Pop Confidential EXCLUSIVE: Best-Selling Humorist Sara Barron Talks Female Comedians, Porn and Conjuring Orphaned Teen Models While Pooping

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In just a few short weeks we are relaunching an all-new version of the Pop Confidential blog, in conjunction with the return of the brand's iTunes podcast series. As part of the relaunch, we have tons of fun interviews, polls and other content as a sample for our Daytime Confidential readers. 

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Up first is the hilarious chat I had below with best-selling humorist Sara Barron, who recently returned to bookstores and e-Readers with her second essay collection, The Harm In Asking. We couldn't stop laughing while reading the tome, written by a woman the LA Times said is "as funny as David Sedaris". Read on to find out why she continues to receive such lofty and spot-on praise.

Pop Confidential: Congrats on your second essay collection, The Harm in Asking: My Clumsy Encounters With The Human Race, making its debut. How did your writing process differ this time around from penning People Are Unappealing?

Sara Barron: Sophomore efforts are notoriously more hellish than their freshman equivalents, and I feel like now, I understand why. I expected this second book to be the easier of the two to write. I’d done it once before; I’d hoped to be more seasoned; when in fact it proved immeasurably harder. There’s the pressure to prove you can do it again, and do it better, plus the fact that you are now working with a smaller well of experience. In my first book, I could defer to my tried and true comic stories—I wrote a pornographic screenplay when I was 11! I masturbated myself into a wrist brace when I was 17!—whereas with this second one, I had to dig deeper for my subjects. I had to do more with them once I found them.



PC: Are you ever momentarily scared to say, let the world know you took two hours to poop as a child, while having full-on imaginary conversations with orphan teen fashion models?

SB: First, the poop itself took only one hour, not two #justsayin’. Second, no. Not really. We live in a world now of Instagram and Facebook, a world that has encouraged us to go on and on and on about how fabulous our lives are: our jobs, our relationships, our children. All of it is just… so… great! And personally, I can’t take it any more. This culture of showing off will be the death of me if I’m not careful, so I do what I can to survive. That is to say, I write about things from my own life that are honest, and often pathetic and, I hope, always funny. I mean these stories to serve as an antidote to the self-congratulatory, inauthentic-ness of what goes on, on the aforementioned sites.

And if that means a story about childhood bathroom antics? About the imaginary friends, who, in my case, just so happened to emerge from my self-conscious as a trio of orphan teen models when—and only when—I took a dump? I can happily oblige.

PC: You revisited your suburban childhood some in The Harm in Asking. Your parents must have at least considered sending you a cease and desist at some point?

SB: They didn’t, but they should have. I’ll give you that. I think the overall attitude from my parents— about whom I have written many, many times—goes something like, “Our daughter, Sara Barron, is a woman of limited talent and earning potential. We’d rather she write about us than do nothing at all.”






PC: This is a great time for female comedians. Do you see yourself as part of a sisterhood with Chelsea Handler and Lena Dunham?

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SB: Well, I would certainly like to think so, yes. I think both those women are funny and ballsy. I think their work is good and important and so, again, yes: theirs is the kind of company I’d like to keep.

PC: Speaking of those funny ladies, any chance we will see either of your tomes adapted for television?

SB: From your mouth, to my agent’s ears! From your mouth to Hollywood’s ears! No plans at the moment, but it would be amazing if it happened. Since if it did happen, I could afford a lot of under-eye cream (which I need), as well as an attractive manservant (which I also need.)

PC: Long before E.L. James and her Fifty Shades, you were writing hilarious porn fiction. What made an 11-year-old Sara try her hand at smut?

SB: I’ll tell you exactly what it was: I was going through the ol’ puberty (like you do) and I needed an outlet for all those raging hormones, and so yes: I wrote a porn. Or rather, I wrote "The Porn". It was 60 pages long, and I intended it to star Tom Cruise and Christie Brinkley. There was a lot of “wild humping” and “deep Frenching.” A lot of people wore biker shorts and/or “lacy brassieres.” My characters had intercourse only if Michael Bolton music was playing, and, not only that, every encounter had to end with a champagne toast.

Which, I think we can all agree, is pretty much how adult sex goes in real life. I mean, I’m just thinking about it right now, and I can’t remember the last time I had sex and it didn’t conclude with a champagne toast.

PC: You sort of dispel all myths about women being less raunchy than men. Do you think women have always been just as perverse as guys, or are you a special case?

SB: I think we are all equally perverse. For me, the issue is not whether or not we are, but rather: how far under wraps we each keep our perversity.

Follow Sara Barron on Twitter @sarabarron.