Few will take issue with me that k.d. lang is sexy. And whether or not k.d. lang “looks” a certain way is beside the point. I am speaking of pure, raw, unembodied, won’t-be-denied, sine qua non, je ne sais pas, sexiness; the kind that makes you almost get into a traffic accident or question your own skills in the sack; the kind that tells you there may be more than you ever knew to living in a three dimensional body. You all know what I am talking about; the kind of sizzling awareness that makes us all say to ourselves “thank god I’m a lesbian”. For those who understand, we know that the lesbian experience has to be close, if not the, paragon on human sexuality, besides all the other innumerable perks I won’t mention here. k.d. captures this in her voice. C’mon, admit it ladies, how many of your conquests happened because k.d. lang was smoothly wooing your prey in the background infiltrating the candlelight? I know, right.
I wanted to write something about this because I feel that nobody ever gives k.d. lang enough credit in this regard. Sure, WE all know it, but for the world at large, I truly do not think they see k.d. lang as sexy. Part of this may be because they can’t get past the rigid categories of how a man or a woman “should” look, or the fact that sexuality is fluid. But the other part, in my opinion, is because they are so out of touch with themselves, that no artist, gay, straight or otherwise, can bust through their impervious egos about what “should be”.
k.d. lang is very aware of human sexuality, and this is one reason, of course, why she is sexy to many of us. But her awareness in this regard is one of the mysterious elements that saturate her voice in everything she sings, whether its obviously sexual or not. And this understanding is one of the non-technical musical skills that catapults her singing voice to astonishing I-can’t-believe-what-I’m-hearing levels. Most artists trying to capitalize on sex in their performances resort to scanty outfits or crotch-grabbing tactics, but these only show how out-of-touch they are with the entire enterprise.
I am not sure if anyone has publicly asked k.d. lang about her sexiness. If they have, my guess is that k.d. either deflected the question, ignored it, or refused to answer. It is not really the kind of thing one can talk about. To do so is a kind of sacrilegious attempt to force into words something that can only be experienced. My point in even bringing any of this up at all is to underscore the importance of being in a body. Sex is one of those experiences that come with it. It is intense, overwhelming, and if you are paying attention, lesson teaching. For whatever reasons, k.d. seems to have appeared on this earth very aware that she is in a body. Her voice illustrates it in everything she sings, even if it is not acutely “sexual”, per se.
With this, it is not too surprising that k.d. lang has taken to Buddhism. After all, in my understanding, breathing meditations are all about being present in the body (at least initially). And it’s pretty hard to be sexy if you are not aware of your body. Unlike many religious traditions, Buddhism is more accepting of the body and does not place a filter of “evil” or “immoral’ over it.
In any event, k.d., you are one sexy beast. Your voice not only shows us the way to the divine, but how to get there while taking advantage of physicality.