Spoiler alert: perfection is boring. She’s unbelievably beautiful. Her facial symmetry, perfect. Her skin, clear. Her hair, shiny, blonde, long. Her eyes are brown and bright, bright white. He cheekbones are high. Her body, Barbie’s. Her clothes, not revealing, but nonetheless communicative. So. Fucking. Boring.
Louis C.K. was horrible to women. The rumors that swirled around him for the last few years were true, and he handled them dishonorably. Until now.
The statement he just issued – below – seems right to me in every way (except for the misspelling of “whose”).
I don’t forgive him, but boy, this seems like the right first step.
What do you think?
I want to address the stories told to the New York Times by five women named Abby, Rebecca, Dana, Julia who felt able to name themselves and one who did not.
These stories are true. At the time, I said to myself that what I did was okay because I never showed a woman my dick without asking first, which is also true. But what I learned later in life, too late, is that when you have power over another person, asking them to look at your dick isn’t a question. It’s a predicament for them. The power I had over these women is that they admired me. And I wielded that power irresponsibly.
I have been remorseful of my actions. And I’ve tried to learn from them. And run from them. Now I’m aware of the extent of the impact of my actions. I learned yesterday the extent to which I left these women who admired me feeling badly about themselves and cautious around other men who would never have put them in that position.
I also took advantage of the fact that I was widely admired in my and their community, which disabled them from sharing their story and brought hardship to them when they tried because people who look up to me didn’t want to hear it. I didn’t think that I was doing any of that because my position allowed me not to think about it.
There is nothing about this that I forgive myself for. And I have to reconcile it with who I am. Which is nothing compared to the task I left them with.
I wish I had reacted to their admiration of me by being a good example to them as a man and given them some guidance as a comedian, including because I admired their work.
The hardest regret to live with is what you’ve done to hurt someone else. And I can hardly wrap my head around the scope of hurt I brought on them. I’d be remiss to exclude the hurt that I’ve brought on people who I work with and have worked with who’s professional and personal lives have been impacted by all of this, including projects currently in production: the cast and crew of Better Things, Baskets, The Cops, One Mississippi, and I Love You Daddy. I deeply regret that this has brought negative attention to my manager Dave Becky who only tried to mediate a situation that I caused. I’ve brought anguish and hardship to the people at FX who have given me so much The Orchard who took a chance on my movie. and every other entity that has bet on me through the years.
I’ve brought pain to my family, my friends, my children and their mother.
I have spent my long and lucky career talking and saying anything I want. I will now step back and take a long time to listen.
Thank you for reading.
I was thinking about our waitress objectification and feeling bad about it. I’m sorry. It wasn’t very nice.
Yes. I hope she didn’t hear any of it. Live and learn. But it was a really good night all around. Hope to have another one soon! Xo
She didn’t. I was feeling bad about your experience.
Yeah, you guys are gross.
Next time we drink, whether just the two of us or some larger agglomeration, I’d actually like to talk about that. I don’t think I realized how our grossness might affect you, and I’m all confused, thinking about it.
(If you’re ok with talking about it.)
I am interested in talking about it. I’m interested ( and uncomfortable ) with why I excuse or tacitly engage with this kind of behavior when I’m with this group. I don’t do this with other friends, male or female. I think my desire to be “not uptight” or maybe different from other women , or included or something, outweighs my good judgment and discomfort. Like it’s a price I have to pay to hang out with you as a group. Which is troubling at this late stage in the game. Patterns are really hard to break.
I’m really very sorry. Clearly, and belatedly, a rethink is required. It’s a pattern we should/will break. I’m embarrassed and ashamed it took this particular moment to cause me to wonder about your experience, and that my behavior has been, is, so boorish. Obviously, there’s lots to think about, and it’s not your job to set me straight. But I welcome any help you might give. In any event, I have some thinking, and writing, to do. Thanks for tolerating my bad behavior all these years, and for being a great friend in spite of it.
They’re three of my closest friends – two men and a woman. We’ve known each other forever. Almost literally. A fourth friend was ill, and couldn’t join us. The absent friend and three of us have been friends since I was seven. The most recent to arrive, we became friends with at thirteen. We’ve all had sex. (Well, not the one who joined when we were thirteen. His sexuality, and his participation in our sexual hijinks, has been more obscure.) We went through puberty together. Through adolescence. Through post-adolescence. And all the way up ’til now.
In many ways, we relate as we did in our teens. We’re crude, sophomoric, giddy. We play with words, with conversation, and we delight, amuse, confound, and support one another. Once upon a time, we resembled a solar system, with one of us at the center. In recent years, our sun’s gravity has weakened, and we’re more like a small galaxy, five separate stars on our own paths, sometimes closer to one or another, sometimes farther apart.
On a recent evening, we sat in a restaurant, pondering the menu, celebrating some 50th birthdays. Not mine – I’m younger. The waitress – a strikingly beautiful woman with angular features and a soft cotton top through which her nipples protruded, un-missably – flirted amiably as she served us. Her beauty was breathtaking.
I was the first to mention her breasts. Our fourth friend had asked that, in his absence, we send him pictures of the four us us. I joked that we should send a picture of the waitress’s breasts. Our former sun and I made a few other crude comments over the course of the evening. At the end of it, our former sun sent an e-mail to the four us who had been present, and our absent fifth:
Thanks gang… lovely to see and celebrate… and only one thing was missing.
The waitress’ bra.
Seriously, S. Get well soon and let’s get another night out that coincides with your immune system.
You didn’t miss much. Mostly a rehash of the last 35 years. Maybe more cannibalism than usual.
[We had discussed cannibalism, and communion, among other things.]
I immediately replied, “I don’t know what you’re talking about, J. I didn’t miss her bra at all.”
Our fourth – the one with whom none of us has had sex, the one whose sexuality has been most obscure – added: “Definitely more cannibalism. Thanks for a great night. Looking forward to the next one, with S.”
D, our female friend, said nothing.
Over the course of the next day, I wondered: how was it for D to be surrounded by our puerile, adolescent objectification of this waitress? What messages did our behavior send her about how we see her? I fantasized that she enjoyed it. That she found it cute, charming, a throwback to our teens. That she liked being included, and understood the self-mocking irony of three men (really, two – though the absent one surely would have joined in) – men married to strong, accomplished women; men who are proudly feminist, progressive – acknowledging explicitly our ids, our visceral, bodily reactions to other humans.
I fantasized that. But in my gut, I knew this unlikely. And launched the text exchange with which I began.
This shit is, oddly, complicated. In my blog, I feel 100% comfortable objectifying. I do it in a particular context. It intrudes on no one. Offends no one. Affects no one who doesn’t choose to read it. But what we did, what I did, was different: we, I, subjected D to the not-so-subtly coded message that we see women first and foremost as sexual objects. That we are prepared to subject her to whatever feelings our words and behavior might engender, seemingly without even a rudimentary curiosity as to what those feelings might be.
The truth is, I don’t see women first and foremost as sexual objects. But I do, freely, comfortably, recognize the bodily sensations that arise in the presence of women. And, in certain circumstances, I feel comfortable enough to speak about those sensations. One such circumstance is with my oldest, dearest, most trusted friends. It’s liberating for me to do this, and fun.
And I should say this: not one of us ever would in any way interact with a waitress in a situation like the one I described in a manner other than respectfully flirtatious. We’re not those guys who say dumb shit. Whose eyes focus a foot too low when talking with women. Who judge a woman by her appearance, or her body.
Except…. well, you read what we did.
A lot for me to think about…. Thoughts, as always, welcome.
Iris is beautiful. Not small – she’s voluptuous, with some crazy curves. We met in a context in which sexualization of our relationship was unlikely, but, soon enough, I heard her say, not to me, but with me as a part of her audience, “I want to be fucked by guys other than my husband.”
A surprising proclamation, given the setting, given the audience. My ears – and my cock – perked up.
Over the coming days, our texts went from innocent to filled with suggestion and then further.
Her circumstances don’t permit her to be my plaything in the way I might most desire. They don’t permit her even to acknowledge her own desire for me explicitly. Except through her behavior. Except through her compliance. To my requests, which strain against – but which ultimately respect – the limits to which she remains, for the moment, subject.
For the time being, I’ll have to satisfy myself with using her to make my cock hard, and with making her cunt wet, and ache.
In addition to wanting my cock in her mouth, Tamora wants to have sex with me and another woman. Ideally, this woman would be blindfolded, silent, subject to her – and my – wishes.
This would work quite well for me, and I’m committed to making it happen. (Volunteers, apply within.)
What I want from Tamora, in addition, vis-a-vis other women, is for her to find one for me. To bring me a plaything to share with her.
The two fantasies aren’t all that far apart, are they?
We established all this on a recent evening during which she expertly sucked my cock, during which I collected a number of orgasms I can’t count (but perhaps she can/did). She complimented my body, which is a full 45 pounds lighter than it was 18 months ago. I complimented hers, which – she tells me – is a bit heavier lately. I didn’t notice. Her body’s always delectably soft, and it was so on this evening.
We like each other, and we like one another’s taste. Those are good things.
I’m a feminist straight man.
In my adult life, I haven’t done enough to combat the rampant abuse, harassment, and intimidation women face daily.
I’m surely guilty of talking over women. I saw myself do it, blatantly, last night. I apologized immediately, but the damage was done, has been being done – by me – for decades. I try not to, daily, but I often fail. My socialization is hard to fight.
As a teen, I repeatedly touched the breasts of a girl (Sherry, I’m really, really sorry), because I could. At the time, I think I thought she liked it, or at least thought it funny. As an adult, I understand it to have been assault.
As a somewhat younger adult, I had a subordinate who was accused, credibly, of touching a female subordinate of his in a manner that wasn’t explicitly sexual, but that was uninvited, and unwelcome. I had witnessed, first-hand, as he had belittled and patronized the same woman whose shoulders he later massaged.
I’m ashamed that I allowed a business partner at the time to prevail over my (correct) impulse to terminate the asshole. The asshole is still out there, in a position of considerable power, presumably still engaging in the same odious shenanigans. It’s worth saying: he’s politically progressive, active in politics, and a stalwart defender of women’s rights. When he’s not assaulting women.
The #metoo campaign is powerful, but I fear it misses the point, that it highlights the wrong story. I don’t mean to denigrate or dismiss the millions of women who’ve been harassed, assaulted, raped, intimidated, silenced. I mean, instead, that the numbers are such that clearly, we men are the problem, and we men will be the solution, if there is to be one.
I’m thinking about whether and how I can rectify the mistakes I’ve made, the ones I continue to make. I’m all ears if you have ideas. While writing this, I also drafted a note in my mind to the asshole I described above. I can’t really do more than apologize to Sherry.
But I’ll say this: I won’t make the mistake of even momentarily tolerating that shit ever again. And if I talk over you, ever, please smack me upside my head.
Tamora and I often fail to meet. She or I have cancelled well over half of our planned assignations. Not for want of desire, but because life.
Fortunately, though we haven’t spent as much time with one another as we each might like, we have been lucky enough to get together every couple of months for a couple of years now.
And soon, we will again.
I will get to feed her my cock, to feel her wet, warm, soft, eager mouth.
To press her thighs back as I savor her sweet taste, and collect her easy, plentiful orgasms.
I can’t. Fucking. Wait.
In 1998, I went to Scotland. I studied there, spent some months learning that Scotland is a country. That, in words later appearing in “Trainspotting,” the English may be wankers, but the Scots were colonized by wankers.
I also learned – no, I set about to learn – to enjoy drinking Scotch.
And I did.
Nineteen years later, sipping my nightly Oban (it tastes like pussy, apparently), I’m a bit awed. It’s not an easy task to appreciate. But damn.
I don’t know anything about political advertising, social networks, or much else. But this is what I’d like Facebook and Twitter and Google to do: I want them to devote considerable resources to analyzing who advertises what, and to presenting what they learn continuously, both in highly granular form and in visually appealing high-level summary form. And I want this to be done by either an external consortium with access to each company’s data or, failing that, an internal team walled off from the rest of the business and incentivized cleverly.
For example, I’d like a table showing precisely how much was spent on various issues, issue categories, and candidates, by precisely whom, precisely when. And I’d like a series of scaled pie charts summarizing the data in the tables, showing, for example, geographic targeting of issue and candidate ads, keyword selection, and the like.
I don’t have much faith in any tech platform’s ability to limit harmful ads, but I have enormous faith in the power of transparency and information.
Tell me why this shouldn’t happen?