“Billie is f-cking me up” is the text our site manager Emily sent me today in response to Billie Eilish’s new cover interview in Rolling Stone. Then she added that “the lesbians are freaking out”, and I know, I know, not all lesbians, but at least Emily is, and so are the ones in her feed. 


This is Lesbian Visibility Week…and the lesbians are eating! Because Billie just gave them a very happy visual. 

Before we go further though, let’s go back to my original question in the title of this post – how DO we talk about Billie Eilish? Because there is so much to unpack in this interview, she shares so much, she is so candid, and everything she says is beautiful and thoughtful and complicated but near the end of the piece, she tells journalist Angie Martoccio that: 

“The way that the world has treated me into feeling extremely anxious about everything that I say. It’s really exhausting when anything I say can become a headline, completely taken out of context, and it leads to constant paranoia.”


Obviously I don’t want to add to that, and yet there are two big takeaways for me at least from this interview that I do want to discuss. One of this probably what many of the headlines are about right now. And the other is less loud but just as interesting. We’ll start there and keep the context in mind. And it’s what Billie says about albums. 


She’s about to release a new one, Hit Me Hard and Soft, due out May 17 and I can’t wait. Especially since the promise with the album is that she’s going full voice, that the music sets up to her louder vocal range rather than the quieter one she was most known for when she first broke out. Also the fact that Billie and Finneas’s intention is that Hit Me Hard and Soft is a full album experience. 

“I mention that album listening as an art form isn’t really a thing these days — most kids experience songs one at a time. Or, as Finneas points out, not even a whole track: “We’re not even at ‘song’ anymore,” he says. “We’re at the line from the second verse that blew up on TikTok. We’re mostly watching content in vertical that was made an hour ago — some person telling you their thoughts about something from an hour ago.” But he feels like old-school music listening is going to have a comeback, in the same way that cinema did last year with Barbenheimer. “Everything’s a counter-movement to the movement,” he says. “I think that’s going to lead back to immersing yourself in an album. I really do.”

This is also why Eilish isn’t releasing a single from Hit Me Hard and Soft. “I don’t like singles from albums,” she admits. “Every single time an artist I love puts out a single without the context of the album, I’m just already prone to hating on it. I really don’t like when things are out of context. This album is like a family: I don’t want one little kid to be in the middle of the room alone.”


Beyoncé has always been an album artist. Same goes for Taylor Swift. What’s noteworthy though about Billie is that she’s part of the generation that, well, is more about the singles, the two minute, two and a half minute max songs on TikTok and Soundcloud that disrupted the music industry, and some would say not for the better. And yet here she is encouraging her fans, and beyond, to get back to full album listening as a habit, as a standard. Which I appreciate, because music can at times, with the speed of social media, feel so temporary – and as a musician, why would you want your work to be so… fleeting? 

And then there’s the sex. My interest isn’t necessarily about the sex she’s having with anyone else, but the sex she’s having with herself. Sexual health is HEALTH, period. Which is SO powerful to hear from a person who, as she says herself, has had such a tumultuous relationship with her own body – and this is probably true for a LOT of us: 

“I ask her what she likes to do to decompress. “Sex,” she says. “I basically talk about sex any time I possibly can. That’s literally my favorite topic. My experience as a woman has been that it’s seen in such a weird way. People are so uncomfortable talking about it, and weirded out when women are very comfortable in their sexuality and communicative in it. I think it’s such a frowned-upon thing to talk about, and I think that should change. You asked me what I do to decompress? That shit can really, really save you sometimes, just saying. Can’t recommend it more, to be real.”


Eilish would also like a word about masturbation, which she says is equally taboo for women. Self-pleasure, she says, has made her more confident. “TMI, but self-pleasure is an enormous, enormous part of my life, and a huge, huge help for me,” she says. “People should be jerking it, man. I can’t stress it enough, as somebody with extreme body issues and dysmorphia that I’ve had my entire life.”

Eilish likes to masturbate in front of a mirror. “Partly because it’s hot, but it also makes me have such a raw, deep connection to myself and my body, and have a love for my body that I have not really ever had,” she says. “I got to say, looking at yourself in the mirror and thinking ‘I look really good right now’ is so helpful. You can manufacture the situation you’re in to make sure you look good. You can make the light super dim, you can be in a specific outfit or in a specific position that’s more flattering. I have learned that looking at myself and watching myself feel pleasure has been an extreme help in loving myself and accepting myself, and feeling empowered and comfortable.”

Eilish has been wanting to discuss this with me, and now that she’s gotten it all out, she exhales and inches back farther on the couch. “I should have a Ph.D. in masturbation,” she says.”

I have never masturbated in front of a mirror… mostly because my mirrors at that level at home are all situated around hardwood. But also because having a mirror at the foot of your bed is considered bad luck in Chinese culture, lol. Still, this isn’t about home design, it’s about self-love. And, like, never mind masturbation, there are days when I don’t even want to brush my teeth in front of the mirror because I hate my body so much. There are days when I get out of the shower well off to the side so I won’t have to catch a glimpse of my body when I’m drying off. These are ugly thoughts, but I’m pretty sure they’re not unique to me. So Billie putting them on blast so personally and so provocatively feels radical. And then she follows that up in the next paragraph about wanting to put her face in a vagina… 


As Emily texted me, “I want to go back to being a 15-year-old lesbian just for this moment. Just to experience this level of horniness that must be happening right now”. 

It’s specific and universal. I am not a lesbian but I can see myself in Billie, at 22, who is discovering what makes her feel good, and who is making herself feel good, and with her example making those baby lesbians out there feel good about what makes them feel good. Oh and also setting a thirst trap for the seasoned lesbians out there (hi Emily) who might be making more use of their own mirrors tonight, and tomorrow night. Happy Lesbian Visibility Week indeed.