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lip mix: i touch myself, a celebration of sexuality and self love in pop music

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Yep, you guessed it – this playlist is about female masturbation.

In my teen years, Chrissy Amphlett was one of my heroes. I loved her presence and how unapologetic she was in her determination of her own self-worth as an artist and as a woman. Whenever I sang along to Divinyls in my room, giving power stances and twirling my hair in the mirror, I could feel Chrissy’s vocals ooze with a sense of her own agency and vulnerability – sexuality (more specifically, masturbation) was a taboo topic for a woman in music to be so blatantly in control of. I never knew until then how important it was to claim and be aware of my body not just as my own, but as an entity whose rhythms I needed to be completely in tune with. Whatever method this may be achieved through, Chrissy taught me that our bodies need the love, care and respect they deserve.

After Amphlett passed away from breast cancer in 2013, her song became the sonic face of a campaign that would provide a reminder to familiarise ourselves with our bodies. The #itouchmyselfproject was created to promote awareness through regular breast self-examinations, and to destigmatise issues surrounding women’s health. Being (literally!) in touch with ourselves is not only about pleasure, but also provides deep feelings of comfort in knowing our bodies intimately, and is beneficial for our mental and physical health: 71% of cases of breast cancer are diagnosed from breast self exams.

Chrissy Amphlett’s powerful ode to masturbation paved the way for a movement, and would definitely not be the last song by a woman about self gratification. Women such as new wave star Lene Lovich and pop queen Dannii Minogue penned lyrics dedicated to their sex toys, while the very atmospheric Icicle by Tori Amos was about ‘getting off, getting off/while they’re all downstairs.’ Britney Spears, FKA Twigs, and Janet Jackson all released sensual music about self-pleasure. Lady Gaga’s epic anthem Sexxx Dreams is a lust driven testament to one’s sexual imagination. These songs translate their message through honest and uplifting lyrics that are paired with funky and expressive music. It’s impossible to not jam out to.

Having women in music perform so openly about topics such as masturbation, desire and the female body ultimately normalises a woman’s perspective of experiences that are so human. Blast these tunes, dance around in your bedroom, and celebrate YOU.

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