Birds do it. Bees do it. Even educated fleas do it. No, we’re not talking about love. Instead, we’re talking about masturbation.

There are numerous benefits from engaging in the act of self-love. According to the Cleveland Clinic, many studies have found that masturbation helps reduce stress, improves sleep, prevents the onset of anxiety/depression and also enhances your sex life.

So, what has us thinking about “Celebrating Palm Sunday” or whatever other slang you use for masturbation? Cyndi Lauper’s debut album, She’s So Unusual, celebrates its 40th anniversary on October 14. That classic album featured a number of classic tracks. Notably, it also featured “She Bop,” one of the most iconic songs about masturbation.

Lauper paid tribute to the scandalous song in an Instagram post from 2021. She wrote of the song, “Most people didn’t get what ‘She Bop’ was about until much later when I went on Dr. Ruth’s radio show. I was playing along with her, making believe I was in a psychiatrist’s office, but then everything I said was blown up later by the press. Suddenly #SheBop was on the Parents’ Music Resource Center’s #FilthyFifteen list of songs that they said should be banned, like ‘Let Me Put My Love Into You’ by AC/DC.”

RELATED: Cyndi Lauper Didn’t Want To Record ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun’

Lauper added, “I was so mad because I had made sure that I never mentioned certain things so that little kids would never know. And then I was found out because of my big mouth. Now, every kid knew what it was about, and it wasn’t supposed to be that way. Oh, c’est la vie. That’s French for ‘whatever.'”

 

With this anniversary in mind, we’re taking a look at the ten best rock and pop songs about masturbation. As an added bonus, we’ve reached out to Cooper Lawrence, co-host of Beasley Media Group’s sex and relationship advice show “The Cooper & Anthony Show,” for her thoughts about each track. Enjoy, and keep your hands where we can see them. (Just kidding! You do you!)

  • Cyndi Lauper - "She Bop"

    Notable lyric: “Hey, they say that a stitch in time saves nine/They say I better stop or I’ll go blind.”

    Cooper Lawrence (CL): “The cultural significance of this song is huge. It’s about sexual assertiveness in women in 1983 which was still looked down upon. Women enjoying pleasure was something they didn’t talk about openly, and if they did, they were shamed for it – this song was incredibly incendiary at the time for that reason. Radio stations refused to play it, and that was good. That meant it hit a nerve.”

  • The Divinyls - "I Touch Myself"

    Notable lyric: Pick one! This song isn’t subtle.

    CL: “1990: This was when the real revolution happened leading to the music of today. This is the decade that third wave feminism had come for. Missy Elliot, Alanis Morisette, Gwen Stefani, heck even The Spice Girls were all about women taking back everything about sexuality and self-pleasure. And it all started with Chrissy Amphlett.”

  • Lady Gaga - "Dancin' in Circles"

    Notable lyric: “Hurts inside, but not this time/All the things that are on my mind/Vanish as I touch myself/Call out loud for you/Oh, can you hear me singin’?”

    CL: “This is one of the most subversive modern songs about masturbation because Lady Gaga came up with this song while working with two men: Mark Ronson and Beck. She told me in a 2018 interview that the music industry was still misogynistic, even to her. That’s why this song is a real f— you.”

  • Green Day - "Longview"

    Notable lyric: “My mother says to get a job/But she don’t like the one she’s got/When masturbation’s lost its fun, you’re f—ing lonely.”

    CL: “‘Dookie was neo-punk. A ‘punk’ has always meant a person up to something disreputable and socially deviant. In Shakespeare’s time, it meant a female prostitute. Modern punk= modern sexuality, which was not just honest but brutally so. (FYI: ‘Dookie’ is one of my favorite albums, next to ‘1,039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours.’)”

  • Prince - "Darling Nikki"

    Notable lyric: “I knew a girl named Nikki/I guess you could say she was a sex fiend/I met her in a hotel lobby/Masturbating with a magazine/She said, ‘How’d you like to waste some time?’/And I could not resist when I saw little Nikki grind.”

    CL: “This song just added to Prince’s sexual anomaly. His sexuality was music and everything he sang, wrote and played oozed it. So, when he released this song about a woman and sex toys, and BDSM, presumably, it was embraced rather than rejected, which said a lot about where we were sexually in 1984.”

  • Billy Idol - "Dancing With Myself"

    Notable lyric: “Oh, when there’s no one else in sight/A-in the crowded lonely night/Well, I wait so long for my love vibration/And I’m dancing with myself.”

    CL: “Billy Idol was part of the punk movement, which is important because the punk look was a lot of fetish gear. It was a highly sexualized genre. Idol himself had said that the song was about people being disenfranchised in a world where they’re ‘left bereft’ and ‘dancing with their own reflections.’ So, if it’s about masturbation, it’s about a mental masturbation as well and the loneliness that comes with it.”

  • Violent Femmes - "Blister in the Sun"

    Notable lyric: “Body and beats, I stain my sheets/I don’t even know why/My girlfriend, she’s at the end/She is starting to cry.”

    CL: “This song was an inclusive anthem. It was for everybody because it was about the lack of sexual control (I stain my sheets), but it’s also another 80s canticle that led to the more overt sexuality of bands like Nirvana and Pearl Jam in the ’90s.”

  • Chuck Berry - "My Ding-A-Ling"

    Notable lyric: “When Pa started me to Grammar School/I found a place in the vestibule/And every time the bell would ring/They’d catch me playin’ with my ding a ling.”

    CL: “If you accept the fact that music fueled the sexual revolution then you have to acknowledge that ‘My Ding-A-Ling’ in 1952 was the first truly subversive song. Dancefloors in the 1950s were the only place teens could feel sexually free to express themselves so it stands to reason that music would be reflecting that.”

  • Elvis Costello & The Attractions - "Pump It Up"

    Notable lyric: “Out in the fashion show, down in the bargain bin/You put your passion out under the pressure pin/Fall into submission, hit-and-run transmission/No use wishing now for any other sin.”

    CL: “‘Pump It Up’ is always known as one of Costello’s best songs on several prominent rankings because it’s a great song but also, Elvis Costello has a way of normalizing anything, even masturbation.”

  • The Darkness - "Holding My Own"

    Notable lyric: “Lately, I’m doing what I can to pleasure me/Oh, I’m finding time to focus on my fantasies/I’m satisfied in my own company, ooh/I don’t need your permission/To take this matter in my own two hands.”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zTMfm4K1iY0

    CL: “It’s interesting that by 2003 everyone was like, ‘Ugh, another guy singing about his penis.’ So, while the song didn’t have the impact of say, ‘My Ding-A-Ling’ or even Green Day’s ‘Longview,’ the message is more about being human than being sexual. He’s prioritizing himself and loving himself in a very vulnerable and human way.”

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