Music and Sex: A Beginner's Guide
By Helen Taylor So I went into this heavy, in-depth (snigger) research assignment with a cavalier attitude. I assumed a certain universality of sexy song, but I’ve since realised that there are songs about sex, and there are songs that make you want to have sex, and there are songs that are good as a soundtrack for when you’re doin’ it. I also learned a new thing: MTFT = Music To F*** To. Until now, this abbreviation had escaped me. Now, it will be the title of my August 2014 playlist.
I asked my Facebook friends, who have dutifully been responding to a series of my music-related questions (favourite song to dance to/favourite love song/favourite female artist) for a while now: “What are the sexiest songs you know?”. What I learned was that while some of my Facebook friends are smartass jerks, there’s as many different schools of thought on musical sexiness as there are on best sandwich fillings. Let the record show that a large portion of the musical sexiness of life lies in the 90s/early 00s.
Exhibit A: ‘You’re Makin’ Me High’ - Toni Braxton
A rather explicit song about the intoxicating nature of sex with a sexy person. Very sexily sung by Toni Braxton, who seems to have disappeared since the album I recently procured from Salvos for $2, which also contains heartachey power ballad ‘Unbreak My Heart’. She’s left a sexy legacy though - I highly recommend you enjoy the stylings of such lyrics as:
“Can’t get my mind off you/ I think I might be obsessed/ The very thought of you/ Makes me want to get undressed.”
Exhibit B: ‘Ignition (Remix)’ - R. Kelly
Some lyrical wizardry here tells an age-old tale of seeing a really attractive person that you’d quite like to do, and seducing them by singing them a song about how much you’d like to do them. Comes complete with tasteful metaphors such as “I’m ‘bout to take my key and/ Stick it in the ignition.” One of those songs that sounds kind of sexy before listening to the words, and then kind of sleazy after you pay attention. Covered to sexy perfection by local band Counting Pennies, who (just FYI) can be found doing their thing on any good Armidale Club open mic night.
Exhibit C: ‘Pony’ - Ginuwine
Pretty sure everyone remembers this song, released in 1996. In 1996 I was 11, so I did think it was an actual song about riding ponies. For this I partially blame the film clip, which was set in some kind of cowboy bar, and the other parts of ignorance fall to my general naivety. A few considered re-watches/re-listens now reveal the sexiness of this tune lies in its bass sample. And its thrustular dance moves, performed by an open-shirted Ginuwine. Hello, baggy denim.
Exhibit D: ‘6 Underground’ - Sneaker Pimps
It was the song that played as Jennifer Love Hewitt walked into the party of 1998’s ‘Can’t Hardly Wait’. It features a husky-voiced lady and words sung so slowly that I always forgot to listen to the lyrics. Turns out they’re probably about drugs, which are not sexy. So best not to listen to the words, but instead enjoy this dreamy lazy 90s tune.
Other especially sexy tunes from this time that deserve a brief mention (and to be put on your MTFT list) include anything by Montell Jordan (‘This Is How We Do It’), Usher (‘Nice and Slow’) and the one-hits of such folk as Next - ‘Too Close’ and Colour Me Badd - ‘I Wanna Sex You Up’ (incredibly subtle).
Now I want to change from letters to numbers and suggest a few more recent albums to throw on if you’re tucked away in your room with a consenting adult to “hang out” or “watch a movie”. It’s only polite if you live in a sharehouse/college/at home with your parents to put on some kind of thing that will play for at least an hour. Traditionally, music playing can both mask the sounds of other things, put you in the mood, give you a tempo to stick to or something to hum along to when things go badly. The warning I give is that sometimes music can mask the sound of someone who doesn’t know you have movie-watching company knocking on your door, getting no response and barging in. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
1. “An Underground Wave” - Alt-J
An album so sexy that the first track will have you scanning the room for a movie-watching companion.
2. “Thinking in Textures” EP & “Built On Glass” - Chet Faker
Obviously ‘I’m Into You’ is where it’s at for seduction. Use it sparingly, for it holds much power and magic:
“When I press an ear up to your breast/ I can hear the rhythm start/ It’s hard to tell our beats apart/So I hope you’re listening right now/ Cause I can barely hold my tongue/ The shit we do could warm the sun.”
‘Talk is Cheap’ also gets a serious mention. Basically, the man is a sexy genius.
3. “The Earope Project” single - No Body Died
Local babes Jay Westfold and Declan Humphreys sure know how to put together a sexy tune. Keep your eyes and ears on these guys, folks; guaranteed to be more awesomeness on the way, plus, take a date to one of their gigs and you just never know, movie-watching may be in your immediate future.
4. “Metals” - Feist
Sultry vocals. Well-paced tunes. Can’t go wrong.
Some other artists for your MTFT consideration include almost anything by Bjork, The Weeknd, Lana Del Rey ... even a splash of Beyonce doesn’t go astray. It’s about picking your audience, really - one person’s ‘Let’s Stay Together’ might be another person’s ‘Let It Go’, and vice versa.
The key is folks, to go forth and enjoy yourselves. Find a movie-watching partner, get their consent, pick your soundtrack, use protection and just have a damn good time.
And listen for knocks.
Helen is studying Arts Management, and things that make her happy include chocolate milk, paper goods and 80’s teen movies.