Millions of viewers saw Lambert simulate oral sex with a back-up dancer, plant a passionate kiss on the mouth of a male keyboard player and gesture to the audience with his middle finger during the closing act of the live music awards show.
Broadcaster ABC cut away from one moment in which Lambert rubbed his crotch for its U.S. West Coast version that aired later on Sunday evening. But by then, the singer's racy rendition of his debut single "For Your Entertainment" was already on its way to becoming the talking point of the show.
"Female performers have been doing this for years -- pushing the envelope about sexuality -- and the minute a man does it, everybody freaks out," said Lambert, who publicly declared he was gay after "American Idol" ended in May.
"We're in 2009; it's time to take risks, be a little more brave, time to open people's eyes and if it offends them, then maybe I'm not for them. My goal was not to piss people off, it was to promote freedom of expression and artistic freedom," the singer, 27, told Rolling Stone magazine after Sunday's show.
Artistic freedom is talent performed that woos and edifies the audience.
The expression of sexuality given to another human being as demonstrable acts of love are intimate and private acts between two souls devoted and committed to one another.
"Adrenaline is a crazy, crazy, crazy feeling. Some of the things I love most about performing is when you're up there and all of the sudden you just have these feelings, this rush that comes over you," he told CNN afterward.
He thinks the country wants to watch the degradation of the sex he performs behind a building with strangers when he gets aroused by "adrenaline"? Presumably he gives the finger to after he's done with them - adrenaline and all.