We talk to two of the great minds behind this hilarious web series.
If you can relate to the struggle of trying to scratch a thrush-crotch in public, failing to execute a ridiculous sex tip you saw on the internet, or having your menstrual cup fall out - PSUSY is your kind of show.
Aiming to portray women as the “filthy, highly-flawed creatures that they are”, the hilarious, NSFW web series - pronounced “pussy” - follows best mates Sharee and Karen as they navigate the kinds of things women deal with IRL all the time, but that you never see on television.
For some it might be TMI - for creator and writer Jaya Beach-Robertson and director Anna Duckworth, and for those who love the show, it’s just they stuff they talk about all the time.
“A lot of things that are super gross for a dude are totally normal and fine and part of pop culture - wet dreams, or cum socks, or popping an accidental boner. Why is it fine for guys to be gross and weird and sexual and for some reason it’s not ok - or we just don’t see it - in women?” asks Anna.
“These are human processes, just because they happen south of the bellybutton doesn’t mean you have to ignore them,” adds Jaya.
From Charlotte locking herself in her bedroom with her vibrator in Sex and the City to Nola Darling’s sex-positive quadrangle in the Spike Lee-reboot of She’s Gotta Have It - women on screen are increasingly owning their desire. But for many these depictions are still much glossier than the real thing.
“That is not my experience of having sex,” says Jaya. ”Sex is awkward and weird and like, ‘Are you finished yet?… Not in there, no no no.. do you wanna switch? Oh ok, shall we.. ouch! Stop!” And yet we only ever see it as this beautiful, sensual thing.”
It’s hard to write about PSUSY without comparing it to Broad City - another show about female friends who love no-one more than each other, whose bond is in-part founded on a mutual love of drugs, and who aren’t embarrassed to Skype during sex or while they’re doing a poo. Like Broad City, PSUSY takes regular old interactions and cranks them up to ludicrous, helping the series cut through internet static (where there’s no such thing as too weird), and proving a handy tool for breaking down taboos.
“If we were representing everything really realistically, people would be like, ‘Oh I feel awkward, can I laugh?’ So we take a subject like thrush and crank it up to 11, so it’s like, “I’m allowed to laugh! We’re allowed to talk about this, it’s all fine,” says Anna.
The series also touches on more serious topics like consent and, in an episode when Karen finds herself unexpectedly pregnant, the fact that abortion in New Zealand remains part of the Crimes Act (and in fact women are still denied abortions).
“I found that out and I was like, ‘No fucking way, that’s so fucked up!’… I’ve been going through my life thinking, ‘If I get pregnant, Mum will come with me, I’ll get an abortion, all good.’ But knowing, no… that I have to say that I’m mentally incapable - that is some Draconian shit,” says Jaya.
PSUSY is made on a low budget - much of that coming from Jaya’s own pocket, though $11,000 was pledged by fans to pay for season 2 post-production. But provided the money can be found, there will never be a shortage of material to siphon into future seasons of the show.
“As long as we are sitting around drinking coffee discussing fucked up stuff - there will be PSUSY. We can't not make it … We may not be doctors or teachers or lawyers, but we all kind of find our own little way to make the world suck a tiny bit less - and PSUSY is that for us,” says Anna.