Saturday, April 03, 2010

Father Figure

I was singing the song "Father Figure" in the shower the other day -- which I do a lot -- and I realized that I find the song exceptionally sexy (which makes it sound as though this is going to be a shower self-satisfaction story, but sorry, it's not). Not just sexy in a way that newer songs strike me as sexy, like the current Norah Jones single (yes, adult contemporary) or all of the Beach House album. Sexy in some kind of special way. Which raised a big question mark over my head as I rinsed my hair. What is so specially sexy about the song "Father Figure"?

After some consideration, I realized that the George Michael album Faith, on which "Father Figure" appears, had a couple of songs that became all tangled up with, let's call it my "burgeoning sexuality" at the age of seven or eight (which seems young to me because I was a perpetual late bloomer, but I just checked the dates on wikipedia). The song reminds me of that period of time during which you knew that sex was penis in vagina but you didn't know there was anything beyond that and didn't understand the big deal. The thought of kissing a cute boy, however, seemed illicit and appealing, if somewhat nausea-inducing.

The song "Father Figure" brings a distinct mental image of a woman in the backseat of a cab but not much else, so I just reviewed the video on youtube. Holy shit. I'm not really sure exactly what is going on here besides some vaguely outlined creepy stalker-controlling boyfriend crap, but this video is pretty hot. (Also, please note that George Michael smokes roughly 25 cigarettes in five and a half minutes. I feel like I'm watching a movie from the '40s.) I think this video really piqued my interest in sex when it came out; apparently I was eight at the time. Even the song alone probably gave me vague "why does Jesus have to hate sex?!" thoughts.

Alternately, the video that made me feel total shame about sex was "I Want Your Sex." See, when I was... seven, it seems, according to when the video was in heavy rotation, I was riding my bike outside when the neighborhood bad boy (whom my closest friend from childhood eventually married, and has now divorced) approached me. He kept standing in front of me to block my way, fucking with my bike riding. He wanted me to go to my backyard with him. I can't recall now if he revealed his plan at this time, or waited until we were alone. Finally, annoyed, I agreed to go with him. His little brother wanted to come along, but Ricky said we were "telling dirty jokes" and Mikey was too little to hear them. Genius alibi.

We went into my backyard and Ricky ordered me to stand at the top of the stairs that led to my basement. He stood at the bottom, pulled down his pants, and ordered me to pull up my shirt and pull down my pants. God only knows why I complied with this; I really don't remember feeling much curiosity about what lay under his clothing. We stood there for a minute or so before his mother popped in to check on our dirty jokes and literally caught us with our pants down. Boo.

My mother wasn't home at the time, but Ricky's mom made it clear she would be telling her. So I went inside, where my father was watching television. I almost feel like this next part might be some kind of made-up memory amalgam, but I swear it's true. While I sat there hating myself and dreading having to speak with my mom about my vagina and Ricky's penis, the video for "I Want Your Sex" came on. And I wanted to throw up. Here was George Michael, trying to convince me to have sex with him. COME ON. What was it with boys that day? Now God and my mother would hate me forever, all because water splashing on feet, stockings and garter belts, and lipstick messages written on white skin were so fucking tempting. Plus, ew, my dad was in the room, George Michael. Stop vaguely arousing me/confusing me/making me feel ashamed.

Luckily, my mother knew that Ricky was bad news and believed my side of the story, so I received a very minor punishment for pulling down my pants. Lesson learned, keep your pants on in public. Okay. George Michael did not learn that lesson, let me point that out. And how confusing is it that one of the men who inspired my first real thoughts of sex turned out to be gay?

Now for the very last item in Amanda's "what shaped my sexuality" list. I shared this with Samantha Irby last evening and we agreed that everyone should know about it, even though it pretty much makes me a total creep. What was your first sexual fantasy? Was it marrying the dude from "Father of the Bride" and then offering him your virginity on the honeymoon? Was it about some little hottie in your 5th grade class? Or, like me, was it about... basically a zombie?

Here is the first sexual fantasy I had, which recurred for many years: Beetlejuice climbs into my bedroom window at night and joins me in my bed. I think at the beginning, that was the extent of the fantasy, but it grew more explicit over the years.

Yes, Beetlejuice. The rude dead guy with mold on his head. I loved him and wanted to have his little undead babies. I am really pretty strange.

Hello, lover.


Welcome to Chicago, Jillinois said...

Oh my god, I could have written this post. I have the exact same reactions to these songs and sort of to Bettlejuice. WTF, right? I think it's driven my life-long attraction to icky dirty old men. Mmmm.

Meghan Callaghan said...

Please tell me that you are going to use these amazing blog posts in your book? that's my plan. Blog=future book. But, I agree, Beetlejuice is incredibly sexy!! That fat belly of his is the only unsexy thing. Still, he's sexy.

Lillie McSmith said...

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Lillie McSmith said...

Hey girls, I have a new blog. Sorry to communicate with you through your comments section (how gauche), but I don't have your email address!

Email me at for more info-- it's TOP SECRET.

Lillie McSmith said...

Hey girls, I have a new blog. Sorry to communicate with you through your comments section (how gauche), but I don't have your email address!

Email me at for more info-- it's TOP SECRET.

Lillie McSmith said...


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Amanda said...

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