Awkward Sex was a show I was really looking forward to at the Fringe – it had been advertised as a show that would make you feel safe talking about sex in all its complexities, using comedy and real-life stories. As a young, female student, the topic of sex is a regular theme in my conversations, and not something I shy away from talking and hearing about. So I was looking forward to an environment where performers could be honest about their experiences, I hoped it would leave me feeling empowered, like ‘the universal awkward experience we know and love’ is normal.
However, I was utterly disappointed.
Held in the damp and mouldy Caves, it didn’t feel a space where I was about to experience wholesome yet funny stories that were going to make me feel safe and empowered to delve into the topic of sex. Attending with a fellow writer, we persevered, thinking the venue was hardly the fault of the performers. The next worrying sign was the lack of attendees in the audience, which proved an issue later on, when we both wanted to escape but decided it would be far too awkward to walk out of a half empty performance of Awkward Sex. Ironic.
The only genuinely funny part of the show, throughout the hour of second-hand embarrassment, was a skit about attempting to write an erotic novel at the age of 14. At this point we had hopes that the show would start to pick up, but unfortunately, we were further disappointed.
Natalie Wall made her stage appearance following the end of the supporting performance. Her whole performance mainly consisted of her explaining a particular sexual encounter she had, where she felt the urge of impending diarrhoea. This detailed exploration of her bowel movements continued for a long and awkward 20 minutes, which I sat through, cringing internally, instead of feeling in a space where weird and wonderful sexual experiences were being normalised in a funny, sex positive way.
Some of the guests however, did find this show amusing. From what I could tell they were, like the comedians themselves, American, which left me wondering whether perhaps the humour they were attempting to perform was possibly lost in intercultural translation. So maybe, if you find Americans funny, this would be the show to watch at The Caves at 20:40 until 28th August. But if not, you may find Awkward Sex a truly awkward experience.
Press Image provided to The Student courtesy of Damon Scheleur.