Archive for the sexual curiosity Category

Curiosity killed the Kat

Posted in homosexuality, Katy Perry, sexual curiosity on October 6, 2008 by Steve

Katy Perry T-shirt

Katy Perry’s I Kissed a Girl quickly shot to the top of the charts and currently still receives plenty of time on the airwaves. Other than its sheer catchiness, I suspect this song owes its popularity to the fact that listeners themselves are curious, having at some time doubted their sexual orientation and contemplated other options, but not having dared to act on it. Whatever the exact reason, Katy Perry has struck a chord amongst many, and yet, in doing so, has come under fire from others. Indeed, the song has proven very controversial, evoking strong emotions particularly amongst those who denounce it as a backward step in the feminist cause.

As with most songs, there are many possible interpretations as to the precise intention in its composition. The writer at Feministe sees Perry’s song as endorsing male objectification of women, while others see it promoting a healthy sense of questioning of sexual orientation. Personally, I view the song as an honest confession of a young woman’s mixed-up emotional experience as she learns about her sexuality – a necessary and difficult journey for each of us as sexual beings.

In the song Perry reports back on the experience of having kissed a girl at a party – under the influence of alcohol and out of curiosity – “just to try it”. While I first thought that Perry was simply encouraging female homosexuality, on further listening it became clear that she is not so figured out or probably all that keen on other women.

As you listen to Perry retell the story of her ‘decision’ to kiss another girl, you can’t help but sympathise for her in the pain of the moral and personal implications for what was involved in taking that step. Caught between the teaching of her devout Christian parents and the curious desire to explore the unexplored, Perry’s dilemma is understandably agonising. While on one level she feels a joyful liberation, at another she is plagued with guilt, knowing that she has disobeyed the wishes of her parents:

It’s not what, good girls do
Not how they should behave
My head gets so confused
Hard to obey

Above all, Perry is confused and curious about her sexuality – a common experience amongst teenagers and even adults. Yet she is daring enough to let her curiosity prompt her to action. Though she knows her boyfriend will probably disapprove, she sees the girl-kissing experiment as worthwhile. One blog commentator puts it well:

A lot of the time when people are confused, they act in a way that they normally don’t. Maybe she doesn’t mean what she is saying, or maybe she is just trying to get a new song out there for those of us who don’t know what to do and in a way, she is letting us know that there is more people out there who are like us and that we should just be ourselves.