Latest #sexualinuendo Posts
- I finally got around to uploading my time lapses from my mural at @trocaderoartspace in footscrazy
- Blues music has always held a pretty choice little pozzie in my heart, but recently I've been taken on a whole new appreciation for the lyricism and underlying attitudes that this old genre holds within it. Blues musicians have done some pretty wondrous stuff for our society when you get down to it... Think about the white Victorian era's portrayal of sexuality and the complete lack of positive female sexual agency in that narrative - the 'good' woman being a demure, passive, reticent victim of a male's sexual dominance.
Then in comes some ragtime, jazz, and blues which used lyrics laced heavily with metaphors and slang to talk with a very new frankness about genitals and sexuality that had never been heard before!
As Naomi Wolf points out "through this slang, a great deal of direct discourse about the vagina and about female sexual response in general made its way into the drawing rooms and salons of American and European society. ... the metaphors that both male and female blues singers used about the vagina consistently cast female desire as strong, steady, positive, sometimes very funny, and obviously in need of gratification, as well as deserving satisfaction. The blues vagina is not a shameful vagina. The words surrounding it are not associated with neurosis. ..." The D-and-V pairings in blues lyrics play together equitably: they are interdependent and work together; each needs the other.
"hotdog in my bun", "sugar in my bowl", "banana in your fruit basket", "butter and a churn", "washboard and it's tub" - these couplets describe reciprocal relationships in which neither object is useful without it's partner. The metaphors underscore a mutual need in sex and indicate a bold sense of pride, assertiveness, and appreciation for women and sex that had previously been scarce - especially in the mainstream.
Pretty bloody cool, I reckon.
An entire culture portraying the essential goodness of female sexual desire through humorous and explicit (for the time) lyrics that released the masses from the long held beliefs that female sexuality was shameful, non-existent, or to be feared and repressed.