Prince was high school for me.
We would drive around listening to cassette tapes of Prince albums. Or sit at my friend’s house listening to Prince as we talked about where we wanted to be in 1999. Prince was scandalous – a midwest boy singing about a girl masturbating.
It’s funny because this song is the first song that came to mind when I heard the news. Not 1999. Not Kiss. Not Purple Rain…..nope. Darling Nikki.
I read this and understood why….
Looking back at that time, I had discovered my sexuality. I knew and enjoyed how my body worked. I knew what turned me on – all of the kinky stuff that I finally started embracing only as I got older. And I was a geek with laser focus on getting the hell out of rural, conservative Iowa. The high school boys definitely missed out as many of my friends were not as, ahem, in touch with themselves as I was.
Darling Nikki was Prince showing me that a woman could be in command of her own sexuality. She could have toys. She could be kinky. She could approach a guy and say “wanna fuck” and that was not shameful. In an area where guys were the ones “rocking a girl’s world”, Nikki was blowing the guy’s world into pieces. I liked that. I wanted that.
As an adult, I have done those things. And I am not ashamed of it either.
So thank you, Prince. Thank you for being a guy from the midwest who made me feel okay about being a girl who masturbated and dreamed of a time when I could not feel shamed for it or for my desire to have sex and enjoy kink. Even when I didn’t have the words – thank you for the words and the music and the feeling.
Rest in peace.