ck man

When’s The Last Time You Told Your Straight Buddies About Gay Sex Clubs?

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As promised, Louis CK’s new FX series Louis got right into The Gay in its second episode. They discussed men jerking each other off. And whether straight comics can use the word “faggot.” (Spoilers ahead and in clip above.)

“I talk about gay sex more with you guys than I do with any of my gay friends. You guys are obsessed,” says gay comedian Rick Crom’s character Ray, whose poker buddies are a little too curious about bros sexing bros. But it’s not just a chat about anal penetration: Louis CK (he stars in, writes, and exec produces the show) managed to get his buddies to have a SERIOUS CONVERSATION ABOUT THE WORD “FAGGOT” while having a few laughs. The scene came about because:

Back in the very early 90s, Louis was doing the comedy circuit when he met Rick Crom, the first openly gay comedian he knew. Like his character on the show, the actual Louis used the word “faggot” a great deal in his act, although Louis says he never intended it as an anti-gay slur. Over time, however, he started to wonder “What does it do to a gay man when I say the word ‘faggot’?”

That prompted Louis to ask Crom and their conversation was the basis for the poker table discussion viewers saw in the episode. “I kept [what he told me] inside,” says Louie. “And what I learned from it. … It didn’t tell me not to use that word or any other word, but it did tell me take responsibility for the words you use, to know their impact.” As for the episode’s discussion of gay male sexuality, Louis says that also comes from Crom. “Rick is very open about his stories of New York, you know, extreme gay culture. He’s out there. He tells us these stories of places … I think the real one is called ‘New York Jacks.’ So he told us once about ‘New York Jacks’ at the Comedy Cellar … all these nervous heterosexuals, and we just shriek like little girls. It’s always been funny to me that when it comes to that subject matter, Rick is the elder statesman. … So the idea of having him tell these stories [in the episode] was very compelling.”

It’s crass. It’s crude. And dare I say it: It’s one of the most responsible pieces of gay programming to appear on a non-gay (read: not Glee) television show I’ve ever seen.

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33 Comments

  • kevinVancouver

    tremendous! I laughed, I’ve always loved louis CK !

  • james_from_the_great_city_of_cambridge

    So they can use language like this on FX now? It is basic cable, not premium still, right? I would say God Bless America except FX is owned by the very right-wing, Christian, Fox so I wonder if the Fox News viewers know about this…

  • JH

    I heart Rick Crom. He’s so funny and like the nicest guy ever.

  • Blake J

    That was surprisingly deep and still funny!

  • slobone

    I also have a couple of straight friends who are constantly asking about gay life… in detail. I try really hard not to think about why they’re so interested…

  • PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS

    Think there are one or two more pressing issues the Gays need to consider, than to get ones panties all bunched up ’bout this show……….

  • Jack E. Jett

    I use to cringe when Lois CK would come on. I thought he was funny but a bit homophobic.

    Now, I think he is very clever they way he brings the subject up.

  • Rich

    @PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS: Wow… you COMPLETELY missed the point of both this blog post and the video embedded in it. I hereby dub thee the official thread dunce. Congratulations! Try not to put out your eye with the pointy end of the hat.

  • Steve

    @James
    Yes, but its usage depends on the show. Some are more clean than others in language. “Rescue Me” is pretty colorful too. One episode had a scene where they came up with all kinds of racial/ethnic slurs. Lots of synonyms for pussy too in there.

  • hephaestion

    No straight person should EVER use the word “faggot.” EVER. When I hear a straight person use that despicable dehumanizing word, I instantly and forever despise that person with an intensity that no hetero can ever imagine, and I will never ever forgive or forget. Heteros are such overprivileged, spoiled, thoughtless, hate-spreading morons.

  • Vegas Tea Room

    Louis and I belonged to a comics chatroom a few years back. He is genuine and funny and a true friend of Friends of Dorothy. He also loves to go where few venture and fewer are capable. He is possibly the last comic genius we have now that Carlin has passed. AND HE DESERVES TO BE RICH AND FAMOUS!

  • jimmy

    that made me cringe

  • Phil

    Seriously Hephaestion? No. No word is ever irredeemable. No word is too taboo. To believe so is to spread intolerance.

  • VagrantMan

    @Hephaestion: Dude, you have problems. “Heteros are such overprivileged, spoiled, thoughtless, hate-spreading morons”…sounds like you have a lot of hate in you.

    This was great. I’m pleasantly surprised to a group of guys playing poker talking about the significance of the word.

  • gregorvonk

    Louis is the only attractive one there–although Rick does seem very sweet, you’re right. Louis has got that devilish thing going on.

  • WhoCares

    Why not just let everyone do what they like? I don’t seem to have an issue.

  • counterpoll

    If someone’s going to use the word f–g–t around me, they better be able to explain why. I don’t care for the word, but I hate absolute censorship even more. I’d rather my straight chums speak honestly around me than feel hampered, and it’s better to have a dialogue than a lecture.

    Plus, they’re terrible at card games so I need them to fund my retirement account!

    What’s wonderful about the younger generations is that they are not afraid to ask questions about teh gheys or to be honest about what they don’t know. That’s a nice change from some male het ‘friends’ or neighbors closer to my age, who avoid the subject entirely.

  • Kev C

    @Phil: Why would anyone want to redeem the word? What’s the point? Regardless of context and who’s saying it, this is a word that can trigger post-tramautic stress in some people. Just hearing the word can cause them to become angry, nauseous or alarmed. Context may come later .. but after the damage and alarm.

    While this is a great scene, I don’t care about the free-speech rights of comedians or bigots. I really, really don’t. They’ve had enough free speech and most of them should STFU. My concern is for the victims first and foremost.

  • Sceth

    From the Online Etymological Dictionary:
    faggot (2) Look up faggot at Dictionary.com
    “male homosexual,” 1914, Amer.Eng. slang (shortened form fag is from 1921), probably from earlier contemptuous term for “woman” (1591), especially an old and unpleasant one, in reference to faggot (1) “bundle of sticks,” as something awkward that has to be carried (cf. baggage). It was used in this sense in 20c. by D.H. Lawrence and James Joyce, among others.

    *The oft-heard statement that male homosexuals were called faggots in reference to their being burned at the stake is an etymological urban legend.* Burning was sometimes a punishment meted out to homosexuals in Christian Europe (on the suggestion of the Biblical fate of Sodom and Gomorah), but in England, where parliament had made homosexuality a capital offense in 1533, hanging was the method prescribed. Any use of faggot in connection with public executions had long become an English historical obscurity by the time the word began to be used for “male homosexual” in 20th century American slang, whereas the contemptuous slang word for “woman” (and the other possible sources or influences listed here) was in active use.

  • Francis

    @hephaestion: I think you totally missed the point. You should be free to say whatever you wish. But you must be mindful of the impact of what you do say. So to come out and say ‘These people should never say x’ is the literally ‘retarded’ way of thinking. What you have been shown here is a more thoughtful and potentially enlightened way of thinking. I don’t need society’s (or a commenter on the Internet’s) imprimatur on what I can say. I can choose for myself. Do you understand now?

  • Mike in Asheville, nee "in Brooklyn"

    I have never been a fan of Lewis C.K.; I simply don’t click with his brand of comedy. BUT THIS CLIP FROM HIS TV SHOW IS FUCKING BRILLIANT!

    To deny that the word faggot is used in all sorts of vile and contemptuous ways misses the point that gays/lesbians face bigotry all the time. I am not saying to embrace the word but to recognize that including “faggot” the way it was done in this clip, tells straight America, more about us and the hurt many of straight America inflicts on us. The message here is directed to straight America and is the best expression about the bigotry faced by gay America I have seen. In the context of explaining bigotry and enlightening the manner in which bigotry suppresses gay America’s right of pursuing our happiness, using the word faggot is more than acceptable, it is necessary to give the full meaning of the bigotry we face.

    And I love the irony that FOX is promoting this show and its message.

  • Frank

    It’s a great scene. The only problem with that scene is the presence of Nick di Paolo, the homophobic Italian one. I know they wanted to have a voice like his in the scene, and it works. They just could have given it to another comic – because anyone who has seen Nick’s act knows that it’s not an act, he really hates gay people, and he’s not kidding. I’ve known him for 20 years, since back in the day when he had a mullet and looked like Billy Ray Cyrus. Nick is a genuinely hateful man who likes to hurt people. especially anyone to the left of him, which is basically everyone who’s not a teabagger. He’s a Sean Hannity loving, Obama hating, homo hating right winger, who is only one the show because he’s a longtime friend of Louie’s. Most comedians can’t stand him.

    He just looooooved getting to say ‘faggot’ at the end. He has to have the last word. He’s a vile, nasty human being, exactly the kind of guy we have to fight. The only reason he sat through the shooting of that scene and did as he was told was for the TV time. He would never sit there and be as friendly as he is in the scene in real life. The focus of the scene is on Rick, not him. If this was real, he would have pushed Rick off his chair onto the floor.

  • Cam

    Hilarious

  • Calder

    Wow! Intense video. It IS hard to hear these guys express themselves the way they do; the flippancy with which they use such graphic sentiments feels like a punch in the stomach, but I also recognize the importance of having such a conversation; it really discusses and airs vital educational information, mostly about the morbid and inappropriate curiosity of some straights, the casualness of their bigotry and the way hate can be spread, even if it is not fully intentional.
    The video gave me a powerful glimpse into one kind of a straight men’s world and I think it’s important to show, although I sure am glad I don’t have to live in such a bleak landscape.

  • Calder

    Oh, just wanted to add:
    Thanks for having the courage to post it; you can see how much debate it has sparked and that’s how we get to hear more perceptions, feelings and viewpoints- not just our own.

  • mm

    Wow. You sit there after viewing this clip and can’t help but notice the impact. More progressive discussions like this to a straight audience is needed. I too wasn’t a huge CK fan but I have to admit I’m now considering finding this show online (I dont have cable) to watch. I had no intention of seeking it out previously.

  • counterpoll

    @Calder: What you said was absolutely on point. Thanks!

    Thanks also Queerty for pointing out the show. I’d have never watched it otherwise.

  • William

    I have no idea who this is. Am I supposed to?

  • Ryan

    I wonder if this kind of place still exists. What kind of creepy perverts would go to a jerk off club, when you can just go home and have sex like a normal person?

  • Terry

    I watched the show & thought it was funny. Their reaction to Ray’s explanation seemed sincere. I can’t help but wonder how FX gets away with their explicit programming. It seems every prime time show on their network pushes the envelope. BUT YET I watch LOGOS and they bleep out language & nudity. It is a friggin gay channel, does someone actually think we will complain about language or nudity?

  • dwmusic

    This is a piece of brilliance.

  • Lucas

    @hephaestion: Dude, we’re all a little gay.

Comments are closed.