Doja Cat’s Reclamation of Digital Female Sexuality in “Cyber Sex”

In a post-Beyoncé era when artists are competing to make the most creative visuals to accompany their music, Doja Cat is doing more than just keeping up. “Juicy” was minimalistic yet entertaining, simple yet beautifully designed. And the latest addition to her videography, “Cyber Sex,” might be her best work yet. The video follows the rapper as she artificially creates her ideal sexual partner before having him join her adult live stream. Interposed between this progression of the story are clips of Doja Cat in visually creative sets, such as the inside of a computer chip and a glowing bathtub.

What stands out beyond the stunning visuals, however, is the video’s rather feminist subtext. With pornography being a form of media that features men in power controlling female models to please a largely straight male audience, adult videos are largely seen as inherently misogynistic. And given the recent exploitation and trafficking of young women by a porn studio, there’s a reason to believe that. That’s why it’s important that Doja Cat reclaims female sexuality in the scenario of an adult video, a sphere that typically robs women of their sexual autonomy.

Source: The Independent

“Cyber Sex” stars Doja Cat, a woman running her own live stream channel on a pornographic website. Beyond being the physical model of the video, she also controls what actions she performs and what the camera shows of her. This altered power dynamic is a stark contrast from typical adult videos, which place women physically in the spotlight but rob them of their autonomy, thus reducing them to objects who act according to the commands of male directors and partners.

Doja Cat, however, retains ownership of her narrative. Like in typical adult videos, she remains physically in the spotlight. But what differs is that she controls her own narrative, thus preserving her status as the subject, rather than the object; she only does what she wants to do and shows what she wants to show. The visuals reflect this reframed perspective. Doja is confident and happy, reminding the audience that she holds the power in this situation.

Source: Psycho Films

As her own director and camerawoman, Doja Cat manipulates the male gaze to suit her preferences and comfort. Given the existence of spy cameras and revenge porn, there’s a certain level of violent misogyny attached to cameras in sexual settings; they often exploit a woman’s sexuality without her consent to appease a male audience. Doja Cat, on the other hand, controls what her audience views. To be seen on camera is something she is willingly choosing to do, but only if it records what she wants it to record.

The video’s plot of Doja Cat creating her ideal male partner further emphasizes her ownership of power. To perform this task, she assumes the role of a scientist, a male-dominated position. She dons a much more revealing take on the typical lab coat, reasserting her femininity in a field traditionally coded as being male, to create a seemingly mindless being whose only purpose is to fulfill her sexual needs. And when this male partner comes out, he fits the societal standards for male physical beauty perfectly. Essentially, Doja Cat is creating a pretty boy toy to act subservient to her and exist solely for her pleasure, a dramatic retelling of the traditional sexual subjugation and objectification of women. By taking this violently misogynistic narrative that has existed for millennia and reversing its dynamic, she further reclaims ownership of female sexuality for women.

Source: Psycho Films

The shifting of roles is further reflected in the lyrics of the song. As Doja Cat creates her ideal male object, she raps “lemme see you beat it, I'm feelin just like Mike / Huh, oh, stuff that 'til I drown in all of your pics.” She commands her male partner to entertain her for her viewing pleasure; he sends her pictures of himself to fulfill her requests, thus reducing him to the object (the person upon which an action is performed) to Doja’s subject (the person doing the action and maintaining control). It’s also worth noting that he only sends her explicit images because she directly asks for them, which could be seen as a criticism of the far-too-often-scenario of men sending women unwarranted nude pictures.

Overall, Doja Cat uses “Cyber Sex” to envision a dramatically altered power dynamic within gendered sexual relations. By maintaining power and control in the scenario of adult videos, a sphere with a reputation of objectifying and exploiting women, she reclaims female sexuality in an incredibly empowering way. And she does all of this through the medium of a visually stunning music video and solid track.

To see more of Doja Cat’s talent, check out her latest album, Hot Pink!

 

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