Sex, Stories, and Music: The Hunt Backstage
I was only 16 when I first felt that captivating, mystic pull, drawing out of me things that I had, at the time, only an academic understanding of. That viscous, yet electric, sexual enchantment that pulsates through the air when the gifted musicians among us are at play on stage.
Music in Trinidad and Tobago has always been filled with sexually charged energy. From the early days of Calypso, when sexual innuendos were cleverly hidden within loudly sung choruses, to now, when the hypnotic beat of our rhythms provokes gyrations of all kinds. Sex in one way or another has maintained a prominent place both harmonically and lyrically in our culture, especially in Soca.
It has also had a very distinctive alpha-male flavour to it. Though we can boast of quite a few talented, female artistes, in the musical arena, the men have always had a strong and clear hold.
That seemingly irresistible, masculine energy has been the source of many a rumour, many a warning, and many a broken… erm… heart for as long as any of us can recall. Maybe it was because there were always musicians in my family, but I remember growing up knowing that those were men you did not get involved with, as they notoriously had unquenchable desires, alongside uncountable fervent females who were always ready, willing, and able to serve their salacious, sexual needs. Definitely not boyfriend, far less husband material.
Life though, as well as experience, has taught me that generalisations about a group of people are never good things to make. In addition, given my line of work (publicity and writing) with said musicians (mostly in Soca), the personalities as well as the interpersonal behaviours I have encountered do not exactly match the constant wild orgy rumours I have heard. So instead of wondering anymore, questions were asked, and some very revealing answers were given.
Energy can neither be created nor destroyed, and that sexual charge my late-blooming self felt was the potent, raw energy that those I spoke to confirmed was a sign that the musician onstage was being a very successful conduit – guiding the energy to the crowd, and being re-charged as the audience fed it back to him. When the stage lights dim though, it still lingers in the air swamping those open enough to feel it, with backstage being the main area where one can sense it crackling along your skin, encouraging you to engage in very interesting acts.
“It is as simple as saying, ‘Hello, let’s f*ck’ when you step off the stage,” one veteran explained to me.
Conversing with him revealed that although he could not give an actual number, there were always many happily available women, which enabled a fairly popular musician to have his pick after every show. He could also have multiple women in one night, and those women could know about each other without it being a problem.
That is not to say every performer indulges in the same way; a few in fact, have admitted to outgrowing the constant revolving door of women, and yet others have confessed that was never their style. In fact if you were to stroll backstage, you would see wives, girl friends, and significant others waiting for their men to leave the stage, so they could then go home to their families. The atmosphere though is similar to one of a hunting ground, with those wives et al, giving off a protective barrier with respect to their men, and other unattached women colourfully stalking, seeking to attract those musicians who are free to engage them.
Ironically, this is the place where you really feel female determination at its strongest. Whether it is to be photographed with a particular man, or to be taken home and be made significant by that man, the women in and around show that aggression is not a male-only characteristic. With such phrases as “Sorry hun I have a wife”, and “I ask anything about her? Is you I want to sleep with not she” being uttered. It can only be described as an active competition to see who could sleep with all of the ‘top guns’ in the business, or at least make it seem as if they had to their Facebook friends.
Another illustration of determination was a young lady who ‘dissed’ one musician for another, both of whom she met that night, and the disrespected fella hit her giving her a black eye. Which did not matter to her, as she went home with her desired man, blooming bruises and all.
Other women find the very direct, naked approach to be effective. Don’t understand? They show up wherever the men are alone, naked, or start stripping in their presence.
Poor men, right? Wrong.
Though there are many instances of women under the influence (of musician induced sexual energy), acting on their primal desires, the men, are, as alpha males tend to be, the hunters in this scenario. Some may be subtle, allowing the energy they whipped up to induce the prey to flock to them, but others, take up the challenge of a more traditional, hunting role. This happens, especially with those who are younger in the game. It becomes a way for them to show that their expertise off the stage matches what they did on stage.
A source stated that, for some, sex was the main goal, while for others it was about flirting and appearances. The men needed to be able to stand among their peers and to be seen as a ‘ladies man’. This level of peer pressure is especially exerted when the musicians travel abroad.
“If fifteen men in a band, and ten bring back girls to their hotel rooms, is real talk for the five who didn’t,” my source said. “So the next night, those five going to find girls, by hook or by crook.”
And you thought high school was hard.
There are even those who measure their manhood in front their peers not just by the number of women they sleep with, but also by the kind and abilities of the women they sleep with.
“I have watched while men sit around with their bredren and discuss the sexual prowess of the women they with, while the women sat right there listening,” one musician told me. “Men also pass women around to their friends.”
I pictured cards here with headings like, Bendy, Splashy, Has A Twin… lol.
Beyond the obvious massive ego stroke this kind of attention equates to, a very popular artiste informed me that there was a legit reason not to discourage this behaviour.
“You can never disrespect or brush off anyone, because that one person could start damaging talk about you, and how you push them off. And when that talk spreads… it can affect your income. After that, when your name comes up for work, people say, ‘Who he? He is an a**hole, we not calling he to work here!’ It’s better everyone sees you as open and willing to…network. Networking in fact is vital to your survival in this business.”
This latter point resonated most strongly with me, since I have seen that the more engaging the musician, the more likely it is he will be called back to perform again. Nobody likes working with a sourpuss.
From all of my interviews, however, it was clear that growing up I received valuable advice that I should take with some salt. They may have more options than the average man, but each person is still an individual.
Love them, fear them, be wary of them, no one can deny the creative and seductive energy musicians just ooze.
The thing is though, it is that very same energy that allows us mere mortals to transcend to a plain of joy and memories that the skilfully soulful musician can take you to. Faced with its unrefined potency, it calls to a very primal part of our beings, which is why we women will never ever stop falling for them or attending each and every of their shows.
Personally, I spend many days quite happy that the men who could make me ‘shame mih family’ live abroad, and not anywhere close to me, because if not, one of my escapades might have made the headlines both here and abroad. And somehow, I don’t think I would getaway with it by saying… it wasn’t me, it was de mussssssiiiiiiiccccc!
* Due to the subject matter of this article, the names and any distinguishing features of the innocent, not-so innocent, and the-oh-so guilty have been meticulously disguised.
Check out the rest of this week’s issue (3/10/11; Issue 75):
- Blurring the Lines: Friending your Child by Onika Pascal.
- Upgrading your Man or Woman: Worth the Gamble? by Katyan Roach.
- Supporting Charity in T&T: Beyond the Facebook Status by Joshua Ramirez-Wharwood.
- Landlord Adventures: Toilets, Baybays and Excuses by Keisha Stephen-Gittens.
- Scrunting or Balling: Wait til I get my Money Right by Karel Mc Intosh.
Look out for a new issue of Outlish.com every Monday!