When you think about it (or maybe you don’t, BUT I DO OFTEN), Demi Lovato has spent a great deal of her past few album cycles focused on addressing some very serious issues — eating disorders, drug abuse, mental illness to name a few — creating advocacy campaigns, charity organizations and, of course, massively inspirational self-empowerment anthems to boot.

Ever wondered about her impact on The Youth? Go to a Demi concert and watch the crowd turn into a communal quivering puddle during any one of her poignant heart-to-heart chats at the piano. Maintaining that kind of role model status is —I could only imagine — a heavy cross to bear.

So, here’s my question: Doesn’t Demetria deserve a chance to be an empowered, emancipated hot mama and actually have a little fun for herself this summer?

FUCK YEAH, SHE DOES.

Demi’s surely had her moments of pop rebellion (her middle finger-in-the-air break-up jam-turned-LGBTQ Pride anthem “Really Don’t Care” and technicolor dance floor escapist delight “Neon Lights” both come to mind), but “Cool For The Summer” is undoubtedly her most irreverent, balls — err, bikini tops-to-the-wall moment yet, and surely the best ode to dipping into the lady pond since Katy Perry‘s “I Kissed A Girl.”

Co-crafted by a Swedish pop dream team (Max Martin, Ali Payami, Alexander Kronlund and Savan Kotecha), the soon-to-be summer anthem is subtle enough in its Sapphic tendencies to pass for any sort of scandalous hook-up, but the bicurious undertone is undeniable, as Demi flirts with the idea of trying a taste of the cherry and going down…to your paradise.

Even if they judge, fuck it, I’ll do the time…I just wanna have some fun with you.

Every single part of this track is positively popsicle melt-worthy: Each gritty, hormone-fueled breakdown (HUH!) dropped. Each earworm of a chorus (“BODY TY-UH-AHYPE“) yelped. Each campy whisper (“Shh…don’t tell your mother“) purred. This is Demetria like we’ve never heard before — in a great, girl4girl discreet NSA fun kind of way.

There will likely be some Lovatics (and certainly a few parents) who will protest the bold new direction, but Demi hasn’t had the opportunity to fully wave her freak flag like this ever before. And frankly, it’s pretty refreshing to hear her be so aggressively sexual — regardless of who she’s pursuing. (The same goes for her own newly emancipated pal, Selenita.) A girl has needs, you know.

There will always be time for another Demimotional record. But right now, the sun’s out, the temperature’s rising, and the girl wants to indulge in her wet, hot American summer fantasy…and we’re all better — err, wetter — for it.

demi-wet-neon-lights

“Cool For The Summer” was released on July 1. (iTunes)