Christina Aguilera is going to have some explaining to do. In a few short years, her young son Max is going to want to know why mommy has a gag in her mouth, why she’s on all fours drinking from a water bowl and why she’s kneeling between another woman’s thighs in her video for “Not Myself Tonight.”

And his mom will patiently explain that sometimes in life, when you’ve taken a long hiatus (by music industry standards, at least) and feel the ragged, hot breath of a certain take-no-prisoners competitor on your neck who wasn’t even playing clubs when you were already topping the charts,  you have to  shock people into paying attention to you. That means you look at what your successors (Lady GaGa), peers (Britney) and predecessors (Madonna) have done and think about what you can do to top that.  That “Dirrty” girl who wore bottomless chaps a few years ago? Child’s play.

The problem is instead of coming across as innovative, or even particularly sexy, Aguilera comes across as a little desperate and, quite frankly, it’s beneath her. And by the time she throws in the gratuitous shots of her perfume, there’s really not much more to be said.

XXXTina goes through the entire Trashy Lingerie inventory here and then some. She really wants us to know that there’s no area of sex play that doesn’t interest our girl. Latex mask?  Bring it on! Whips?  Please sir, may I have another! Girl on girl? Fabulous!  Orgy?   The more the merrier!

In the intro to the Hype Williams-directed video, Aguilera says, “It’s visually exactly how I’m feeling right now.” All I can think about is how some of those outfits must chafe.

Let’s be clear about one thing: if Aguilera’s goal is to show that she is one hot MILF without having to pose for Playboy, she’s made her point. She looks amazing.  But we kind of get that the first 10 times she strips down to next to nothing. A little of this stuff goes a long way. By the end, it’s practically visually assaulting. The whole thing would have worked much better as a five-photo pictorial in Vogue.

If she wants to put us on notice that there’s no room for any other musical Genies in her bottle and it’s time for everyone else to step aside, we hear her loud and clear. But we can’t help but feel a little sad. Aguilera has an incredible voice. None of her peers even come close when it comes to vocal chops and yet she feels she has to rely on soft-core porn to get people to pay attention to her. There’s nothing wrong with sexy, but “Not Myself Tonight” seems like a blatant, forced attempt to scream “Look at me!!!”  Christina, you’re better than this.