Why Paul Stanley Hated Kiss’ Video for ‘Let’s Put the X in Sex’

Kiss gave the world many classic rock songs. Regardless, Paul Stanley isn’t a fan of everything Kiss ever released. For example, he really regretted some of the band’s 1980s music videos.

Kiss' Peter Criss, Ace Frehley, Gene Simmons, and Paul Stanley standing in a row
Kiss’ Peter Criss, Ace Frehley, Gene Simmons, and Paul Stanley | Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Paul Stanley hated some of the songs Kiss released in the 1980s

In his 2014 book Face the Music: A Life Exposed, Stanley said he disliked some of Kiss’ late 1980s output. “To begin with, the songs were horrible,” he opined. “‘[(You Make Me) Rock Hard]’ was written by me, Desmond Child, and Diane Warren — a case of three great minds gone terribly wrong. ‘X in Sex’ wasn’t much better.”

Subsequently, Stanley discussed the video for the track. “We brought in an extremely talented woman named Rebecca Blake to make the videos,” he recalled. Blake was a photographer who previously worked with Prince.  

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Kiss’ Paul Stanley couldn’t stand his wardrobe from the ‘Let’s Put the X in Sex’ video

Stanley didn’t like the appearances of the models in the video. He felt they resembled the women from Robert Palmer’s music videos. Stanley didn’t think this worked for a heavy metal video.

Furthermore, Stanley disliked the outfits he wore in the videos for “(You Make Me) Rock Hard” and “Let’s Put the X in Sex.” “I wore a chainmail tank top and white tights while swinging on a trapeze,” he said. “I danced around in a corset and licked my fingers while a bunch of emaciated women goose-stepped in the background.”

Stanley felt other artists could learn from his mistakes. “In the course of those two shoots, I wrote the textbook on what not to do in a music video,” he wrote. “I mean, I didn’t walk around on the street in tights with bicycle reflectors sewn on them or Body Glove tank tops cut off just below my nipples. This was a whole new level of bad taste and judgment. Definitely not my finest moment.”

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The way listeners in the United States and the United Kingdom reacted to ‘Let’s Put the X in Sex’

Regardless of whether the video was good, “Let’s Put the X Sex” charted in the United States. It reached No. 97 on the Billboard Hot 100, staying on the chart for two weeks. Kiss initially released the song on the compilation album Smashes, Thrashes & HitsSmashes, Thrashes & Hits reached No. 21 on the Billboard 200. For 27 weeks, the album remained on the chart.

“Let’s Put the X in Sex” did not have an impact in the United Kingdom. According to The Official Charts Company, the track did not chart there. Meanwhile, Smashes, Thrashes & Hits peaked at No. 62 on the chart, staying there for two weeks.

“Let’s Put the X in Sex” is a memorable heavy metal tune — even if Stanley made some regrettable fashion choices in its video.

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