The Year in NSFW Music Videos

There was a time when music videos had to conform to certain guidelines: they had to be short, so as to hold the attention of teens who watched TRL (unless they were “Thriller”), and they had to be tasteful enough to air on basic cable. But now that we get so much of our entertainment online, and MTV barely airs music videos anymore, the rules have changed. These days, as this collection of 2010’s most gawked at and talked about clips demonstrates, anything goes. From the artsy to the political to the bizarre to the just plain awful, this is your year in NSFW music videos.

Xiu Xiu — “Grey Death”

If there has ever been a safe-for-work Xiu Xiu video, we can’t remember it. “Gray Death” doesn’t have anything obvious like boob-flashing or gore in it, but the BDSM undertones are undeniable: pajama-clad band members Jamie Stewart and Angela Seo take turns suffocating each other in bed, sexed-up drowning, erotic face-slapping, tongues on body parts. (Honestly, who even knows what we’re looking at in some of these close-ups?) Also: an adorable cat!