“Girl, don’t be intimidated by that Big Dick Energy,” Caroline Martin advises in “Birthday Party,” the fifth episode of Netflix’s Kenya Barris-produced sketch series, Astronomy Club. “You’re a boss bitch. Harness your Big Clit Energy.”
And, thus, one of the very best sketches of the new series is born: “Execlitive,” aka “Boss Ladies,” about a piece of vulva-shaped padding you slide into your underwear to “amplify your womanhood.” This way, as Martin’s character explains, “you can make deals just like the fellas.” Within moments of using the Execlitive, under-valued worker Patricia (Astronomy Club member Monique Moses) has a fancy new executive title and the recognition of her male peers.
Big Dick Energy has finally met its match.
“In my phone I had ‘Big Clit For Boss Ladies’ written in my Notes app,” Martin, who penned the sketch, tells Refinery29 over the phone with a laugh. “In our first round of pitches, I pitched exactly that and everyone put their head down, like, Okay. Just figure it out, Caroline.”
So Martin did. After a few rounds of drafts, she ended up with “Execlutive.” It’s a sketch with such Tweetable lines as “It travels — just like your voice,” which is one of Martin’s favorites, and “If anyone’s gonna grab that pussy, girl, it should be you.” There is also a jumbo version of the Execlitive called “Hillary (But If She Won).” You don’t like that one. I don’t like that one. No one likes that one.
I feel like that might be the weirdo cousin of Black Girl Magic — Big Clit Energy.
Obviously, the parody commercial owes some of its roots to the internet’s fervor over BDE and that one photo of Pete Davidson. “I kept hearing about Big Dick Energy. I was like, That is so weird,’” Martin explains. “A couple of my girlfriends were saying it as a universal term they could also absorb as, ‘I’m trying to communicate I am powerful by saying this weirdo phrase.’”
Then, there is the far less funny inspiration for the sketch. “Something I always notice — not with Astronomy Club because we have fantastic gentleman — but with a lot guys out on the street or people I work with, is that while they’re talking to me, they’ll adjust their penis, and I see them doing it,” Martin says, making a rightfully disgusted sound. “So I was trying to knit together this idea of amplifying our genitals as a positive and empowering thing — what it would look like for women if we really bought into that.”
The result is heaps of praise and admiration from the kind of men who often forget women have opinions and worthwhile information. “It’s really that stereotypical commercial energy of like, I’m just seeing you for the first time… And you’re nailing it!” Martin says. “They’re all super unusually impressed.”
After all, men have been celebrating variations of BDE for centuries, while women have been conditioned into hoarding douche kits and camel toe-fighting underwear accoutrements. “There’s that company that’s like, ‘Make [your vulva] smell different! Make it invisible!” Martin says. “There’s such a big market for hiding one’s genitals when men are just flaunting it.”
Martin herself felt empowered by simply talking about her fictional product on-set. During filming, some people would get flustered by saying “clit,” a very mundane part of the female anatomy. Although, on the other hand, society regularly rattles off the different parts of male genitalia with casual aplomb, along with all of their euphemisms. “For me it was kind of powerful to watch everyone get flustered,” Martin recalls. “I feel like that might be the weirdo cousin of Black Girl Magic — Big Clit Energy. I might make a mug with that on there.”
Even if we don’t get Astronomy Club BCE merch by the holiday season, we may see the Execlitive again, should Netflix order more episodes of the all-Black sketch show. “There were some really fun Easter eggs,” Martin says of Astronomy’s first season, pointing out multiple subtle references to Monique Moses’ “Every Body” rap. “If we were given the opportunity to do a second season, I might be a fun thing to be laying around the clubhouse and for someone to just be wearing [an Execlitive].
“There are enough Easter eggs that I feel like the Execlitive should circle back. Because it was just so redonkulous.”