“It’s always a bit weird when my dad comes to see it.” | Ros Ballinger talks sex parties and social minefields in Better Than Dying Alone

What inspired your show, Better Than Dying Alone?

The show was essentially inspired by the state of my sex and love life over the last few years; specifically how I don’t fit a particular mainstream  definition as a long time single woman who’s sexually active vs. friends who are either ‘single’ or ‘married’. I’ve had a lot of adventures and learned a lot of things, and thought it would be fun to share them both. 

What is this show bringing to the Fringe that audiences won’t find anywhere else?

I like to think there’s not that many shows out there that can give you a specific insight into what a sex party and the associated politics are actually like – I feel like I have the opportunity to dispel a lot of myths. Plus I give out condoms when I go flyering!

How does this show relate to your last show, The Idiot’s Guide to Kink?

This show is ultimately about how I connect with myself as well as other people, and goes a bit further in-depth about the social minefields I come up against as a kinkster/openly sexual person – the downsides of what’s out there. But it’s a still about kink, and how it’s developed me as a person, and my various relationships. 

Your previous show had a sell-out run in 2017. How has that success shaped your approach to your new show?

I had decent sized audiences last time so I’m feeling the pressure! I think ultimately when you’re at an amateur level you have to treat every show like it’s your first and not go in with heightened expectations, because the Fringe is an unpredictable beast. Doesn’t stop me, though!

Your show covers some pretty personal ground. What made you want to write a show about something that is usually so private?

I don’t feel ashamed of anything I’ve done, or where I am now, and I had so many funny stories that I felt they were worth sharing, regardless of if they were personal or not. By sharing I think you gain a stronger control of your privacy and you’re not burdened with unnecessary ‘secrets’ – although that’s just me, it depends on the person. 

How does it feel baring all to rooms full of strangers for the duration of the Fringe?

Fun! Again, I’m not embarrassed or ashamed by any of it – although it’s always a bit weird when my dad comes to see it! Bless him, it’s strange knowing that he knows so much about me, but it’s not like he wasn’t pre-warned…

Has writing this show revealed any particular insights about the secrets of sex and love you can share with us?

Shame is a construct and it’s self-inflicted and projected onto us by other people. Do no harm to yourself and others, and you can go about your sexy sexy life without feeling any need to justify it. Also, get tested on the regular and always follow your own instincts; your gut is your most trusted friend. 

For all the adult nature of your show, you don’t rely on dirty jokes for laugh. How important is it for you to address serious topics through your comedy?

It is important, but I know there are better people at it than me! I think if you have a serious point to make then the fact that it’s a comedy show shouldn’t prevent you, but the trick is couching it in a strong enough format that it doesn’t feel like a sermon. It’s something I’m always trying to improve upon. 

What do you hope people will take away from the show?

Knowledge of orgies, a new perspective on millennials and how they conduct their personal lives, a lack of judgment and a rethinking of how people view and discuss casual sex, and maybe some condoms. And laughs!

Ros is performing at Sweet Grassmarket until August 24th.

Buy tickets here: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/better-than-dying-alone

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