Six months into my life in Los Angeles, I realized that I did not
have enough female friends.
I was living with two wonderful gay men in West Hollywood, dating a smart and sweet television executive, and spending the rest of my time trying to figure out how to write a comedy script and/or parallel park. Making new West Coast girlfriends was not a priority. Yet the more I read about surviving inside the Hollywood machine, the more women supporting women surfaced as an answer.
Sex Talks — the no-boys-allowed storytelling show I’ve run in LA for the past three years — was born out of this simple personal problem and the
memory of my wild nights sharing secrets with my best friends in college. We
made a habit of gathering on Sunday nights to drink cheap grocery-store wine
and share stories about our sexual misadventures. He wanted me to talk dirty, so I did — and apparently it was dirtier
than he was expecting, was the tale that kicked it off. We called our
weekly sessions our Sunday Night Sex Talks.
My goal was to recreate the environment that led to all
those amazing stories. It would be one-part boozy slumber party and one part
Moth-style performance event, with a little networking for good Hollywood
measure. I hoped a few new friends would get included in that mix.
I started by attending as many existing shows as possible. I
wanted Sunday Night Sex Talks to showcase true, humorous stories that offered a
sense of connection around the still-taboo topic of sex. Crazy affairs and
unplanned threesomes were welcome, but I was more interested in all the stuff surrounding
the sex acts — the feelings.
During our college sessions, it was always the anxiety, joy,
confusion, and triumph before and after that earth-shattering orgasm that
resonated the most. But at almost every single one of the shows I attended for
the sake of research, I noticed a difference between the way female performers
recounted racy tales on stage and the way they shared the events over brunch
with girlfriends. On stage they were presenting a carefully reconstructed
version of the events geared toward laughs and great lines. At brunch they weren’t
holding back; the goal was simply to be understood by the person across the
I experimented with Sunday Night Sex Talks being no boys allowed to see if that might create a truly safe space, and the results have been inspiring. At least once in every monthly show (hosted in the cozy back room of Bar Lubitsch in West Hollywood), a performer turns to the audience and says, “I wasn’t going to include this part, but….” The audience applauds loudest for the most truthful moments, and now the performers truly deliver.
The show has been called “a treehouse full of estrogen” and “Sex and the City: The Storytelling Show.” Every month, we feature four women from all walks of life, including Sex and the City scribe Cindy Chupack, best-selling author Jillian Lauren, Stevie Ryan of VH1’s Stevie TV, and Tymberlee Hill of the new network series Marry Me, and our themes have covered everything from “Unfinished Business” to “Penis Problems.”
But as we prepare to celebrate three years of successful
shows in Los Angeles this Sunday, October 5th, with a birthday
bash at King King, Hollywood, all I’m focused on is the fact that once a month, I get to spend an hour
being entertained by the incredible women who make it a little easier to try
and survive the Hollywood machine. I now consider dozens of them my close
friends — and not just because I know all their deepest, sexiest secrets.
Jessie Rosen is a writer/producer who mentally resides in Manhattan and physically resides in Los Angeles. She writes scripts, tends to her Meyer lemon tree, and spends too much money at Sushi by Haru with her boyfriend. The idea for Sunday Night Sex Talks grew out of a random series of real Sunday evenings spent discussing dating, relationship, and sex issues with college friends. At first it was slightly awkward, but then it became totally genius — just like all the best things in life.