Kinky link to playlist

By Inga Gilchrist
MX
May 11, 2011
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Bumping and grinding to songs like Rihanna’s S&M lets fans dabble in kink without committing.

A Melbourne researcher said the popularity of Rihanna’s pop staple showed a taste for perverted sex was common.

But most people are happy to let pop, film and TV stars carry on the kink on their behalf.

University of Melbourne social science lecturer Dr Lauren Rosewarne said when people sang along with Rihanna’s chirpy “sticks and stones may break my bones/but chains and whips excite me”, they were “flirting with perversion”.

“Most of us have varying degrees of interest in those perversions but people are too scared to participate themselves, so we find ways to test it,” she said.

“Women, in particular, aren’t supposed to be into that stuff.

“That (song)’s an outlet for women to experiment in the most humdrum way, to explore that sexual perversion but not fully participate in it.”

A playlist bursting with themes of sadism, bestiality, incest and pedophilia helped people make their sex life seem more exciting than it was, Rosewarne said.

TV series Big Love and Brothers and Sisters also let people take their imaginations where their bodies won’t go, she said.

While the performer acts out the fantasy on their behalf, music fans can dip a toe in transgressive waters and still go to work without attracting stares.

“In Brothers and Sisters a couple’s together and there’s that (thought), ‘It could be my half brother . . .’

“For a little moment you’ve got that, ‘Oh, this is the ultimate taboo’. You wouldn’t do it yourself, but it’s almost sexy when it’s on-screen.

“Rihanna’s music and most pop music does that.”