Not only has Katy Perry created a catchy album rife with solid writing and modern, synthy, adept pop music, but she's also crafted an album about her love of the modern, All-American, full-blooded male.
The album's written from the point of view of a full-grown, responsible woman, primarily a woman reminiscing about love she felt as a teen. Often, the implication is that the male recipient of her affection has made her feel younger again, made her feel like she's caught in a torrid love affair or unrestrained puppy love. This is fairly evident in "Hummingbird Heartbeat" (similar to Madonna's "Like a Virgin" in content) and the video that accompanies the title track:
Even the video feels like it's shot from the Perry's point of view as the camera follows our boy toy boxing like he can't see Perry hiding in the hallway. There are also muted color palettes on the highway, coed couples enjoying a parking lot party and groping in a hotel that suggest a woman in love and having fun. The message, perhaps like a lot of her album, comes across very clearly regardless of her attempts to hide her meaning between light euphemisms and metaphors: Perry loves men and indeed boys love her, too. On the other hand, her song "Peacock" is very much about her love of men, but these men won't be loving her in the physical sense she originally implied:
Hence the song, like any good art, can have different meanings to different people but the main message still remains the same: sometimes being a man feels great and a lot of times that is because a man is admired by someone he also admires. Certainly, Perry wrote it as a heterosexual interpretation of a woman loving man so much she doesn't want him in clothes anymore, but in the context of the album it is simply a celebration of those times relationships have been healthy and stable enough to culminate in physical expression (or mourning the times they fell apart as on "The One that Got Away").
And as much as the album is a celebration of the male form, "California Gurls" makes an attempt to even the score by shifting the focus to daisy dukes and popsicle-melting, complete with a verse from a dude about how much dudes think about girls. Yes, we love it when you wear short pants and/or whipped cream.
It's the kind of music that makes men feel proud to be men while still feeling embarrassed to like listening to it. For example, to make up for admitting I enjoy Teenage Dream (possibly with the exception of the Jesus song), I will be listening to Mastodon all day, carrying a chain saw and later I will set bear traps and punch a Hippo because I can—whether or not I survive is irrelevant. I'm doing it because I'm a man.