Despite what you may see on television, the meme of the hyper-sexualized black folk – be it buck or Jezebel – only exists in the distorted minds of white folks.
Thanks to our religious indoctrinations, black folks are some of the most puritanical yet sexually confused people any side of the colorlines. That’s a pretty huge statement, considering the vast richness of the black Disapora. But consider for a second the world of dancehall, which produces some of the most freaky music and dances on the planet, yet is still scared to lick the pum-pum.
However, that all might be evolving according to the Jamaica Star, as up-and-coming dancehall artist J Amsterdam is the first artist of the genre to record and release songs admitting to being a cookie monster. From the Jamaica Star:
“According to the Portmore-based singjay, who is currently promoting oral sex in his single Gyal Come Wine Inna Mi Face, he is the Messiah for oral sex practitioners.“Dancehall has reached a place where it is now ripe for a male artiste to come out and explicitly reveal his liking and preference for oral sex because a lot of females in the dancehall space and clubs are enjoying getting oral sex. I consider myself the Messiah for the freaks. There is a stereotype in dancehall. That is why many male artistes who are doing oral sex don’t have the courage to come out, but I have the courage. I am a strong, motivated person, and that is why I decided to come out to express my preference for that lifestyle because it is a good lifestyle and it is a trendy topic in dancehall,” J Amsterdam said.”
That is very feminist of J Amsterdam.
As the Star reports, J Amsterdam cites Vybz Kartel as his reason for coming out of the muff-diving closet and feels relieved that he can finally share with the world his collection of pro-licky ballads, including “Tongue Ring,” “No Panty Day” and my personal favorite (although I never heard a single note), “Please Put Your Chocolate in My Mouth.” The Star also reports that J Amsterdam doesn’t care about whatever potential backlash he might receive from his anti-pearl digging brethren, telling the Star (in a very risque way):
“How can you not love a woman in a very short mini-skirt and you walking on your knees and able to just creep up from behind her and give her a doggy style (oral sex). that’s like the slammer – having that big chocolate booty twerking in your face,” J Amsterdam said with a laugh.”
Dancehall music’s hesitation towards kneeling at the alter has been well-discussed (particularly among the lady-folk) and documented. In the essay Kinky Reggae: The Agony And The Ecstasy Of Sex in Jamaica, Frederick R Dannaway, a Jamaican music scholar, writes that while the islands various riddims have a long history with overt displays of sexuality, the music has been preoccupied mainly with heterosexual and male-centered sex. He cites old soundsystem tapes from the mid-80s, which often featured loud, boastful declarations of “no battyman” and “no licky, licky.” Dannaway writes that those anti-oral sex and gay man choruses were not just a protest to what was considered ‘deviant’ biblical sex acts, but the influx of Western, particularly American, sentiment creeping in the country. The latter, of course, is cited as the reason behind the island’s sexual tourist industry, which commodified poverty in favor of white Westerners visiting in search of “hedonistic” and often illegal sex. As Dannaway suggests, so much of what was presented as sexuality, at least in popular culture, was shaped in response to what was seen as an overreaching form of western imperialism. And by the ’90s, the misguided pushback had reached fever pitch, with popular artists like Shabba Ranks leading the charge. His song “Dem Bow,” would become the clarion call for dancehall artists to not only reject homosexual acts, but view oral sex given to women as contrary to the natural order of things (in particular, the belief that a giving a woman pleasure was the equivalent of bowing or submitting to her socially).
As Dannaway writes:
“As psychologists have noted of the macho symbolism of guns, the refusal to bow is similar in its context of the masculine lowering itself to ‘service’ another, man or woman. The badman culture of Jamaica then must be seen in this light, not as apologist but for context, as reflecting a complex situation of religion and manhood.”
But according to this old article in the Jamaica Star, dancehall music in particular is going through something of a sexual liberation with female artists, including CéCile, Tiana and Angelina blazing the trails downtown with oral-loving songs like “Head Mistress,” “Do It To Me Baby” and “Freaky Gal.”
And as this in-depth investigative report from the Jamaica Observer suggests, Jamaican men even outside of the dancehall scene might too be ready to reclaim their sexuality from the white gaze. Not only has the sexual act gained in popularity, but even the average man on the street has no problem talking about his love for the lickety-split. As one satisfied customer tells the paper, “I chew up dat bad, bad. mek she feel good..”
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