The timeless dance between sex and humour

Since the invention of the joke, men have used humour to sleep with women. It’s a powerful tool, and the sole reason Danny DeVito and Drew Carey have gotten laid. Even though I’ve been a professional comedienne for most of the past decade, I still can’t resist a good one-liner. I once dated a man for three years because he approached me at a bar and said, “Excuse me, when did this guy get here?” I looked down at his mesh shorts and saw that he was pointing at an insistent bulge.

I spit my drink out laughing. That could have been the beginning of a beautiful, laughter-filled romance, but he didn’t know how to turn it off. One night he attempted humour by telling me my lady part was like a “juicy wombat.” Smooth, bro. (It might not surprise you to know that the guy eventually turned into a total sociopath.)

I tell jokes for a living and I enjoy sex, so you’d think the marriage of the two in my life would be harmonious, like North and South Korea. But it’s just not. When a woman is naked, no matter how confident she is, she’s at her most vulnerable. Yes, men, it’s a fine line, and nothing will thrust you in the wrong direction faster than making her feel laughed at. Although humour can help you take her to bed, it might not help you once you’re actually there. In my 30 years, I’ve never once heard a friend say, “The sex was great, but we didn’t laugh enough during it.”

There’s a time and a place for making her laugh, and it’s never too late to blow it. Example: your slick Madiba voice may earn you a chuckle at the bar, but it’ll draw a strange look when you’re actually doing it with a woman. I’ve been naked with someone and bolted right in the middle because of a poorly timed zinger.

Once when I was in varsity, I had just started to sleep with a guy and he thought it would be a good idea to stop kissing me so he could compare the trim of my bikini area to Hitler’s moustache. I glanced down – and you know what? He was right. At the time it had the exact shape and Gestapo vibe of the fascist dictator. Still, the guy was back on the express train to his dorm. His joke was fine; his timing was not.

In a long-term relationship, you might naturally assume that over time you’d become comfortable with the other person to the point of boredom (“These balls again?”), and that laughter could spice things up. But the rules still apply. No matter how close you are with your partner, jokes drastically change the mood. I think I speak for most women when I say that once we’re naked with you, give us compliments and orgasms. Not the giggles.

Here’s the twist: it’s okay for me to joke around in bed. This is not only because I am hilarious but also because I’m a girl. Women hold most of the power in the bedroom – unless your sex life resembles an episode of Law & Order: SVU – so don’t be surprised if we tell a joke to, you know, lighten the load. The only restriction: our humour should never put a man’s ego at risk, because the more limp the ego, the more limp the id, if you catch my drift. Penis.

Recently I was hooking up with a guy, and like a gentleman he went down on me. He was excellent, clearly trained by some wonderful women who had come before me. (That’s what’s great about leaving your 20s behind – your youthful jealousy melts away and is replaced by gratitude. I used to want to punch their previous girlfriends in the face; now I want to plan an appreciation luncheon.) Anyway, after I’d achieved orgasm (I like to phrase it like this so I feel like I accomplished a great feat), he lay next to me, and jokingly I said, “Look, I’m going to get out of here.” We both had a laugh during the short interim period before I reciprocated the favour. The joking stopped there until we were done, at which point I asked if he was on Hello Peter, because I wanted to write a positive review. When I said I wasn’t spending the night, he jokingly clutched the pillow to his chest as if I’d just violated him. I’d broken the ice, so he was able to follow up with that little role-reversal gag. We both laughed as I slipped out the door.

To me, it was a perfect night. We came, we saw, we came, we laughed. So, yes, humour can work in bed, but follow her lead. Refrain from mentioning my “juicy wombat,” and I won’t tap on your mike and ask, “Is this thing on?”