Goldstein kicks off by feeling for the moral pulse of his audience; concluding that his target is ‘dick jokes for skinheads’, but this is an underestimation of Goldstein’s show. Thankfully, he had a lot more to offer.
This is a thoughtful performance that asks some genuine questions about society’s relationship with pornography. What effects does porn have on people’s perception of everyday sex? How does one navigate the ethics of what the internet has on offer? What role does the government have in censoring the internet when the majority of pornography viewers are between the age of twelve and seventeen?
Goldstein doesn’t attempt to offer us all the answers but he shares his personal struggle between instinct and intellect; between feminism and lust and his personal journey all the way from running the family strip club to the American Academy of the dramatic arts in New York. We see the battle between the world of frivolous and meaningless sex and the need for emotional connection and intimacy.
Goldstein is an accomplished and engaging story teller. He skillfully negotiates the balance between levity and solemnity. This is a brave exploration of a complex and taboo topic, in which Goldstein rises above the many opportunities for cheap laughs and shock comedy. He’s not afraid to expose the less than admirable aspects of his personality and impulses in his pursuit of understanding his relationship with pornography. Goldstein’s proposition that comedy, being the last place where you can find zero censorship, is the right place to explore this topic turned out to be successful.
I thought I was going to hate this show, but Goldstein broke down my biases and made me confront topics I would normally steer clear of. Goldstein’s performance is sincere and uplifting and tells a tale of a life less ordinary, but also one which is highly accessible. I left thankful for this intelligent and thought-provoking hour.