Review: Eleanor Conway: Talk Dirty To Me @ Edinburgh Fringe (Three Sisters – Maggie’s Chamber) – 19th August 2023

Outrageously Hilarious

Sexually scandalous stories backed up with feminist statistics.

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Warning: Adult Themes

After a somewhat chaotic start in a room that can only be described as an underground cave, myself, the live editor and a primarily female audience sat down, unaware of what the next hour of our lives could look like- and my was it risqué!

Eleanor Conway bounded on stage full of life, laughter and a little glimmer of cheekiness in her eye. She commanded the stage with the confidence of an independent woman who gave zero-fs- which is exactly how she came across. Her unapologetic attitudes were truly inspiring as she unafraid to call out straight men and told us how she was done praising men for the bare minimum. The personal element of explaining her reasoning for never having kids, because of her mum’s struggle after her dad left, was touching and made her explanation more persuasive as to why we should follow her and her single forty-something friends into dating longer and not dedicating our lives to caring for men who do the bare minimum.

She marvelled us with her online dating adventures, laughing along with us as she told us about her ex-partner ‘stinky cock’ who was a 30-year-old man that she had to teach basic hygiene. Her line about women putting effort into their dating app photos while men just using photos they just happen to be in was particularly amusing.

Via David Titlow

Her performance excelled for me when she exposed the reality of dating using statistics and historical circumstances, quoting a book she had previously read. She explained how 65% of women are actually pleasured by their male partners, who themselves reach completion over 90% of the time. This statistic for women drops to only 4% when looking at one night stands alone- a figure that she found particularly shocking. She explained her quest to find men on dating apps who would cater only to her, rather than the other way around and came across the term ‘non-reciprocal oral’ from a dominatrix. This term was her way of using a kink to trick men to pay more attention to her- as she feels there is too much selfish, male-centred pleasure in dating. She also used history to explain how and why caring for the home and for children primarily falls upon women, even when they also have a job at the same time- something that the historian in me felt was remarkably interesting.

The show was put together well, weaving in factual statistics to her hilarious dating stories provided an informative and amusing performance. I could have done without her occasional miming of masturbation, especially when she pretended to do it as if she was playing the guitar, however aside from that, she was a likeable, loud presence who had the whole room laughing along with every new dating revelation.


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