TOVE LO FEAT. CHARLI XCX, ICONA POP, ELLIPHANT, AND ALMA — BITCHES

Rating: 4.5/5

Ever since Tove Lo burst onto the scene with 2014’s “Talking Bodies,” she’s always been blunt about her sexuality. Maybe it’s her Swedish upbringing, but this is a woman who claims her sexuality in a way that many women struggle with.

“bitches” does a lot of things right: first off, this is a track about women eating other women out, but Lo doesn’t make it a thing. In so many gay rights songs, they get it wrong by calling out the fact that it isn’t about cis love or sex too deliberately. Lo doesn’t care; she just wants to “be your guide when you eat [her] pussy out.”

Secondly, “bitches,” in this context, doesn’t refer only to women. The music video features a cis couple undergoing some kind of domination/sex training from Lo and her gaggle of female artist friends featured on this tune. At the end, while they chime the chorus — “bitches, I don’t trust ’em / but they give me what I want for the night” — the female partner pushes her male counterpart’s head down to her groin so he can “give her what she wants.” While this obviously is a role reversal of the typical notion of males pushing females down for head, the bigger implication is that “bitches,” her, simply refers to the sub. After leaving their “sex ed” class, the woman turns around and goes back in, presumably to be the “bitch.” A “bitch” isn’t a woman; it’s just a sexual parter who does exactly what you say.

As far as the actual music goes, Lo does an amazing job of weaving together all the different female voices into one solid track. Before watching the video, I actually couldn’t tell which parts were Lo and which were the featured artists, which could be viewed as a problem, but I love how seamlessly their voices fit together. Instead of using featured artists for a different flavor, Lo uses them to bring the female voice together. This is how you reclaim a derogatory term.

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