With over 510.2K videos, Slumber Party has gone viral on TikTok. In the shortened audio, content creators lip-sync to the section of the song where Ashnikko says, “Me and your girlfriend playin’ dress up at my house, I gave your girlfriend cunnilingus on my couch.” My issue isn’t with the song – a certified queer anthem by bisexual singer Ashnikko who makes music to empower other young queer women – but with the way girls who identify as straight are using it.
While this audio was originally used by primarily queer TikTokers, it didn’t take long for this song to gravitate over to the so-called “straight side of TikTok.” And in the majority of these videos by female heterosexual creators, there is a common trend: they refuse to say the only thing in the song which makes it inherently queer.
Covering up their mouth when Ashnikko says “cunnilingus,” or even skipping the word entirely, these TikTokers can’t seem to hide the discomfort they feel about going down on another woman. And it doesn’t seem to be the explicit nature of this word – there are currently 4.8M videos of TikTokers dancing to the just as explicitly sexual WAP – but the fact that it’s used in relation to two women engaging in sexual activity.
— mini (taylor's version) (@labourtswift) March 11, 2021
Of course, TikTokers can create content to whichever song they wish – the issue isn’t with these creators using it, it’s with them being embarrassed to use it in its entirety.
It’s just a song, how harmful can it really be for the queer community? By heterosexual women using a queer anthem in their videos simply because it’s trending, it pedals the antiquated yet harmful myth that bisexuality is just a trend – especially when they refuse to sing the part that makes the song queer itself.
The idea that bisexual women are just heterosexual women “going through a phase” is one of the most harmful myths about WLW (woman-loving-woman) relationships. It suggests that those who identify as bisexual* – here used as an umbrella term which also includes the labels pansexual, queer, and sexually fluid – are just experimenting before they ultimately return to men and settle down. In its essence, this myth is a form of bi-erasure.
And this myth is antiquated. Educating people on LGBTQIA+ relationships – which includes dispelling falsehoods about bisexuality – has come ten-fold in the last decade. This is no doubt a result of the increase in young people coming out as queer, studies showing that nearly 12% of all Gen Z adults now identify as bisexual.
However, many of the older generations are instead using this increase in young people coming out, as well as the recent rise in queer representation in mainstream media, to resurface this myth, suggesting that young people are now only calling themselves queer because it’s the “cool thing to do” at the moment.
No, Boomers. More young people are coming out as LGBTQIA+ because society has become slightly more welcoming and accepting of LGBTQIA+ relationships, not because mainstream media is turning them gay. Yes, this representation might have made them realize they’re queer after compulsory heterosexuality meant they had never considered they could be anything other than heterosexual, but it certainly didn’t brainwash them into being attracted to the same sex.
The rise in people coming out as bisexual started way back in the ’90s.
You could even argue that the rise in people coming out as bisexual* started way back in the ’90s, and trends don’t last 30 years.
And despite the LGBTQIA+ community trying to dispel these harmful myths, heterosexual women on TikTok lip-syncing to a song that is inherently queer and not wanting to sing a specific part about WLW intimacy only strengthens these falsehoods that bisexuality is just a trend or even a choice.
this girl made a tiktok to slumber party and posted it on her story and she said “btw i don’t like gurls it’s just a sound” no one thinks your gay i promise
— ash 💪🏼 (@cthinnocent) April 15, 2021
As I said, my issue is not with the song itself. Slumber Party is a bisexual anthem created by an artist who does so from a proudly queer perspective. It empowers young queer women by talking openly about sex with women without describing it as just drunken fooling around as Rita Ora’s Girls did a few years back. And when the song is used by TikTokers who identify as LGBTQIA+, it’s a great way to normalize WLW relationships and encourage young queer women to be their most authentic selves.
Just go to the "slumber party" sound and you'll find every lesbian on tiktok, that's what I did 😭 pic.twitter.com/teApyDO0cT
— Rana🦇 (@wetryin) April 10, 2021
My issue is instead that heterosexual girls aren’t using it as a queer anthem, they’re using it as a trend. Slumber Party is one of the very few queer songs in the public mainstream, but at the moment the focus is more on how these TikTokers are avoiding the queerness of it, rather than the queerness itself.
Over the last year, TikTok’s potential as a platform to educate the masses on important human rights issues including racism, sexism, and now LGBTQIA+ issues has only grown. The fact that this education is also peer-led makes it even better: you are much more likely to take note of something someone who is the same age as you says, instead of your crusty old history teacher at school.
In this way, TikTok is a great platform to spread awareness of bisexuality, including helpful resources for anyone questioning their sexuality. Of course, I also want to acknowledge the argument that the creators jumping on this trend could be bisexual themselves and just not ready to come out yet.
However, bi-erasure is systemic. It doesn’t matter what your individual intent is – this discourse is still harmful to the LGBTQIA+ community.
And just like clockwork the straight girls are all over Tik Tok using the ‘Slumber Party’ audio which is by/for wlw not that they care
Can they just…not for once lmao
— VENGEFUL LESBIAN $3 OnlyFans 🖤 (@DominoHarl3y) March 4, 2021
Like I said earlier, TikTokers can create content to whichever song they wish – it’s not my job, nor the artist’s, to police who uses trending songs. However, if you know you are definitely heterosexual, and you are purposely skipping out a queer section of this shortened audio just because you are embarrassed it might imply you are attracted to the same sex, then maybe you shouldn’t be using a song like this to make content in the first place.
Being bisexual is not a trend. We’re here, we’re queer, and we’re not going anywhere.
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