By Sarah Rosen, playing Margo Aisling in Paraphilia: Everyone Has A Sexual Disorder
The one thing I've learned from playing a sex therapist? People really want to talk about sex. Last week, in the midst of rehearsals for PARAPHILIA, a play in which I play a sex therapist, I walked into a coffee shop and this is what happened:
After struggling to learn lines in the sauna that is my Brooklyn apartment, I left to try my luck in an air conditioned coffee shop nearby. As I waited for my latte, I noticed a table in the corner stacked with promotional postcards. I asked the 30-something tattooed barista and the bandana-clad young woman wiping down counters if I could leave some postcards for the play I was acting in. They said sure, and asked what it was about. I (somewhat shyly) said... sex therapy! The young woman's eyes widened: "THAT IS SO COOL." Emboldened by her enthusiasm, I invited her to the show and told her jokingly that I'd been doing a LOT of sex therapy research, so if she had any questions, I was all ears. She responded genuinely, "Awesome, I'll be right over!" Low and behold, a few minutes later, she plopped down across from me at my table and looked at me expectantly. "So... How's your sex life?" I asked. Pretty good, it turned out. She went on to tell me about her boyfriend (who seems cool) and their sex life (which seems good) and we talked about some possible challenges (communication) and how to improve it (be more direct, fill out this survey about your sexual preferences that I read about in a book because why not?). She stood up and the male barista came over for his turn. At this point, I made sure to clarify, once again, that I was an ACTRESS -- not a real sex therapist in any way. At all. No one cared! The barista guy and I talked about his shyness and I told him he's a cute, single, nice guy in NYC -- he's got everything going for him so he should be more bold about (respectfully) hitting on ladies! I left the cafe, having learned zero lines but an awful lot about being a sex therapist. Maybe we all need a little sex therapy, and we're just waiting for someone to give us permission.
As a sex therapist (ahem, actress who's been playing a sex therapist for three weeks), I hereby give you permission. Come check out PARAPHILIA and you're sure to be inspired.