A flock of mostly 20-somethings gathered on Tuesday night in a chapel-like building in Brooklyn to hear about a subject that has been a hot topic in religious spaces for centuries: celibacy.
Except no one was using that term. Instead, they were calling it “boysober.”
“I hate the word celibacy,” said the host of the event, Hope Woodard, a comedian and storyteller who grew up in the Church of Christ in rural Tennessee.
Ms. Woodard, who lives in Brooklyn, described herself as sex-positive — and sometimes wears a button that says “I heart female orgasms” to prove it. But after taking inventory of her dating life in October, and realizing that she had been in a relationship of some kind since kindergarten, she decided to take a year away from sex and dating.
With nearly half a million followers across TikTok and Instagram, Ms. Woodard, 27, started using the term “boysober” at the start of her journey. Now she is describing the experience in a monthly storytelling and comedy show, called “Boysober,” at Purgatory, an entertainment venue in Brooklyn’s Bushwick neighborhood that was once an administrative building of the Evergreens Cemetery.
At the first sold-out show, the approximately 100 attendees filled the seats and crowded around the small stage. Before introducing the lineup of comics, Ms. Woodard explained that she intended “boysober” as an all-encompassing term, one that meant abstaining from romantic relationships with people of any gender.