The Podcast Too Hot for iTunes
The format is simple. Corinne Fisher and Krystyna Hutchinson, collectively known as the comedy duo Sorry About Last Night, contact former lovers and invite them to an hour-long podcast interview about sex. As they describe in their first episode “It was slutty, and then we pulled it back. We’re saying ‘Have a lot of sex… and be proud of it.’ There’s a real double standard. Christina Aguilera likes to sing about it.”
“There are many times in life to be shy, but my vagina is not shy,” Fisher says in the episode. “So this guy, his idea of dirty talk was to ask when was the last time I had sex with someone and I said yesterday, because it was after midnight and—it had actually been that morning—and he was not taking that well. So mid-sex, he stopped having sex with me because I have too much sex. ”
“I don’t know what it is,” says Hutchinson “He got his feelings hurt. He might have felt like less of a man”
It’s called Guys We Fucked, the Anti-Slut Shaming Podcast. While the topics are often risqué, the show has a strong social message. The official description on SoundCloud reads, “They're spreading the word that women should be able to fuck WHOEVER they want WHENEVER they want and not be ashamed or called sluts or whores.”
Over ten thousand listeners tuned in for the first two shows. In the weeks following, Guys We Fucked has amassed almost one hundred thousand subscribers with individual shows being played tens of thousands of times. It has quickly become one of the most listened to podcasts distributed by Stand Up New York Labs. And yet, you can’t find it on iTunes. (iTunes would not comment on whether the show is subject to an official ban.)
After listening to just one episode by the Brooklyn comedy duo an anonymous internet commenter wrote:
“At what point does women being crass, loud, manish… unashamedly common and pathetically hungover [become] remotely humorous?”
For people who like to laugh, the answer is: immediately.
The idea for the show came from Fisher who initially suggested she and Hutchinson interview everyone they had sex with. “It started out like, ‘I’m going to find out what I’m doing wrong, and how can I be a better girlfriend’ but no one wants to hear that garbage,” Fisher says. Hutchinson was interested because “it wasn’t until she started in comedy that I didn’t know there was still real, living sexism.” In the first episode of the show, she talks about going to comedy clubs and being approached by barkers (street promoters for clubs) who did not believe her when she said she was there to perform (or profiled her as being a stripper).
“In comedy world [you want] to talk to these great comedians that I look up to or admire, even among your peers,” Hutchinson says. “And then you hit that roadblock where it’s like ‘Oh, they just want to fuck me and when I say no, they’re not going to talk to me.” Fisher says that Hutchinson “blue-balled” a pretty high level comic and he won’t talk to either of them now. Although they declined to name the offending comic, Fisher and Hutchinson said they would be glad to have him on the show so he could explain himself.
The show premiered on December 7 of last year. Week one featured a former lover of Fisher’s and week two featured a “kinda-sorta-never-official-boyfriend” of Hutchinson’s. Since then, a score of listeners (lovingly referred to as “fuckers” by the hosts) are regularly tuning in. “We get three types of comments” Fisher says. Most are positive. “Then there are ones that are like ‘Yo, I’d like to fuck these sluts’ and then there are a lot of sex questions.” Hutchinson adds that the sex questions will often ask “These are things that I do, is this weird?”
In response to a question they asked on the show, Fisher says, “Someone wrote us an entire email about a strap-on. It was smart. It was well thought out. [The author] was like ‘This is my experience using a strap-on with my girlfriend. Here are some things you might want to know if you’re going to use a strap-on.”
Most of the negative comments come from men (they estimate 90 percent) and include poorly spelled expressions of aggressive sexual desire such as: “wtf what a wast of space!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”; “what's to small of a dick in your opinion?”; and “@#%$%You Americans talk about sex, but when it comes down to action. You f@&k like ducks.”
“I was not expecting it,” says Fisher “We want everyone to like the podcast, but it’s really to make women feel more empowered and not ashamed.”
Stand Up New York Labs hosts a total of 11 podcasts all of which are available in the iTunes. Except Guys We Fucked, of course. After the shows are recorded, they are uploaded to SoundCloud and appear on a unique RSS feed specific to each channel. For the 10 other shows on the Stand Up New York Labs lineup, the RSS link is submitted to iTunes and usually appears online within a few days. Company co-founder Jonathan Fatigate says “After submitting the RSS I waited four days and began checking daily. We submitted in early December. I knew that something was wrong after two weeks. The longest that it has taken any of our other shows is 7 days.”
A cursory inspection of available podcasts was unable to reveal the reason for the difficulty with iTunes. Other shows distributed by the service include potentially offensive language like “fuck” in the title of the show or episode, including the popular WTF (What the Fuck) Podcast hosted by comedian Marc Maron, and the now defunct Just Fuck It Podcast on the Rooster Teeth Channel. In addition, several podcasts contain the word “slut” in the title including the podcast turned book You're Probably a Slut Podcast by Allison Sciulla.
Despite their experience with the technology, Stand Up New York Labs doesn’t know what’s wrong. “I have dealt with iTunes in the past by phone and it gets you nowhere,” says Fatigate. “You are constantly met by people who say they have no authority and cannot help.”
To combat the silence from iTunes, the show has initiated a Twitter campaign urging listeners to tweet at @itunespodcasts with the hastag #guyswefucked. “We felt that was the only way to get noticed” Fatigate says.
iTunes or no iTunes, the hosts of Guys We Fucked continue to discuss sex positive issues with a comedic twist of nightmarish proportions. Their most recent episode “Howie: So, Apparently You Have a Big ‘Ole Dick?” escalated into a tense confrontation between Corinne and her ex-boyfriend, a traveling musician, as revelations challenged the assumptions both had about the relationship. “He dropped some bombs,” Hutchinson says. “He tried to come off as if he didn’t give a shit about the sex, but I was so happy that Corinne called him out.”
“I had known this person for years, so for someone who says he didn’t care about having sex with me, [He] certainly spent a long time trying to have sex with me,” Fisher says. “People in sexual relationships don’t treat each other well… or like humans.”
In another episode, Hutchinson and her real-life boyfriend discussed the impact of the show on their relationship and sex life. They almost split up because of an on-air revelation. Like Fisher’s paramour, who tried to downplay the importance of their intercourse, Hutchinson’s boyfriend dismissed the seriousness of their fight, but again the hosts called him out for the inconsistency. “I’ve never felt more on edge in my relationship,” she says.
Despite the tension, Hutchinson continues to explore controversial topics within her relationship. She recently contacted her boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend, an adult performer, about appearing on the show. “The podcast has affected our personal lives.” Fisher says. “[Because of the podcast] the guy I was seeing at the time hasn’t spoken to me in almost a month.”
The process of finding guests has also changed due to the growing popularity of the show. Hutchinson says the first few guests did not even know the name of the show. “I had to pitch to them softly… if I said ‘Want to be on my podcast called Guys We Fucked?’ They’d say no, which happened to the first few people they asked. Fisher adds “Unless they’re interested in exploring themselves as a human, there’s nothing in it for them.”
There is a priority to protect the identity of their guests for Fisher and Hutchinson. With the exception of Hutchinson’s boyfriend, the other guests have been identified by first name only. (They did have one slip up where they gave away someone’s identity but that was cut before it went on air.)
“Anybody who has come on the show,” Hutchinson says, “has had a really good time. One thing I have learned is that guys don’t talk [like this] about fucking with their guy friends. There is a need for a conversation like this.”