I love talking about relationships, but I don’t always get the chance without sounding like a love-crazy dream girl. Most of us like to dish about the romance lives of ourselves and others, but while the topic is universal, sometimes it’s a hard conversation to start. What if you are talking to someone with a different sexuality than you and you’re not sure if your questions would be insulting? What if your idea of a good partner completely clashes with everything your friend is saying about theirs? Or what if you want to talk to your partner about something a little taboo (cough, sex, cough) but you just don’t know how to bring it up?
As a college student, I’ve faced all of these scenarios and more. While I’ve wanted conversations about love to continue (they tend to give me a guilty-pleasure feeling), they’ve often been cut short out of caution against awkwardness or personal disclosure.
Luckily, my friend Sarah Sosland felt the same. Sarah recognized how much people learn about themselves and others when discussing relationships, as well as how much fun they had while doing so. A member of improv group Liquid Fun as well as two student theatre groups, BU On Broadway and Stage Troupe, Sarah wanted to find a way to combine comedy and entertainment with topics of love and sex. Sure, relationships are pivotal to most entertainment arenas, but personal reflections about our own perception and understanding of love is much less common.
Thus The BUchelorette was born! COM’s radio station, WTBU, made room for Sarah’s radio show on Monday nights at midnight (ok, it’s technically on Tuesdays). Sarah’s show began with a matchmaking goal – she wanted to feature single contestants (a BUchelor or BUchelorette) and present them an array of potential partners. Through radio games based on that contestant’s likes and dislikes, the contestant, who remains blindfolded until the end, would choose a winner. The prize? One first date, paid for by Sarah herself.
The BUchelorette then evolved into an additional round table, which Sarah likes to call “the pound table.” The show is “sex positive,” meaning that it treats all healthy and consensual sex as a positive thing. However, Sarah’s show is unique in that it opens itself to all romantic and sexual opinions. Discussion panels have been increasingly diverse thus far, with perspectives from people with wide ranges of experience, relationship backgrounds, and thoughts about all things love.
Each week, the pound table features new guests and focuses on a different topic. The first episode, called “Worst Firsts,” centered around stories of first times that went terribly. The “first times” could be anything, from a first kiss, a first date, a first experience with something new, or even just a first celebrity crush.
Another episode focused on crushes, how people respond to them, and how personal crush stories have played out. Another aired on National Coming Out Day and featured stories about, yes, “coming out,” and living as someone of non-straight sexuality.
My favorite thing about the show is not that it’s hilarious. It’s not that it teaches me about relationships in this society and it’s not that it introduces me to many different types of people. All of those things ring true, but my favorite thing about the show is the way I’ve responded when it ends at 2AM. The BUchelorette has led to so many great conversations with my own partner that have made significantly positive impacts on our relationship. I’ve spoken with friends who also tune in, and we’ve explored ideas and topics that we probably should have talked about sooner. Sarah may not have expected her fun dating show to provide an outlet for people to express an important part of their lives in such a healthy way, but that is exactly what she’s doing each week.
Oh, and her first attempt at the BUchelorette game? The couple is still dating four weeks later. If you’re single and searching, you should probably give Sarah a call.
Check out The BUchelorette on their Facebook page and message them if you’d like to be part of the show. You can listen to past episodes here: http://spinitron.com/radio/playlist.php?station=wtbu&showid=2753 and you can tune in live at WTBURadio.org on Monday nights!