In the immediate aftermath of the election, progressive women all across the country found themselves grappling with an unexpected side effect of our collective national tragedy: the loss of their libidos. “My Libido: The First Casualty of Trump’s Election,” wrote Priscilla Pine on the Cut. “After the Election, I Lost My Sex Drive,” opined Elle, while PBS reported that “’Post-election stress disorder’ sweeps the nation.” But as we learned on last night’s Broad City, this issue has been dogging Ilana Wexler for a staggering 12 months. And make no mistake: For Ilana, this is a crisis.
“I’ve just been more anxious and depressed this whole disgusting gross year and now I have dead pussy,” Ilana says plaintively to her sex therapist, Betty, on last night’s episode, “Witches.” Betty encourages her to try and figure out the root of her problem, so we zoom inside Ilana’s mind, where we see a calendar flip back to the day it all went wrong — November 8, 2016 — along with a montage of some very anti-arousing political moments (Trump imitating a disabled reporter, the “grab ’em by the pussy” tape, a woman holding up a “Women for Trump” sign).
“Oh my god,” Ilana says, her eyes widening in stunned realization. “I haven’t come since the election.”
Betty comforts her, saying that she is not alone: “Orgasms have gone down 140 percent since [bleep] was elected.” But all hope is not lost. “Orgasms are a journey; they start in your mind,” says Betty. “You’re traumatized that a sexual-assault-bragging steak salesman has become our president, you need to find a way to rise above it in spite of him.”
And so Ilana, armed with a vibrator and hand-held mirror, embarks on a quest to regain her orgasm. She’s initially stymied — every time she thinks of something arousing, something equally repulsive pops up to haunt her. “Ah, an average-size dick,” she moans pleasurably, closing her eyes in satisfaction. Then her eyes pop open in horror. “Electoral College!” she growls. This back and forth continues: “fat titties — MIKE PENCE! — hairy taints — TINY TINY HANDS!” But this is Ilana Wexler — a self-proclaimed “cum queen” who by her own description “leaves a cum trail wherever [she goes] kind of like a slutty slug” — so she’s not giving up yet. Our girl finally gets where she needs to be by tapping into a montage of empowering women, which neutralizes all the horrible Trump imagery running through her brain. There’s Michelle Obama, declaring “when they go low, we go high.” There’s Hillary giving her stump speech, and there’s Malala and Rihanna and Beyoncé and Serena William and Oprah and Elizabeth Warren and the cast of Golden Girls, and, finally, of course Abbi, who intones “and they can never ever take away our coming.” That does the trick, and Ilana cries out in in satisfaction. Victory.
Later in the episode — when Ilana reunites with Abbi at a witch coven in Central Park and has an orgasm so powerful that it shatters the glass on Trump Tower (naturally!) — she explains to her best friend that she successfully neutralized her Trump-related outrage by tapping into a “ferocious female current” which is “just constantly zip-zap-zoppin’ around the universe like the speed of light.” While the show has felt a little more somber this season — Abbi and Ilana are getting older; their relationship is showing strain; and even the buoyant, give-no-fucks Ilana Wexler is feeling deflated from the stress of living in a “fascist state” — “Witches” offers a quintessentially Broad City silver lining to the mess of 2017: that, together, through the power of sisterhood, we too shall overcum.