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Shifter Selects: Let's Talk 'Bout [Inclusive] Sex, Baby

Graphic by Victor Martinez-Rivera. Photos from left to right: Sex Education/Netflix, Janelle Monáe/Tidal, Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion/The Recording Academy.

Welcome to Shifter Selects, a new addition to our digital component where we’ll highlight the latest trends in music, film/TV and fashion. Here’s how it’ll go down: on Monday of every week, we’ll be on the lookout for trending topics and give our hot takes on the matter. Sound like something you’d be interested in? Look no further than our Shifter Selects for the week of March 22–26.

In honor of us hosting our first-ever inclusive sex-ed panel, "Let's Talk 'Bout [Inclusive] Sex, Baby" this Thursday, March 25, we decided to highlight important moments in music, TV and fashion that tie back to sexual liberation. Netflix's "Sex Education" touches on the notion of inclusive sex-ed while women in music have reclaimed their sexuality. Let's not forget Janelle Monáe's *iconic* vagina pants.

If you're interested in joining Shifter Mag for our inclusive sex-ed panel, register at this link for more information. "Let's Talk 'Bout [Inclusive] Sex, Baby" will be held via Zoom on Thursday, March 25 at 5:30 p.m. EST.


How Women in Pop Music Are Reclaiming Their Sexuality

by Valerie Galarza

Where to listen: Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, YouTube Music, Tidal, Deezer, Pandora

Women in pop music are owning their sexuality and we are living for it.

Artists like Madonna and Cardi B have been owning and redefining their sexuality through music. With Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s iconic performance of their hit song "WAP” at the 2021 Grammys and Madonna’s trailblazing "Like a Prayer” has paved the way for women to be more comfortable with their bodies and sexualities.

Newer pop artists like Ariana Grande and Dua Lipa have also reclaimed their sexuality through their music. Grande has displayed her sexual power and liberation in her iconic collab with Nicki Minaj, “Side to Side,” and more recently in her highly acclaimed song “34+35.” Lipa takes ownership of her body in her song “Good in Bed.”

With women’s history month slowly coming to an end, we wanted to shed light on these empowering pop singers who have encouraged their fans to not only own their sexuality but also flaunt it as there is no shame in being a confident and powerful woman.


Netflix's "Sex Education" Helps Start Important Conversations

by Brianna Bradley

Where to watch: Netflix

“Sex Education” is Netflix’s hit British comedy-drama that delivers in both entertainment and education. Created by Laurie Nunn, the story follows teenagers of Moordale Secondary School as they navigate sexual and romantic relationships for the first time.

The series has been praised for its real-life depiction of sex. It was even Netflix’s first production to have an intimacy coordinator on set — someone to ensure the well-being of actors during sex scenes.

“Sex Education” discusses important subjects that we were never taught about in school: abortion, gay sex, masturbation, rape and sexual assault. The show treats sex for what it is: an aspect of one’s health. With two seasons and another on the way, it’s safe to say that “Sex Education” is giving audiences the sex education they’ve desired.


How Janelle Monáe's "Pynk" Vagina Pants Made History

by Camille Ruiz Mangual

Where to follow: Duran Lantink

In 2018, Janelle Monáe made headlines with the debut of her famous vagina pants in the music video for her song “Pynk.” Since then, those pants — designed by Duran Lantink — have lived in our heads rent-free.

For four minutes and 28 seconds, “Pynk” reclaims Black, queer sexuality through innuendos such as manicured fingers gripping pink silk sheets, dripping popsicles, and of course, vagina pants. However, not every woman wears vagina pants. In an interview with People Magazine, Monáe says this is because “I don’t believe that all women need to possess a vagina to be a woman. I have one I’m proud of, but there’s a lot of policing and controlling that people are trying to have over our vaginas… I wanted “Pynk” to be a celebration of women who are unique, distinct, different, may be different from one another but when they come together they create something magical and special.”

Wait — want to dive into our music selections each week?

Follow us on Spotify, where we'll post hyper-specific playlists each week. Pssst... if you're an Apple Music user, you can also listen if you use this snazzy convertor.

Here's our playlist for this week:

Want to keep up with the latest trends?

Tune in next Monday for our next installment of Shifter Selects!

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