In a world where magazine headlines scream about ever more exciting ways to achieve the heady heights of sexual pleasure, a comedy show based on the inability to hit the ‘big O’ is an oddity. The causes are many and varied, ranging from the physical impacts of health conditions, drugs or the menopause, to psychological issues such as fear or anxiety. In fact, depending on which set of figures you believe, somewhere between five and 12 per cent of women suffer from anorgasmia – the inability to experience an orgasm despite receiving sexual stimulation. Comedian Helen Duff is one of them, and turns what could be a frustrating situation into a frank and funny show climaxing with an anarchic group experience.
Over the course of an hour, she morphs from the human embodiment of a sperm – clad in blue raincoat and leggings – through to a larger-than-life vulva complete with inexplicable Yorkshire accent, removable hair and prominent clitoris (a knitted pink bobble-hat). Together, we are aiming to recreate the mystery of the female orgasm. Our template for this exercise is a survey Duff has carried out, asking people to describe their experiences of pleasure. An all over sneeze combined with a really good itch. The feeling of having Belgian chocolate licked off your genitals. Like eating eight mangoes all at once. Almost dying. Like riding a unicorn through the sky. In the absence of unicorns, mangoes and chocolate, Duff hands out tools to the audience to help us come together: packets of ginger nuts, eight bananas, feather dusters and pots of bubble mixture.
By the end of the show, she’s riding across the cramped stage on the back of a burly man wearing a unicorn horn, beaten on the bottom by packets of biscuits and gagging on half-chewed bananas. The result is a breathless, sweaty mess, and judging by the look on Duff’s face, she seemed to enjoy it as much as we did. (KA)
Come With Me is on at 17.45 at Pleasance That until August 19th (not 15th). Wheelchair Access, Level Access, Hearing Loop - https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/helen-duff-come-with-me
Information about anorgasmia: http://www.lanarkshiresexualhealth.org/unable-to-orgasm-anorgasmia/
In Psychology Today - 'Help! I can’t have an orgasm!': https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/save-your-sex-life/201111/help-i-cant-have-orgasm