|Posted on April 20, 2017 at 6:30 PM|
Insatiable: What Prince Taught Me about Erotic Love (Reprint from April 22, 2016)
by dr. terri
By now we all have heard about the sudden passing of the legendary icon—Prince Rogers Nelson (a.k.a. Prince). Like most people, I was just dumbfounded when I got the news. A world with no Prince? In my lifetime? What?! This has to be what it sounds like when doves cry. And my heart has been crying right along with them.
Honestly, when I consider my coming of age years, they were every bit of the 80s; and the 80s were every bit of Prince. His music was at the heart of my lifetime-in-the-making. However, I’m not here to write about the obvious music genius that most people will discuss over the coming days as he is memorialized. No, I’m here to discuss his sensual vibration and what his lyrics taught me not only as I made my entrance into womanhood but as I began to embrace the beauty of erotic love.
This month at StillSoSexy!, we’re talking about Our Bodies, Our Belongings. Yet, I cannot cover this topic without highlighting Prince, the king of melodious erotica, and his influence on my appreciation for erotic love. Dare I say, in some ways, his music introduced me to the world of erotology? In fact, I can remember buying my first Prince album—Controversy (1981)—when I was in high school. I played "Do Me Baby" over and over and over again (and mind you that's when you had to lift the record player needle to start the song at just the right spot). I tell you, that song was everything to me at the time. To hear a man sing so passionately about sexual intimacy to some hardcore funky vibrations (all while not making my femininity feel dirty and used) made me want to read more about eroticism.
What I found out from my reading back then was eroticism isn't as much about the sexual act itself as it is about the asthetics of everything surrounding the act of lovemaking. It is about the many beautiful forms of human expression that create our sexual desire for one another. And "Do Me Baby" definitely expressed that creation. Certainly, there would be many more songs thereafter which would continue to pique my curiosity. The list is endless. But if I had to pick one that really encapsulates what Prince taught me about erotic love, it is Insatiable (Diamonds and Pearls, 1991). By the time it was released, I was 20-something and had a bit more experience to go alongside my reading. With this being said, the song's lyrics bring to life five lessons that I want to share with you:
1. Hey, don't look at the clock. Yeah, it's 2:45. We got all night. Prince always made it clear that time was an important part of intimacy. And there is nothing more erotic to a woman than being with a man who regularly has time for her—and not just time for her body but time for every aspect of her life. So his music taught me that erotic love is conscious—it makes a plan to stay awhile so the time spent together is always full and rich with attentiveness and awareness.
2. I just can’t stop, even if I wasn’t thirsty, I’d drink every drop. Prince knew how to stay right there until they both drank it all and they both thirsted no more. Phew! What can one say about a man who won’t just get his and leave a woman looking at the ceiling as he snores? To have a man put a woman to sleep first, or even better, to have them fall asleep together is pure ecstacy. So his music taught me that erotic love is complete—it works to get all parties across the finish line again and again and again.
3. You say you want my hips up in the air? I don't know. I don't care. Prince wasn’t afraid to let his manhood be seen as subordinate in the bedroom. He would sing about trying anything at least once. And I’m a firm believer that a woman will become extremely comfortable with her body and sense of belonging in a relationship, when she’s with a man who is extremely comfortable with his own sexuality. When that level of comfort is reached, she is wide open for practically anything she feels is nondegrading to her. So his music taught me that erotic love is creative—it will always desire to give new things a try when there is a sense of security and transparency.
4. Tonight we video. No one will ever know. We'll erase the naughty bits. I'll show my ___, if you show your ___. Prince could convince even the most bashful woman to trust her bareness with him. Think about it. Who among his love affairs ever dished the dirt on him? And in return, he never dished the dirt on any of them. Needless to say, for many women this quality is crucial when it comes to our sexual psyche. After all, for a lot of us "good girls" growing up, we feared the guys who would put us on blast for even the slightest display of sexual affection. So his music taught me that erotic love is confidential—it believes in discretion and it honors privacy even within a public relationship.
5. Listen, oh girl, I'm fallin'! I love you. Baby you're mine. You’re nastier than I thought. It's just 2:49. Prince was not ashamed of four letter words or of alphabetizing them. In other words, he understood those moments when the F-word came before the L-word. Yes, I know. The idea of steamy, nasty, hot sex happening before real committed love appears goes against all sound moral judgement for many of us. But guess what? It does happen—maybe not always, but it can and does happen. So his music taught me that erotic love is curative—it has a healing virtue that can turn a single moment of sensual-sexual pleasure between two mature people into a beautiful lifetime surprise for the two of them.
In the final analysis, when I think of learning to be comfortable in my body and having a sense of belonging within a relationship, I can’t help but to think of Prince and his music. His music made a woman feel comfortable with every inch of her body and with her right to belong in an enraptured bond. Through his music, he was not afraid to be transparent in his own weaknesses while also being fearless in his strengths. No doubt, he will be missed by us all. Yet, I am grateful for the body of music he left, along with the sensual vibrations and lyrics, which will always remind me of this simple truth that I learned way back in the 80s: erotic love has the power to be melodiously beautiful for a lifetime.
Rest in Peace your Royal "Purple" Badness!
"The erotic is a resource within each of us that lies in a deeply female and spiritual plane,
firmly rooted in the power of our unexpressed or unrecognized feeling. [...] For women,
this has meant a suppression of the erotic as a considered source of power and information within our lives."
~ Audre Lorde (The Uses of the Erotica)
dr. terri is an educator, empowerment writer, and entrepreneur,