining the play? Not the fact that your protagonist is a rapist? That has no effect on the play? We’re all on board with this doucher in a crown fondling an underage girl that’s been asleep for a hundred years? Oh, okay. I guess I’m the asshole.

PRINCE: (Breaking down into tears.) You are an asshole, Terry.

           Doug and the prince walk off stage, Doug holding the prince’s shoulders comfortingly and murmuring that he’ll find someone else to play Tree #2.

SB/Julie picks her head up.

SB/JULIE: So, are we taking five here or what?

TERRY: Oh, shuuuut uuuuuuup, you cunt.