I Touch Myself: An Homage to Gettin’ Off

Alone on Valentine’s Day? Think again. The Divinyls and Chrissy Amphlett want you to love yourself.

Welcome to the special, sexy edition of Bitchfork.blog ❤ ❤ ❤

In the year 1990, George H.W. Bush was President of the U.S., coming off the heels of eight years of the Reagan administration. The U.S. was nine years deep in the “Party of Family Values”, and it needed a release.

The wonderful Chrissy Amphlett minces no words in the Divinyls hit song “I Touch Myself“, a 1990 song that pulls back the curtain around the mystique of women and masturbation.

It’s a damn good song that celebrates a damn good pastime. Additionally, it inspired a very memorable movie moment, several incredible covers, and, most importantly, confidence in women throughout the world.

First, let’s appreciate the Divinyls and Chrissy Amphlett. Although the Divinyls were a one hit wonder in the U.S., they had several hits in Australia and are in the Australian Recording Industry Association Hall of Fame. A mighty honor as many of the most fantastic bands in the world are from Australia (oh you know just AC/DC, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Tame Impala, The Avalanches, Jet, The Vines, Wolfmother, Men at Work, Crowded House, INXS, and I am done writing because there are a lot of others). Generally, I feel that Australian music is way overlooked and underappreciated  by other English speaking countries.

Chrissy Amphlett is a genius unto herself. From Wiki:

At some point many fans referred to Amphlett as the female Angus Young, as both had similar mannerisms on stage and wore black-and-white school uniforms while performing in the early 1980s.

While the musical stylings and Chrissy’s own style changed over time, some edge remained.

Chrissy ultimately died of breast cancer and complications of multiple sclerosis in 2013, but let’s look at the fabulous legacy she left behind:

Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1996)

There are many reasons my mother is awesome. One of them is that she took me to see Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery when I was eight years old. I remember thinking it was the funniest thing I had ever scene in my brief existence, and I believe it was also the first time I, and likely millions of others, heard “Touch Myself” in the iconic fembot scene.

It’s 24 years later, and my humor and appreciation for this song haven’t changed. Guess I’m still eight.

Covers, So Many GREAT Covers

“Touch Myself” is a great song, and thankfully, it has been covered in a diverse and respectful fashion. Here are a few of my favorite covers:

The Genitorturers covers was a staple of my angsty college playlists:

This is a choral cover. Many of you will recognize it from the very awesome show “Sex Education“:

My favorite more contemporary cover by BØRNS:

There are several other covers. What’s your favorite?

Feelin’ Good

One of the more confusing parts of being a cis-woman is being constantly shamed about your sexuality and being a slut. In middle school and beyond, you hear thousands of jokes about male masturbation and your shamed if you don’t. Even though we hear “everybody’s doin’ it”, quite frankly I’m concerned not all girls and women are actually “doin’ it” because we don’t talk about it.

I think Chrissy and Divinyls got us thinking and talking a bit more about masturbation in general. And I hope that a lot of people were like “Well she’s doing it, and she’s cool. So it’s cool that I do it too?”. I think Chrissy would give that a resounding “Yes!”.

So, what are your plans tonight? 😉

Author: Keelin Billue

Chicago-based writer by way of Alabama, New Orleans, and Nashville. Writes primarily about music, sports (sort of), and the topics that piss people off at work and family holidays.

2 thoughts on “I Touch Myself: An Homage to Gettin’ Off”

  1. As a 62 year old male who loves his rock and roll the Divinyls song is in my itunes library and I also have their 4th and most successful album “diVinyls” on CD which includes the song in question, Even though it was released in 1990 I always considered it part of the late 70’s through the 80’s music period that was just a very fun period in rock music mostly because of punk and New Wave movement which I adored.

    Another song about the subject was one of my favorite albums ever Cyndi Lauper’s She’s So Unusual called She Bop.
    From Wikipedia :The song was considered controversial, as it dealt with the subject matter of female masturbation. It was also included on the Parents Music Resource Center’s “Filthy Fifteen” list, due to its sexual lyrics; this led to the creation of the Parental Advisory sticker. (Other songs on the “Filthy Fifteen” list included tracks by Madonna, Prince, and AC/DC.) In an interview on The Howard Stern Show, Lauper stated that she recorded the vocals of the song while nude.[1]

    Lauper said she wanted little kids to think the song was about dancing, and to understand the real meaning as they got older. It could receive airplay as she never directly stated in the song what the meaning was.

    It was her 3rd best selling single worldwide which I never knew since I figured True Colors or All Through the Night surely must have beaten it.

    Go White Sox and keep up the good work. Heard the last South Side Hit Pen podcast with you and Brett so I looked up some of your other stuff which is how I ended up here.


    1. Haha! Thanks so much for visiting, Ron. 🙂 And thank you for the background and especially the Cyndi Lauper info. She has a wonderful voice, and I do remember finding out the true meaning of “She Bop”.

      Go Sox! 🙂 Nice to “meet” you.


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