The Pleasure Podcast
S3, Ep 3 Richard Gadd: Art and Sex after Trauma
This week of The Pleasure Podcast we welcome the award-winning comedian, actor and writer Richard Gadd. In 2016 he won the esteemed Edinburgh comedy award, with Monkey See Monkey Do, a raw, personal account about his sexual assault. It was a performance which pushed the boundaries of comedy and which felt monumentally cathartic for its win.
In 2019 his first solo theatre show Baby Reindeer was the talk of Edinburgh. In it he relives his experience of being stalked by a woman with a dangerous obsession with him, about wrestling with his sexuality, and trying to come to terms with his assault.
We speak about the effects of growing up in an uber masculine world where you thank God you’re not gay, and sex ed was devoid of condoms. He speaks about the sexual abuse and grooming which threw his relationship with sex out of orbit. And of the erectile dysfunction that followed which destroyed relationships and his confidence.
The dissociation that followed felt at odds with his happy teenage years and the cost was his loss of the ability to be vulnerable and intimate throughout this period of deep pain.
Richard tells us how he has been able to approach sex and intimacy again. And how his deeply personal shows have been part of that healing process.
He describes what drives a person to make a show about their trauma and what the effect is when you thought it might ruin you but in fact launched you into a whole new dazzling chapter of your career.
The emotional and psychological honesty of Richard’s work is astonishing. How he tackles the source of his trauma and his evolving understanding of his own masculinity is truly breath taking.
CW: There are some subjects which we cover that listeners might find disturbing: Sexual Abuse, Stalking.
Follow Richard on social media @MrRichardGadd for more information on his shows and upcoming dates.
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Naomi Sheldon: @NaomiSheldon1
Anand Patel: @therealdranand
Richard Gadd: @MrRichardGadd