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Why yes: That is a monument in my pocket, and I am happy to see you.
My Fabulous Sex Life
The Shop at Fort Fringe
Sunday, July 12 at 8:00 p.m.
Thursday, July 16 at 5:15 p.m.
Sunday, July 19 at 9:30 p.m.
Thursday, July 23 at 7:45 p.m.
They say: “Funny. Obscene. Dangerous. Welcome to My Fabulous Sex Life, the story of one gay man’s sexual adventures in DC. Think you know how far you’d go? Think again.”
Trey’s take: “This,” drawls Brent Stansell midway through his jaw-droppingly frank bedroom confessional, “isn’t the first time I’ve tried to get attention.” And you think: Well, duh. (The man’s an actor, after all, and if there’s a closer synonym for “exhibitionist,” I’ve yet to encounter it.)
Like many solo shows, this one’s a a coming-of-age story, and despite its saucy title and its explicit language — no, really, it’s explicit, so don’t say you weren’t warned — it’s also the story of a boy looking for love. That he’s looking for it in what some would call the wrong places (bedrooms, bathrooms, hotel rooms, balconies, the grounds of the Washington Monument) only adds to the tang of an evening that rings truest when it’s most blunt: After a mildly stunned recap of one especially outrÃ© encounter, Stansell cops to the shame and the self-loathing that can accompany the memory of such moments, even for a man who’s since come to terms with an exuberant sense of his sexuality. Then he takes his tales one level deeper, daring the audience to measure its own memories and mores against his own — and that’s when what might have been a naughty bit of fluff becomes something more serious, and rather brave.
A secret-ballot sex quiz, a draw-from-a-hat glossary of singularly, ahem, intimate behaviors, and a 12-part, audience-performed version of our hero’s coming-out story are clever touches that add a lighthearted sort of interactivity to a show with more than one seriously sober moment. And if the script could use a structural tweak or two — Stansell’s tale peaks early, which leaves his New York adventures (eye-opening though they are) feeling a touch anticlimactic — maybe that just means it’s a proper first-day Fringe property.
See it if: You’ve ever been driven slightly mad by your hormones, or your insecurities, or any human impulse at all.
Skip it if: The idea of confessing the oddest place you’ve had sex — even anonymously, in writing — just made your shoulders inch toward your ears.