How Men.com Is Slowly But Systematically Making Gay Sexuality Into a Joke

The wheezing, aggressively unfunny comedy framework. The outdated gender stereotypes. Is Men.com actually hurting the gay community?

What's funnier to Men.com than a clueless woman? Imagining an older woman as a sexual being, of course!

When people think of Broadway, odds are they have a stilted idea of what that entails. There are probably jazz hands. Toothy, too-wide smiles.  Sequins for days.

Actually, most people probably think of James Corden twirling around in The Prom, a performance so broad it might as well have been sponcon for The Honey Baked Ham Company.

Needless to say, that isn’t an accurate of vision of Broadway, but it lingers in our collective imagination thanks to decades of lazy sitcoms and jokes. Think about Joey, in all of his terrible Off-Off-Broadway shows on Friends. Or all those Adam Shankman movie-musicals that perpetuate exhausted tropes that weren’t even true to begin with.

Men.com is the Adam Shankman of gay porn.

I have a sneaking suspicion that most people haven’t updated their way of thinking about porn since the days of awkward pizza delivery boys stopping in for a big tip. And when gay porn releases go viral, they do so because of some utterly outrageous detail. Remember the heady days of 2017 and “in front of my salad?!”

That was Men.com, and they were so delighted with themselves that they released a sequel.

Men.com has created a niche for itself as outré as its name is bland. In the last several months, they have released scenes in which a man riding a “fuck machine” crashes through his apartment floor—on said fuck machine—and into his hunky neighbor’s apartment, where he then gets fucked by said hunky neighbor.

They have released a scene set at a gender reveal party, where a gay best friend gets deep dicked by the husband and father-to-be while oblivious partygoers continue on around them. Chris Damned (a certified Winx fan) has worn an ice cream sundae on his uncut cock after refusing to wear a mask in a coffee shop; Roman Todd has tested toys for his dildo-reviewing roommate; and Ryan Jakobs has been fucked by his stepfather in front of his unconscious mother and sister, shortly after knocking them out while trying to hit a piñata during the world’s saddest birthday party.

More than anything else, Men.com scenes rely on tropes not seen since ’90s teen films. Women are props meant to be laughed at and mocked. (Saturday Night Live, always at its best when they have host Emma Stone to write for, did a pitch-perfect send-up of this particular stock character.) The jock wears glasses for the scene’s first half so there can be a “hotness” reveal. And raunchy comedy wins the day every time.

But I’d argue there’s something disempowering about this particular interpretation of gay sex. What could be less threatening to the dominant straight culture than two men engaging in sex acts that are played at least partly for laughs? “In front of my salad” took off because it basically mocked the idea of gay lust, and that dovetails nicely with society’s general attitude that gay men are only palatable if we ignore the butt stuff.

But let’s not sugarcoat it: Gay men fuck each other in the ass. And for the straight executives at Men.com parent company MindGeek, nothing could be weirder or funnier than anal sex between two men. (Then again, they’re probably trying real hard to stay out of prison right now.) And two men butt fucking one another comes second when one of them has his dick covered in whipped cream with a cherry on top, because that’s practically an Andy Warhol painting, right? Tee hee, gay men are so funny!

Porn companies are certainly under no requirements to be politically conscious or even culturally more aware than one of the wives in a Men.com release. Gay sex scenes don’t have to be serious or stern or arty; fun, levity, and even satire can be sexy! But the problem with the spoofs and satires in Men.com releases is that they are spoofing the act they are creating. Like drag queens, there’s an element of lampooning in these videos that creates an underlying sensation of jocularity, as if we’re not meant to take them too seriously.

To their credit, the models routinely rise above the mediocrity and mean-spiritedness of the scenarios. But why are they asked to go above and beyond in that way in the first place?

Until we force society to deal with the reality of how we fuck, we’re all just jerking off to James Corden’s pinkface minstrelsy.

The Gay Goods is dedicated to engaging with a range of opinions and viewpoints. To share yours, email editor@thegaygoods.com.

Mark Peikert
About Mark Peikert More Articles
Previously editor-in-chief of Playbill, Backstage, and New York Press, Mark Peikert is a content creator with over 15 years of experience in publishing. In addition to his editorial work, he's also a popular moderator who has shared the stage with everyone from Angelina Jolie and Julianne Moore to John Mulaney and Tituss Burgess. Not at the same time.

9 Comments

  1. About time someone called them out! I cant see how these embarrassing scenarios they have involving women make for a ‘sexy’ scene, but, each to their own. However, generally Men.com has not produced anything of worth for a couple of years now, it was great for showcasing Paddy O Brian during his ‘Imperial’ phase, but that’s about it. the scenes are always shot very clinically, the kissing is minimal, which I find a turn off immediatly. I get tired of seeing Thyle Knoxx/Michael Boston in everything too. they have the sexual charisma of a mouldy old flip flop.

  2. I absolutely despise MEN. It’s like a 20-minute minstrel show that comes out two or three times a week. And there’s no avoiding them because they advertise everywhere gay topics are published. They approached one of the greatest porn companies of all time (Sean Cody) and consumed it like The Blob.

    Meanwhile, both previous comments on this page are waving off the criticism with “at least” statements. Personally, I aspire to more than the “least.”

  3. all I can say is, “it’s just porn. ” If porn is expected to be politically correct, please no, it would not serve its intended purpose…to jerk off with. I am a fan of Men.com (str8 owners or not). I do not watch gay porn to see how women are beging treated, or even to register the lame (not in front of my salad) dialogue. I prefer a bit of a fantasy story (pizza and pool boys included) and not just in out repeat stuff.

    I am pretty sure men who watch str8 porn don’t care if there is a brief appearance of a fully clothed hair dresser, or flight attendant in the scene. Porn is porn not social justice or politically correct commentary. Lets all just filter out the foolishness and enjoy the naked sexy men doing each other.

  4. Men.CON. con as in rip off. yes I wholeheartedly agree. It seems they have lost their idea of what is hot and what is not. I think there is a handful of excellent scenes, the bulk of the site is below mediocre unfortunately. Some stars shine, Paddy O Brian is one of them although his scenes lack variety, or French stars like Chris Loan and Enzo Rimenez. There are of course others, these three are personal favourites. I don’t think the old scenario s are that bad actually, they give one a fantasy, cause that’s what porn is or should be.

  5. The only thing I will say about men is at least they’re trying to make something original, it’s not good, but at least someone is trying.

  6. I guess, but at least Men.com is creating totally original ideas rather than cookie cutter scenarios of neighbors peeking through patio doors.

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