First for music news
This Week's Issue
You’re logged in

NME Blogs - NME Blogs

Adele's Label Boss Is Right - There's Too Much Porn In Pop

By NME Blog

Posted on 01 Jun 11

 
 

So Adele managed to shift a few hundred thousand records literally without stripping off, throatily professing a love for bondage, or pretending to be a lesbian. Abort mission, Germaine Greer. The battle is won.

XL Recordings founder Richard Russell this week told The Guardian: “The whole message with [Adele] is that it's just music… there are no gimmicks, no selling of sexuality.” Aside from the patronising wonder triggered anytime a carb-eating woman achieves prominence within the music biz (see also, Beth Ditto) – singling Adele out for not selling sex suggests she is the anomaly.



When did mainstream success as a female artist become so synonymous with sexuality? How did we get to a point where Adele managing to sell records and yet not pose in her delicates is heralded as ‘radical’?

Musicians have experimented with their sexual image since time immemorial: David Bowie’s make-up, Madonna’s Sex book, Elvis’s hip pop, Patti Smith’s androgyny – these were artists offering genuine subversion and titillation.

By contrast, there is something perfunctory about Nicole Scherzinger’s writhing, Christina Aguilera’s thrusting. Porn is an imitation of sex and the pornification of pop is a surrogate for authentic sexuality.

Sex has always sold, and the sexualisation of female (and male) artists is nothing new. What is new is the pornification of music. Pornification, or porn culture, is the infiltration of pornography into mainstream society.

It is Katy Perry singing "I kissed a girl and I liked it". It’s Snoop Dogg being fed grapes in a strip club. It is Rihanna pirouetting before a milieu of BDSM imagery. It is Jessie J’s girls doing it like a dude, fighting then making out (which is of course how dudes ‘do it’). And it is something really rather different.



There is also the issue of pop stars as role models. Mainstream artists imitating porn projects a message that women are always sexually available. It values women based on the aesthetic appeal of their respective body parts and ability to bunny hop in knickers.

There is nothing wrong with pop stars doing their hair fancy and putting on a bit of lipstick - with being sexy – it is when this sexuality is commodified and marketed above their musical talent that it becomes a problem.

Porn masquerades as sex, pop masquerades as porn – and something real is lost. Pop music should be exciting and reactionary. Porn has become so utterly mainstream that wearily adhering to this tired standard is, in the end, drearily conservative - and horribly tedious.

 
 
 
Comments

Please login to add your comment.

 
Featured Video
Latest Tickets - Booking Now
 
Know Your NME
 

 
NME Store & Framed Prints
Inside NME.COM