I’ve played CAH a few times with different, totall distinct groups of friends. What I find interesting about it is that it’s self levelling. The cards people pick, or don’t pick, tend to be defined in part by the kind of people they are playing with.
CAH is a game that requires a good understanding of the other people in the group. Just because you find a rape joke funny (I don’t, so I’ve never played a card like that), it won’t win the hand if no one else appreciates it. I can’t actually remember that many hands where someone played what I would regard as a genuinely offensive (in the sense of being racist, say) card combo, simply because most of the people in the group wouldn’t have found it funny. What I tend to see is groups playing just on the edge of what they collectively regard as appropriate.
In fact, from my experience, the really offensive cards are difficult to play well. When people do play them they just aren’t funny, and will lose to a much more innocuous but appropriate card. Every time I’ve played I’ve ended up with a least a couple of cards that I got in the initial deal, but I just never wanted to play.
Complaining about CAH is a little like all the people who complain about Facebook/Twitter saying that it’s just people posting boring narcissistic crap crap, missing that this is really just a criticism of their friends and the people they follow.
We’ve also played a game called Apples To Apples, which is the same mechanic as CAH, but kid safe. Funny thing is, rounds were frequently won by people who managed to get something dodgy in there, but again that only works if the person dealing that hand gets the joke.