Out of Bounds Comedy Festival 2018: Molly Brenner Is Not Coming
Brooklyn comic gives big laughs about not getting the Big O
By M. Brianna Stallings,
12:15PM, Fri. Aug. 31, 2018
It's rare that my interview prep begins with a Google search for “vaginismus.” Yet in a section of her solo show, Brooklyn-based comedian Molly Brenner turns this (literally spasmodic) medical condition, from which she suffers, into a jolly holiday, proclaiming “Merry Vaginismus!”
You might think that’s a bit of an overshare, but cut Brenner some slack. She's gotta get her jollies somehow, because, to quote the name of her show, Molly Brenner Is Not Coming.
Why not? Well, because Brenner experiences vaginismus, she's approaching 30 without having experienced an orgasm. Ever. Not a single one.
With all of the discussion about #MeToo and sexual predators in the entertainment industry, it's refreshing to hear a different, and hilarious, take on sexuality and its many foibles. I spoke with Brenner by email about Molly Brenner Is Not Coming, which she will perform as part of this year's Out of Bounds Comedy Festival at 7pm Friday and Saturday on the Hideout Theatre's downstairs stage.
Austin Chronicle: Why do you think it's important to tell people that you're "not coming"?
Molly Brenner: I felt a really strong pull from within to write Molly Brenner Is Not Coming. I always felt alone and ashamed about not having an orgasm. I thought I was the only woman left on earth who had never had one. And once I wrote it, I realized that I really wanted to meet other women who could relate! And now, thanks to the show, I have.
AC: When did you first discover that you couldn’t cum?
MB: It was more of a slow realization throughout college. I remember being at a party and orgasms came up, and this one girl said, “Oh my God, my friend didn’t have one until college! How horrible!” I thought, “Oh my … should I have had one?” I remember playing it cool and being like, “Yes, how horrible! I can’t imagine.”
AC:Aside from its festive name, is there anything positive or beneficial about having vaginismus?
MB: It’s so funny you use the word “festive,” because there is a section of my show called “Merry Vaginismus!” I actually thought of the term “Merry Vaginismus” before I even wrote the show. It came to me once and I wrote it down and thought, “I’ll figure out something to do with this idea.” Sadly, I don’t think there is anything beneficial about having vaginismus, except that I really enjoyed creating comedy out of it! Although, I will say I was very relieved to discover that my condition had a name. I thought I was a “broken woman,” but then I learned that it was called vaginismus and that I wasn’t alone.
AC:What's the best audience response you've gotten about your show?
MB: I had one person whisper to me, “Between you and me, sometimes I wonder,” meaning she’s not sure if she has had an orgasm. Another woman whispered to me, “I have the same problem. Thank you for writing this.” I said, “Wait … which problem?! Orgasm or vaginismus?” Another woman recently said to me, “I know a guy who gives great head. Let me know if you want his contact information.” The responses are always whispered.
AC: What's the funniest sex toy you've ever seen and why?
MB: After the first time I put up the show, someone said to me, “You need a better vibrator.” And I always take advice people give me, so I went straight to the Museum of Sex and said to an employee, “I’ve never had an orgasm. I’ve tried that one and that one. What vibrator should I get that will guarantee me an orgasm?” The person picked one up that was shaped like a lipstick and said “This one makes me come buckets. BUCKETS.” But I don’t want to put lipstick on my vagina, so I bought a different one.
AC:What would you say to any folks who take you not having an orgasm thus far as a challenge?
MB: I would say sex is not all about orgasms! Focus on having a great sexual experience, and take the pressure off me having an orgasm … but please keep it in the back of your mind.
Molly Brenner Is Not Coming will be presented at the Out of Bounds Comedy Festival Fri., Aug. 31, and Sat., Sept. 1, 7pm, at the Hideout Theatre Downstairs, 617 Congress. For more information, visit the Out of Bounds website.