The problem with singing about sex is that, well, there just aren’t many original ways left to approach the subject after six decades of pop music’s winks, allusions and double entendres—not to mention graphic descriptions.
Leave it to Katy Perry and Kanye West, then, to try to solve this conceptual conundrum. Their solution: Take sex to a higher level. As in outta sight higher … in outer space.
“E.T.” is, quite simply, a song about a couple’s out-of-this-world sexual connection. It’s not literally about sex with aliens. But for Katy, apparently, the physical connection she sings about is so intense that the only way she can describe it is to compare it to an extraterrestrial encounter—complete with a naughty allusion to “probing.”
“You’re so hypnotizing,” she purrs, followed by the twin questions, “Would you be the devil?/Could you be an angel?” She quickly realizes, however, that a spiritual metaphor isn’t the one she’s looking for. So in its place she substitutes the language of alien sex snatching: “Futuristic lover/Different DNA/ … You’re from a whole ‘nother world/A different dimension.” And it’s a dimension she’s all too ready to completely surrender to: “You open my eyes/I’m ready to go/Lead me into the light/ … Infect me with your love and/Fill me with your poison/ … Take me, take me/Wanna be a victim/Ready for abduction.”
Katy might be playing coy with her wordplay, but Kanye—in the role of her “alien” lover—absolutely isn’t. “Tell me what’s next,” he commands. “Alien sex/Imma disrobe you/Then Imma probe you/See I abducted you/So I tell you what to do.” Elsewhere his contributions include an f-word and an “a‑‑,” as wall as braggadocio about his nasty fantasies: “I got a dirty mind/I got filthy ways/I’m tryna bathe my eyy in your milky way.”
Despite this outlandish duo’s “lofty” lyrical aspirations, then, “E.T.” quickly crashes back to earth under the weight of its ridiculous, salacious, xenomorphic take on copulation.
After serving as an associate editor at NavPress’ Discipleship Journal and consulting editor for Current Thoughts and Trends, Adam now oversees the editing and publishing of Plugged In’s reviews as the site’s director. He and his wife, Jennifer, have three children. In their free time, the Holzes enjoy playing games, a variety of musical instruments, swimming and … watching movies.