From the moment I was six I felt sexy. And let me tell you it was hell, sheer hell, waiting to do something about it.
I Wanna Be Your Lover.
I sat at my best friends Sheryl dinning room table listening to my first Prince song. Sheryl, like Prince was ahead of her time, will forever be his biggest fan. She was so into him. I liked the one song but couldn’t get into the rest of the album. I was conflicted about his messages and his sexual identity. He was not the Jacksons. He was so new and so different.
Prince shocked me with his brazenly sexual lyrics and when videos emerged on the scene almost a decade later he made my shock visual. My Muslim conservative upbringing forced me to shun him as most of my friends revered him. His behavior did not align with what I was being taught. Was he gay? Was he a pervert? The way he strutted on the stage in tight pants, not really there shirt with ruffles, gyrating and singing He was just too much. Whoever he was he was he was too much and unapologetically who he was.
I pretended to like him until Purple Rain. I loved Purple Rain, the movie and the song. I respected his story. As someone who wanted to be a writer I respected that he wrote and his vision. I loved every song on that album but at the time Darling Nikki was my favorite.
Darling Nikki…I replayed the scene of him singing it in the movie over and over in my head. How he strummed so much energy into that guitar. How he made me feel like I wanted to straddle that guitar in the most nasty way. It was such a huge experience. At sixteen Darling Nikki made it hard for me to want to keep my virginity. I just wanted to experience in real life what my imagination was making me feel alone in my bed at night under my covers. I thought a lot about sex listening to Prince but sex outside of marriage was not good sex.
Sex was about marriage and anything else was…well pretty sinful. Prince looked pretty sinful in my eyes but he looked awfully good too.
I struggled with his lyrics and image. Part of me was this conservative minded teen turned adult who believed anything sexual should be hidden behind closed doors and private…always private. The other part of me tussled for sexual freedom. I wrestled with his interpretations but I respected his absolute belief and security in himself. I wanted that freedom to be sexual without guilt. I still do.
He was a part of my awakening.
RIP Prince…You gave more than just music.