Sex Rated G

Advertised as ‘A One-Woman Play With A Man In’, I had preconceptions about this show that involved transgender, cross-dressing, and insightful anecdotes about sexual orientation. The performance, however, is rather less candid than the description and raunchy poster suggest. Lisa Verlo delivers a bildungsroman of sex from her perspective as a heterosexual woman. Although enjoyable and at times poignant, her anecdotes cover well-charted territory.

Lisa Verlo’s message – ‘Get sex out of the tabloids and in the conversation’ – is that we shouldn’t rely on the media to decide what’s appropriate for the masses.

Sex Rated G offers an alternative framework by which to talk about sex with the show chaptered by ‘G word’ topics – Groping, Guessing, Girl, Genitals, and so on. Verlo breaks into a few witty songs which eases this laborious structure. The video footage that is played is entertaining – Barbie and Ken go to an orgy, Verlo has conversations with her first boyfriend in Peep Show style footage and we read quotes about sex from celebrities.

There are some astute observations about the censorship of Picasso paintings, the old Starbucks logo as well as statistics about porn and where you can breastfeed in the US. Similar to popular TED Talks, the show is entertaining and informative in equal measure.

Lisa Verlo’s message – ‘Get sex out of the tabloids and in the conversation’ – is that we shouldn’t rely on the media to decide what’s appropriate for the masses. The performance is graceful and articulate yet slightly conflicted. One celebrity quote – ‘Woman can fake an orgasm, but men can fake an entire relationship’ (Sharon Stone) – indicates the subtle sexism of the show. I appreciate that they aren’t Verlo’s words, but when she describes the sexual fetishes of the men she has dated, it leaves an ‘I’m normal, they’re weird’ residue that contradicts her mission to make people talk about sex more freely. Considering she is a spokeswoman for sexual liberation, she is rather guarded and appalled by the idea of waxing her genitals or wearing a thong.

Sex Rated G is rated 16+. This is perhaps ironic as Verlo discusses the curiosity and confusion she felt when no adults would let her discuss sex/ orgasms/ genitals in her earlier youth. Although too tame for a frisky Fringe audience, this show contains entertaining and informative material for young people who are just getting started.

Censor the fetish stories and Lisa Verlo would have a successful sex-ed show. If she had been at my school, I would have never missed a health day.

Reviews by Jessica Sydney-Leigh

Gilded Balloon

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★★★★
Gilded Balloon

Sex Rated G

★★★
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★★★★★
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★★
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★★★★

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The Blurb

Sex Rated G. A One-Woman Play With A Man In It is a personal trip across America's confusing sexual landscape. Touching on suppression and obsession, Lisa Verlo talks about things we don't talk about when we talk about sex. What's up with having a gazillion monikers for our sex organs but we can't even seem to tell our partner what feels good. No subject is taboo, as this wild and revealing journey stretches from childhood masturbation to ovarian innuendos, highlighting the hypocrisy that promotes sex and condemns it all in one blow.

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