Sex in popular music

Erotica, an album that explores music and sexSongs about sex are nothing new. Prince may have seemed provocative singing about oral sex, but he was just following a centuries-old tradition. Ancient Greek and Roman poetry could be quite explicit. Bawdy songs have enjoyed great popularity from at least the Renaissance on. From the early days of wax cylinder phonograph recordings in the 1890s, one can find spoken word curios worthy of a parental advisory sticker. And for those who think that “freaking” is new, the 17th century sarabande — a popular dance considered “merry and lewd because it is performed with movements of the body which are indecent” — was just one among several erotically-tinged dances that were outlawed in some places. Continue reading →