This Lady Gaga Song Is About Refusing to Have Sex With the Lights On
Lady Gaga has made many risque music videos, but a relatively small number of her hits are actually about sex. She once wrote a song about refusing to have sex with the lights on. Interestingly, she said she was empathizing with the struggles of others by crafting the song.
A Lady Gaga song about dancing that’s not really about dancing
Gaga first became a major celebrity when she released her debut album, The Fame. Though there are definitely some dark undercurrents in some songs from that album (e.g. “Paparazzi”), it’s largely upbeat. Gaga’s follow-up EP, The Fame Monster, is far darker.
The Fame Monster deals with subjects ranging from monstrous men to bad romances to incessant calling. It even includes a song called “Dance in the Dark” which sounds like it’s about dancing but is actually about sex and body image. Like many songs before it, it uses dancing as a metaphor for physical intimacy.
“The record is about a girl who likes to have sex with the lights off, because she’s embarrassed about her body,” Gaga told the Los Angeles Times. “She doesn’t want her man to see her naked. She will be free, and she will let her inner animal out, but only when the lights are out… These lyrics are a way for me to talk about how I believe women and some men feel innately insecure about themselves all the time. It’s not sometimes, it’s not in adolescence, it’s always.”
The bright side of ‘Dance in the Dark’
This subject might seem a little downbeat. However, Gaga did say it could have positive effects on people. She revealed she wanted to use “Dance in the Dark” to show people with body image issues that their feelings are veiled.
“I guess all of these new things entering my life are changing the way I view my purpose, but that song in particular is about me wanting to live — but also, the song isn’t called ‘Dance in the Light,’” she told the Los Angeles Times. “I’m not a gospel singer trying to cross people over. What I’m saying is, ‘I get it. I feel you, I feel the same way, and it’s OK.’” Did the song’s message actually resonate with the public?
How the public reacted to ‘Dance in the Dark’
Gaga produced No. 1 singles both before and after she released “Dance in the Dark.” However, “Dance in the Dark” did not chart at all on the Billboard Hot 100. This is surprising given how popular Gaga was when she released The Fame Monster.
It’s especially surprising since The Fame Monster includes several hits. However, it’s still fascinating how Gaga was able to incorporate the touchy subject of body image into a dance-pop song.