Eleanor Conway's vagina has a name (Jenny), and this is important to know. Eleanor Conway has a history, and this is important to know. Eleanor Conway is very funny, which is essential to know. This is all explained in the introduction of Eleanor Conway: You May Know Me From Tinder. Conway outlines her journey through hook-ups and relationships, as well as a short stint of being paid for sex work. Her take on sex and desire is inclusive, non-critical, and in nearly all instances the gags revolve around her relationship with Jenny – her longest life partner.
Conway is a champion for anyone who has chased orgasms across hinterlands and horizons
Conway can command a crowd whilst maintaining the flexible authority to deal with hecklers and comments from the front row – these being far more liquid than they were solid. When delivering stand-up you know your audience has had some level of lubrication before the show begins and Conway is an excellent MC whilst the audience takes their seats. Conway is excellent at signposting – by this, I mean that she outlined to her audience exactly what the routine would include without spoiling the big gags later on. This allowed the audience to feel comfortable in her (very) capable hands.
As such the show delivers some great moments whilst doing total justice to Conway's own stories from the front line of keeping orgasms regular.
The routine sometimes stumbled regarding pacing. Conway would occasionally revert to a kind of awkward performance, when her comedic narrative was developing in a way where the audience wanted to hear more details. It felt like an opportunity for laughter was suddenly being redacted. A few of the gags felt expansive and the pay-off did not merit the set-up; but then perhaps that is a good allegory to Conway’s own experiences in the savage landscape of hook-up culture. On a smaller point, the title seemed incongruent with the show - although Tinder is referenced slightly, it is not a pivotal part of Conway's routine at all. Her routine is about what she wants and how she looks for it - Tinder being a small cog within her strategic machine.
The highlight of Conway’s performance is that she makes sex inclusive. She is a champion for anyone who has chased orgasms across hinterlands and horizons. Sometimes a comedian can isolate an audience member and recycle them for the larger benefit of the show – many audience members understand that’s part of the collateral damage of stand up. But in Conway’s routine, audience members are left to their own devices, and when they do receive her focus, she is obliquely supportive and always in control. The content is not all hook-ups and hang-ups; there is some real relationship history in Conway’s routine, which is touching and allows for a wider scope within which the audience can laugh at the endless absurdity of the human need to find a mate.
Conway is licentious but lovely. The show closes with a sincere message of solidarity and respect to the audience – whatever their own parameters are regarding kink and sexual adventure. At the end of the day, Conway does not demand that anyone change their own behaviour – but they better accept hers.