Tangent Sunset

The History of Conscious Music by Alex Cosper

Sex and Other Topics

Much of the lyrical content of the eighties dealt with either sex or a relationship built on sex. But the sexual revolution was at its peak as multiple partnerships and divorce were still fashionable. The song that captured the essence of the sexually-charged era was "What's Love Got To Do With It" recorded by Tina Turner. The song took the once immoral but now accepted position that sex doesn't have to be based on love. This concept was pushed heavily in movies and television until the AIDS epidemic gradually began to scare people out of having so much casual sex. A creepy techno/spoken word record in the early nineties called "People Are Still Having Sex" by LaTour alleged a paranoid conspiracy theory that "this AIDS thing isn't working."

The Divinyls turned to masturbation in "I Touch Myself" in 1991, although the topic had been dealt with in eighties songs such as "She Bop" by Cyndi Lauper. Beginning in the late eighties the term "safe sex" entered social consciousness. The 1988 George Michael hit "I Want Your Sex" was a celebration of sex, but also a promotion of monogomy. In many ways, the sexual revolution that started in the sixties was winding down. At one point the term "orgy" was a buzz word for party-driven hipsters, but with the onslaught of HIV deaths, the term fell out of popularity and became more associated with stupidity than coolness. With the death of singer Freddie Mercury of Queen in 1991 as rock's first major HIV casualty, even with young people the cultural attitude toward sexuality began to shift from carefree to careful.

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