Poly & Kink: The Music Issue

Ever since I was little, I’ve used music to help me make sense of my life.

I’ve written a bunch of songs over the years in an attempt to extract and analyze the worlds swirling inside me, and have many half-written songs that just don’t quite get there. It doesn’t help that I never fully developed the musical end of the song-writing process. Hopefully, that’s something that I can work on in the future. But in the meantime, it means I seek out music to sort out emotions, aid in rituals when I used to be more of a practicing pagan, find courage or solace, celebrate, swoon with when I’m falling in love, cry to when I’m breaking up, yank out anger that gets lodged deep inside, and any other emotion that I want assistance with going through or understanding.

This gets challenging when it comes to polyamory and kink. So much of popular music that’s easy to access and has to do with having feelings for someone is so laser focused on monogamy and anything darker tends to verge into abuse. I’m sick and tired of hearing about “one and only”, “only you”, “no one else”, etc. in pop music. The messages of forever and exclusivity are things I simply don’t feel.

I want music that mirrors the joy of discovery when there’s a new interest on the horizon, the floaty sensation of feelings being reciprocated, the non-exclusive way I feel about my husband, the way I feel when a relationship deepens, the emotions surrounding a poly family and living outside the lines when it comes to love and relationships, the joy of right now, hell, even that anxious feeling of “is this really happening?” (And I recently found one that hits THAT nail on the head that I can’t get out of my head lately. But more on that later.)

When it comes to kink, I want to find songs that speak to those darker, primal desires. I want driving beats or spooky and ambiant sounds that can mimic a musical soundscape that feels almost like subspace.

Since I’ve been doing both for a little over 15 years, I’ve been compiling songs over the years that work for me. Back then, it was harder to stumble upon songs because we didn’t have Spotify and all the everything that’s been uploaded to YouTube.

Back in the day, I made a mix CD series called “The Mormon Mix” (parts 1, 2, AND 3). Some of those songs have made it into current rotation again. Here are some that have worked and are currently go-to’s for me for poly:

  • The Polyamory Song – David Rovics (Classic and straight to the point)
  • Elaborate Lives (Reprise) – Aida OBCR (This is one is EXCEPTIONAL for difficult times, though it does have a note of hierarchical thinking to it.)
  • We Got Us – The Muppets
  • Independent Love Song – Scarlet
  • Into Me – Chantal Kreviazuk (this is the one that’s currently on loop in my head right now that matches the anxiety I’m trying to fight and the joy I feel. About how I’m afraid stuff that’s happening isn’t real, or that someone I care about will…leave. There’s a line that’s perfect for where I am right at this moment which is “I’m finally starting to believe that you and me and this thing, it’s really happening.” I love how it states flat out that it’s been a process of getting there, that it’s undefined, but it’s finally happening, whatever it is. Fills me with such happiness.)
  • Manta Rays – Ludo (I love the newness of this. Non-exclusive, new love feels all over this)
  • A Whole New World – Aladdin (Ah, Disney.)
  • How Your Love Makes Me Feel – Diamond Rio (this is pure joy of love in country song)
  • Epoch – HUMANWINE (It’s not really a song about poly, per se, but there’s this line “Sometimes, families change. You have to make your own. Sometimes families change; create your own” that’s always resonated with me with having a polycule of people who may or may not be dating, but is a family of people with the same values. Who encourages open love and exploration. It’s definitely a change from the family I grew up with.)
  • Just Enough – Charlotte Sometimes (a light, yearning song that strikes me as waiting for something to start, but it’s full of hope, but still…right before anything happens. And sometimes, the wait is just enough. I mean, sometimes you want things to happen NOW goddammit, but you have to wait until they can. I don’t know nothing about that. Nope.)
  • Sleeps with Butterflies – Tori Amos (OMG, this is perfect for me and my husband. It’s been with me a long time and it was hard to transition it from others to him, but it has always reminded me that we sometimes both need space to figure things out, but that we’re always here for each other. And that he can “fly” with others, but I believe I’m worth coming home to. I don’t want to hold onto the tail of his kite.) The chorus especially has gotten me through many troubled times:

You say the word
You know I will find you
Or if you need some time
I don’t mind
I don’t hold on
To the tail of your kite
I’m not like the girls that you’ve known
But I believe I’m worth coming home to
Kiss away night
This girl only sleeps with butterflies
With butterflies
So go on and fly then boy

  • Triad – Jefferson Airplane
  • Tonight and the Rest of My Life – Nina Gordon (just…that floaty feeling that you want to last forever)
  • Against the Night – Jason Webley (not totally a poly song, but it’s good in that it’s not exclusive and it’s a song about being there for someone when they’re having a difficult time. It’s one of those things that I think speaks to people especially who have anxiety or depression or other mental issues and are afraid there won’t be anyone there to help. This song is the response to that for the people who care.)
  • Some People Say – Allo Darling
  • Not Broken Yet – Juliet Simms (This song is the musical version of the pain and strife my husband and I have gone through, and the complications, but knowing that we have each other.)
  • Under Pressure – David Bowie & Queen (Seriously, the lines “‘Cause love’s such an old-fashioned word / And love dares you to care for / The people on the edge of the night / And love dares you to change our way of / Caring about ourselves” are like a poly/radical love rallying cry to me.)
  • Someone New – Hozier
  • Community Property – Steel Panther (When you need a laugh)
  • Bonnie & Clyde – Vermillion Lies

A little bit of poly and kink (to me):

  • Mouth – Merril Bainbridge
  • I Get Off – Halestorm (It could be read as creepy, but not when it’s consensual. And it’s so accurate it’d be scary if it didn’t turn me on so much.)
  • Hey Pretty – Poe (Poe is just so good. And the lines “I’ve got a mind full of wicked designs; I’ve got a non-stop hole in my head imagination” I’m like….YESSSSS.

And for kink:

  • Amazed – Poe
  • Bad Things – Jace Everett
  • Dangerous Game – Jekyll & Hyde (I was floored when I finally saw the musical…this is not a…good song in the musical. But for me, it always spoke to the intense interplay between a Dom and sub.)
  • Arsonist’s Lullaby – Hozier
  • Hit Me With Your Best Shot – Pat Bentar (playful sub is playful)
  • Rhiannon – Fleetwood Mac (Always gets me into Domme headspeace – funny how channeling a Welsh witch will do that…)
  • Be Prepared – The Lion King (Disney prolly would never understand how I interpret THAT song…)
  • Seven Devils – Florence + the Machine
  • Stripped – Shiny Toy Guns
  • Cruel to be Kind – Letters to Cleo
  • Girl Crush – Little Big Town (TOTAL cuckquean song – emotional masochism, anyone? So good when done right.)

So…what songs have resonated with you for poly and/or kink?

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