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Kelly Bachman and Dylan Adler Want You to Know Rape Victims Are Horny Too

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Kelly Bachman and Dylan Adler Want You to Know <i>Rape Victims Are Horny Too</i>

Content warning: This article discusses sexual assault and rape.

The thing about rape is that there’s no “right” way for victims to talk about it, at least in mainstream media terms. Maybe you’re not offering up enough proof, maybe you’re being too blasé, or too serious, maybe you’re bringing it up too much, don’t be such a bummer. I’ve struggled with how to talk about my rape without it being this big, heavy stone that I throw into a conversational pool; I feel guilty for the waves or even the mere ripples it makes. It’s something that happened to me, it’s something that unfortunately happens to so many people. On the one hand, I wish I could banish it from my mind forever. On the other, I can’t, so I may as well find a way to discuss it without feeling like I’m some terrible burden on those around me, worthy of pitying or—much worse—even suspicious stares.

That’s why listening to Rape Victims Are Horny Too by comedians Kelly Bachman and Dylan Adler feels like a hilarious, fucked-up group therapy session. Adler and Bachman’s names may be familiar, as they’ve both had their own respective viral moments. Adler’s was for a video he tweeted of him doing a backflip in April of this year with the caption, “I was rejected from being a dancer at universal studios so I came to watch their first show.” There were people who somehow didn’t notice that his tweet was a joke, which made the whole thing even better. Back in 2019, Bachman called out Harvey Weinstein’s presence at a comedy show where she was performing, which meant she received the usual treatment of people who speak out about predators in our midst: she was praised by some, and accused of attention seeking by (shitty) others.

While many lauded Bachman as brave, she discusses the incident and the aftermath on Rape Victims Are Horny Too and says she didn’t necessarily feel that brave. Instead, Bachman sharply observes that “the media decides whether or not survivors get to be the heroes of their own stories, and that seems unfair.”

Moments like these—sincere and vulnerable—fill the hour-long album, as do plenty of pithy and goofy parody songs. Instead of Avril Lavigne’s “Sk8r Boi,” we get “Rapey Boi,” along with reimagined versions of “I Got You Babe” by Sonny and Cher, “Roxie” from Chicago, “How Will I Know” by Whitney Houston, and so much more. Did I end up crying to a version of Metro Station’s “Shake That” retitled “Rape Jokes?” Yes, yes I did.

Adler and Bachman’s natural chemistry is the lodestar here. The comedians came together after both bombing with rape jokes at an open mic night, and so of course they decided to make a whole show about it. Bachman does some side-splittingly silly voices throughout the set, while Adler brings an energy and intensity that ratchet jokes up to the next level. Their senses of humor slide between self-deprecating and self-aggrandizing, much like that of fellow cabaret comedian Cat Cohen.

Not only are their bits fiery and funny, but what I most appreciated about the album is how Adler and Bachman acknowledge the conflicting emotions that arise as you try to process and heal after being assaulted. That path is by no means a straight line; on the way you may encounter intrusive thoughts, unexpected triggers, self-doubt, and more than one person who tries to downplay what happened to you. We so often feel we have to fit into some “perfect victim” narrative, when the truth is none of us will ever be perfect enough for the doubters. Adler and Bachman criticize our ever-pervasive rape culture and, in doing so, provide comfort for other survivors.

From the record’s very title to the closing track, in which the pair assure listeners who are survivors that “We believe you and it’s not your fault,” Adler and Bachman remind rape victims that we’re not alone. The cathartic Rape Victims Are Horny Too is so much more than a comedy album.


Clare Martin is a cemetery enthusiast and Paste’s assistant comedy editor. Go harass her on Twitter @theclaremartin.