If Heart gave me a long-term, sometimes subtle fantasy kink life, Pat Benatar’s video for “You Better Run” was not only an overt dose of concentrated FemDomme-ish attitude but also possibly the very first POV “confrontation fetish” clip ever:
The first time I saw this on MTV—back in the Cable TV Stone Age when the “M” still stood for “Music”—it was the same kind of sit-still-and-gape experience as watching “Devil’s Planet” for the first time, or even discovering Julie Newmar’s Catwoman. No other Pat Benatar song or video (or even Pat Benatar herself) ever had this effect on me. That straight-jacket-and-boots album cover for Get Nervous did cause some early stirrings of Maledom switchhood, though mostly, I just pictured her somehow escaping and then taking a twisted yet therapeutic revenge on my idealistic and naive medical intern.
“You Better Run” put my budding inner kinkster in the corner while mocking me about how much I still wanted to come out and play. Maybe it was the belt, or the heels, or the could-almost-convince-yourself-they-were-leather-in-standard-definition pants. Or maybe it was that short, tough-girl haircut, or that knowing little sneer. Or the lyrics. Or the eye contact (something taken so for granted in fetish clips today) and that accusatory finger stabbing out at me. Or just the whole, multifetish experience that my early teenage brain could barely process.
And Lord knows I tried, keeping MTV on the background whether or not my mother was around, and somehow hearing, even in another room, when this video came up on the rotation again. I was like a dog recognizing the family car all the way down the street, or the sound of a cabinet opening in the downstairs kitchen. Because I wanted to run, and then be caught, and then be put in my place and forcefully made to pay for how I had somehow done Pat Benatar wrong.
I still do, too.