We for one are sick of the same old tropes in music videos. We need something more exciting, edgier, queerer. No more wide-angle shots of people in the club. No more dancing on top of shipping containers on a construction site. Luckily, we’ve compiled a list of artists who treated us to a fine selection of erotic and LGBTQ+ friendly visuals. So, here are five homoerotic music videos that were too hot for the censors to handle.
Montero (Call Me By Your Name) by Lil Nas X (2021)
Lil Nas X’s ‘Montero’ was like nothing before seen in a mainstream pop music video. It combines unapologetic sex appeal and defiant queerness, then tops it off with tasteful Satanism. While sliding down a stripper pole to Hell and giving Satan a lap dance, ‘Montero’ is a bold embrace of Lil Nas X’s queer identity. It was and still is, a game changer for queer representation in pop.
Creative influences for this music video include Spongebob Squarepants, the 2017 film Call Me by Your Name and FKA Twigs’ music video for her song ‘Cellophane’. This is a mix of creative inspiration that will probably only make sense if you see it for yourself.
Alejandro by Lady Gaga (2010)
From her 2009 album The Fame Monster, the Alejandro music video is quintessentially and erotically queer. Incorporating masculinity, religion, homoeroticism and BDSM, this music video is a hallmark of Gaga’s repertoire. While donning skin-tight latex and deep-throating rosary beads, Gaga projects her queer appreciation.
On Larry King Live in June 2010, Gaga stated that the video had a “homoerotic military theme”. And that “It is a celebration of my love and appreciation for the gay community, my admiration of their bravery, their love for one another and their courage in their relationships.”
Te Amo by Rihanna (2010)
‘Te Amo’ comes from Rihanna’s fourth studio album, Rated R. It deviates from other futuristic-sounding songs on the album like ‘Love The Way You Lie’. The music video features French supermodel Laetitia Casta, who tries and succeeds in seducing RiRi. In ultraviolet lighting dressed in PVC bondage outfits, Rihanna and Casta are seen kissing and caressing each other in the rooms of a French castle.
All The Things She Said by t.A.T.u (2000)
The Russian pop duo caused outrage in the early 2000’s with their music video for ‘All The Things She Said’. It featured the two artists, Lena Katina and Julia Volkova, dressed as schoolgirls making out in the rain. The pop duo faced widespread censure due to the music video’s portrayal of lesbianism. Despite this, the homoerotic music video went on to win the MTV Video Music Award in 2000, the first nomination and win from t.A.T.u.
Justify My Love by Madonna (1990)
Madonna has been a gay icon since the ’80s, when it was hard to find any other celebrities openly supporting the gay community. She was an LGBTQ+ advocate long before the release of this next music video on the list, but this was the first time she showed her experimentation with bisexuality.
Filmed in black and white like a ’60s European art film, the music video explores bisexuality, voyeurism and BDSM. Madonna also briefly explores the theme of androgyny, when a woman who looks very like Madonna’s lover appears in men’s clothing with a drawn-on pencil moustache. In another scene, a woman is scantily clad, wearing suspenders that cover just her nipples, and is seen pulling Madonna’s bound lover by the hair. Iconic.
‘Justify My Love’ was evidently too hot for the censors to handle, as it was banned from MTV and MuchMusic in Canada.
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