As I walked through the parking lot to my apartment building tonight I noticed a man and woman on the third floor; they were kissing. Their shades were open and the lights were on, and they were displaying their passion for everyone to see (everyone being just me, but still…). I stopped to watch them for a few seconds as I approached the door, and I felt happy knowing that somebody in my building was gettin’ them some. There is some sweet, sweet lovemaking going on tonight. That, or somebody is fucking like an animal. Either way, I’m totally jealous.
When Nine Inch Nails released “Closer” in 1994 I was not paying attention. How might my life have been different had I really listened to this song back then? I was 21 and just discovering the nightlife. I had no sex life at all, but I really, really wanted one. I bought my first sex toy that year, I fell in love with my first gay, and I got really drunk for the first time, like, sloppy, falling down, vomiting drunk. Maybe I also would have gotten laid had I listened to Trent.
But that was not to be for another few years. (I was a late bloomer in the losing-my-virginity department.) I was a horny little virgin, though! Once I had a taste of scandal I was done for—that was to be my life. Not that I didn’t want a monogamous relationship, because I certainly did, but I was always chasing after guys who didn’t want me, or at least, they only really wanted one thing and only for a minute. Like most women, I figured that eventually these guys would realize what a great catch I am and they’d fall head over heels in love with me. Well, that did not happen, not even once, not even a little bit. At least I had a steady stream of random hook-ups to keep me busy.
Help me tear down my reason,
It’s your sex I can smell
And I had a lot of fun! But I really did want a man of my own, one man who would love me and adore me and want to fuck me like an animal on a regular basis. I always gave myself completely to the man I was in love with, and I did that even though I really didn’t get much in return. Sex can be great even if it’s with someone whose feelings aren’t mutual, but in my old age I have learned that it is even better when it’s with a person who appreciates you, cares about you, and has the same feelings you do. I know how boring that sounds, and don’t get me wrong—I don’t regret having my way with all those nameless dudes all those years ago. But these days I need more than just the hot beef injection.
“Closer” is not just about sex. It’s about obsession, and that’s a topic I understand intimately. I feel these lyrics very, very deeply.
You let me violate you, you let me desecrate you
You let me penetrate you, you let me complicate you
Help me, I broke apart my insides
Help me, I’ve got no soul to sell
Help me, the only thing that works for me,
Help me get away from myself
All of this describes the way I have always approached a man I’m interested in. It can be a scary scene if you’re not used to that sort of intensity, the almost violent passion that I allow to overtake me when I love someone. It’s not even about BDSM (it can be, but that’s not the essence of it). I want to possess and be possessed by the man I love. I can never get him close enough to me, I can never feel him inside me deeply enough. When you’re lost in fuck that powerful, that extreme and necessary, nothing matters except melting with the other person, surrendering yourself to them and to the experience. If it’s not the most erotic time you’ve ever spent together, what’s the point?
I want to fuck you like an animal
I want to feel you from the inside
I want to fuck you like an animal
My whole existence is flawed
You get me closer to God
“Closer” is one of those brilliant songs that grabs you from the first beat and never lets you go. The pounding of those opening beats sets the stage for a fucking great time, and the way Trent pushes those lyrics out of his sexy little mouth—holy fuckballs, that alone can make you come!
And let’s talk about that video. Trent has said that when he first watched it he liked his song even more, something he had never experienced. It’s pretty fucked up, and though it is hot it’s not particularly dirty. There’s nudity and bondage stuff, but you’re not seeing any fucking. You do see Trent’s silhouette singing into a microphone that looks like a tit, so that’s cool. And toward the end of the video his lips come dangerously close to wrapping around the “nipple,” and eventually he slips his tongue over it several times. I thoroughly enjoy watching that, over and over and over.
The video works perfectly with the song precisely because it’s not pornographic. Yes, both the song and the video were highly controversial at the time and they were banned in some places, but that makes it even more intriguing. There is a nude woman in the video, but she’s not doing anything sexual, really. She stands there with an animal head in front of her face. She has on a black mask and over-the-knee boots, so that’s kinky to some people but not really dirty. Trent is tied up with a chain while wearing long black gloves and a mask, and he’s got a ball gag in one scene. There is a framed piece of artwork that shows a vulva, but it’s not from Hustler. Of course, there are shots of eggs hatching and slithering reptiles or eels or something that are obvious metaphors, but that’s about it for what most people would consider sexual content. The lyrics, however, imbue the images with an eroticism that the average viewer’s carnal instincts respond to.
Through every forest, above the trees
Within my stomach, scraped off my knees
I drink the honey inside your hive
You are the reason I stay alive
Preach, Trent! Preach! This is what makes me love somebody. This is why I want to be loved by somebody who understands me. This is what I have always been searching for, craving, needing so desperately. To be entirely captivated by someone, so enraptured and devoted that you cannot breathe without them.
May you each find that perfect person to obsess you, possess you, and fuck you like an animal.