Post by Auntie Vice
I have had conversations with a half-dozen female comics about dating. Universally, we all worry about the perceptions of our dating lives by other comics. None of us want to be seen as sleeping our way up the ladder. Additionally, we all tend to like comics, so there is a conundrum.
Okay, other comics, you may joke about not being able to get laid, not being able to find dates, and other such things on stage. The thing is, there are a bunch of female comics who kind of dig on you, but the whole “don’t shit where you eat” thing tends to apply. Comedy is work. Clubs and gigs are our office. You are our co-workers. But, we still like you.
In chatting with a bunch of women comics, we tend to be pretty typical women in that, if you can make us laugh, we tend to think you are sexy. Its the way my ex-wife won me over. It was not her five foot tall, 300 pound self that drove me wild. She was super smart (99 percentile on the language portion of the GRE) and she was super funny. I loved her for that. Most female comics I speak with are the same. For some reason, really funny people set off our attraction button.
The other part of it is that other comics kind of get our life styles. They understand that we need to be out four, five or six nights a week in bars and clubs honing our craft and trying to book gigs. They get that we will be on the road for a portion of the year. They get that this is our job and not just a reason to do shots and hang out with other people. That makes other comics attractive to date.
However, comedy is still largely male-dominated. There is still a perception that female comics are more “niche” or not as funny as the guys. It means that guys tend to be able to book gigs more easily and will have more mentors and more people to work with. I also haven’t run into male comics who worry that sleeping around will tank their image.
In fact, male comics who sleep around can work it into their act and their public image and it is seen as funny. When I was at the Mike E. Winfield roast this year, Mike was introducing Lance Woods. He said Lance had slept with so many big white women that he would have to change his name to Ngaio Belum. Funny as shit and neither Lance of Ngaio have to worry about being seen as sleeping their way to the top.
Female comics don’t have the same latitude for the most part. There is a perception that we will use our sexuality as a way to gain favors and work our way up.
Its something I struggle with on several levels. I work in the fact that I have been a slut (a word I aptly apply to myself without hesitation) into much of my act. I talk a lot about dating and sex on stage. I have had a super slutty phase and it does provide me with a lot of material. However, I do worry that this will mean people automatically assume I use my sexuality to boost my career.
I flirt. I like to flirt. I find several comics attractive. But… I seriously hesitate about every dating one because I don’t want word to get out and then people think I am sleeping my way up. Since I am on the bottom of the career ladder, pretty much any comic would be a rung up, so….
Every female comic will deal with this issue differently. Just know, if you are trying to date a female comic, this is something we all worry about and spend a fair amount of time thinking about. I want to be successful because I am funny and can turn out an audience, not because I fucked the headliner.