Everybody thinks about sex all the time, and that is why The Lord gave us orgasms. But do we ever think about the repercussions or anxieties or challenges when the sex is over? “Ego Free Sex Free” by the Brooklyn-based musician Arthur Ashin, stage name Autre Ne Veut, addresses these anxieties while still giving you something hot to do it to. “Ego Free Sex Free” sounds so sensual, probably because it’s got that 1980s sultry/R&B/soul/baby making music thing going on. “I was smoking a cigarette outside of the studio and some dude was on his phone talking about the most amazing party he’d ever been to. He said, ‘It was so dark, it was like, ego-free, sex-free.’ I literally just stole it and used it for that song,” ANV recently told Pitchfork. No egos and the sex was free — not like free free, but freeee.
How can you not be turned on when he sings “Your sexy body/Tell me what you lovin/And then I place it to her”? It’s to the point all while being abstract. But in a recent interview, the Hampshire College grad who has had a life-long struggle with anxiety, said that “Ego” is about sex but also all the confusion and anxiety that always comes with it:
Say you’ve been dating someone for a really long time– sex isn’t as fun as it used to be. You feel really bummed out about that and you’re trying to figure out a way to navigate that tension. What does that tension mean? I’m not afraid to sing about sex, but it’s more about the anxieties and frustrations of trying to relate to other people in this world, or to accomplish the things that I want to accomplish.
Tell me about it. We’ve all been there before. Sex is messy, confusing, scary, bad, fun, exciting, boring, and a whole lot of work. But what’s so interesting about ANV is the intellectual and self-reflexive way he approaches his music. There aren’t a ton of musicians out there with a master’s degree in psychology, and ANV likes “the idea of being able to fuck with expectations, and for the music to be a Rorschach test.”
If a Rorschach test is supposed to test what you see, when I listen to “Ego Free Sex Free” I hear a song that’s about the difficulty of sex and relationships but I also hear a song that I can’t wait to put on my “Sex Songs” mixtape.