Sex God vs. MediaThis is a featured page

This page is dedicated to
Lipstick Alley members,
without whom it would not be possible.

Elvis, Jagger, and Marilyn
Meet Their Match

You may not be old enough to remember this, but there was a time when Michael Jackson was ,in the eyes of the world,
"Michael Jackson, Sex God."

No superstar ever had more audience
screaming and fainting than MJ. But this was a black man making white women faint like never before.

Men wanted to be MJ, to dress like him, move like him.

But media execs gradually realized they could profit more from tabloids about Michael's purported "strangeness" than on posters for lusting fans' bedroom walls.

Michael had become the most famous person on the planet. One juicy story, true or not, could make an immense amount of money for an outlet. The competition began -- who could sell the "strangest" story about Michael?

Outlets offered irresistible sums of money to anyone in MJ's life willing to recount something that could be made to sound strange. Or to simply make something up.


Oprah show 1993: MJ as Sex Idol

Ghosts 1996
Sexuality - MJJ the Man


tip of the hat

Romanticized masculinity

Before MJ was ultimately dubbed sexless by the media, he was dubbed androgynous. Which can be pretty sexy, e.g. Prince, Bowie...but it isn't really MJ. Makeup alone does not make androgyny.

A more nuanced analysis finds he related solely to traditionally male imagery, especially as he romanticized it from earlier eras, from the Renaissance, to old Hollywood, to Brando-esque biker style.

panther dance 1

The makeup

Plenty of macho rockers wore dark eyeliner.

As for the rest of it, and yes there was a lot...
it was simply to mask ever-worsening vitiligo. Insecurity about his looks, compounded with the botched nose job, led him at times to overdo it.

Sexuality had little to do with it.

The fake media narrative began in the Bad era. First we were told he wanted to "become Diana Ross." Of course, now we know conclusively he actually wanted to f*ck Diana Ross.

Next, they told us he wanted to "become a white woman." Again, we know conclusively they were wrong about his wanting to be white. So shoud we believe them that he wanted to look like a woman?

In his Bad era, the media always mentioned the nose work, but never the chin cleft-- because doesn't that blow their storyline? Someone wanting to look like a woman isn't craving Kirk Douglas' chin, for God's sake.

Around the world, MJ's new Bad look was called sexy, black-leather-and-buckle S&M-style. In the US, media called it... feminine? Huh?

Glam rockers and hair bands look dated and silly in retrospect. But MJ, always the artist, created a newer beautiful-yet-macho look that has remained timeless, copied by rockers ever since. It's time to recognize Michael Jackson's creative synergy of contemporary performance with classic romantic masculine imagery and dramatic eroticism.

Which of these is not like the others?

Bowie and Prince are brilliant, sexy and get the classic "androgynous" label.

But some critic or academic long ago needing to make a point for an essay included Michael Jackson in the group, which never made sense, but the label stuck.



don't stop

Tap dance

1977 1979

kingwhite top hat
ca 1983 ca 1987

[Untitled]smooth criminal
Bad cover shootHuman Nature red

ca 1995



2009 This Is It


Journalists once described MJ as "pure sex."

As the media narrative evolved, they stepped it up to "sexless," "asexual," "childlike," "virginal," "boy-man," "Peter Pan."

And then there's the evidence. Cognitive dissonance is a powerful thing.

While asexuality is a perfectly valid trait, it wasn't MJ's trait, and so was unfair to the real person. Worse, it attacked the very heart of his artistry.

They created a one-dimensional caricature; someone who was into amusement rides. That's it. No complexity allowed, no nuance.

In a contemptuous phrase, a cynical journalist can disregard a mindblowing catalog of heartrending music and performance about love and sex ...and claim the artist knew not, nor cared not, for the subject of his art?

Still, millions of screaming and fainting women and gay fans didn't get the memo.

New generations, who grew up comfortable with MJ's altered look, are entranced anew at his sexual charisma, and are rediscovering MJ all over again in record-breaking numbers.

There is today an astounding network of websites devoted to celebrating MJ's sexuality. Mostly women and gay men, many African-American, they are finding their voice on the Internet, breaking the media monopoly that for so long trivialized and marginalized their own experience and observation of MJ.

It is simply impossible to be at all familiar with MJ's live performances, then use the word "sexless" or "virginal" in the same sentence with the name Michael Jackson.

At the bottom of this page is a sampling of videos that are less well known.

itc on the ground

itc 2



Sheryl 2Sheryl 1

MJ bad era






What about his real love life

But we shouldn't care about such matters... only the music and the dancing! Uh-huh, now back to planet Earth... the world has begged to know since he was way too young. Thus we need an entire separate page for Michael Jackson's sexual relationships.

Because knowing the man enrichens our understanding of the artistry.
When Jehovah's Witnesses
go really, really astray

"... the Force... you know it's got a lot of power..." spoken intro to "Don't Stop Till You Get Enough."

How to phrase this? There is a prominent subculture of MJ fans devoted to "The Force." They share their ample photographic evidence that the Force was strong in this one. Startlingly strong.

I haven't seen this in a biography yet.

MJ enjoyed himself on stage. A lot. Each tour was more sexual than the last. By the History tour, he was proudly flaunting his gifts, dancing free in the legendary Gold Pants.

Try a Google image search on the phrase "gold pants." That's all, no mention of MJ. The Force is everywhere. Two G-rated pics at right give you the idea...

The Force became so hard to ignore that the Bad tour crew placed bets on whether it would appear in his nightly duet with Sheryl Crow.

At right is an interview with Sheryl, which includes clips of their performances together.

This group of aficionados also enjoy one of MJ's most suggestive dance gestures -- an upward twirling finger, with body language and facial expression to match. Discussions take note of his 3-ring binder of clipped porn and sex articles in plastic sleeves found in the raid, including ones on the G-spot.

the force

gold pants TWYMMF

\fingergold smooth criminal

This page is dedicated to
Lipstick Alley members,
without whom it would not be possible.

A Video Career Review,
Proving Michael Jackson's Place Among History's Greatest Global Sex Symbols

Alternate/additional suggestions very welcome; please post them in discussion thread below.

1975 One Day In Your Life, Jackson 5, live
At 16, Michael was already a showbiz veteran,
and the Jackson 5 were heartthrobs on the cover of teen magazines around the world.
But this was not your average teen idol... this was a brilliant talent unfolding...

1976 Get Happy/I've Got Rhythm -- the famous tap dance

1979 live mix: Shake Your Body, Rock With You, Don't Stop from Destiny Tour, The Jacksons

1981 Rock With You, Triumph Tour, The Jacksons.
The opening is priceless.
I think I wanna ROCK!

1984 Heartbreak Hotel, Victory Tour, The Jacksons

1987 Come Together video

1988 Madison Square Gardens, Bad Tour, Dirty Diana

1988 Grammy Awards: The Way You Make Me Feel, Man in the Mirror

1991 Black Panther Dance
(censored from the end of the Black or White music video)

1992 Billie Jean, live, Dangerous Tour, Bucharest

1993 Give In To Me, music video

1995 MTV Awards Medley

1997 Wanna Be Starting Something, History World Tour, Munich

2002 Dangerous American Bandstand Anniversary

2009 -- Drill remix from This Is it. Best I can do for video for now is this great remix.


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