SEX: With Betsy and Alise
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SEX: With Betsy and Alise

New York, New York, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2015

New York, New York, United States
Established on Jan, 2015
Band Comedy Comedy


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This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"Things to Do"

It’s not just men who can joke about sex, uninhibited, and raunchy duo Betsy Kenney and Alise Morales are here to prove it to you with a women-powered night of dancing, porn stars and a raffle with sex toys as prizes. Oh, and it’ll be hilarious: An all-star lineup of raunchy lady-comedians—Michelle Wolf from Late Night with Seth Meyers, The Daily Show’s Jena Friedman, Halle Kiefer of Tru TV and UCB’s Charla Lauriston—bring the noise. Stick around for a performance by female dance crew Cocoon Central Dance Team and a dirty-minded panel answering your anonymous sex questions, followed by Kenney and Morales’s interview with porn star Lisa Ann. Dudes are totally welcome—hey, maybe they’ll even win a Fleshlight! Congrats in advance. - Time Out NY

"Filling Gender Holes At Brooklyn's Funniest Sex Comedy Show"

Inside Coco 66, a bar in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, a girl was wearing a white denim vest with an illustration of a uterus and ovaries on the back, underneath that read "Grow a Pair." Fitting attire, as she was one of about 200 people in line for an event billed as "Sex with Alise and Betsy: An All-Female, Sex-Positive Comedy Show." Past the girl in the denim vest, past a boy in a trench and double-breasted suit smoking an e-cig shaped like a Sherlock pipe, past a sign reading "SEX WITH ALISE AND BETSY IS SOLD OUT," past doors that lead into the bar's event space, a huge inflatable pink penis with a shit-eating grin painted on its head could be seen from the stage, as if to greet audience members.

I get Facebook invites for at least three indie comedy shows a week—that is, shows not hosted at the Upright Citizens Brigade, the Magnet Theater, or the People's Improv Theater, the three biggest comedy theaters in New York. But none of these had ever been sponsored in part by a company that makes pink tubes of plastic my boyfriend could fuck and in part by a nonprofit that helps doctors "integrate abortion, contraception, and miscarriage management into their practices." None had included a panel of comedians who answer sex-related questions submitted anonymously through the event's Tumblr page. And none had featured a Q&A with one of PornHub's highest-ranked actresses.

Continued below.

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Alise Morales and Betsy Kenney, the architects of the event, are something of indie comedy vanguards. Both are graduates of the UCB Training Center, which has launched the careers of writers and performers for SNL, 30 Rock, The Office, Parks and Recreation, and The Daily Show. The current cover of New York features two of the UCB's most newly famous alumni, Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson of Broad City.

Kenney performs with one of the UCB's house teams, but both Kenney and Morales are involved in a scene of indie comics who perform in small Brooklyn venues and whose emerging improv and sketch groups make videos that have appeared on Funny or Die and Jezebel. Kenney is one-half of the online-sketch group HANK. Morales performs with the group Mister Sister, and is in the final editing stages of a new web series on IFC's Comedy Crib, Horrible Insane Girl.

.Alise Morales and Betsy Kenney

When I met with them outside the bar a couple of hours before the show, they noted that the impetus for staging an all-female event was a reaction to their concerns about gender representation in comedy, concerns that may sound familiar.

Both Kenney and Morales referred to the New York comedy scene as a "boys' club," with Kenney adding, "Both of us have done shows where we're the only girl there. We wanted to flip the script on that a little bit."

But the pair also wanted to push back against what they see as a reductive trend among female comedians.

"We wanted to do something positive," Kenney explained, "instead of dwelling on the negative aspects of dating. Even as far as women doing standup goes, a lot of the time it's about being negative about yourself. We should just be here to feel good about these things."

Morales added, "We wanted to do an all female show, and then we said, 'What can we do to set it apart?' We thought, Let's put this sex-positive message to it. That was when we thought to get sponsors."

Alise Morales, Lisa Ann, and Betsy Kenney. Photo credit: Bridget Badore

Having Nitecap, a sex/smoke shop on Staten Island, and Fleshlight for sponsors was a fun draw, of course. Inside the event space, the crowd, mostly made up of straight couples, bought tickets to win toys like Magic Wand and Rabbit vibrators that were raffled off throughout the night. But all proceeds from the show will go to the Reproductive Health Access Project, which Morales felt needs a spotlight more than bigger organizations, like Planned Parenthood.

For the show, Morales and Kenney curated a solidly funny roster of standup comedians: Halle Kiefer of TruTV's Friends of the People, Michelle Wolf of Late Night with Seth Meyers, Anna Drezen, who writes for Reductress, and Jena Friedman, a producer for The Daily Show.

If the comedians weren't always raunchy, they were occasionally extremely frank about their experiences trying to access reproductive health-care. In between jokes about breaking her toilet seat and asking a man to cum on her dress so she can wear it home, Halle Kiefer used her set to remind the audience about the limitations of the morning-after pill, namely its weight restrictions. "Did you know Plan B doesn't work if you're over 176 pounds?" she asked. I actually didn't, though this came to light in 2013, when it was discovered that a European pharmaceutical company calls out this weight limit on the label of their emergency contraceptive, while the American manufacturer of Plan B does not. Kiefer then mentioned that she clocks in at nearly 200 pounds.

Slightly less urgent was Anna Drezen's suggestion for porn that's truly "made for women." What if, she proposed, at the end of every porn film, we see the film crew wrap up, a porn actress take a pay stub that proves she's being paid the same as the dude she just fucked, and then is shown making it to her car safely?

However, here arose the question of what sex-positivity meant for this show. The subject matter was predominantly cisgendered and heteronormative. Any of the standup comedians who explicitly mentioned the gender of their sexual partners mentioned men, often boyfriends or a husband. That is, no performer identified as queer or polyamorous. Of course, no performer should have to identify as anything, but the absence of a queer or transgender voice was obvious.

In an email exchange after the show, Morales, who said she borrowed the "sex-positive" label from Dan Savage, admitted, "We did start to feel, after the whole snowball of the show got rolling, that we could have done more for queer representation... If we do the show again, we'd make a greater effort to make it clear that the show was for all women, cis, straight, or otherwise."

Photo credit: Bridget Badore

Heteronormative though it most certainly was, the most entertaining non-standup activity of the night was a game the hosts call "Cliteracy." Three straight couples were presented with posters with giant drawings of female genitalia, and the men in each couple were asked to identify basic female anatomy. Every man labeled the anus first. One scratched his head.

And then there was porn actress Lisa Ann. Before heading into the bar, Kenney and Morales were almost fangirlish in their excitement to finally meet the porn star who was recruited to appear in the show by Fleshlight.

"This is a woman who has done porn, and is still talking about it and doing events," said Kenney, as she and Morales anxiously awaited Lisa Ann's arrival . "She's obviously smart, and I think this is a group of people who will respect her, because people who come to comedy shows are a smart audience willing to listen."

"This is a woman who made a career out of doing what she wants, and we want to pay respect to that," said Morales.

Lisa Ann. Photo credit: Bridget Badore

On PornHub, Lisa Ann is dubbed Queen Lisa Ann and labeled "one of the hottest and hardest-working MILFs in the business" (she is best known for her turn as a pornographic version of a certain former vice-presidential candidate). She's also, it turns out, pretty racist. I recorded her Q&A session, during which she was asked about the most fun she's ever had on set. This was part of her reply, describing a gangbang scene that she seems to have both directed and starred in:

"I arranged a gangbang, and it's an interracial gangbang, because that kicks it up a notch, you know? So, it's me and eight brothers. Now, eight brothers in porn, let me tell you, there are only 10 that you want to work with. Five of them can't stay out of jail; they change their fucking phone numbers all the time. You have to pay them cash because you don't even want your shit on their IRS shit. This is a scene that takes a lot of work to put together—months on end, to make sure everyone's out of jail, or everyone's gotten tested, or can get the bus or whatever it is they need to get there."

From there, Lisa Ann went on to say the actors "fucking kleptomaniac-ed" almost everything on set. This was not what the hosts expected, and Morales briefly buried her head her hands.

The show fit its sex-positive mission in the sense that both the standup comedians and the writers and comedians who conducted the sex Q&A panel were eager to avoid self-deprecation in their presentation of their own sexual experiences. That is, no one really seems to exhibit any shame (e.g., Kiefer follows her story about wearing cum home on her dress by emphasizing that she finds it both disgusting and hot). Morales explained, "I just think this shows that girls can have a fun show that has a rowdy, raunchy atmosphere."

This rowdy, raunchy fervor reached its apex when Kenney raffled off a set of anal enlargement tools increasing in size, which essentially just looked like the butt-plug version of Bullet Bill, of Mario fame. "These are big," Kenney announced, "but if you're sitting there in the audience thinking, 'I'd kind of like that,' then that's OK... for whoever out there has a giant asshole."

Admittedly, between standup, a porn star, a Q&A panel of additional comedians, and raffles, the show in its planning stages seemed to have gotten too big too fast. Neither host anticipated how large an audience the show would draw, and the venue eventually had to cap ticket sales at 200. But any clumsiness emphasized how willing the Brooklyn comedy scene was to bite at an event that billed itself as a frank "sex comedy" show by women.

On the way out, I grabbed what the hosts had called a Fleshlight "party pack." It included Fleshglight-brand bags of pop rocks called "BJ Blast," neon Fleshlight wayfarers, and a Fleshlight button that read "Go Fuck Yourself," which I took to mean something positive. - VICE

"Bits on the Fun Bits: Inside an All Female, Sex Positive Comedy Show"

Sex sells.

It’s an old advertising mantra frequently used to criticize lascivious billboards or to dismissively explain the success of “provocative” artists and personalities. We are rarely treated to literal demonstrations of the principle. This past Saturday night was the exception, as I squeezed my way into Greenpoint’s Coco 66. The crowd lined up wall to wall and out the door, anticipatory chatter and the lamentations of those unticketed drowned out by loud music.

When the event starts half an hour later, nearly two hundred people have crammed into the back room of this small bar. Organized by comedians Alise Morales and Betsy Kenney, the show centers around some solid standup comics, a former adult entertainer, and a king’s ransom in masturbatory aids. The result is a celebration of human sexual expression by a gender often left out of the sexual agency equation. “It’s about feeling empowered and comfortable to follow your sexual desires,” comedian and photographer Phebe Szatmari tells me before the show when I ask for the meaning of sex-positivity. The definition is neutral, but carries different connotations for men and women, and of late the cultural discourse about sexual behavior has made the rounds on college campuses, in Congress, and at comedy theaters. It seems every few years, moralists and activists make the same discovery: women have sex, too.

Inspiration of show sprang from late night Facebook conversations between Morales and Kenney. “We realized we talk about fucking a lot,” Kenney says to the audience. This is no surprise: much has been made of fuckin’ and suckin’ in life and comedic routines, but parity for women on the subject comes more hard won. “I try to talk about all of my life experiences which obviously includes sex, and I do feel that I have to work a little harder to keep the audience on board with those jokes.” Morales, a standup comedian, tells me. “What I’ve found, what I think male comedians have had as a luxury for so long, is that audiences really respond to confidence. Men have been taught from a young age to speak about sex with a certain level of confidence that women are often discouraged from having, so sometimes you’ll see that translate to the stage.”

sexpositive2The audience seems to know the score. Standups Anna Drezen, Charla Lauriston, Hallie Kiefer, Michelle Wolf, and Jena Friedman are well met with applause and cheers throughout their sets. Drezen has one of my favorite jokes of the night, as she discussed her idea of female friendly porn. “It’s like regular porn, but we see the girl make it safely to her car after.” Intercut between performances are sex-themed games and raffle giveaways for products donated by Fleshlight, Nightcap, and other purveyors of adult novelties. The proceeds from the raffle benefit the Reproductive Health Access Project, a New York based training and advocacy organization.

During a segment called “Cliteracy,” three guy-gal pairs are brought on stage and given unlabeled diagrams of the female sex organ. The men are tasked with accurately identifying the parts as their girlfriends monitor their work. They easily label the anus, then set about the more “confusing” parts. Eventually, most of them get it. At several points through the evening, raffle numbers are read off and met with silence, as winners fail to claim their prizes either out of embarrassment, lack of want for a dildo, or because they couldn’t hear (Disclosure: I pocketed my free raffle ticket because I was of the first category). Another number gets read, and a less self-conscious/sex-toy rich/deaf person claims their plastic quarry.

Later, the hosts run a sex panel consisting of sketch duo Girls With Brown Hair, RookieMag’s Sandy Honig, and Brooklyn Wierdo-in-Residence Jo Firestone. One of the more memorable bits involves each of them reaching under their seat to produce less recognizable sex toys. Firestone yields a pink handle with a small clenched fist on the end. “This seems like more of a weapon than a toy,” Firestone remarks, brandishing her pull like a floppy pink mace. The hosts offer these kinkier items after the show to those who wish to claim them in anonymity. I hear later that somebody took the fist.

sexpositive3The night’s penultimate feature is an appearance retired adult film actress Lisa Ann, who answers audience- and Tumblr-submitted questions. Sadly, most of the inquiries could be resolved through a Google search (“How did you get into porn? What’s the most fun you’ve ever had on a set? Who is your favorite performer to work with?”). This feels like a missed opportunity since Lisa Ann, who achieved a special occupation in our culture through her widely-seen adult parody features, seems like she has more to say.

And there is much to be said on the intersections between the comedic and the erotic in the American landscape. Although humor and pornography have been around forever, their practitioners have long been cultural pioneers, often met with exclusion, obscenity trials, and, in certain instances, imprisonment. Public demand, shifting cultural attitudes, and a few Supreme Court victories brought comedians and pornographers in the mainstream, yet there are still voices among them that struggle to be heard. In recent years, however, both industries have begun to recognize women as producers, performers, and audiences. “Porn and comedy are the same in that they both were run by men for so long,” Kenney tells me later, “and it’s so amazing to see women not needing permission from anyone to bring an artistic vision to life.”

Although Lisa Ann does not address this idea directly, she speaks frankly and with ownership of her life, which is refreshing. Lisa Ann mentions that she was nervous Tina Fey wouldn’t receive her parody treatment well, but was less concerned with Sarah Palin. “Let’s let her fuck everybody in this!” Lisa Ann proclaims to applause. As she exits the stage, my big takeaway is that this woman has lived a far different life than I and that organizing an interracial gangbang sounds like a nightmare.

The evening ends with a dance-comedy performance that’s out of place and low-energy in light of the last two hours’ sensory overload. I leave with a better sense of my own hang-ups sexual and person, and in a way, I suppose the show has served one of its purposes: to make us aware of our own sexual feelings and how we, consciously or unconsciously, judge ourselves and others. More importantly, I laughed. - Splitsider

"Best Things to Do"

If a sex toy raffle and original vaginal art isn’t enough to tickle you, come for the kick-ass lineup of comedic gals including Michelle Wolf (Late Night with Seth Meyers) and Jena Friedman (The Daily Show). Submit your raunchiest wonderings to the Q&A sex panel and enjoy live dance performances too, all while helping to fund the Reproductive Health Access Project. -


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