FlourishAnyway believes there is a playlist for just about any situation and is on a mission to unite and entertain the world through song.
The Awkward Car Ride Inquisition
Years ago while on a long-distance car ride to Thanksgiving dinner, our daughter popped my husband and I with one of thos awkward questions. She had heard a crude phrase among friends that required a definition. Oh, wow. It was about self-service, diddling yourself, taking care of your own business below the belt.
My husband choked on the question and handed it off to me. He was no help whatsoever. After a pause to collect my wits, I provided an age-appropriate definition of the awkward word that rhymes with "your own soulmate" and "got no date."
Attempting to be nonchalant—clinical even—I explained that it was a normal, private behavior that nearly 100% of males engaged in and many females, too. I hoped that was the end.
Instead of quenching her curiosity, a look of horror crossed her face. She gave my husband a disgusted side glance, then dauntingly started to rattle off names of people she knew, inquiring if these folks played with themselves. (She has always been very literal.) "You mean my teachers? My bus driver and Coach Thomas? Not Grandpa and Grandma?! Aunt Laura and Uncle Bob? ... ." This explanation was going downhill fast.
I responded, "Maybe ... I don't know ... yeah, probably, but that's none of our business." We both stopped her inquisition before she could go too much further. She took the information in, mouth agape, and mentally assessed everyone she knew in a whole new light. The conversation made for an interesting car ride from that point on as well as a lively Thanksgiving dinner because (of course) it came up.
If you're ever your own best friend in the romance department, then celebrate goin' it alone with a playlist of pop, rock, country, and R&B songs on the subject.
1. "Love Myself" by Hailee Steinfeld
Did you think this chipper song was simply a self-confidence anthem? Ha! Hardly.
In this globally popular dance-pop tune from 2015, Hailee Steinfeld celebrates how she (ahem) dances in the sheets all by herself. She taunts her ex-lover that without him she is putting her body first, taking it real slow, and screaming her own name (thank you very much) because she knows precisely how to satisfy herself.
Making it clear she doesn't need him, she teases him that she can do this solo game anytime day or night. Ah, la-la-la, la-la-la-la-la ah. Give yourself a hand, girl.
2. "I Touch Myself" by Divinyls
The woman in this 1990 hit rock song is sexually fantasizing about a love interest whom she has yet to win over. The narrator desperately wants to capture his affections, but in the meantime she is experiencing a lot of pent up sexual angst. The hunky guy whom she has her sights fixed on lights up her life, and he keeps her laughing. It's obvious how much she's attracted to him. Unfortunately, their romance hasn't flowered yet, and she's growing antsy. Hence, this girl is taking matters into her own hands.
The Australian group Divinyls were a US one-hit wonder with this memorable tune, as it was the only tune they ever placed on the US Billboard Hot 100. After the death of Chrissy Amphlett, the band's lead singer, to breast cancer in 2013, this song was adapted as an anthem for breast health as a part of The I Touch Myself Project. As such, it was used for promoting awareness regarding early detection of breast cancer.
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3. "Dancing with Myself" by Billy Idol
When this 1982 new wave song was released, everyone assumed that it was about tending to your own affairs sexually:
When there's no-one else in sight
In the crowded lonely night
Well, I wait so long
For my love vibration
And I'm dancing with myself.
However, the song was actually inspired by Billy Idol's witnessing teenagers in a Tokoyo nightclub dancing alone in front of full length mirrors. They jumped up and down, pogo-style, as they watched themselves. Idol later conceded that there was a self-engrossed element about it.
4. "She Bop" by Cyndi Lauper
You can thank songs like "She Bop" for the music industry's parental advisory stickers that we have now. A group of Washington wives called the Parents Music Resource Center including Tipper Gore testified before the Senate regarding explicit music. Cydni Lauper's 1984 new wave ditty made their infamous "Filthy Fifteen" list.
But wait! There is no doubt that the song is about diddling Miss Daisy, as Lauper sings, "I want to go south and get me some more … / They say I better stop or I'll go blind." Lauper also references the habitual nature of her self-satisfaction in that perhaps she may require a chaperone because she "can't stop messin' with the danger zone."
The singer defends the song, however, because she was careful to use the word "bop" to refer to the DIY deed, which could mean something sexual or a dance. The reason she chose "bop" is that she didn't want little kids listening to the song knowing the real meaning. Fair enough.
5. "Imaginary Lover" by Atlanta Rhythm
One unequivocal way not to be rejected, neglected, or misunderstood in love is to have an imaginary lover. This smooth 1978 soft rock hit promotes the benefits of going to town on yourself.
According to the narrator, imaginary lovers are always around, know just how you like it, and you never have to share their attention with anyone. To prevent boredom, you can even swap them out (without any consequences) because it's all blissful fantasy:
Imaginary lovers never disagree
They always care
They're always there when
You need satisfaction guaranteed.
On the downside, imaginary lovers aren't good at cuddling and don't make great conversation partners in the afterglow. But maybe he's not looking for those qualities.
6. "Love Bites" by Def Leppard
The man in this chart-topping 1988 glam metal tune is afraid to open up his heart completely to the woman he is covets. He is so completely in love with her that he fears that if they become sexually involved it might drive him crazy. He warns her that love bites, bleeds, brings him to his knees, lives, dies, begs, and pleads. But it’s what he needs. And the nosy guy inquires whether she thinks about him when she's flying solo and if she's focused on him fully when they are together. Don't ask questions if you can't handle the answers.
7. "Body of My Own" by Charli XCX
Left sexually unsatisfied by her man, the woman in this 2014 pop track doesn't just dabble down below. She paddles the pink canoe like this is a life and death struggle and lets her guy know that he is completely inadequate at giving her what she needs. Then the gal tells him she does it better alone and does not need him. Total ego crush.
8. "Feelin Me Right Now" by Kelly Rowland
In the club tonight, Kelly Rowland locks eyes with someone who is smokin' hot and and watches that sexy chick all night. Falling in love over champagne, she makes special plans with this goddess before heading back to the house for romance. Here's the twist in this 2011 R&B song, however. That drop-dead gorgeous mama she fell in love with at the club tonight? She was looking in the mirror, and she headed home for some self-love. Mmm. Hmm.
9. "B.O.B." by Macy Gray
This hilarious 2015 R&B song is an ode to Macy Gray's vibrator who "fits like a glove" and is "always up for love." The hot dog-shaped lover knows just how to please her and has incredible stamina. With affection, she's named him "BOB":
Love you, Baby!
B - is for Battery,
O - Operated,
B - is for Better, 'cause he’s not complicated.
10. "My Ding-a-Ling" by Chuck Berry
Chuck Berry was nicknamed the "Father of Rock N' Roll" and was famous for such hits as "Maybellene" (1955), "Johnny B. Goode" (1958), and "You Never Can Tell" (1964). However, this 1972 novelty song about playing with his private parts was the legend's only number one hit on the US Billboard Hot 100. Unbelievable!
The ding-a-ling in the song is actually a double entendre about a little boy's favorite toy with silver bells hanging on a string. He keeps it with him and plays with it alone when he is bored or upset or shares it with a friend when they need something fun to do. The more explaining he does, the funnier this becomes.
11. "Ever Lovin' Hand" by Tyler Childers
Whether you're a businessperson or an entertainer, life on the road separated from your partner can be a challenge when the engines are still revving. This 2019 country song about, well, doing some handiwork actually has some tenderness to it in that the narrator is trying to stay faithful to his sweetheart while on the road.
While we truly don't need the detail regarding his favorite hotel lotion, he paints a convincing picture of himself out on the road, alone in a hotel room staying loyal to his gal with the help of her racy personal photos and texts. It's almost like he's taking one for the team, staying in instead of going out with the guys.
12. "Thinking About You" by Radiohead
There are some people we simply outgrow in life and leave behind in our past. That's just the way of the world. In this 1993 alt-rock tune, a pensive young man lays in his bed staring at a poster on his wall of a girl he once knew. She's a rising star with a newly released record. In comparison, he feels like an anonymous nobody whom she outgrew.
Feeling abandoned and unworthy, he lies in his bed and plays with himself looking at her poster. Although he'd do anything to win her affections, he is just someone she once knew (does she even remember him?). It's a hopeless cause.
13. "Touch of My Hand" by Britney Spears
In this 2003 pop ditty, Britney says she is drawing the blinds, shutting herself out from the world, and teaching herself to fly. In the absence of a lover, the pop star is noticing how beautiful she is and feels that she has to do something. Done with waiting, the girl is gonna take care of business herself.
14. "Pictures of Lily" by The Who
How do you deal with insomnia? Maybe you try melatonin, Benadryl, or other sleeping aids. When the young man in this 1967 power pop tune couldn't catch some z's, his dad knew that wonking one's conker can help alleviate insomnia. Thus, he gave his son some pinup pictures of a woman named Lilly to help get him through his sleepless nights.
Soon the son began to fantasize about Lilly and regard her as an actual person. When he asked his father about her, however, he learned that she had been dead since 1929, so Lilly returned to being a figment of his active young fantasy life.
15. "Solo" by Clean Bandit (Featuring Demi Lovato)
Demi Lovato is flying solo after breaking up with their ex-boyfriend in this 2018 EDM release that was a worldwide hit (more outside of the US than stateside). Although the song narrator confesses to being a fool for hurting him, Lovato is the one feeling the consequences now because they have no romantic partner. They are tempted to call their ex-boyfriend to see if he is dating anyone new, but they push down their regret and instead opt to go solo. Lovato came out as non-binary in 2021.
16. "Sexxx Dreams" by Lady Gaga
At the corner of infidelity and fantasy is this 2013 trashy synthpop tune in which a woman has too much to drink and makes an effort to seduce her friend: "When I lay in bed, I touch myself and think of you." The friend's boyfriend is away for the weekend, so the narrator crosses all kinds of boundaries and describes a sexual fantasy in the hopes that it might lure her friend into a tryst. We don't know the outcome, but actions always have consequences.
17. "U + Ur Hand" by Pink
Yep, it'll be Romeo and himself tonight. Pink and her friends go out for a ladies night on the town in this 2006. When one of the guys at the bar makes a beeline for her and dares to put his hands on her, she quickly rebuffs him. The dude has definitely crossed a line.
Pink commands him to back off and explains she's not here for his entertainment. Emphatically, she tells him, "It's just you and your hand tonight." The song was based on a sleazy saying that the singer-songwriter heard men say.
18. "Rosie" by Jackson Browne
At first blush, this 1977 rock tune seems to tell a straightforward story. A concert technician meets a beguiling young woman, buys her a beer, and gifts her his backstage pass, hoping to get lucky later that night. Unfortunately for him, she hooks up with the band's drummer instead.
You'd think this young woman is Rosie, right? Nah, it is based on the crude colloquialism referencing "dating Rosie Palm and her 5 sisters." When you look at the lyrics in this light, its becomes clear how the lonesome narrator ends up with Rosie again:
But Rosie you're all right
You wear my ring
When you hold me tight
Rosie that's my thing
When you turn out the light
I've got to hand it to me
Looks like it's me and you again tonight, Rosie.
19. "Spanked" by Van Halen
Men with no available partner, too much time on their hands, and/or not enough self control could rack up hundreds or thousands of dollars a month back in the 1990s calling lust lines. These were the days before the internet and cell phones when 1-900 numbers were popular among certain segments of the population. The phone lines charged exorbitant prices by the minute and offered live phone interaction, catering to a variety of risqué interests. This 1991 metal ditty promotes the merits of one such lust line that gets the dirty boy narrator's motor humming as he flips channels on cable and notices the advertisement.
20. "If" by Janet Jackson
In this 1993 rock jam of unrequited love, the nasty girl herself Janet Jackson is out at a club, and she has fixed her eyes on a man who belongs to someone else. This sexy fella is no stranger, as she's been thinking racy thoughts about him when she's at home alone scratching her sexy itch. On the prowl, the narrator verbally teases all of the acts that fill her fantasies—everything that he's missing because she's not his girl.
Even More Song About Self-Pleasure
21. Darling Nikki
23. Feeling Myself
Nicki Minaj (Featuring Beyoncé)
24. I Don't Need a Man
The Pussycat Dolls
25. Turning Japanese
26. Captain Jack
28. Party for One
Carly Rae Jepsen
30. Pump It Up
Elvis Costello & The Attractions
32. Blister in the Sun
33. The Holiday Song
35. Oops (Oh My)
Tweet (Featuring Missy Elliott))
36. Vibe On
37. You're Making Me High
39. Praying Hands
40. Sex with Me
41. My Propeller
44. Liquid Dreams
45. Coin Operated Boy
46. Spank Thru
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