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Sex on the radio is nothing new, but today's tracks really push the envelope.
Sex on the radio is nothing new, but today's tracks really push the envelope.

Milwaukee UP: Let's have some explicit sex

Sex, sex, sex.

It seems like that's all you get when you turn on Top 40 and Urban radio stations.

Now, it has to be said that sex on the radio isn't anything new. The topic of sex is something that has long populated the airwaves. From Robert Plant asking a girl to squeeze his lemons until the juice runs down his leg and Paul Rodgers needing to tell people that he feels like making love, to Conway Twitty's very straightforward "I'd Love To Lay You Down" and, of course, Madonna's "Like A Virgin," we've had decades of sexually suggestive themes presented to us.

However, though there has been sex on the radio for decades, it's never been as explicit as it is now.

Over the last 10 to 15 years there has been a shift in what is allowable on the radio, thanks to the easy methods of editing and the shock of explicit music wearing off to the point that it's now just commonplace and expected.

Tracks like the Yin Yang Twins "The Whisper Song," David Banner's "Play" and Khia's "My Neck, My Back (Lick It)" achieved regular radio play despite how much editing needed to be done to clean up the tracks for the radio. Though they were edited, the songs still don't leave very much to the imagination.

Buckcherry's "Crazy Bitch" sends out the message that as long as a woman is good at having sex, there's no need to care about how "crazy" she may be because "... I like the way you f*ck me." This song was even recognized by the Grammys and nominated at their 49th annual awards for "Best Hard Rock Performance."

These are of course examples of songs from years of recent past, but it's not any better on the radio now. Enrique Iglesias released the single "Tonight (I'm F*cking You)" at the end of last year, which might have shocked some people when they went to get the song from iTunes assuming they were getting the often-used radio edit, "Tonight (I'm Loving You)."

As the theme of "wife for the night" continues to grow in popularity, the hump-and-dump tracks will continue to be made at a rapid pace, with more and more explicit exchanges to follow.

Love songs do of course still get made and still get played on the radio, but is the theme of love essentially dead on the radio and has it been replaced by explicit sex? Is there any way to re-shift the focus to love, instead of sex?

What do you think?

Talkbacks

gregrnel | June 12, 2011 at 7:42 a.m. (report)

Quit listening to crappy "music" and you won't have to waste your energy with this nonsense.

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ShonaB | June 9, 2011 at 2:12 p.m. (report)

Agreed. I support lenient media consumption. Meaning, as long as a person can appreciate the music/media as an art form and not a blueprint on how to live, then have at it. I allow my son who is nine to listen to music or read books that are a little advanced for him...but after driving him to school one morning and listening to him sing S&M from the back seat, I was very uncomfortable and turned the song off. I now am rethinking the potential consequences of my lax choices. Do I think that one instance could change him for life? No. Do I think that repeated exposure could implant an unwanted message deep inside that will manifest at a later time? Possibly.

As the young people grow into consenting adults it is important for them to know that expressing sexuality does not require violent behaviors. Looking at the song from an adult's perspective, I like it. Looking at it at a different angle, I think it is telling young men that rough sex in the norm and women want it and it tells young women that true "bad chicks" like it rough and it is okay. That is a little disturbing.

However, some people would argue that Rihanna is just taking the woman's power back. For years, women have been sexually disrespected and abused through music. Now, we are taking back our sexuality and owning who we are and how we are perceived.

Either way, when you think of how the youth are potentially shaped by it...still bothers me.

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jcpoppe | June 9, 2011 at 1:05 p.m. (report)

I agree. Rihanna is another artist that has gone full bore with the sexuality in music. "Sticks and stones will break my bones, but whips and chains excite me" is heard by the youth several times a day. What impression of sex does that sculpt in their minds and maybe encourage?

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ShonaB | June 9, 2011 at 12:44 p.m. (report)

I don't think the music will ever be refocused. As younger generations grow into media listening/watching consumers their boundaries/tolerance also grows. Being 35 and looking back to the music I grew up with, the sexual nuances were subtle. They were definitely there, but not as in your face like the music of today. Which leads to wonder what the next evolution will be. I mean we embrace adultery (Hinder), taboos (Rihanna), and the list could continue. I just don't see the industry going backwards to "soft core" mainstream music. In the future, it might be the true love songs that you have to search the well kept secret of the underground to find.

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