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Guest Post: The Courtesans on Women and Sexuality in Music



SEX SEX SEX! Now you’re reading. Sexuality of women in music is a hugely conflicting debate. Just about every important female figure in music has been criticised, for revealing too much or being too provocative, either aesthetically or lyrically. Opera singer Katherine Jenkins was criticised for wearing a revealing dress on various TV appearances. The latest person to come under fire is Miley Cyrus for her ‘twerking’ and provocative antics at the VMAs. Of course it was all very premeditated, yet we commend her for giving the (giant foam) finger to the world in the name of entertainment. “At last”, we say in hushed tones. But will she gain any respect?

We watched and bitched and in doing so raised her profile sky high – there’s no harm done and we’re quite sure her music/showbiz career will do just fine, so long as people continue to bitch and her songs are relatively catchy. After all, Beyoncé has managed to turn it around with her fierce, domineering warrior princess persona – the days of being a Destiny’s Child sweetheart are long gone. Indeed she has gained a lot of respect within the industry, even though she remains scantily clad in her performances.

Beyoncé’s ‘Green Light’ was an amazing video where BDSM was strongly incorporated, and nobody really appeared to kick up about it. Yet the video for Rihanna’s amazing track ‘S&M’ actually contains no nudity, yet the lyrical content is particularly strong with overt connotations of sexuality, which meant everybody went mad about it. Sadly, the video was banned. It’s not often we see/hear shocking things but we love to hate them don’t we?

Let us not forget that the media are equally as titillating and influential as the artists we mention. Media have a massive part to play in how men AND women see women. If anything this should be pursued and debated more in the media.

We should also be aware that we too often fall to the lowly level of judging our fellow females when we think they have made a poor PR choice. It’s the familiar double standard of men ‘getting away with it’ and women having to be careful not to ‘degrade’ themselves! That said, we should not offer preferential treatment in our opinions towards our fellow females. Instead we should offer our criticisms and praise from a level playing field and cast judgment in an unbiased, objective way where the same rules apply to both men and women.

Let us consider Robbie Williams, who did Top of the Pops in the 90’s donning a tight fishnet dress over a leather thong with a tiger on it, his eyes at half-mast under the influence of cocaine – good old Robbie eh? It’s the only time where we think people might have seen a man in such a negative light. Marilyn Manson’s sexually charged videos and performances (understatement) with very blatant sexual images and drug taking scenes made him an icon. He did receive some criticism but nowhere near as much as female performers such as Lady Gaga, Rihanna or Madonna to name but a few.

Maybe if society hadn’t made such an issue through the decades about nudity, especially women’s nudity, we as women wouldn’t be so easily ‘degraded?’ We believe that nudity and sexuality are among the most natural things in the world. It’s wonderful when women and men can be free, and yet realistically we are forced to consider where this behaviour is appropriate and whether it fits in with a particular audience demographic.

It’s fair to say that nudity and anything sexual generally does provoke adverse reactions, but do any of us really know why we disapprove of it?!

Our opinion is, whether you’re male or female, do what you want but do it with gusto!

(Don’t ask who gusto is.)

The Courtesans xxx


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