Being comedically used feels worse than sexually. There’s enough literature out there to empower women about sex-positivity, but there is nothing for this. It is a rare case.
A girl who does comedy treads a strange path, choosing to either emanate femininity and sexuality through the performance on purpose, or to forget all of that, and just be funny. The latter is obviously my preference. The point of art in general, but especially comedy, is to simply tell the truth in a way that will make people listen. So, I choose to do that with as few barriers as possible.
Myself, Jo, and Brad sat around a table after a comedy festival performance, drinking and getting to know each other. I realize that “Jo” is a hilariously melodramatic YA-type name to use as a pseudonym for somebody, but I run this blog and that gives me the right to be as self-indulgent with my faux names as I goddamn want. Anyway, I really liked Brad. Jo really liked Brad. We were both after him. He was giving both of us a lot of special attention. At first it was confusing, and then it became crystal fucking clear.
He was being nice and funny with me so that I would be funny back, thereby letting him show off his comedic prowess to (the prettier and not funny) Jo. Our banter was top-notch. I had fun. Until I realized that my thoughts and timing were being prostituted for sex. Not my sex. Other people’s sex. I was being used as leverage to get two other people who were not me laid.
It’s different. At least being used sexually has the undertone that maybe he thinks you’re attractive. Used comedically, though, is asking a lot of you. An idea or a bit or whatever you want to call it extracts real bone marrow and reveals a lot about your true self. So to find out at 5am with an excruciating hangover while Surfer Rosa plays on a loop that Brad was in fact using me to get to Jo was, well…the bottom.
Has this happened a thousand times since? Yes. Did I choose this life in comedy – surrounded by immature and insecure man-children who think that everything is owed to them? Yes. Do I still get crushes on all of them? Of course.