Ros Ballinger – An Idiot’s Guide To Kink

I was drawn to this show by the well designed flyer, featuring a flattering photo of a woman in a leather corset, wearing lacy gloves, singing into a very large, er, “neck massager.” The woman on the flyer is Ros Ballinger, a comedian/poet from Manchester, and this is her Edinburgh Fringe Festival debut.

The audience was a bit quiet, (perhaps cos it was a Monday) but there were some good heckles once they got warmed up. Ros came across very comfortable chatting to us about her love life – relaying her basic knowledge of S&M, experiences of online dating, shopping for sex toys, and her first time at a sex party. It’s a light-hearted look at S&M, for beginners – with humorous anecdotes about the various ‘faux pas’ that can happen along the way.

She shared stories about shopping for sex toys, the best places to shop, or cheaper options for those on a budget. She also covered practicalities – like trying to hide your riding crop once you’ve left the shop, when it doesn’t fold down and you can’t be discreet. She hasn’t had a threesome yet, cos of all the admin and logistics involved. “I work as a PA, I don’t want to bring my work home with me…”

I loved hearing about her everyday problems like this, it made it more funny and relatable. I mean, I’ve always wondered how polyamorous people manage their love lives, do you hire a PA to do all your scheduling?

The show seemed like a work in progress at times – passing mentions of which jokes to scrap, or ideas for new jokes for the next show. All part of the process I’m sure, as one of the best heckles she got may have provided her with with some new material.

She was explaining something in her ‘toolkit’, (a box of various goodies one might use in the bedroom,) when someone yelled out a rather pertinent question. It got a big laugh.
“That’s the best heckle I’ve had, I might have to write that down,” she said.  Come see the show, you might find she’s written a joke about it.

3.5 stars

Dedee W