Putting the Cock Back in RockSex and rock’n'roll go together like condoms and lube. So where did the sex go?
By Rachel Khona

Being a woman who has always preferred the vocal stylings of Robert Plant to that dude from Passion Pit, I’m more of a pre-1995 rock fan. Less indie rock and more just . g.. rock. Classic rock, hard rock, and even hair metal, I love it all. Don’t get me wrong—I love a good Snow Patrol song when I feel the need to contemplate the meaning of life or wallow in my own melancholy. But nothing gets me more hot and bothered than the sweet sounds of a heavy bass, a longing moan, or someone whaling on the drums. Whether it’s a frenetic pace or a deep, weighty sound, the rock music of yesteryear seems to have something that modern rock just doesn’t: a pair of balls.

In Heidi Vanderlee’s 2010 Flavorwire.com article, she makes the argument that rock has gone flaccid. Animal Collective, Neon Indian, and Grizzly Bear are just some of the artists that come out limp. Vanderlee voiced something deep and troubling that many people, myself included, have been pondering for a while. Has rock lost its cock?

There’s a reason “sex, drugs, and rock ’n’ roll” is a phrase and “doilies, minivans, and rock ’n’ roll” isn’t. I want delicious, sweaty, thumping, crazy music, not something clean and palatable I could take home to Grandma. I want music I can screw to. But can
you even screw to modern-day rock music anymore? I had the perfect
opportunity to find out.

I was going on a road trip with a paramour I’ll call Dex. Dex has had a flame burning for me for years, since the time we were both backpackers living and working in Ireland together. Our joint goofiness caused us to get along smashingly. Together we would sing songs as loudly as humanly possible while working at the coffee shop, entertaining the customers with our antics. Being the cowboy from Arizona with the deep, booming voice, Dex preferred old country. Being the peppy cheerleader from New Jersey, I lived for hair metal. We came together over our love of classic rock: the Stones, Zep, the Beatles.

I never thought of him as anything more than a friend, but no matter who he was dating, he always seemed to come back around, knocking at my door. For years, he let me know he thought I was one of the funniest, smartest, sexiest women he had ever met. Nothing like a little flattery to change a girl’s mind.

I’d finally decided to throw caution to the wind and give in to the spark that may be. Dex was being flown from Australia (where he now resides) by his company to attend a conference in New Orleans. He invited me on a road trip through the Southwest, starting in the Big Easy and continuing through Texas and into Arizona. Though he invited me as just a “friend,” for “fun,” I suspected he wanted me to be more than that. And I was curious to find out if I could be.

It would be a solid six days across the barren desert in the middle of a sultry, hot summer. With our driving stints lasting anywhere from four to ten hours, we would have nothing to do except listen to countless hours of music and—if all went well—fuck our brains out. What better way to test our possible chemistry?

When I arrived in New Orleans, the sparks flew almost immediately. Something had changed over the years. No longer was Dex the gangly cowboy from Arizona; he was all man.

When we finally made it back to the hotel, he confessed his long-standing crush and planted one on me. A tidal wave of wild lust hit me. I never could have imagined years ago that I would want to kiss Dex, much less mount him, but the next thing I knew, we were doing it in every conceivable position with unbridled ferocity. This was going to be one very interesting trip.

We had left New Orleans and were on our way to Austin, taking in the countryside as it changed from swampland to desert, when a Zep song came on. “The Ocean,” to be precise.

“Don’t you feel like doing something?” Dex hinted.

“And what would that something be?” I asked coyly.

“I don’t know, I’m just saying, Zeppelin is on … ” he said, fingering his zipper.

Seems we were both on the same page as far as the mighty Zep was concerned; nothing more needed to be said. Zeppelin made us both think of one thing: getting it on. I’m not sure if it’s Bonzo’s pounding of the drums, or the fact that Robert Plant always sounds like he’s going to come at any second, but no matter what Zep tune is playing, it’s enough to get my panties moist every time.

“Okay, but just so you know, you’re returning the favor when ‘Custard Pie’ [a Zeppelin song that references going down on a woman] comes on,” I replied.

“Can’t wait.”

I unzipped his pants and began.

We were both really into it until we heard the upbeat, happy-go-lucky “Gonna take a trip to Laredo … ” streaming out of the speakers.

Band of Horses was not part of my modern-day Bonnie and Clyde porn fantasy. I went from feeling like a sexual vixen—my wild hair tousled, lip gloss all over his Johnson—to a proper lady who should be planning a picnic. But the show must go on. I reached over with my free hand and changed the song. On came “Respectable” by the Stones. Much better.

“That was so good,” he said as I finished and sat back up in my seat.

“Thank you.”

Hopefully tomorrow I wouldn’t have to change the song mid-activity.

The Beatles, while not exactly known for the sex appeal of their songs, do have one tune that seems tailor-made for road-trip sex: “Why Don’t We Do It in the Road?” Good question.

Paul McCartney apparently wrote the song after seeing two monkeys boinking on an Indian roadside. Dex and I weren’t quite monkeys, but we were definitely stoked to do it in the road.

We had just driven eight hours through the middle of Texas, from Austin to Marfa, and our lustfulness was getting the better of us. I wanted to wait until we arrived at the hotel, which was a mere ten miles away; he wanted to pull over and get it on in the car, underneath the Marfa lights.

Putting the Cock Back in Rock

Maybe it was a sign, serendipity, or just really good luck, but “Why Don’t We Do It in the Road?” just happened to come on shortly after I acquiesced to Dex’s request.

“No one will be watching us/ Why don’t we do it in the road?” Paul crooned. It was like Paul was giving us his blessing.

“Oh, my God, I’ve always wanted to do it to this song!” Dex exclaimed.

“Well, I’m glad I could be the one to christen it with you,” I responded with a smirk.

I hit the repeat button and quickly got on top of the car, Tawny Kitaen–style, and lifted up my skirt.

The more I listened, the more I realized this wasn’t music that was particularly sexy; the song hardly inspired the grinding that we were doing. It was standard Beatles fare—poppy, light, and upbeat. But the ly rics are enough to inspire even the most unimaginative of people to do it. And for that reason alone, the song got us more excited than if we were prisoners getting out of jail. That is, until we heard, “Yeah!”

Followed by loud hand clapping.

Fuck. We hadn’t even finished. So much for no one watching.

“Get off me!” I hissed.

We scrambled back into the car, where I tried to regain my composure. No matter how good the song, for me nothing kills the mood faster than accidentally putting on a free show.

Nonetheless, we were both still eager to finish what we had started. We quickly left the viewing area and hightailed it to the Thunderbird Hotel.

“I think I’m still a little traumatized. I need something to ease the pain.” I plugged the iPod into the stereo dock and put on Kings of Leon’s “Sex on Fire.” This song was a no-brainer. It offered a sort of comfort, like mac and cheese or PB&J. I knew it would leave me satisfied no matter what. Unlike the aforementioned Beatles song, “Sex on Fire” is more than just the sum of its lyrics; Caleb Followill’s soaring wails, the climactic buildup of the chords, the urgency in which the music progresses, are more than enough to make me want to tear some one’s clothes off, even if I hear it 50 times a day on the radio. And tear we did. Four times that night, in fact.

I don’t care what the critics say about Kings of Leon. Their music is hot (and, yes, I was a fan before Only by the Night). All hope is not lost for modern rock! The raspy, messy voice of Caleb and the visual imagery of their dirty rock gives Kings of Leon slow, sexy appeal that is quite befitting for encounters of the sexual kind. “I Want You” and “Black Thumbnail” manage to make reflections of a Southern quartet sound like a calling to get your fuck on.

Nonetheless, we had yet to hear a song that even came close to matching our level of raunchiness and depravity. We’d had sex inside, outside, in bathrooms, bathtubs, in the car, on top of the car, went down on each other while driving, and touched each other under the table at every bar and restaurant. We screwed to Queens of the Stone Age’s “Little Sister,” Bad Company’s “Feel Like Makin’ Love,” John Mellencamp’s “Hurts So Good,” Guns N’ Roses’ “Anything Goes,” and the Black Keys’ “Strange Desire,” while fast forwarding through Pearl Jam, the Strokes, Animal Collective, Bob Dylan, and Arcade Fire. But there was still something missing.

Until we got to Tucson.

Perhaps it was the creepy mood set by the supposedly haunted Hotel Congress, or the fact that I had just bought a pair of superhot fuck-me stilettos at a local store, but I was dying to do it to the Dead Weather. This was not the time to fuck around with the random selections of our iPods.

Infusing blues into rock is something that seemingly died a long time ago, living on only on classic-rock stations and at stores still selling vinyl. A regular old-school, sexy, bluesy rock band is something of an anomaly, looked down upon by the legions of hipsters who prefer their music more intellectual and thoughtful.

Which makes the Dead Weather that much better. Jack White’s brainchild brings the blues, guitar riffs, and Zeppelin-style heaviness kicking and screaming into the modern era, adding a shock of goth and murk. Alison Mosshart croons with a sinister intensity that is trashier and sultrier than anything I’ve heard in recent years. In “So Far From Your Weapon,” she taunts, “You wanna get up/ Let go, I said no,” and, “You better wipe that smile from your lips/ Which of us will be the one to go?” The Dead Weather was just what we needed.

We checked into the hotel and bounded up the stairs. The eeriness of the place was not lost on me; the lights flickered and the rooms looked like they hadn’t changed since 1922. It was the perfect setting for a little action with the Dead Weather.

As Dex went back down to move the car, I set my iPod to play Horehound. I waited anxiously for him to return, ready to christen our bed, the floor, the bathtub, and everything else in sight.

When Dex got back, he picked me up and threw me on the bed with an intensity I wasn’t expecting.

Ooh, I like it when you’re rough, baby,” I cooed.

“Take off your clothes,” he barked.

We sailed through “So Far From Your Weapon” to “Hang You From the Heavens” to “Treat Me Like Your Mother,” in which Alison and Jack trade jabs, with Alison taunting, “Stand up like a man/ You better learn to shake hands/ Look me in the eye now/ Treat me like your mother.”

A bit of asphyxiation, a few rug burns, a little bit of blood, and three songs later, we lay there totally exhausted and wholly satisfied.

“That was amazing,” he said. “You are the sexiest woman I have ever slept with. Period.”

Aw, thanks, babe.”

Or maybe I should thank Alison Mosshart. Leave it to a woman to put the cock back in rock.

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