What we talk about when we talk about sex and rock 'n roll is often dudes, the lusty front men and axe-grinders who, perhaps, joined the band in the first place for the purpose of scoring.
But sexy women now dominate pop music, and the same mojo that's stuffed Mick Jagger's dressing room for time immemorial draws would-be groupies to female icons in the same way.
It just shows that being sexy is about more than looks. Nothing's hotter than a woman who can rock a mic, and we mean nothing; these musicians may have once been on our walls, but they live on in our fantasies. -Ben Westhoff
20. Samantha Fox
A pop star and model with some edge, Samantha Fox posed topless at age 16 for a newspaper in her native London. She sold boatloads of records, but the boys of my generation knew her mainly from her risque posters for sale at the back of hair metal magazines. Though these adverts were tiny, and a thin black line blocked out the good parts, I'm certain any of us would have married her. -Ben Westhoff
19. Grace Jones
A Jamaican-born model and muse of Andy Warhol, Grace Jones became a pop-disco siren in the '70s and '80s. She is the epitome of androgynous beauty. With her severe features, radiant skin, and lanky 5'10" physique, Jones rocks Reagan-era fashion hard, making shoulder pads and leotards look hot. And she wasn't afraid to take them off, either -- in 1998, she exposed her breasts at Disney World and was banned forever from the park. Yep, Grace Jones is officially too adult for the Magic Kingdom. -Linda Leseman
18. Courtney Love
We get it -- she hasn't aged well. Still, back in the '90s she was setting trends with baby doll dresses and plastic bow barrettes in her hair. There's something about her raw, natural looks that appeal to a certain kind of man: The type of man who prefers a little sag in the breast to the plasticine perfection of silicone. The type of man who finds acne to be a little sexy and stretch marks to be battle scars. Not to mention the fact that there's always something more than a little sexy about a woman who's totally crazy. Oh, and she was a stripper. -Nicholas Pell
17. Brody Dalle
Brody Dalle first gained notoriety as the under-aged girlfriend and eventual wife of Rancid's Tim Armstrong, but she proved her musical chops as the guitar-slinging frontwoman of The Distillers. And she is smokin' -- from her buxom pin-up girl bod, to her luscious lips and her badass tattoos to her punk attitude. She looks dirty and delicious at the same time. And that voice -- so deep and guttural and primal and raw. Brody (now a.k.a. Mrs. Josh Homme) may have traded her Distillers-era screams and growls for actual singing with Spinnerette, but she's as sultry as ever. And she can call us anytime. -Linda Leseman
16. Joan Jett
With a raspy voice that threatened and promised at the same time, Joan Jett took control of her sexuality and propelled it into the mainstream. There's nothing coy or coquettish about "Do You Want to Touch Me (Oh Yeah)" or her tale of seducing a 17-year-old in "I Love Rock n' Roll." With her kohl rimmed eyes and leather jacket, Jett held the promise of a good time rolled into the possibility of getting your ass kicked. -Molly Bergen
15. Gwen Stefani
Hers is the face that launched ska's third wave, compelled Claire's to mass-produce bejeweled bindis, and brought Harajuku makeup from the streets of Tokyo to TV sets around the world. The beguiling beauty of Gwen Stefani is how she pulls it off again and again. She transitions from Dickies and Vans to cardigans and platinum pin curls as easily as she transitions from a girlish coo to a warbly, womanly belt. Every time she remakes herself, she makes us fall in love with her again. We'll eat up whatever the girl is slinging, cause everything she does is bananas -- B-A-N-A-N-A-S. -Tessa Stuart
14. Stevie Nicks
From her boho look before it was chic to her angelic features, Stevie Nicks redefined what it meant to be a rock star in the late '70s. Her classic California beauty made her the girl you could take home to your parents, but her wild streak made her the perfect companion for a night on the Sunset Strip. With a husky yet tender voice that could rock you one minute and make you cry the next, no one could put a spell on men quite like Nicks. -Dan Kohn
Nico is sexy in the way that a crying woman is sexy. Everything about her seemingly longs for comfort -- from you -- and her voice makes you desperately want to give it. You want to grab her and tell her everything is going to be okay, even though you know that's a lie. Nico made the dating rounds among the royalty of proto-punk, including Lou Reed and Iggy Pop, but none of them ever made her happy. Her sorrow is part of what makes her sexy. -Nicholas Pell
Watching the way she rolls her body to the sound of gunshots, singing "Some, some, some I murder; some, some I let go," it's easy to believe Sri Lankan-bred rapper M.I.A. has the power to create and destroy. In fact, Matangi "Maya" Arulpragasam is named for a tantric Hindu goddess with the ability to do just that. We don't care if she's a terrorist (as the government of Sri Lanka has alleged), or if she eats truffle-flavored French fries while answering accusations that she is a terrorist. We'll leave questions about her bona fides to the critics because we can't pretend to be unbiased -- we die for her pouty mouth, almond eyes, and "Fuck you, Superbowl audience" attitude. -Tessa Stuart
11. Taylor Swift
Taylor is the queen, or princess rather, of awshucks preacher's daughter cuteness. Never mind that in reality she's actually a calculated businesswoman running an empire, this fantasy is too perfectly down-home to give up. It's that chuckle that gets you; you can hear it in her new hit "Ours." In the brash world of country radio it's endearing and just plain adorable. You sort of just want to take her out to dinner and not try anything. Weird. -Kai Flanders
10. Jennifer Lopez
As Eminem said (more or less), we'd have sex with this chick even if we were related. When Jennifer Lopez blossomed into J. Lo, it was hard to believe she'd been the dark-haired dancer blending into the scenery on In Living Color and in Janet Jackson videos. Our favorite features are her high cheekbones, tousled mane, almond-shaped eyes, and Jenny-from-the-block smile. Just kidding, it's all about her ass, of course. (And particularly as, skin glistening, she rolls around in the sand in the "Love Don't Cost A Thing" video.) Even when she tried to distract us with the Versace dress cut down to there, we kept trying to get a glimpse of her you-know-what. -Rebecca Haithcoat
9. Sheila E
Appolonia? Please. The hottest Prince girl was Sheila E, no contest. Nobody in the '80s was rocking fingerless lace gloves, one-shoulder tops, and gem-encrusted two-piece suits like that. She can play the drums. She doesn't so much sing her words as pant them. Instead of dancing, she struts. In Krush Groove she invented the term "bad bitch." And as the string of shows she played with and almost stole from Prince last year at the Forum proved, at 54, she definitely still has it. -Rebecca Haithcoat
8. Liz Phair
Liz Phair was sexy when she was shy and only got sexier as she began funning around with Auto-Tune. Also, she just loves to fuck. How many other rockers just love to fuck? Prince treats sex as some sort of ritual, the Rolling Stones surely do it mechanically, and countless others use it to fill an emotional void. But Phair just loves it. Loves it with her orange juice. Loves it between rounds of Xbox in a strange dorm. Loves it after getting walked in on by her kid. -Dan Weiss
When it comes to sex, Madonna literally wrote the book. Flip through 1992 S&M coffee table tome Sex to remember just how provocative the Queen of Pop can be. The rest of her career, meanwhile, is a study in alluring contradictions: the Catholic-girl-gone-bad persona, the edgy lyrics sung in a delicate way, the muscular yet sensual dancer's body. When it comes to sex, she's an icon. -Linda Leseman
6. Shirley Manson
In Garbage's best video, "The World Is Not Enough," Shirley Manson plays a literal bombshell who's also an android. It's the perfect realization of the striking redhead's unsettling sexiness; that feeling that her nails toying around your throat might actually be playing for keeps. Her band is always a safe distance behind her in their clips, not wanting to be too close to someone who looks best in spattered-blood red. She has to be more normal IRL. Right? -Dan Weiss
5. Avril Lavigne
Combining supermodel good looks and a punk rock attitude was sheer genius. It may not have been Avril herself who came up with the concept, but she certainly brought it home. You never got the sense that she was accessible and she never promised to give you anything; quite the opposite, in fact. But you had a suspicion that your profound sense of sarcasm would win her over, and you knew deep down she realized her badassness was a front, just as it was for you and everyone else. -Ben Westhoff
Let's just get this out of the way: Beyonce's body, whether movie-star slim or pregnant, is bangin'. With its roller coaster curves and waist-to-hip ratio, it's the prototype that Kim Kardashian showed to her plastic surgeon. But you have to be born with what makes Queen B so sexy. Skin gleaming like it's made of gold, eyes sparkling, she gives off such electricity you can't help but be riveted, even when she's not doing the "Uh-oh" dance. We always felt sorry for those other two girls in Destiny's Child -- what were their names again? -Rebecca Haithcoat
3. Debbie Harry
Forget the so-called punk goddesses of today. Debbie Harry was able to get herself into the hearts of punk boys and girls despite entering the world of rock at a relatively advanced age, her early 30s. She's aged rather gracefully, but her peak was clearly during her days with Blondie. More than just a pretty face and a great body, Harry set you on fire with her voice and demeanor; it's tempting to think of her as a sex kitten, but she was actually a Playboy bunny, and, you know, they're both pretty hot as far as animals go. -Nicholas Pell
See also: An Interview With Debbie Freaking Harry!
2. Britney Spears
Only the gay men loved Britney for Britney; all the rest of us just wanted to get with her. I don't care how old you were or from what corner of the globe you came, there wasn't a heterosexual man alive who didn't lose his shit over the "...Baby One More Time" video in 1999. The boa constrictor thing and the skintight red "Oops" outfit were pretty good too, but the Catholic schoolgirl thing worked especially well because she looked like classmates you'd once sat behind. Like Britney, they too were always just barely out of your reach, but when the sun shone into the classroom and the breeze brushed their golden hair just right, there was maybe, just possibly, a chance.
Seeing the "She Wolf" music video, or "Loba," the even more libidinous Spanish version, for the first time is a sexual milestone in any man's life. It's the moment when you realize, no matter what, you'll never have a woman with as much pure animal sexuality as Shakira. (Unless your name is Antonio de la Rúa and your dad was the president of Argentina.) There is a fierce independence in that video -- even though she's dancing in a cage you get the sense that she chooses to stay confined, which is more erotic than actually being locked up. There is a wonderfully mature, unabashed quality to her sexuality: while teeny-bopping pop-stars struggle to straddle that all important commercial line between girl and woman, Shakira owns her womanhood. Indeed, anyone with two albums titled Oral Fixation has gone pretty far past mere suggestiveness. (Here's some more evidence.) -Kai Flanders
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