How to Craft the Best Sex Playlist — Plus, 30+ Songs to Get You Started
No matter what genre or decade, music and sex have always gone together like peanut butter and jelly. While some songs like "WAP" by Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion don't beat around the bush (pun!) and get straight to the point, other sex-related songs seduce you, tantalize you, and make you raise an eyebrow at certain lyrics. Then, when the song is over, you realize you've just listened to a four-minute ode to sex.
The thing is, not all sexy songs make for great sex music. When it comes to crafting the perfect sex playlist, you need sex playlist songs that will set the mood and feel sexy and sensual — but don't necessarily need to be explicitly dropping lines about "king cobras" and doing a "kegel when it's inside." Read on for the best sex playlist songs, how to pick them, and a complete sex playlist ready for you to enjoy, all straight from sex experts.
The Science of Sex Playlists
Even before you toss in the oxytocin (aka the mood-boosting "bonding hormone") that's released when you have sex, music, on its own, makes you feel good. Research has found that when you listen to songs you enjoy, dopamine (a neurotransmitter involved in pleasure, motivation, learning, and memory) is released into your system. It doesn't matter if it's Taylor Swift, Neutral Milk Hotel, or AC/DC, if it's music you love, it positively affects you: from relaxing you, to inspiring you, to even getting you in the mood. In addition to what's happening physiologically, listening to music during sex can also transport you mentally and even make you feel less inhibited. (Related: 11 Health Benefits of Sex That Have Nothing to Do with an Orgasm)
"The thing I like to point out about sex playlists is that they can be great for getting us out of our heads," says Carol Queen, Ph.D., the staff sexologist at iconic sex shop Good Vibrations and the author of The Sex & Pleasure Book: Good Vibrations Guide to Great Sex for Everyone (Buy It, $25, amazon.com). "Especially, if we spend too much time [in our head] and it interferes with getting into the erotic space we'd like to enter. Instead of getting balled up with shyness, focus on music you find erotically inspiring and let it help bring you out of your shell."
But the type of music that's going to get someone's head in the sex game is going to depend not just on what type of music someone likes, but their general mood.
"Music can help you keep a good rhythm by following the beat of the music," says Katie Lasson, sexologist and relationship advisor. "The type of music you pick for your sex playlist will depend on the mood you're aiming for. Are you aiming for slow and mellow, or fast and furious?"
For example, if you're looking to take it nice and slow, but keep it sexy, Lasson suggests "Damage" by H.E.R, "Do I Wanna Know x Woman," the Arctic Monkeys and Harry Styles mashup, (note: I never heard this song before, but holy hell is it hot!), and "Come Away with Me" by Norah Jones. If you want fast and maybe something to inspire some tying up or spanking action, Lasson recommends "Danger High Voltage" by Electric Six and "I'm A Slave 4 U" by Britney Spears.
While I'm sure there are some people out there who already have these songs on their sex playlist or are now inspired to start a playlist of their own thanks to these suggestions, when it comes to songs that people want to have sex to there's another factor to consider: BPM, or beats per minute, which is what sets the tempo of a song.
And there appears to be one particular BPM that has made itself the most popular speed for which to have sex: 119BPM. A U.K. supplement company called Supplement Place conducted the research by compiling a list of 60,000 songs that people said they prefer to have sex to. What they found was that, of those tens of thousands of songs, the average BPM was 119. Can't think of a song that's 119BPM? Here, let me help you: "Don't Stop Believin'" by Journey. Yep, that's 119BPM. But if you prefer to not be reminded of that final scene in The Sopranos, Lady Gaga saves the day with "Bad Romance," which clocks in at 119BPM, too.
Of course, it's important to take into consideration that just because 119BPM is the average, it doesn't mean that when crafting the best sex playlist, every song needs to be 119BPM. (My personal list has "Maps" by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs on it and "Talk Show Host" by Radiohead which have BPMs of 120 and 89, respectively.) Ultimately, when creating the best sex playlist, what it comes down to more than anything is the mood you want to convey and the type of music that complements the type of sex you want to have.
"A very good way to find the songs that will enhance your sexytime experience is to close your eyes and imagine situations...what do you imagine with this song? How does your body vibrate, where does it take you? One song can very easily invite you to do a strip tease, another to make love in a romantic way, another to have sex against the wall, another to pamper and caress, and so on," says Mariela Tesler, sex coach, author of The Science of Seduction (Buy It, $10, amazon.com) and who, for the record, has a pretty 🔥 sex playlist on her own Spotify channel. "The music that sensitizes you, transports you, and makes your sensual and sexual imagination fly is the one that you should choose."
It also helps, if you're in a relationship, to make the list together. If your partner doesn't like The Beatles and all of a sudden the list goes from Harry Styles' "Watermelon Sugar" to "Got to Get You Into My Life," you'll have a major mood-killer on your hands. Building the ideal sex playlist is an art, and should be treated as such!
30+ Sex Playlist Songs to Get You Started
Not sure where to start with your best sex playlist? Here are some songs — courtesy of the experts above, plus relationship expert and psychologist Tatyana Dyachenko — to get you started.
- "Montero (Call Me By Your Name)" by Lil' Nas X
- "Wicked Game" by Chris Isaak
- "Red Light Special" by TLC
- "Shut Up and Kiss Me" by Angel Olsen
- "Criminal" by Fiona Apple
- "Nothing's Gonna Hurt You Baby" by Cigarettes After Sex
- "Often" by The Weeknd
- "Love Is a Bitch" by Two Feet
- "Earned It (Fifty Shades of Grey)" by The Weeknd
- "I Feel You" by Depeche Mode
- "Sex Boy" by Air
- "Oh, Baby" by LCD Soundsystem
- "Bad Things" by Jace Everett
- "Dirrty" by Christina Aguilera
- "Love Me Like You Do" by Ellie Goulding
- "Pony" by Ginuwine
- "Wild Side" by Normani
- "Damage" by H.E.R.
- "The Hills" by The Weeknd
- "Do I Wanna Know x Woman" by Arctic Monkeys and Harry Styles
- "Danger High Voltage" by Electric Six
- "I'm A Slave 4 U" by Britney Spears
- "Desperado" by Rihanna
- "I Feel Like I'm Drowning" by Two Feet
- "Wicked Games" by The Weeknd
- "Come Through and Chill" by Miguel
- "Fall In Line" by Christina Aguilera and Demi Lovato
- "Put It On Me" by Matt Maeson
- "Legendary" by Welshly Arms
- "Love on the Brain" by Rihanna
- "Come Away with Me" by Norah Jones
A Ready-to-Go Sex Playlist for Your Enjoyment
"BPM" is a technical way of saying the music should embody the moment, having a very authentic ebb & flow. Similar to those intimate moments, your playlist should be analogous to Mrs. Butterworth's maple syrup right out the microwave - thick, rich, warm and languorous. Give this a try...
1) "On The Run-Part 2" - Beyonce & Jay-Z
2) "The Panties" Yasiin Gaye feat. Teddy Pendergrass (Prod. Amerigo
3) "Maybe Tomorrow" - Jackson 5
4) "When I Was You Man" - Bruno Mars
5) "California Dreaming" - Dana Owens aka Queen Latifah
6) "Love Nwantiti" - CKay
7) "Essence" - WizKid ft Justin Bieber, Tems
8) "Find Someone Like You" - Snow Aalegra
9) "Crush" Yuna ft Usher
10)"Swim Good" - Frank Ocean
11)"Redbone" - Childish Gambino
12)"Everything I Wanted" - JP Cooper
13)"OMG" - Marsha Ambrosius
14)"Alone With You" Ashlee
15)"Need You" - Emanuel
16)"In Love By Now" - Jamie Foxx
17)"Whoa" - Snow Aalegra
18)"Sometimes I Wonder" - Darius Rucker FT Jill Scott
19)"All This Love" - DeBarge
20)"Tears" - Isley Brothers
21)"One More Try" - George Michaels
22)"Here I Stand" - Usher
23)"Lotus Flower Bomb" - Wale ft Miguel)
24)"A House Is Not A Home" - Luther Vandross
25)"Holding Back The Years" - Simply Red
26)"Beautiful Little Fools" - Jorja Smith
27)"Brooklyn Love" - Lolo Zouai
28)"Love Don't Change" - Jeremih
29)"This Woman's Work" - Maxwell
30)"The Zone" - The Weekend