Apology Blowjobs & Other Times Women Are Funny

If you make women laugh, and men leave cruel comments, you’re doing something right.

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This is Jessie Jolles. Know her. Laugh at her. She’s the creator, writer, and on-camera comedic talent behind a new web series on the Just For Laughs YouTube channel called “It’s A Date.” This series was brought to my attention because I myself have a series on a similar topic, however it exists in written word as opposed to video because I’m wildly uncomfortable on camera. Jessie, however, is right at home.

These mini episodes (seriously they’re like three minutes long, you have the time) call out the realities of modern dating, and make them funny. There’s a strong, hey-ladies-maybe-this-is-trash-men-get-your-actual-shit-together vibe to every video, so you can see why this woman is my new best friend. (She doesn’t know that, doesn’t make it any less true—hi Jessie.)

The most recent video is about period sex, or rather, what happens when men get “grossed out” by period sex to the point where they simply will not have it, or relegate it to the shower because we, as women, are actual filth.

What’s an apology blowjob? So glad you asked. It’s the thing women have been doing while we’re on our periods for years, because also for years, we’ve been societally trained to feel bad for this very natural and quite frankly miraculous thing that happens to us once a month that interrupts a man’s sexual cravings. We’re literally apologizing to men for not being able to give them the exact kind of sex they want by offering up a sex act that requires them to touch us as little as possible. Somehow, because she’s magic, Jessie makes this funny.

This 2:30 video is feeding me more eye-opening honestly than entire collegiate courses I’ve attended. As a woman, I really had to have a think about all the times I felt bad, or dirty, or wrong for getting my period. How many times I skipped placebo birth control pills and altered my body’s calendar so I wouldn’t “have to have my period” on a “special occasion.” Why did I ever think I had to alter myself for a man? Oh, right that’s literally an idea societally shoved my face every second of the day, cool.

As men, if you’re grossed out by period sex, maybe what you’re really grossed out by is women, and maybe you should stop dating and sleeping with them. Just a thought.

To quote her, we should all be so lucky as to have someone we can buy tampons for. If I saw a man proudly plunk a box of tampons down on a counter I wouldn’t be embarrassed for him. I’d want him more than a hangover burrito but I’d have to stop myself because he’s clearly got a good thing going with a woman back at home and I respect her.

There is a certain strength required to be a funny woman. And I’m not just talking about the bravery involved in discussing period sex when you know your mom is watching, though bravo on that, too. The strength you need is to withstand the horrible comments men will leave you when you’re both funny and not afraid to tell the goddammned truth.

The comments section on “It’s A Date” videos reads like a middle school slam book and I have very little to say to the men expressing these festering garbage water thoughts in public other than you should be ashamed of yourselves, and I’m quite certain whoever raised you should also feel the same way.

Bullying commenters, the berry seeds in the teeth of humanity, are in and of themselves a joke. They’re taking truth and talent they couldn’t handle and replacing it with an insult about woman’s appearance that is, in addition to TOTALLY irrelevant to the topic at hand, actual bullshit. Because that’s all they’ve got, bullshit. They don’t have any firepower more “effective” than cutting down a woman’s appearance or remarking on her single status because that’s what’s built the backbone of their boldness all along.

Tell her she’s not pretty, that’ll hurt her more than anything else, and then she’ll stop doing the thing I don’t like her to do, because all women want is for men to think they’re pretty and want to be with them, because that’s how we’ve trained them to be, because we’re scared of them and fragile as fuck.

Bullying commenters are uncomfortable with a) truth, b) that truth coming from a woman, and c) women being funny in general because that’s the thing men are supposed to be and if there are too many funny women in the world men will lose all their magical powers and die.

I know we’re supposed to ignore the comments. I know we’re supposed to recognize that bullying comments don’t really mean anything and that they’re just expressing a person’s own fragility. But I can’t ignore them, not when they’re trying to hurt a woman, and especially not when they’re trying to hurt a woman who’s funny. I don’t want to ignore the bad. I want to do more and say more to inspire more good.

If you love women in comedy, support them. How? So glad you asked. Watch their videos. Share their videos. Thumbs up their videos or whatever. Leave comments that say why you enjoy their content. Start a positive discussion around women in comedy, because while things are getting better, they ain’t good yet. Get the word out that comedy is still a huge boys club no matter how many Netflix specials star Ali Wong and Amy Schumer. There are funny women creating amazing content all over the place, and I hope you enjoy it, starting here.

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NPR once called me a humor essayist, let’s go with that. Host of A Single Serving Podcast. shanisilver[at]gmail

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