I first saw it in the dormitory, in 1990. I knew the song, but I’d never seen the video before. Myself and about five other male freshmen, stopped cold in front of someone’s TV. Upon the screen of which, a voluptuous, thick woman rolled around in a fishnet that seemed to conceal everything and nothing simultaneously.
She sang about touching herself.
Even still, the tone of her voice felt innocent somehow, like it was a surprising confession. Also, the singer had very large breasts. It was a lot to take, for a music video.
Obviously, the song was “I Touch Myself”, and the singer was Christina Amphlett. The band was Divinyls. At some indistinct point in the past, I purchased the album, and became obsessed with it. Just “I Touch Myself”. I never listened to any of the other songs. I knew one that appeared in Nightmare on Elm Street 4 (“Back To The Wall”), but other than the hit, I just didn’t get into them.
As soon as “I Touch Myself” ended I wanted to play it again, like a damn Teletubby. I’d have days where I’d think “well, only listened to that song 20 times today. I’m getting better.” I had to understand the tune’s diabolical pull. I left the video out of the equation, so that I wouldn’t rip my penis off in a feral jacking frenzy. It went on and on. People died. I might’ve climbed a tower with a rifle. 2003 was weird in general. By its climax, I had snorted coke off the tip of a knife. At knifepoint, technically.
I worked it out of my system with the help of my bandmate. We spent insanely long hours, foregoing slumber, to mix the closer of our 2003 release Insincere, as a palindromic tribute to Christina Amphlett and “I Touch Myself”. We called it “Earth Begins Anew (Suede Happiness)”, based on lines that emerged for the chorus. Here, just listen:
And the army ones
Pushed up our face, 9-3-4-5
And I finished my wine
Waste timeshare stock
Waste time just now
Earth begins anew
Amphlett and Divinyls hailed from Australia, and they’re considered one of that continent’s greatest treasures. Unfortunately, Amphlett died in 2013 after a long battle with breast cancer. I hate this. I can’t think of anything shittier in life than tits I love that kill the host. It’s just shitty evil, like genital mutilation and landmines. Cancer is lousy enough, but of breasts? Really, world?
Anyway. Amphlett and Divinyls guitarist Mark McEntee fell out in 1996, and didn’t talk until ten years later, upon their induction to the ARIA Hall of Fame. I like to imagine that they did some very hot fucking. How could you not, in their shoes?! The girl can’t even think about you without touching herself. I believe the easy accessibility of Internet porn has demolished that kind of wonderful, honest horniness.
For god’s sake, go take a cold shower.