1. I Like F*cking ~ Bikini Kill
Sample lyric: "Just 'cause my world, sweet sister, / Is so f*cking goddamn full of rape / Does that mean my body / Must always be a source of pain? / No, no, no, no / ...I believe in the radical possibilities of pleasure, babe."
It's hard to talk about the Riot Grrrl movement in punk music without mentioning Bikini Kill and Kathleen Hanna. This angry, sex-positive track speaks on the radical power of sexuality in the face of a rape culture that uses sexual violence against us. Loving this song means that you celebrate and reclaim your body by confidently owning your sexual choices, demanding consent, and refusing to be shamed into silence.
2. Partition ~ Beyoncé
Sample lyric: "He like to call me Peaches when we get this nasty."
Beyoncé's iconic visual album, Beyoncé, describes the unashamed complexity of female sexuality and plays with fantasy, all while she proudly exists in her identity as a feminist, mother, and wife. If you consistently blast "Partition" in your earbuds, then you explore your desires and maintain a healthy sex life, and excel just as beautifully in the other aspects of your life. You recognize that identifying as a sexual person doesn't lessen any of your other identities, despite what people deem to be "respectable."
3. None Of Your Business ~ Salt-N-Pepa
Sample lyric: "If I wanna take a guy home with me tonight, it's none of your business / And if she wants to be a freak and sell it on the weekend, it's none of your business / ... How many rules am I to break before you understand / That your double standards don't mean shit to me?"
Cheryl "Salt" James, Sandra "Pepa" Denton, and DJ Spinderella blessed the world with numerous feminist anthems boasting pride in sexuality ("Push It," anyone?) This particular perfect song by the iconic ladies of rap is straightforward AF, hence its perfection: whatever you decide to do with your own body in your own sex life is nobody's business. And anyone who preaches otherwise is depending on misogynistic double standards. If you appreciate the glory of Salt-N-Pepa, it is because sex makes you happy, you only do what you want, you're not afraid to express your desires, and you're not afraid to tell sexists to step back.
4. Feelin' Myself ~ Nicki Minaj ft. Beyoncé
Sample lyric: "'Cause we dope girls, we flawless / We the poster girls for all this / We run around with them ballers."
You're a queen who loves herself, and you have lived too long and accomplished too much to mess around with anybody who doesn't respect you. You may be in a committed relationship or have a more casual sex life. But either way, you can no longer entertain immature gentleman callers who fear your confidence. You don't let tools of the #patriarchy, like jealousy or slut-shaming, anywhere near your female friendships either, and lift each other up in the face of foolish partners instead.
5. Ain't 2 Proud 2 Beg ~ TLC
Sample lyric: "And I want 2 be touched / And feeling so much, see 'cause /Everybody needs some good lovin'."
You have no problem communicating your needs to your partner. Before TLC gave us their poetry about cheaters and fellas hanging out the passenger's side of their best friend's ride, they talked about their "unmistaken urge to be / sexin' with society" and their willingness to go after it, safely of course (Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes, RIP <3) on this 1992 track. Everybody needs some good lovin, and you get what you deserve.
6. She Bop ~ Cyndi Lauper
Sample lyric: "Hey, hey - they say I better get a chaperone / Because I can't stop messin' with the danger zone / No, I won't worry, and I won't fret / Ain't no law against it yet."
Cyndi Lauper has always been an outspoken feminist, openly discussing sexual double standards, queerness, and women's empowerment. This controversial 1983 song about female masturbation exemplifies these attitudes. If "She-Bop" is your #jam, then you don't depend on others to keep you satisfied. And even if you enjoy a partner(s), you still know how to take care of yourself, and do so happily.
7. Our Deal ~ Best Coast
Sample lyric: "When you leave me, the bed is empty / And I feel crazy, 'cause I didn't say anything / I wish you would tell me how you really feel / But you'll never tell me, 'cause that's not our deal."
If you let Best Coast's lovesick surf pop about weed, her cat, and unrequited romance sing you to sleep each night, then you most definitely might be stuck in a FWB relationship in which you desperately want to be more than friends, but you tell all your galpals that it's fine and you're totally chill. You're hooking up with someone who you know will never reciprocate your emotions, but you play along because you want to look like ~the cool girl~. You resist the painful urge to ask if there is anything real happening between you both because you are embarrassed and, despite the brutality of unrequited love, you don't want to potentially ruin your sweet gig of consistent sexytimes. But gurl, it's not worth the insecurity and self-doubt. F*ck ~the cool girl~. If you're not getting what you really want, then get out. Take a note from Best Coast's Bethany Cosentino, and hang out at the beach or with your cat instead!
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