His masturbation jokes seemed like a form of self-criticism. It wasn’t enough.

“The constant perverted, sexual thoughts,” Louis C.K. said in a show at the Beacon Theater in 2011. “I’m so tired of those.”

Making masturbation gestures, he described walking into a library and asking for a book on Abe Lincoln, only to be distracted by the thought of wrapping the librarian’s hair around his penis. Women may claim to have perverse fantasies, he said, but they don’t know what it’s like for him.

“You’re a tourist in sexual perversion,” he said. “I’m a prisoner there.”

Jokes like this have long been a big part of C.K.’s work — as Anna Silman notes at the Cut, masturbation has always been a major topic for him. And even as rumors swirled around C.K. — rumors that have now given way to on-the-record accounts of sexual misconduct — the comedian has included situations in his work that come uncomfortably close to the allegations against him. His jokes can sometimes look like a form of self-examination, even self-criticism — but so far, C.K. has never directly addressed women’s reports that he masturbated in front of them without their consent. Given this, his long history of joking about similar behavior starts to feel less like an attempt to reckon with the allegations against him and more like an effort to defy those who would criticize him.

C.K.’s work seemed to address some of the allegations against him — but in a way that let him control the narrative

Melena Ryzik, Cara Buckley, and Jodi Kantor mention several masturbation jokes in their New York Times story on women who say C.K. masturbated in front of or otherwise harassed them. Silman details 17 such jokes and bits. One example: “I jerk off way too much Read More Here