And in my favorite recent example, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter and Jay-Z got on the Grammy stage last night and did what conservatives have been dying for someone to do for ages: they made marriage look fun, and sexy, and a source of mutual professional fulfillment. As Caitlin White wrote in her review of Beyoncé’s self-titled album: “She claims female pleasure as pure and grown, something dominant that can coexist with monogamy and marriage and her own status as an artist.”
“Drunk In Love” is raunchy, fun and even silly. “Why can’t I keep my fingers off it, baby? I want you,” Beyoncé sings. She teases her partner, who both in the real-life creation of the song and its narrative, is her husband Jay-Z, “Can’t keep your eyes off my fatty, daddy, I want you.” It’s a song about flirting, about going out and partying, about having fantastic, adventuresome, totally enthralling sex–with your spouse. That’s a far, far better argument for marriage than the pseudo-scientific case for holding onto your oxytocin by not having sex before you say your vows on the grounds that such conservation efforts will make your first time better.
“Drunk in Love” is performed over a trap beat usually reserved for aggressive, sizzurp slurred raps about marijuana, murder, money and misogyny. The single is a send-up of those drug induced fantasies where something very real to the Carters is described with a bounce back beat and emphasized malapropisms like “dranking”, “breastesses” and “surfbort”.