Sex and relationships podcast Always Open held a panel at RTX London 2017 on 14 October.
Always Open is a YouTube podcast produced by Rooster Teeth and hosted by Barbara Dunkelman. Alongside Barbara, the podcast’s RTX London panel featured Achievement Hunter’s Lindsay Jones, Live Action head writer Chris Demarais, and Head of Events Bethany Feinstein.
The show tends to focus on sex and relationships, and, with that in mind, Barbara was quick to let everyone know that her parents were in the front row. The audience reacted in a manner that said, “We know what’s coming”. Thankfully, so did her parents.
The setup of the show doesn’t lend itself particularly well to a panel format so they began by opening the floor to questions from the audience, which led to some interesting stories from the panellists.
When Bethany was asked how it feels to put on the RTX event in London, she admitted that it was hard, “but so worth it now it is done”.
The panellists arrived in London a few days before the convention. And where do you go when you first arrive in a new city? To the pub, obviously! Barbara and Chris took themselves to a local pub and there they happened to come across none other than national treasure Piers Morgan.
The audience began chuckling at this as they knew what was to come – the resulting interaction on Twitter had created quite the storm:
— Chris Demarais (@ChrisDemarais) October 12, 2017
Should have sent your friend over… https://t.co/kRVibfhiRB
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) October 12, 2017
No thanks. https://t.co/9OmXWHWxMQ
— Barbara Dunkelman (@bdunkelman) October 12, 2017
The pair were quick to make it known, however, that they didn’t condone the deluge of hate that was directed at Piers following Chris’s tweet.
Another audience member asked the panellists, “What is something that you can look back at now and laugh at?” (The excitement in the audience was palpable following this question. We had all come for the gossip.)
First to respond was Lindsay. She talked about something that happened to her back in Texas when she was driving home from a softball game down a weirdly quiet road. “Weirdly”, at least, until she looked out of her window and spotted the approaching tornado. At first, she tried to get away from it, before realising that would be futile and taking cover in an underpass. After it had moved on, she saw that the path of the cyclone went right above her. A lucky escape.
Next up was Chris, who talked about the time he went to get a Butterfinger (a US chocolate bar) after a day at the pool. He ended up being robbed at gunpoint, in his swimming trunks, with just $2 for chocolate (which they took). Chris remarked that they were working at less than minimum wage. This is Chris Demarais in a single story.
Barbara was up next and told us an incredibly X-rated story in the way that only Barbara can. It literally cannot be repeated (but can be heard on the podcast). Her ability to avoid meeting her parents’ gaze throughout the story was quite impressive!
Finally, Bethany stepped up to the plate with a dating horror story. She spoke about a recent date she’d had with a self-styled YouTube relationship guru. Throughout the whole date, he stared directly into her eyes to “create intimacy”, until she was told him she needed to leave to look after a friend who was sick. He proceeded to say several times that he could just go with her to see her friend, which came across as creepily to her then as it does now. Unsurprisingly, Bethany didn’t end up taking him to meet her friend.
Finally, the panellists discussed how they felt about their status as “famous” people. Barbara and Chris brought up the Piers Morgan story again and said that when you have an audience that has the ability to throw vitriolic comments at someone at a moment’s notice, you’ve really got to be careful about what you say. An important piece of advice for anyone.