I’ve been listening to a lot of music lately in a wide variety of genres, which isn’t unusual for me. I tend to listen to music while working, writing, reading, cleaning the house…you get the idea. And I’ve noticed something about the music I’m hearing on the radio: there is a lot of foul stuff out there.
I’m not talking about foul language. The FCC keeps me from having to listen to those words, though some of the radio stations don’t edit as well as they could and it’s obvious what was edited out.
No, I’m talking about the sexual innuendos that seem rampant in popular music. And some of them go beyond innuendo to blatant, such as “going down on me” or a variation of it sung by a male in at least three songs I’ve heard in the last week or two. I don’t want to hear that stuff, and I doubt parents want their little eleven-year-olds listening to songs about females undressing (or being undressed) and what a guy wants to do with a girl. My mom would have shut off the radio when I was younger had a song like that come on the air.
Yet it seems acceptable in our current society to use sex to sell music, books, movies, clothes, even some food items (remember Hardee’s commercials from a couple of years ago?). I’m not that old (under 30), but I can’t help wishing for the “good old days” when the music was clean. Even country music, which used to be so mild people insisted their children listen to the country stations rather than the pop/rock stations, has fallen into the trap of using sex to sell. I will admit that the country music has a sweeter tone to it, but do we really need to hear about the guy wanting to get in bed with the girl?
I know this post might seem strange coming from a romance author, but that’s just it. I’m a romance author, not a sex author. In my mind, and the mind of many who love sweet romances, romance is emotional more than physical. Yes, physical attraction plays a role, but the emotional aspect of the relationship is much more important to me. Exploring the emotions, showing the restraint of the hero and heroine when they’re tempted, making me laugh and cry with the characters, these are the things I look for in a romance and I strive for when I write.
Back to music for a moment. All these songs that focus on sex rather than emotion? So not romantic. For a truly romantic song that had even my younger brother saying it was sweet, take a listen to “The Voyage” by Celtic Thunder: