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Beyonce and the pleasures of monogamy |


Beyonce and the pleasures of monogamy

BRIEF HISTORIES - Don Jaucian - The Philippine Star

Pop culture owes much of its success from its relentless commodification of sex. Now that it’s easy to get down and explicitly dirty, modern love tends to lean towards the uneasy spectrum of sexual encounters. The 1980s and 1990s had Madonna to thank for this upheaval, then Sex and the City during the 2000s. But this decade is seeing a complete turnaround, courtesy of one of its infallible icons, Beyoncé, who has been leading a different kind of sexual revolution, one that rests on the bedrock of married life.





Beyoncé’s suggestive song titles (Blow or Lay Up Under Me) and outsized displays of sexual calisthenics (“Handprints and good grips all on my ass,” she coos in Partition or Rocket’s “Then dip me under where you can feel my river flow and flow”) aren’t as garish as say, Zayn’s Pillowtalk—which, as of this writing, is at the top of Billboard’s Hot 100. Pillowtalk brims with the intensity of youthful abandon, the uncertainty of intimate “warzones,” and the fragile demarcation between a simple hookup and a passionate relationship. Beyoncé, on the other hand, toys with this distinction, willfully basking in post-coital bliss while evoking the same recklessness of a hard, fast encounter. A song like Drunk in Love is Beyoncé and Jay-Z showing off the wildfire that is her marriage to Jay-Z (“Sleep tight, we sex again in the morning/Your breasteses is my breakfast, we going in, we be all night”) and, despite attracting controversies throughout the years, it still thrills like a lovelorn porno — sticky and sweet.

Hypersexual Marriage

Her quest to spread the gospel of a hypersexual marriage became pronounced in 4, beginning with a declaration of endless devotion (‘1+1’), then proceeds to map out the topography of her wedded bliss. She climbs the summit in Beyoncé, or rather, a break from her feminist advocacies to engage in an exhaustive exploration of her and Jay’s bodies, covering all of their nooks and crannies. And these things are not even hidden in codes, they’re right there tumbling out of her lips, slyly told and stripped off of tabloid tendencies.

It’s easy to equate this public projection as a portrait of a happy marriage but whether their relationship is as impeccable as Beyoncé purports it to be in their songs remains shrouded in PR and gloss. This likeness is suspect, especially for someone like her who has allegedly taken down unflattering photos of her online (okay, her publicist) or when Jay-Z and their daughter Blue Ivy went up on stage as Beyoncé was receiving her Vanguard Award during the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards — a pitch-perfect image of their family.

That said, Beyoncé’s playbook still remains as a stronghold for a lasting relationship. As Pitchfork wrote about her self-titled album, “At a time when young people are gripped by an ideological fear of monogamy’s advertised doldrums, Beyoncé boldly proposes the idea that a woman’s prime — personal, professional, and especially sexual — can occur within a stable romantic partnership.” Her recent catalog has enabled her to make a killing at undressing monogamy and turning it into a seductive concept that’s far more fulfilling than a random sexual transaction. It’s no farther than what Aldub is doing for true love’s wait, Beyoncé’s just doing it with a lot of heaving, moaning, and drinking...watermelon.

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Tweet the author @donutjaucian.

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