Unlike their male counterparts, they know how to be coy.
Sex sells. And music about sex sells even better. So the fact that the Bruno Mars single "Locked Out of Heaven" is pretty sexual was not surprising. Mars, as endearing as he may seem with his fedora and retro aesthetic, isn't immune from the general persuasion of pop music to be absolutely dripping with lyrics about sexuality.
Never had much faith in love or miracles
Never wanna put my heart on the line.
But swimming in your world is something spiritual
I'm born again every time you spend the night
'Cause your sex takes me to paradise
Yeah your sex takes me to paradise
The song isn't just about sex. It's about how having sex with this particular woman—the nameless, beautiful-just-the-way-she-is woman—makes Mars feel like he hasn't has sex in far too long. He proclaims four times that her "sex takes [him] to paradise."
And this is "the stuff of great pop" according to Jody Rosen's review in Rolling Stone.
Now, this isn't to disparage the song. It's catchy. If you haven't had a chance to hear it, take a listen. And Mars is more than charming in interviews. Especially when he skirts around the question asking what "Locked Out of Heaven" is about. "Come on Lee, we're grown men," he told the interviewer on CBS Sunday Morning a week ago. What the interviewer fails to ask Mars is "were you half asleep when you wrote this song?" Infectious dance beat aside, "Locked Out of Heaven" sounds like it was written on the back of a Starbucks receipt during a five-minute cab ride. His unimaginative musings about sex only highlight how lazy Mars and his contemporaries have gotten in terms of songwriting. Hit songs are no longer forced to solely allude to sex to get airtime. But now that songs can reference sex outright with little to no consequence, pop artists have lost a good deal of the creativity, not to mention the appeal, they once had.