90s Female R&B Singers Inspired A Movement For Sexual Liberation

person holding black brassiere strap
Alyssa Guzik
May 3, 2024

Songs and lyrics about sex from a woman’s point of view weren’t new. However, the women of 90s R&B were on a mission to empower themselves and other Black women by singing about self-worth and sexual independence like never before.

After the 1993 release of her self-titled ‘Janet’ album, there was no doubt that Ms. Jackson was grown and sexy. The lyrics “tie me up, tie me down. [...] I want to feel a soft rope burn” in 1997’s “Rope Burn” illustrated the sexiness of the freedom one could find in light S&M play.

TLC’s “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” makes it abundantly clear that size, shape, and firmness don’t matter. When they want it, they will beg for it. And they won’t stop begging until they get all of it.

Adina Howard was out there in a convertible, singing loud and proud that she was a sexual freak who needed someone just as adventurous. “Freak Like Me” was Howard’s way of demanding a sexual partner who could keep up with her.

These women and others like them used their music as a platform. Through bold and often provocative lyrics, these singers encouraged their fans to embrace their sexuality, demand respect in relationships, and break free from societal norms that limited their potential.