In the neighborhood of Van Nuys, just east of Sepulveda Blvd., in a makeshift theatre at the back of a sex club, three women sit onstage with their upper bodies concealed by a tarp. Once seated, they spread their legs to an appreciative audience of 30 people. This is the Vagina Talk Show (not to be confused with The Vagina Monologues) and, in terms of theatrical experiences in Los Angeles, it’s like returning to the womb.
The women appear to range in age from late 40s to about 60 and, clad in fishnets and boots, they present their vulvas as part of a package deal; the voices behind the tarp tell some fascinating stories.
Emceed by Ronnie Larsen — on the shortlist of adjectives to describe him is “flamboyant” — The Vagina Talk Show (he also hosts a Penis Talk Show in the tiny theatre at the back of Club Sex Addict) is fun, informative, and surprisingly sweet. It is also a throwback to New York cabaret from the 1970s and 80s, a world that Larsen hopes to bring to L.A.
Larsen refers to the owners of the vaginas the way “Dating Game” host Jim Lange would have, as Vagina 1,2, and 3.
Onstage, the women quickly assert their personalities. Vagina #1 knows all the Latin terms (she points out, for example, that we’re actually staring at her vulva, to which Larsen replies “oh pardon me”). Vagina #2 is a former porn star, having appeared in the classic (and banned) 2000 Elegant Angel film “The Fist, the Whole Fist, And Nothing But the Fist” (I can’t figure out who she is by her plumbing, because when I look at porn stars, I just look at their eyes), and then there is Vagina #3.
Vagina #3 is special. Born in Jerusalem, she says she is a Hebrew school teacher by day, but by night, she moves from the Torah to the Labia Minora.
Vagina #3 rubs her labia (which she pronounces “Libya”) constantly, and at one point confessed her attraction to a student’s dog.
“I wanted to fuck the English Setter,” she says. “Maybe it was a terrier. If a dog has character, I’ll go for it.”
Co-host Elle “Lady Cheeky” Chase, director of the L.A. Sex Academy, pipes up, saying “Hey now.”
But Vagina #3 will not be deterred.
“I read about [dog sex] a lot,” she says. “It’s becoming a thing.”
The audience is in hysterics. It is a group from their 20s to their 60s, men and women, couples who will be visiting the adjoining sex club later, people from out of town who read about this series of shows on theatre websites. It’s a diverse and absolutely satisfied audience, each member delighted to have found this place at the back of a sketchy parking lot on Oxnard Blvd.
But it’s not all shock and awe up there with the Vaginas (although Vagina #3 points out — and it makes sense at the time, but I am laughing so hard I can’t figure out what the context is — that she occasionally rubs Oscar Meyer weiners against her vagina, which is probably not kosher). The owner of Vagina #1 is talking about her post-menopausal sex life.
“I’ve lost a lot of sensitivity in my clit but my vaginal sensitivity has gone through the roof,” she says.
An audience member asks about squirting and Vagina #1 decries it as a party trick if it is not organic.
“Our vaginas are not a proving ground for men to make us squirt,” she says.
Talking about her own preferences in foreplay, Vagina #2 advises partners to not make a beeline for her clitoris.
“Don’t go directly for my clit,” she says. “Touch my whole body before you touch in between my legs. Then, it’s like a clock: 10 and 2 are very pleasurable. 12 can be very sensitive.”
“Ooh!” says Chase. “The Witching Hour.”
With her consent, Chase takes a mirror and a magnifying panel to the vulva of Vagina #1 as the two point out the oft-confused working parts. Then the other women allow the audience to get up close and personal (but no touching!) with their own parts.
“Come visit the neighborhood,” says Vagina #3.
Running since July, the Vagina Talk Show has been extended several times, with different women joining the panel. I talk with a woman outside who had been onstage the week before.
“Was it otherworldly to have 30 pairs of eyes on your vagina?” I ask.
“No!” she says. “It was very freeing.”
“Do you think you’ll need 30 people watching the next time you show your vagina?” I probe, America’s Beloved Porn Journalist.
“I don’t think so,” she says.
I see a lot of live shows in Los Angeles and have come to expect a certain homogeneity of audience. Very rarely is an audience not comprised mostly of other actors and/or musicians, or friends of whomever is onstage. I have to leave town in order to get a real audience experience. The Vagina Talk Show is a genuine theatre experience that happens to involve partial nudity, superb, boisterous hosting, and genuine audience interaction. The only thing you get screwed on is the sex club next door.
Upcoming shows at the CSA Theatre:
Sep 19th – Porn Star Dating Game w/BBW Karla Lane and her friends
Sep 26th – The Penis Talk Show (opening night)
October 3rd – The Vagina Talk Show w/co-host Dr.Limor Blockman
(Clinical Sex Therapist and host of SEXPERTS on Playboy Radio)