It's not just the dance moves that are sensual; oftentimes, the lyrics are just as suggestive as the choreo and make you question just who in their right minds wrote such blasphemous(?) material for boys still fresh in the fruits of their youth. But as much as you frown upon this sexualization in K-Pop and the entertainment world in general, it will prevail as long as it sells--I mean why else would these sexual concepts grab attention, and why else would companies continue going down that route?
Unsurprisingly, it was a bit more difficult trying to find instances in which guys were sexualized - particularly at a very young age - but that doesn't mean such instances don't exist. Just take a look at some of the examples we have gathered below, and of course, feel free to share your opinion on the subject!
Taemin for "Sherlock"
I remember what an uproar Taemin's "Sherlock" concept pictures had caused. And no, it was not just the way his long, flowing wig made him look like a girl. It was the angle and manner in which the photos were taken. Half-naked, Taemin gazes seductively into the camera, his head tilted dramatically backwards in one picture and his mouth agape in another, a lone grape caught ever so delicately between his lips. Overtly sexual? Perhaps not. Suggestive? Very much so. What's more, Taemin was still 18 when "Sherlock" came out. 18 may not be considered that young, but I think many people agree that his pictures for "Sherlock" are pretty scandalous and possibly of the "shotaro" variety.
GOT7'S "STOP STOP IT"As some (or many) of us wanted to know, is that move supposed to be from the front of the back? It's a very subtly sensual dance move, but the imagery is clear here: the guy is squeezing his female companion tight in his arms and grinding all up against her. It seems romantic and all...until you realize that Yugyeom and BamBam were barely past 16 years old. KSpazzing asked the right questions: "Is she in front of you? Back or front? Which way?" To this day it remains an unsolved mystery...
"Too young" might be subjective in this case, but some can definitely consider this unnecessarily intimate part of the choreography in which Jinhoo (the older) pushes back Kogyeol (the younger) down onto the floor and goes in for a kiss, which is left incomplete. This is definitely to stir up every fan girl's shipping fantasies, turning those two idols into mere objects.
TEEN TOP's "No More Perfume On You"
Is a 15-year-old teenage boy singing about having an affair with an older woman supposed to be sexy? Believe it or not, that's how young TEEN TOP's maknae Changjo was when "No More Perfume On You" came out. The lyrics for this particular song are essentially about TEEN TOP's fictional affair with a 'noona,' or an older woman. A part of the lyrics go, "Don't use perfume, my girlfriend might find out. Don't wear sparkly things because it might get on my clothes. Noona, you are you, but if you really like me-me don't say anything, just do as I say, and do it right. Don't use perfume. Noona's body is very-very sexy. Everyone says you're a 10 points out of 10." So...cheating is A-okay, as long as 'noona' doesn't wear perfume which might lead to the discovery of this secret affair? Yes, I know it's just a song and a concept but affairs with older women may not dawn as the most appropriate of themes for a kid beginning high school (in Korea).
Big Bang's "La La La"
Can you believe that all members of Big Bang were under 20 years of age when "La La La" was released? Maknae Seungri was only 16 years old at the time! Even T.O.P, the oldest member in the group, was barely 19. Near the song's chorus, Big Bang all lift their shirts in unison, giving us a teasing sneak peek at their tighty whities (around 0:55). *Sigh* That's probably the first and last time that we ever got to see T.O.P's glorious abdominals...but it was only the beginning for Taeyang, who now refuses to put on a shirt. Nowadays, this ab-baring dance move is probably too 'safe,' not to mention common, to be even considered sexual. But it serves as solid proof that guys are objectified as well in a seemingly 'innocent' genre like K-Pop.
Let's give it up one last time for T.O.P and his abs, y'all. They do, in fact, exist.
VIXX's "Secret Night"
The lyrics to "Secret Night" definitely allude to sex; though it's hard to say that VIXX were sexualized for this song because Ravi wrote it and the other members merely sung it. Still, the message is loud and clear in this one: VIXX are quite vividly fantasizing a flaming night with their lovers. Take, for example, the lines which were given to Hyuk who was 17 or 18 when he recorded the song. Some of his lines go, "I'll fall asleep after dancing a secret dance with you," "Embrace my body," and "Even as the day breaks, I feel like the moon is still up." Other parts of the lyrics roughly translate as, "My body doesn't belong to me anymore after being dominated by you." Need I say more? Of course, fans ate it right up. Now imagine a girl group counterpart singing this song.
I had no idea that this song was so…sexy! That is, until I read the lyrics and saw the intense pelvic thrusts (and crotch-grabbing) which were a part of the choreo. The lyrics are pretty suggestive as well, though they seem to be more about the pangs of breakup more than anything. A part of the lyrics translate roughly as, "I filled myself with you every night. Now it's time to fill my body accustomed [to you] with alcohol. Nights when your arms embraced me, your breath ragged. The best paradise is a hopeless world without you." It may seem tame, but remember that Sungjong (18) and L (19) were barely legal in Korea--yet there they were, singing about filling their bodies with alcohol...and crotch-grabbing all for our auditory and visual pleasure.