Finding the Doorbell



The funny side of sex

Comedian Cindy Pierce finds humor in sexual insecurities and misunderstandings Tuesday night in Vail

By Charlie Owen

Vail Daily

In between cleaning toilets and balancing the family checkbook, Cindy Pierce found time to make a successful stand-up comedy routine based on her sexual experiences.

"When you don't drink or do drugs in college it brings up your chances of staying a virgin about ... 100 percent," Pierce joked about her clean-living lifestyle during one of her shows.

She also co-authored a book with her friend, Edie Thys Morgan, about sexuality in America. So what is a wife, sister, mother and all around sensible New England woman doing writing a humorous book about sex? What could she possibly know about the subject that we don't?

Nothing, but she's willing to talk about it honestly when most of us are scared too.

Now she is taking her one-woman show on the road with a stop in Vail.

"When I do the show, people in the audience have experienced a lot of what I say it's just that they've either blocked it out or they don't tell anyone or they feel ashamed," Pierce said.

What exactly does Pierce talk about during her show that could draw such reactions?

Adventures in birth control, sex after babies, not getting enough, getting too much — Pierce revels in her ability to be honest about sexual topics that most cringe at.

Getting those people to laugh and be honest with themselves and their partners is what keeps Pierce going.

Personal punchlines

To prove she's more than willing to poke fun at herself, Pierce's routine and book are both called "Finding the Doorbell" — a reference to discovering her clitoris (which happened by mistake in a college library bathroom stall).

But more than anything, Pierce wants to keep it honest. The stories she relates are almost all first-hand accounts from her own marital sex life or anecdotes she's been told from friends and strangers alike. Her mission is to use what she's learned to destroy the taboo label stitched to most sexual conversation.

"The funny thing is, I think there is a lot of very deviant sexual behavior as a result of ... how we're socialized to view sex and I think that's the biggest problem," Pierce said.

Her book is more of an interaction with the American public on sexuality than a story of her life. It contains stories from people surveyed on a number of sexual topics and everyone from college football players to housewives contributed their thoughts and encounters to the project.

'Not the average person'

Edie Thys Morgan, a long time friend of Pierce, co-wrote the book and helped Pierce develop her stage act. The opposite of Pierce's unabashed sexual openness, Morgan is shy and conservative. Nevertheless, she dived headfirst into the chance to work on material that promotes such positive and illuminated sexual understanding.

"With the book what we tried to do is have my voice in there as someone the average person could relate to more, because (Pierce) is so funny, but she's not the average person," said Morgan, who will be signing books at Pierce's show.

All Pierce and Morgan want is for people to lighten up about sex and laugh a little bit.

Relationships and sex are never perfect, but taking ourselves so seriously isn't going to help.

"We're all about, like, sustainable sex, and instead of having this negative view my feeling is if you work at it, you can keep it going. But communication is the only option and it's not what you're taught as you grow up and it doesn't come naturally," Pierce said.

High Life writer Charlie Owen can be reached at

Vail Daily — March 9, 2008

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