Rants & Essays
Chatting with Uncle Ray: Do raunchy lyrics lead to
By Ran Van Horn, Jr.
I'm postponing my Nina Blackwood narrative in light of this
intriguing question that was posited on MSN and quickly removed before I had a
chance to read it in full, but I stopped dead in my tracks with lingering
clouds of the dreaded PMRC and Tipper Gore's crusade in the eighties to
cockblock (yeah, I said it) artists by imposing "Parental Advisory" labels on
albums with questionable and flat-out vulgar content.
Do raunchy lyrics lead to teen sex?
As if. I remember as a kid getting a hold of Kiss' Rock
and Roll Over and laughing at the lyrics from the song Take Me that
went "put your hand in my pocket, grab onto my rocket, feels so good to feel
you again...I want to know, do you want to blow..." Alright, so maybe my mom
wasn't too happy about that, nor was she happy I used to imitate Paul Stanley's
heavy panting on Do You Love Me? from Destroyer because I thought
it was cool sounding, totally amiss to the fact that he was breathing--no,
oozing--innuendo and machismo.
Seriously, none of that impacted me until I had my first wet
dream and I knew full well what an erection was. Did it make me want to go out
and have sex right away? No. The fact that my father scared me out of my wits
as a young boy by teaching me the birds and the bees with a copy of
Hustler magazine perhaps delayed my raging hormones by about a year, but
the first time I was thrown into a dark bathroom at age twelve with one of the
neighborhood girls, it was that moment in time where my sexuality woke up. Was
I listening to any music at the time? You bet. We were listening to AC/DC's
Hells Bells from Back in Black in the living room, but the record
was long over and the more sedate Joe Jackson was playing when the incident in
question occurred. I came of age to Steppin' Out instead of Let Me
Put My Love Into You by AC/DC which didn't get played that day since
everyone only wanted to hear the hits. The incident was more innocuous than I'm
letting on. I respected the girl as a friend, she asked me if I was going to do
anything and when I said no, that was it.
Personally, I find that vulgar, crude and raunchy lyrics in
music only makes listeners laugh, not want to drop trouser and find the nearest
body to grind with. If anything, Barry White had the sheer power to make you
want to get it on with the nearest warm body, but it was slow, sensual,
romantic, and the power of Barry's suggestiveness, along with his enticing
baritones that was a bigger stirrer of loins than, say, Soundgarden's Big
Dumb Sex with its hilarious "I'm going to FUCK! FUCK! FUCK! Fuck you! Fuck
you!" chorus. Seriously, how horny can you get with something so blatantly
wrong and ridiculous?
Take rap music for instance. Since the majority of today's
rap game is more about sex and macho throwdowns to the extreme, it's hard to
get all buggered up when most of it is absolute rubbish. The songs are mere
party anthems to dance to in clubs, and it is the chemical inducement from the
flesh instead of the music that triggers potential sexual activity. Perhaps LL
Cool J's Doin' It is a sexy mood setter, particularly with his Grace
Jones sample that works perfectly with the reggae splashes, but again, it's the
connection of the mind and body between two people that instigates sexual
activity, not a piece of music that you can just as easily jam to in your car
with. The suggestion by the article on MSN would have one believe that someone
who hears Kelis' Milkshake while driving has to find the closest orifice
to gratify one's self instantly.
I think teenagers are sophisticated enough to laugh off a
dirty lyric because the thoughts of getting into one anothers' pants is there
long before the first note of a deliberately over-the-top song by Gwar or even
Sum 41. Teenage lust is something you can't control. It's natural, it's a
given. Back in the Renaissance days, it was acceptable for fourteen-year-olds
to have sex and moreover, for older men to marry fourteen-year-old girls as
betrothed brides, as the average life expectancy was far below what it is now.
Shocking to think upon it now, yes, but you have to consider that teenage
hormones are ingrained without the aid of raunch rock from Motley Crue.
What it boils down to is determining what is taboo on a
personal level. It's not wrong for curious teenagers to fool around, even to go
all the way. What's most important is making sure teenagers are fully aware of
the potential repercussions to their actions, be it pregnancy or venereal
disease. It is the conservative moral majority dominating our current Roman
culture in the United States that is trying its best to dredge up McCarthyism
once again, trying to tighten its leash on an American society that whacks off
to porn more than it admits to on a regular basis. Still, admittedly, there is
a large sect of people who adhere to a strict moral code and my hat is off to
them. Sex is one of the most maddening emotional forms of expression we as
human beings endure.
My point is, it wasn't The Who's Squeeze Box or even
Little Richard trying to lyrically ball Miss Molly in the back seat or the
pulsing dance jam of People Are Still Having Sex by LaTour, or Prince's
masturbatory delights in Darling Nikki or even Kix yelling a mantra ad
nauseum in their bluntly-titled song Sex that sends generations of kids
running with their peckers at attention. There's been a thousand songs about
sex recorded and there will be thousands more. If you really listen deep,
there's occasional eroticism lurking even in classical music by Mozart,
Mendelssohn and yes, Bach. Sex is a constant; it's been with us since Eve
swiped the apple and it'll be here even if there's no music to celebrate it
with. In fact, without music, there'd be a lot more sex going on, bank on that.
How else do you relieve all of the tension we build up inside ourselves on a
Final point, it wasn't Madonna's song Like a Virgin
that produced many a night pulling on myself; it was because I thought she was
so damned hot in that teased hair, fishnets and bangles... If anything, that
leaves us open for debate as to whether or not sex-driven visual presentations
by artists are responsible for teen sex. Yeah, and the original EC Tales
from the Crypt and Vault of Horror comics made their readers want to
Monday, August 07, 2006.