Rihanna, ‘S&M’ – Video Spotlight
Rihanna is taking her sex appeal to an all-time high in her latest video for 'S&M.' The song, which is featured on the Barbadian songstress's newest album 'Loud,' is all about getting down and dirty. Rihanna's video reflects the blatant sexual presence in the song while simultaneously commenting on the media's obsession with pop culture.
First off, for those who aren't familiar with S&M, the term is short for sadomasochism. This is the practice of sexual role playing that usually involves inflicting pain or harm on another for pleasure, or vice versa. Rihanna's video glorifies these sadomasochistic practices, featuring bondage, ball gags, latex body suits and much more.
The video for 'S&M' kicks off with spastic images of Rihanna singing in a colorful room full of debauched activity -- including women grinding against blow up dolls and latex-clad dominatrices swinging whips around. Although the video is heavy in S&M imagery, the video also implements vibrant, pop-art symbols to take the edge off of the usually very gruesome sexual practice.
The shot then cuts to Rihanna being taken hostage by a room full of reporters from 'Cox News' sporting leather gag balls. The singer is pinned behind a plastic sheet by the reporters while gossip headlines like 'Daddy Issues?' begin to scroll across the screen.
When asked about the reporters in the video, director Melina Matsoukas says, "It's a bite off of Fox News and trying to bring in the S&M theme and build on her sadomasochistic relationship with the press. So that's what the video is about, and it starts off strong with that message."
As the video continues, Rihanna turns the table from playing the victim to becoming the dominant force, just like in sadomasochism. Pop culture icon Perez Hilton makes his second appearance in the video as Rihanna's man-dog, wearing a leather harness as Rihanna walks him on a leash and disciplines him with a riding crop.
The shot changes once again to Rihanna in a dark room wearing a true, latex dominatrix outfit -- except her's is pink. She has now accosted the troop of reporters and tied them up. She sits back and enjoys the show as they writhe around, trying to escape.
Rihanna's video has received a lot of criticism for being too sexually charged, and was even flagged as being too hot for YouTube.
Watch the Rihanna 'S&M' Video