February 7, 2011 | relationships

Sex, Whips, Chains….Yawns

The interweb lost its shizzle last week with the release of Rihanna’s new video for her song ‘S & M’. I watched the video, then bathed in holy water and lashed myself with rosary beads. For the love of boundry-pushing-Madonna-wannabes, when is enough enough?

These popstars may as well just progress to having sex on screen while their track plays in the background at this point. I don’t even want to get into the ironies of Rihanna, who was in an abusive relationship, releasing a song about S & M, which is essentially being sexually aroused by a bit of violence. I don’t want to get into the message lyrics like ‘sticks and stones may break my bones but chains and whips excite me’ are sending to her young fan base, but it’s unavoidable. I understand that Rihanna was a young girl when she shot to stardom and has had to come of age in the international spotlight. Yes, she’s a sexual being and perhaps she doesn’t want to be a role model, but the leap from ‘Pon De Replay’ to donning full on PVC and whipping someone in a video is a giant one.

But aside from all that, just, why? Why must young women in the music industry prostitute themselves in this way? Why is this seemingly the only way for them to get ahead? Why does Rihanna assume we give a crap about what she gets up to in the bedroom? Can we get an air of mystery?!

I thank everything holy I don’t have to raise a daughter. I can’t imagine coming home to find my kid singing about whips and chains and tying herself up because she saw Rihanna do it. It’s just too much, too soon. It’s not about being a prude or against sexual experimentation. Sex is nothing to be ashamed of, but it also doesn’t need to be paraded around on this kind of platform, packaged as bubblegum pop.

Innocence has been shot to shit. STDs run rampant among teens now. Is it any wonder? Teen boys are turned on by Rihanna, teen girls think they have to be like her to get attention. Who is responsible for raising the bar and demanding standards? Sure, as a parent you can do all you can, but your kid will still see these videos somehow and be subjected to peer pressure at school and parties. So however much Rihanna is just coming of age and may not see herself as a role model, doesn’t she have a responsibility to rethink the messages she’s putting out there?

But forgive me. When I was a kid in the early 90s, a music video consisted of a wind machine, an oversized cropped leather jacket, a pair of ripped jeans and a bit of running man. People wore dungarees for God’s sake and sung about having crushes. You couldn’t tell me that Janet Jackson wasn’t sexy as all get out when she busted a move, fully clothed I might add, in the Rhythm Nation video.

Aside from anything else, I’m actually just tired of the over-sexualising of everything. When did it become uncool to leave a little something to the imagination?

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I agree completely.

Incidently, I just popped over to YouTube to watch Rhythm Nation, and there was a banner ad underneath it for Rhianna’s S&M video. Sigh.


I completely agree. I have two daughters one of which is a very impressionable 10 year old who currently loves all things The Saturdays and JLS which is nice cheesy pop.

But she did ask if she could have red hair like Rihanna the other day.

I want to hide the internet and lock her in her room until she is 18, but i dont think allowed.

Great post lovely x

Honest Mum

Really shocking and the messages portrayed are more than f up. As a director and parent I’d actively say no to directing a promo like this although having said that the way they work is the director (I’d be interested to find out if it was a male one at that) would pitch this idea and Rihanna’s camp would approve it.

It’s a sad world we live in where the boundaries are pushed beyond a joke. I think you are right, there seems to be nothing left but porn music videos but I won’t be directing them and I’ll be making sure my son’s not watching them. Great post.


‘yo yo yo yo baby pop, yeah you come here, gimme a kiss. Better make it fast or else I’m gonna get pissed’.

Yep – that was pretty much as bad as it got.

I was pretty dismayed when the Lady Gaga telephone video was being shown during the day.

I’d also like to add that I’m getting really sick of Rhi-Rhi now. I had the top 20 on in the background of doing something yesterday and practically every song was her or that other really short block that says na na a lot.

Joy D.

First and foremost I cannot stand Rihanna or the onslaught of African American women performers that are setting the gross general standards worldwide about African Americans. I too believe that sex is not a dirty word but it should not be glamorized as a way to be cool. Sex is sex. It is truly unnerving to think that I am a very tiny voice in a sea of wannabe Rihanna’s, Beyonce’s, and Nicki Minaj’s.


Well I do have a daughter to raise and I thank all that is holy that she has no interest whatsoever in music ‘stars’.
Her idol is Steve Backshall (the kids TV wildlife and natural history guy) and Ariel (the mermaid, not the soap) and long long may it continue!

Cathy Bussey

I was just thinking this the other day! It’s actually only a matter of time before someone, probably Rihanna or Katy Perry, full-one bones someone in a music video.

What frustrates me the most is it’s not like Rihanna NEEDS to fuck on stage to get attention. She’s beautiful and talented enough without turning into a stripper.


When I was a kid in the early 90s, a music video consisted of a wind machine, an oversized cropped leather jacket, a pair of ripped jeans and a bit of running man = hahaha
So happy you blogged about this, thank you xx
Not looking forward to a 6 year old singing ‘i love the way sex smells’ or something like that from what I have picked up from the song. This video is way too raunchy, rihanna doesn’t this, she’s already made it. I could have understood if it was to launch her career or make a comeback. Even then. She was doing so well, with her ‘not stick thin’ thighs, empowering us girlies who do not have stick thin thighs and then she does and do that. Impact on youth she doesn’t realise the has, shame. :/


My daughter is a similar age to Tara’s and we try to keep her innocent. She does sing some songs sometimes but we do limit access to music channels on the TV, partly because we just don’t watch, but I’m quite glad about it. But she does pick up songs from the radio, and if she starts singing this, I will be having words. She likes HSM which is less innocent but a whole lot more wholesome than Rihanna and thankfully, likes children’s telly more than she does music.

Claire Nelson


Freakin’ well said my friend. Why all the need for barely-there vagina masks and hip-girating and faux-sex? Just yesterday I read that more young girls are going “porn bald” if you know what I mean. Apparently imagination, when it comes to sex, is well and truly dead, and people are no longer able to put distance between “sexy” and just plain “sex”.

One of these days some pop biarch is going to come out fully dressed and cause an absolute shit storm.

Fashion Limbo

Wow, hadn’t actually thought about it, so thanks for pointing it out, that Ri-Ri is indeed singing about being beaten and liking it (I also hadn’t paid attention to the lyrics)…so many levels of wrong here!!!!!! I grew up as a Madonna fan, loved her provocative dance moves and videos. I also loved Janet Jackson and thought she was the most powerful woman on Earth on that Rhythm Nation video. I see Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Britney and all I do is yawn, yawn, yawn. There is no point to their sexual displays apart from making tabloids print their names and kids quite confused on subjects of self-respect.

Circus Queen

I’m having a daughter in May and wonder what will be happening on the music video scene when she’s old enough to notice. Though, as you indicated, all of this is becoming so tired that maybe there will be a swing in a totally different direction. I can’t think of how many more buttons are left to push. Maybe clothed and political will be the new cool.


Can I get an AMEN! I showed this post to a friend and he said “why can’t music be for adults?” True! However Rihanna markets herself in the popular music genre and a lot of children have access to her music, due to youtube, music charts, music channels and the fact that her songs are replayed every thirty minutes on radio. It wouldn’t be so bad if it was sung by a punk rock band, which many kids don’t listen to. And it doesn’t take much effort to listen to a song, compared to watching a rude film or reading a raunchy book. This kinda music is like brainwashing, telling girls that it’s okay to be sexual at a young age…

Grace (LondonMUgirl)

Oh, just don’t even get me started. You can police this kind of crap at home, but as the mother of an eight-year-old girl I can guarantee you some of their friends will be singing it at school and it’ll play at birthday parties. It makes me really angry – too many male artists make songs and videos that reduce women to a life-support system for a vagina, and then female artists go and do the same thing to themselves.


I refuse to watch it. I think all this over-use of sex to “sell” is getting out of hand.
Pretty soon people will look to doing far more than *that* to earn a quick buck. It does beg the question “what next?”
In my line of work I do have to accept a certain amount of sex, flesh and exposure, however, there are very elegant, modest and beautiful ways of approaching it and I work hard to keep fashion and elegance at the forefront. So when some “celebrity” comes along and takes a subject like S&M and makes it “OK” just because she sang a song about it and made it look “pretty” it does actually make me feel quite sick.
I have a horrible gut feeling that a load of little girls will be googling “S&M” and it won’t be pretty. At all.
I hope I never have the misfortune of seeing that video.
Bad move, Rihanna.


You hit the nail on the head!
I haven’t watched it and don’t plan on it.

It’s all out of hand.
The radio stations here in the states are allowed to play songs…like
“3 in the morning, You know I’m horny,So why don’t you come over my place
Put a smile on my face, Leaving the club, Shawty hurry up, So we can get this party started, Take off your clothes, now You already know what time it is, Reach up in the dresser where the condoms is, Baby, when I get it, I’ll never let it go, Gonna take it slow, We ain’t gon stop til 9 AM
If you can’t take it all, baby say when, Make you come over and over again
And Ima leave it in ” <<<——this is played on the radio all times of day, for kids of all ages to hear!!

It's just crazy now. You're right there is only so much parents can do, as far as teens. They do have to leave the house to go to school and all. You can only protect your kids for so long.

It's just sad! I don't know how it's all going to get better, and these songs & videos are allowed to be played. Madonna's songs and videos that were talked down on, back in the 90's have nothing on music these days. That's why she doesn't even allow her childen to watch tv. Which says alot!

Emma B.

On the nail again Bangs. I find it quite pathetic but as my old Mum always says “it’s just a phase Dear”, hoping she’ll grow out of it (as Ms. Aguilera kind of has) but there will just be another wannabe doing the same thing later. I love music but the videos are soft porn – totally – the whole concept of those Candy Girls is nuts (although I did love the show, guilty pleasure #4,521). What bugs me the most is when I see young girls mimicking them and dancing like Beyonce et al at birthday parties. And when I say young…I mean 6 and upwards. That is truly sad. No MTV base in my house.


Brilliant point hun. I used to be a huge rihanna fan but this has really put me off her. My 8 year old son likes her music but i soo wont let him listen anymore. The video is vile, vile, vile and the lyrics are meant to shock im assuming.


I read this and feel glad to be unaware/oblivious to popular culture, this is absolutely vile I sincerely apologise for my PC kneejerk reactionary “disgusted from Tunbridge Wells” I don’t consider myself to be Mary Whitehouse (nor do I look like her, I am a 25 year old man) but this is just unacceptable, not to mention a sinister undercurrent involving gaga & the like. We tend to emulate the TV even as adults so what a child would do after seeing this doesn’t bear thinking about.

great blog, great post.


I absolutely agree with you Bangs & all the comments. I am not a fan of any musician & hardly listen or watch them, due to the constant black out in my country Nigeria & slow internet connection. My gals are under 10 years & enjoy watching cartoon network & Nat geo wild, which i am happy about for now, but when they enter into secondary school & university, how would i know what they watch & whom they talk to, since i can’t be monitoring them 24/7? THIS IS WHERE MY FEAR LIES! I don’t waste my time to listen to their songs because it does not add any value to my life or that of my family! Should there not be a law to ‘curb’ this excesses?


as u said, nothing is left to imagination. laid bare and on aplate. one is at no need to make a move when everything is in front


Once again Bangs, you get it spot on. I am not a prude but that doesn’t mean I want to see every young female pop star shoving their crotch and boobs in my face when I switch my TV on!
Surely the likes of Rihanna is already successful enough without having to try and shock us all. I am so glad I don’t have kids. I feel sorry for parents having to explain why Rihanna is tied up or why Katy Perry is shooting cream out of her boobs.
I remember being a kid and Madonna causing controversy all the time, but pop stars now make her look like a nun!


Point of information: When I was a kid, girls dressed up with what looked like their lingerie on the outside of their clothing and elementary school children would stand in the mirror in their rooms practicing the lyrics and dance moves to “Like a Virgin.”

The more things change, the more they stay the same. I share your concern about the pornification of America, but it’s been going on — where guys wanted their girlfriends to be hot and ready and the girlfriends felt compelled to comply — for generations.

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