I Touch Myself

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For the T-Boz song, see Touch Myself.
"I Touch Myself"
Single by Divinyls
from the album Divinyls
B-side "Follow Through"
Released 19 November 1990[1]
Recorded Groove Masters Studio, Santa Monica, 1990
Genre Pop rock
Length 3:44
Label Virgin Records
Certification Platinum (ARIA)[2]
Divinyls singles chronology
"I Touch Myself"
"Love School"

"I Touch Myself" is a song written and recorded by the Australian rock band Divinyls. It was released in November 1990 as the lead single from their fifth album, diVINYLS, and is a paean to female pleasure, eroticism, orgasm and masturbation.[3]

The single achieved great success, reaching number four on the U.S Billboard Hot 100 on 18 March, 1991; meanwhile in their native country, Australia, the single reached the number one position. The song was written by Divinyls bandmembers Christina Amphlett and Mark McEntee and professional songwriters Tom Kelly and Billy Steinberg. It has since been covered by numerous artists.

Composition and recording[edit]

Christina Amphlett and Mark McEntee wrote the song in 1990 with the songwriting team of Tom Kelly and Billy Steinberg (who have written songs such as "I'll Stand by You," "Like a Virgin," "Eternal Flame," "True Colors" and "So Emotional"). Billy Steinberg had "I Touch Myself" in his notebook; he had written the first verse and the chorus lyric. Amphlett liked it immediately. The next day, McEntee, Steinberg, Kelly, and Amphlett got together and wrote the rest, an unusual move, as Steinberg and Kelly rarely collaborated with others. Putting the song together took a lot of trial and error. It was recorded to two inch tape, making it difficult to edit. After significant experimentation they came up with an unusual structure with the bridge placed after the first chorus.[4] It's written in the key of D minor. [5]

Usage in other media[edit]

The song was featured in the 1997 comedy film Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, in the scene where Austin dances to make the Fembot's heads explode. The song was also featured in the Chilean soap opera Graduados and TV show Supernatural.

In 2014, some of Australia's leading female artists came together to reincarnate Amphlett's anthem, "I Touch Myself". Each provided their own interpretation and distinct style to the song in an effort to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer.[6]

Promotion and chart performance[edit]

In Australia "I Touch Myself" was released on 19 November 1990 on 7" and cassette,[1] and the CD single was released on 3 December 1990.[7] The single debuted at No. 77 on 2 December 1990.[8] On its tenth week on the chart, the song reached No. 1, replacing Vanilla Ice's debut single "Ice Ice Baby",[9] and stayed there for another week. The single was certified platinum in Australia.[2]

"I Touch Myself" debuted on the UK Singles Chart at No. 69 and on its eighth week it peaked at No. 10, spending a total of twelve weeks in the chart.[10] When released in the United States, the song caused a minor controversy. However, it managed to reach the top five of the Billboard Hot 100 chart, peaking at No. 4,[11] and at No. 2 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart, after receiving extensive play on modern rock radio, which was more accepting of the song's subject matter. Divinyls are considered a one-hit wonder in the US, as "I Touch Myself" was their only Stateside Top 40.

Cover versions[edit]

  • Gina Riley infamously parodied the song on Fast Forward.[12]
  • In 2000, the Industrial metal band Genitorturers released their album Machine Love which included a cover version of "I Touch Myself", with slightly altered lyrics, making the singer the dominant party in the song, rather than submissive. It is often mistaken to be a Jack Off Jill cover.
  • Rolf Harris performed a tongue-in-cheek version, accompanied only by his wobble board and asides full of innuendo, for Andrew Denton's Musical Challenge on the MMM Breakfast Show. This recording was released on the first Musical Challenge compilation album in 2000.
  • In 2005, the a cappella group Last Call[13] from Cornell University released their fourth album Straight Up, whose fourth track is a cover of "I Touch Myself". This cover is, obviously, a cappella and is sung at a slightly faster pace. In the same year the Belgium all-girls choir Scala & Kolacny Brothers did a classical cover version.
  • It was remade as a dance song by Lenny B featuring Kristy Kay.
  • The American Hardcore punk/Powerviolence band Ulcer cover the song on their 1996 album "Indignation" with the titled being changed to "Just Another Label"
  • Alternative rock band Eve 6 occasionally covers the song during performances.
  • In September 2006, Australian singer-songwriter and former Bardot member, Tiffani Wood, released the song as the third single from her solo album Bite Your Tongue. It did not however make an impact on the ARIA Charts.
  • In 2007 The Girls of FHM released a cover version and accompanying video.
  • On a tour with Ben Kweller and Ben Lee, Ben Folds performed the song live while the trio toured as The Bens.
  • In 2009 Pink covered this song during her Funhouse Tour.
  • "Weird Al" Yankovic included a portion of this song's lyrics in "Polka Your Eyes Out".
  • Australian musician and songwriter Megan Washington covered this song during the band's 2010 Australian tour to promote their album, I Believe You Liar.
  • Artist Alana D is listed in the credits of the film Miss March as having recorded a cover of the song for the film. However, the track does not appear on the official soundtrack and is not available for purchase.
  • Tori Amos covered the song live in Melbourne, Australia on 15 November 2014.

Track listing[edit]

  • Divinyls version
  1. "I Touch Myself"
  2. "Follow Through"


Preceded by
"Ice Ice Baby" by Vanilla Ice
Australian ARIA Singles Chart number-one single (Divinyls version)
2 February 1991 – 9 February 1991
Succeeded by
"I've Been Thinking About You" by Londonbeat


  1. ^ a b "New Release Summary > Product Available from: 19/11/90 (from The ARIA Report Issue No. 45)". Imgur.com (original document published by ARIA). Retrieved 23 September 2016. 
  2. ^ a b "1991 ARIA Singles Chart". ARIA. Retrieved 23 September 2016. 
  3. ^ Surnow, Rose (2013-04-22). "Masturbation Pioneer and "I Touch Myself Singer," Divinyls' Chrissy Amphlett, Dead at 53". Cosmopolitan. Hearst Corporation. Retrieved 26 August 2013. 
  4. ^ "I Touch Myself Songfacts". Retrieved 14 February 2007. 
  5. ^ Divynls "I Touch Myself" Sheet Music musicnotes.com
  6. ^ "The Artists". I Touch Myself Project. Retrieved 2014-10-21. 
  7. ^ "New Release Summary > Product Available from: 03/12/90 (from The ARIA Report Issue No. 47)". Imgur.com (original document published by ARIA). Retrieved 23 September 2016. 
  8. ^ "The ARIA Australian Top 100 Singles Chart – Week Ending 02 Dec 1990 (61–100)". Imgur.com (original document published by ARIA). Retrieved 23 September 2016. 
  9. ^ "The ARIA Australian Top 100 Singles Chart – Week Ending 03 Feb 1991 (1–60)". Imgur.com (original document published by ARIA). Retrieved 23 September 2016. 
  10. ^ a b "Official Charts > Divinyls". The Official UK Charts Company. Retrieved 23 September 2016. 
  11. ^ a b "Billboard > Artists / The Divinyls > Chart History > The Hot 100". Billboard. Retrieved 23 September 2016. 
  12. ^ "Fast Forward - Divinyls - Touch Myself". YouTube. 2007-06-03. Retrieved 12 November 2011. 
  13. ^ "Last Call cover". Retrieved 23 October 2006. 
  14. ^ "australian-charts.com > Divinyls - I Touch Myself (song)". Hung Medien. Retrieved 12 November 2011. 
  15. ^ Canadian peak
  16. ^ "The Irish Charts – All there is to know > Search results for 'Divinyls' (from irishcharts.ie)". Imgur.com (original source published by Fireball Media). Retrieved 23 September 2016. 
  17. ^ "charts.org.nz > Divinyls - I Touch Myself (song)". Hung Medien. Retrieved 12 November 2011. 
  18. ^ "Billboard > Artsts / The Divinyls > Chart History > Mainstream Rock Songs". Billboard. Retrieved 23 September 2016. 
  19. ^ "ARIA Charts - End of Year Charts - Top 50 Singles 1991". Aria.com.au. Retrieved 12 November 2011. 
  20. ^ "Canadian RPM Top Singles - 1991". Retrieved 15 September 2011. 
  21. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1991". Retrieved 15 September 2009. 

External links[edit]