Arts & CultureSex & Relationships

"Stroke it for me": Seven songs about female sexual pleasure



I’ll admit: I really like to shake my ass. But, sometimes, the music I like to dance to (club hits, mostly) compromise my feminist sensibilities: I back my ass up to “Gas Pedal” and drop it like it’s hot while rappers talk about the “white… spilling down your throat” and “the way she shakin’ make you want to hit it.”

A majority of the lyrics objectify women, and, in the process, focus only on heterosexual male pleasure.

That’s why I wanted to put together this list: a list of songs about female pleasure, about women coming. Songs in which women are the ones who desire, for once, rather than the other way around.

Beyonce — “Blow”

This comes as no surprise, I’m sure: A song that begins with the lyrics: “I love your face/ You love the taste,” just has to be at the top of the list. It’s an oral-sex treasure: “Can you eat my skittles/ It’s the sweetest in the middle/ Pink is the flavor/ Solve the riddle.” Plus, that beat. Damn.

Aaliyah — “Rock the Boat”

Oh, Aaliyah. What a woman. As an artist, she was unapologetic — both in her independence (check out her song “More than a Woman”) and in her sexiness — a sexiness that wasn’t focused solely on arousing her male audience, but herself, too. Her 2001 hit “Rock the Boat” embodies that: “Change positions/ New positions/ New positions/ New positions/ (Now stroke it baby)/ Stroke it for me/ Stroke it for me.”

“Stroke it for me?” I’m not sure if she means stroking the penis or the clitoris, but I sure hope it’s the latter.

Tweet featuring Missy Elliot — “Oops (Oh My)”

This one’s about female masturbation. I remember the first time I heard it — when I was 8 or 9 — and how excited I was by its explicitness: It was the first time I’d heard a mainstream artist talk about female masturbation in such a frank, clear way. “…this body felt just like mines/ I got worried/ I looked over to the left/ A reflection of myself/ That’s why I couldn’t catch my breath/ Oops, there goes my shirt up over my heard/ Oh my/ Oops, there goes my skirt droppin’ to my feet/ Oh my/ Ooh, some kinda touch caressing my legs/ Oh my.”

Tori Amos — “Icicle”

Okay, this isn’t really a song you can dance to, but it’s sexy — in a haunting kind of way: “And when my hand touches myself, I can finally rest my head/ And when they take from his body, I think I’ll take from mine instead/ Getting off, getting off, while they’re all downstairs.”

Missy Elliot — “Work It”

It didn’t occur to me until very recently how huge Missy Elliot was (and is) when it comes to female empowerment and challenging ideals surrounding submissive womanhood. And lyrics like “Sex me so good I say blah-blah-blah/ Work it, I need a glass of water/ Boy, oh, boy, it’s good to know ya,” just prove it.

Khia — “My Neck, My Back”
This song’s a given, I know, but I couldn’t help but include it. It’s the queen of all oral-sex songs, I think (sorry, Beyonce). She takes on the kind of hard-edged persona we see so often from male rappers —  and by doing so, she challenges female submissiveness.

Pink — “Fingers”

I haven’t heard this song before, but I’m not surprised Pink has a song about masturbation, she’s always been an artist that tests the limits of the industry: “When it’s late at night and you’re fast a sleep/ I let my fingers do the walking/ I press record I become a fiend/ And no one else is watching/ (I let my fingers do the walking).”


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Katherine Marrone

Katherine Marrone

Katherine Marrone is the sex and relationships writer for the Emerald. A feminist and activist, she likes writing about gender issues and social justice.