Sex Rules! At least according to Maria Falzone. Falzone is a Burke comedienne, who is breaking down the barriers to promote an open dialogue about safe sex and empower women with her show, “Sex Rules!”
Falzone started performing in theater, then discovered her love of comedy through a local comedy workshop. After performing comedy for a number of years, Falzone was introduced to lecturing, where she found she could use comedy to confront serious issues in a more effective manner.
Falzone was asked by fellow comedienne Suzi Landolphi to help her with her show, “Hot, Sexy, Safer”. Realizing an opportunity to talk about an important, often ignored subject, the idea for "Sex Rules!" — Falzone’s nine rules to greater, safer sex — was born.
Using comedy, Falzone began to explore the deeper, darker issues associated with sex, such as abuse and molestation. She initially focused on sexually transmitted diseases (STD), addressing the negative perceptions toward those who carry an STD. Falzone, who has an STD, was able to use raw honesty to address one of the serious consequences of sex.
The message of “Sex Rules!” is not to promote sex, but to offer young adults the full information needed to make safe decisions and, as Falzone says, experience not just safe sex, but great sex as well. Each show ends with a Q&A session, in which audience members can honestly discuss the issues at hand.
"It is better if our children make informed decisions, rather than act in ignorance, which can lead to serious consequences" says Falzone. In order to provide necessary information for young adults, Falzone stresses the importance of parents starting an honest dialogue with their children early, before it’s too late. An honest dialogue will encourage parents and children alike to open up about a topic many people shy away from.
By presenting a discussion about sex in an honest, laughable manner, Falzone’s show is becoming a big success, being performed at local clubs across the country. Aside from community shows, “Sex Rules!” is a big hit on college campuses, as many young adults feel they can better relate to Falzone’s material.
Falzone has become a longstanding guest speaker at Indiana State University and Washington College, where she has spoken at freshman orientations for over 10 consecutive years at each school. According to Rachel Lindsay of Indiana State University, Falzone is well received by the students and helps them become more aware of the resources that are often already there. When Falzone spoke there in 2010, her presentation was one of several on the agenda that addressed safe sex, alcohol education and other health behaviors of college students.
Associate Vice President for Student Affairs Sarah Feyerherm of Washington College found the same thing, with Falzone being the most popular event at orientation.
“They love her not only because she is incredibly funny, she's so effective educationally because her performance never feels ‘educational’ to the students,” said Feyerherm.
“She's like that really cool aunt that everyone wishes they had, who's willing to laugh and joke about sex but in the end really cares about you and wants you to be happy and healthy,” said Feyerherm.
Through “Sex Rules!” Falzone hopes to take the shame away from sex. Safe sex occurs when participants are safe and prepared. Falzone is making sure that happens, one show at a time.
To see Falzone’s June 9 show at The Comedy Spot in Arlington visit her website at www.sexrules.org for tickets and other information.