For many of us who are stuck in that stage where you are too old to be a child but feel too young to think of yourself as an adult, sex is a loaded idea. Learning about your own body is exciting. Exploring it with someone else can be even more so. But how does one navigate these desires and curiosities when you’re constantly judged for your decisions? From being called a slut for having too many partners, to being lame if you decide to wait, our sexuality is somehow everyone’s business. Our playlist explores these facets of how young people explore sex: about the excitement of wanting someone, the irritation from being scrutinised and the dangers of not knowing what you’re getting into.
We Looked Like Giants - Deathcab for Cutie
When every Thursday, I'd brave those mountain passes
And you'd skip your early classes and we'd learn how our bodies worked
This is a song about the apprehension and clumsiness of early sexual explorations - about skipping classes, having sex in any space that is available (because you still live with your parents or with roommates) and enjoying the warmth of a new kind of physical contact.
Nigodi Kaisi Jawani Hai
Nigodi kaisi jawani hai jo baat sune naa meri
When the world thinks it's all about pure, innocent first love but you really want to express your not-so-innocent desires. Aah the joys of youth!
Lollipop - Mika
Mama told me what I should know, too much candy gonna rot your soul
An up-beat, tongue-in-cheek song about authority figures telling us how we ought to not have sex ‘too early.’ This song really captures a lot of the concerns people have about young people having sex: It’s not so much about being safe or teaching us about consent. It’s about being warned about ‘what people say’, judging people’s sexual choices and the presumption that having sex means ‘affection’ for girls and ‘pleasure’ for boys. Yeesh!
Candles - Daughter
You’re too old to be so shy he says to me, so I stay the night
A song about unrequited love and physical intimacy resulting from compliance rather than consent. It’s about a romantic encounter where the singer is still processing her feelings and gets pressured into getting physical. The resulting emotions are unsettling and dark and make her feel as if she has done something wrong.
I want to be evil – Eartha Kitt
Prim and proper, the girl who's never been cased,
I'm tired of being pure and not chased.
Like something that seeks it's level
I wanna go to the devil.
A song about wanting to break out of stifling gender roles. Eartha Kitt talks about how she’s been excellent at being tender, soft and dainty and has stayed away from everything that doesn’t suit her femininity. But she’s restless: she wants to stop being a sweet, innocent girl and enjoy doing things that she can’t do because she’s expected to comply with gender norms.
Pacify Her – Melanie Martinez
Someone told me stay away from things that aren’t yours
But was he yours, if he wanted me so bad?
Love and drama go hand in hand, especially when you want someone who is already in a relationship with someone else. Melanie Martinez captures the dynamics between three people in a love triangle, where attraction, lust, jealousy and hatred all get mixed together.
I Kissed a Girl – Katy Perry
It felt so wrong,
It felt so right
So much of our sexual expression is dictated by what we think is ok and our own convictions about who we are. But while we’re exploring our sexuality, we can find out surprising things about ourselves, like Katy Perry in this song. With her inhibitions lowered and curiosity getting the better of her, she kissed a girl and she liked it!
I Want to Break Free – Queen
The ultimate anthem fits perfectly with sexiness expressed freely, without stereotype-induced self-consciousness. You do you sexy, coz that's what you do best, and you know it ;)
Ingrid Michelson – Girls Chase Boys
All the broken hearts in the world still beat
Let’s not make it harder than it has to be
Because we are waiting for the day when we can all love whosoever we choose to without being criminalised for it.
Tune in to the playlist of all of The YP Foundation's Sexy Saturday Songs here.
The YP Foundation (TYPF) was founded in 2002 as a youth led and run organization. We work to support and develop youth leadership to advance the rights of young women, girls and other marginalised youth. TYPF empowers young people to access information about their health, education and rights, and to use this information for their own development. We work to ensure that young people are recognized as equal stakeholders and change makers within their communities and in society at large. In the last 15 years, our work has impacted over 4,50,000 young people across 18 states in India, reaching out directly to over 6000 young people.