The Birds and the Bees: Let’s Talk About Sex With Maggie And Rachel!

Ali’s Team Pick:

Maggie Keenan-Bolger is at it again! And this time, she’s teamed up with another creator of theatre, Rachel Sullivan. They’re busy creating The Birds and the Bees: Unabridged. It’s a play about female sexuality that explores themes like sexuality throughout life, discussions surrounding female sexuality and representations in the media. When asked why now and why this subject, Keenan-Bolger and Sullivan said:

We believe this is a very important topic to discuss right now for many reasons: the current political battles/war on women; a lack of positive representations of women’s sexuality in the media; the fact that female sexuality is largely defined by men; the need for comprehensive, accurate sex education; the limited knowledge young people and adults have about their bodies; and the list goes on and on.

This is a devised piece, which means they are not starting with a script but are rather creating the play with the input of everyone involved. And with a hugely diverse cast of 20 women from around New York City with ages ranging from 20-70, this piece of fine theatre is almost certain to have something for everyone. Some of the women talk about sex and sexuality for a living, others not so much. Each actor and co-creator has completely different life experiences. And you can add your experience to the mix!

As with Keenan-Bolger’s last piece, there’s a survey. It’s totally anonymous and open to people of all gender identities and expressions. Their goal is to hit 1,000 surveys by January (right now, they’re a little over 600.)  Can we help them reach their goal, Straddlers? You bet we can! In the name of sex, theatre, queer artists, representation of women in the media and women in general, let’s all take this survey! (I did!)

rehearsal photos by Marielle Solan

Keenan-Bolger and Sullivan will be posting more on the show’s facebook page regarding their upcoming Kickstarter campaign in January, so be sure to follow along. They will also be announcing the show dates and location, performances to be held in March.


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A.E. Osworth

A.E. Osworth is part-time Faculty at The New School, where they teach undergraduates the art of digital storytelling. Their novel, We Are Watching Eliza Bright, about a game developer dealing with harassment (and narrated collectively by a fictional subreddit), is forthcoming from Grand Central Publishing (April 2021) and is available for pre-order now. They have an eight-year freelancing career and you can find their work on Autostraddle (where they used to be the Geekery Editor), Guernica, Quartz, Electric Lit, Paper Darts, Mashable, and drDoctor, among others.

A.E. has written 542 articles for us.


  1. I think that survey gave me carpal tunnel. But it actually made me learn a lot about my sexuality and get more comfortable talking about it, which was nice, even though I’m having trouble typing now. I’m a long-winded person.

    • Writing about sex, for me at least, has always given me a clearer understanding of what I want and how to communicate about it. And talking about sex leads to more talking about sex. :0) Cheers! Our experiences mirror each other’s.

  2. I always feel awkward filling out surveys like this, since I’m not from America and I’m probably skewing the data about the education system etc. slightly. Oh well, I like surveys and they didn’t ask.

  3. Also I hate filling these out as someone who’s never had sex. Like, do they care about my long struggle with masturbation and my sexual identity, or do they only want stories from people who’ve managed to get some?

    • Hi Sophie!
      Julia is absolutely right. We want perspectives from everyone, it’s just as important to have the voices of folks who aren’t currently sexually active as it is to have those who are! Thanks so much for filling out the survey.

  4. I’m totally postjacking right now. If you want to see Maggie live, she’s the host of LezCab, featured on Autostraddle!

  5. This show is going to be really awesome! Today in rehearsal we made soundscapes surrounding sexuality and thought about different songs that relate to female sexuality. On Saturday we made a crest to represent our sexuality. So fill out the survey and help out some ladies who are trying to tell stories about what it is like to be a lady.

  6. I am SO EXCITED about the show ! Being part of this incredibly beautiful and creative cast is a an amazing adventure!!

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