10 Songs I Had No Idea Were About Sex

Photo: Kevin Mazur/WireImage.
Some people listen to music for the lyrics. Others listen for that sweet groove and the moment when the beat hits. (I'd wager that this is actually most listeners.) This kind of oblivious listening usually leads to a cruel awakening, i.e. "whoa, I had no idea that fun song was actually about the pants dance!" The truth is, most songs are about sex in some regard. The rumors are true; sex sells.
But not all songs are overtly about getting funky. In order to maintain a squeaky-clean reputation, many artists cloak their references in expert innuendo. These sneaky innuendos meant that oblivious listeners — those just listening for that beat — had no idea the lyrics were all about getting down. We're not talking about the obviously sensual. "I Wanna Make Love Right Now" is pretty straightforward. No, these songs are cloaked in seemingly nonsexual words. Little did we know when we were bopping to "Side To Side" by Ariana Grande, we were grinding to a sexual rhythm. Who knew that Christina Aguilera's "Genie In A Bottle" was all about female arousal? Or that "Crash Into Me" isn't about a metaphorical emotional 'crash'? Ahead, you'll find the salacious humdingers that caught us off guard. Or with our pants down, if you will.

Read These Stories Next:
These Are The Best Songs To Fall Asleep To
These Are The Most Popular Songs Of The Week
You've Been Singing These Songs Wrong Your Whole Life
1 of 11
"I Want A Little Sugar In My Bowl" by Nina Simone

A long, poetic, extended metaphor about sex, sung so that every line sounds like a provocation.
2 of 11
"Side to Side," Ariana Grande

My coworkers and I were shocked to discover that Ariana Grande's hit collab with Nicki Minaj was almost too explicit for daytime listening. Minaj's verse contains the phrase "dick bicycle," which is pretty self explanatory. The "side to side" movement discussed in the song is the I'm-so-sore wobble that accompanies a dick bicycle ride.
3 of 11
"Genie In A Bottle," Christina Aguilera

You thought it was just about genies and bottles and having a good time. Let me spoil it for you: "rub me the right way" is absolutely not about a lamp.
4 of 11
"Crash Into Me," Dave Matthews Band

The smooth hit sounds like a sweet song for a first dance. But let me stop you there — this song is only about sex. The end of the first verse repeats, "And I come into you/ I come into you." Yes, it's that kind of "come."
5 of 11
"Summer of 69," Bryan Adams

Okay, this one should have been obvious. The number "69" is in the title, and that alone should be a clue. The rest of the lyrics are fairly tame — that sly number pairing is the song's nod to sensuality. And to think, we thought it was just a year.
6 of 11
"Love Myself," Hailee Steinfeld

When a teenage pop star sings about loving herself, you kind of assume she's talking about self-care. You know, accepting oneself and all that healthy jazz. But Steinfeld's single is about more than that.

She sings: "I'm gonna touch the pain away. I know how to scream my own name."

It's a totally different version of self-care — one that involves a vibrator.
7 of 11
"She Bop," Cyndi Lauper

The word "bop" here is just a substitute for the word "bang." So when Cyndi Lauper sings "she bop" and "he bop," she's talking about coitus.
8 of 11
"If U Seek Amy," Britney Spears

Possibly the best use of pun/innuendo/allusion came from this 2008 Britney Spears song. If you say the title of the song quickly, it sounds like you're spelling the word "fuck" followed by "Amy."

So, when "all of the boys and all of the girls are begging to if you seek Amy," they're all actually begging to do dirty things to Amy.
9 of 11
"2 Become 1," The Spice Girls

The Spice Girls were experts at the innocent-seeming song that wasn't actually so innocent. Case in point: "2 Become 1," the song expressly about intercourse.

"Tonight is the night where two become one" is the rousing chorus of this song — and I'm guessing you know what that "becoming" is all about. (It's about sex.)
10 of 11
"Take Me to Church," Hozier

Hozier's hymn-like pop song takes aim at the Catholic church for its views on homosexuality. But buried in that political theme is some pretty sexual stuff.

"Something meaty for the main course/ That's a fine looking high horse/ What you got in the stable?" Hozier sings. Now, guess what "meaty" refers to.
11 of 11
Like this post? There's more. Get tons of celebrity news, fun takes on pop culture, and trending stories on the Refinery29 Entertainment Facebook page. Like us on Facebook — we'll see you there!

More from Music


R29 Original Series