Essay: Thinking About Sex and Music

Pages: 2 (737 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 2  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Music  ·  Buy This Paper

¶ … Sex and Music

Lady Gaga: Sex-Positive Icon or Mixed Message Master?

Lady Gaga, a recent pop sensation, has become one of the most successful artists of the new decade. She has earned many fans, but also has detractors who say that her outspoken nature and explicit videos (which cover not only sex, but also the divisive domains of violence, politics, and modern art) are merely publicity grabs. In other words, her contribution to the community conversation about alternative sexuality is not to be taken seriously. Though Lady Gaga is a product of the post-modern machine which requires pop stars to be all things to all people (from purity idols to sex fiends), she has managed to cultivate interest in important issues while entertaining a mass audience, and for that reason alone, her music is a positive influence on young people.

To understand the complexity of Lady Gaga's view of sex, a representative sample of her lyrics should be examined. The song "Bad Romance" explores non-traditional ideas of sexuality, featuring Gaga pleading for her a "leather studded kiss in the sand" and asking not for the beauty or perfection of her partner, but his "ugly" and "disease" ("Bad Romance"). In the song "Poker Face," Gaga describes how she can mask her true feelings during sex ("he can't read my poker face"), yet her partner will still enjoy it ("I'll get him hot, show him what I've got"), which is an expression of the power of female sexuality ("Poker Face"). It is even more interesting then, that a common interpretation of the song is that it is about her fantasizing about being with a woman while she is with a man (Juzwiak). Though it is not explicit in the song, Gaga has mentioned it, giving credence to the idea that her idea of sexuality is not non-conformist.

Gaga's music is also very visually based and she has done a number of event videos that function more as short films with mission statements than just advertising vehicles. The nine-minute video for "Alejandro" features a fairly conventional song about lost love. But the images juxtaposed in the video are more challenging, including Gaga in a rubber nun costume, half-dressed male… [END OF PREVIEW]

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