The Best Two Minutes of Television (about Sex and Gender)

I used to think my crush on Louis C.K. was unique. Today, I was disabused of that notion by the following passage from a Jezebel post:

“The 43-year-old comedian who you kind of wouldn’t at all mind spooning with (you think you’re the only one who doesn’t kind of want to spoon him? Please. He’s catnip. Ladies talking secretively about how Louis CK’s whole deal is sexy is the new ladies talking secretively about how Rachel Maddow is totally sexy even though they’re into dudes. The club is called More Women Than You Think.”

Dammit. Turns out I’m not a special snowflake after all.

Louis CK and Melissa Leo

But seriously, you guys, my crush has only been fueled by his antics in the last few weeks. There’s the Jon Stewart clip where he explains his response to Daniel Tosh’ rape fiasco. There’s his fabulous rape joke included on the list of excellent rape jokes (throw rapists and rape culture, not rape victims, under the bus. Duh). And then there was the second episode of his FX show Louie, which I can’t seem to shut up about.

Without transcribing the entire scene–oh wait, I’m about to transcribe the entire scene–let me just preface this transcription by saying that I’ve never been so impressed with TV dialogue on sex and gender. There’s more nuance and complexity to this two minute conversation than most of the gender studies classes I took in college.

Melissa Leo plays Laurie, a friend of a friend with whom Louie is accidentally and unhappily set up. After some drunken bonding, they conclude the date in Laurie’s truck, where she nonchalantly offers him oral sex. He accepts, and then there’s this: [Warning: Fairly graphic dialogue]

Laurie: Good?

Louie: Yeah, that was very good.

Laurie: Nice. Okay, let’s get some payback.

Louie: What?

Laurie: Strap on the feedbag.

Louie: Oh.

Laurie: Yeah!

Louie: Well I don’t really want to do that.

Laurie: What?

Louie: I don’t, I just don’t want to do it.

Laurie: Jesus. Don’t tell me you’re one of those guys who doesn’t eat pussy.

Louie: No, I do! I do. I just…

Laurie: Just not with me?

Louie: Yeah, no, not now.

Laurie: What do you mean, not now?

Louie: Well that’s very intimate, I don’t really know you.

Laurie: Intimate? Me sucking your dick isn’t intimate?

Louie: Well no, apparently not. I mean, it doesn’t seem like a big deal… for you. But for me, it would be, to do that, to you.

Laurie: You gotta be shitting me. I did you, you’re not doing me. That’s not fair.

Louie: Well no, we just have different values about that.

Laurie: This isn’t about values. I just sucked your dick, you can eat my pussy.

Louie: I’m not going to do it. I’m sorry, it’s just too soon.

Laurie: Are you saying I’m a whore?
Louie: No! Not by how you feel. That’s what you did. I’m just saying that if I had done what you did, I would feel like a whore.

Laurie: You shouldn’t have said that.

Louie: Listen! Would you really want me to do that to you if I didn’t want to…

Laurie: I don’t give a shit! I just want to get off! Do you know how many dicks I sucked I didn’t want to suck, ’cause I’m a good kid, ’cause I do what’s right? I never left anyone hanging! How dare you!

Louie: Listen, if you blowing me hinged on my doing that to you, you just should have said something.

Laurie: Your sperms are dying inside my mouth right now, goddammit! Where are the gentlemen? What is wrong with this country?

Louie: That’s just how I feel.

Laurie: Obama! I got to say, this is balls. I’m going to say it, this is freakin’ balls on you.

*     *     *      *     *

It gets worse from there. She baits him with taunts of “faggot” and then smacks him in the jaw. He ultimately goes down on her with little enthusiasm. Don’t take my word for it and watch it yourself. As unpleasant as the scene is, the two actors are ridiculously mesmerizing.

I’ve written about oral sex before (“Why is “going down” often a one-way street?“), particularly the divergent perceptions of fellatio and cunnilingus. I would never tell anyone of any gender they should be doing any sexual act, that’s completely counterproductive to healthy sexuality. That being said, it’s worth an exploration of why acts that focus on female pleasure are often considered intimate, and acts that focus on male pleasure are often considered casual. To Louie, enthusiastic consent is an obvious precursor to performing oral sex, but he doesn’t expect the same of his partner.

Nobody comes off looking good in this scene: he is unable to defend his own selfish pursuit of pleasure but condemns hers, and she becomes a taunting, aggressive bully. Except Louis CK, who comes off as brilliant since he wrote the damn thing. Swoon.

Related Post: Fundamental differences on the role of sex.

Related Post: “I don’t know whether you’re a slut or a player.”

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8 Comments

Filed under Art, Gender, Hollywood, Media, Sex

8 responses to “The Best Two Minutes of Television (about Sex and Gender)

  1. aviatrixkim

    OOOO, nice one, @RosieSays!

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