The human experience is all about feeding the senses. The more we engage our taste buds, fill our memories with sights of things grotesque or beautiful or touch to get a feel of what is real and what is not, the more we take away from the moment.
As one of the most basic, intrinsic human interactions we know, sex is as sought after, fantasized about and obsessed over because nothing quite compares to it. When else do you get the electrifying effect of skin-to-skin contact, the raw, carnal sounds of bodies intertwined, the gritting of teeth and the curling of toes and the blinding, indescribably amazing rush that ends it all?
None of this really comes that easily, and sometimes we need more than the whispering of sweet nothings or dirty commands — a little aural pleasure with your oral pleasure, if you will — to heighten the senses and get us to that sweet spot.
When it comes down to it, playing the right song in the sack can make or break the mood. Below is a list of records fit for any steamy situation — some tried and true, others ultimately up to you, but all guaranteed eargasmic.
If romance and sweet, sweet lovemakin’ is on the agenda for tonight, light up those candles and break out the slow jams, baby, because we’re about to turn up the heat and make it last all night long with these top picks.
QUADRON, “BABY BE MINE”: A recent fixation of mine, this Danish duo provides a perfect, sultry neo-soul start to the evening.
ROBIN THICKE, “I NEED LOVE”: The popular R&B singer shows he’s got a more heartfelt, emotional side to him than Sex Therapy .
SADE, “BY YOUR SIDE (THE NEPTUNES REMIX)”: The queen of love ballads and original Smooth Operator is essential to every slow jams playlist.
RADIOHEAD, “NUDE”: A gut-wrenchingly sweet track from the brilliant “In Rainbows.”
AALIYAH, “I CARE 4 U”: A smoky, sensuous classic from our babygirl.
BEYONCE, “SPEECHLESS”: If you’ve somehow overlooked this one in the past, then you’re about to discover one of B’s sexiest songs, ever.
ALICIA KEYS FT. MAXWELL, “FIRE WE MAKE”: It’s taken years to hear a collaboration from these two, but trust me, it was well worth the wait.
ARIEL PINK’S HAUNTED GRAFFITI, “BABY”: Take it back a notch but still keep it sexy as hell with this memorable conclusion to 2012’s Mature Themes.
These songs are reserved for languid Sunday mornings, cozy rainy afternoons and those days where all you want to do is roll around in the sheets and do absolutely nothing but each other.
BONE THUGS-N-HARMONY, “THE WEED SONG”: Light one up between the sheets and get with it, because Bone Thugs deliver with this ultra smooth hazy delight.
HOW TO DRESS WELL, “RUNNING BACK”: This is a track off of Tom Krell’s latest LP, Total Loss , a grippingly honest masterpiece that features ethereal vocals sung over a layered symphony of R&B and acoustic elements.
BRAND NEW, “JESUS CHRIST”: Brand New’s “Jesus Christ” is a throwback to 2006 and a bit more somber than the rest, but nonetheless there’s something about this song that I can’t quite shake off.
GIRLS, “SUBSTANCE”: Christopher Owens, frontman to our favorite SF-based indie rock duo, slows it down to a couple of sweet chords and a forlorn tone with this one.
JOHN LEGEND, “LET’S GET LIFTED AGAIN”: Just lay back and let John Legend’s voice do all the work. Guaranteed to take you high up on that pleasure plane.
FEIST, “ONE EVENING”: Understated sexy with its jazz lounge beats and crisp, breathy vocals.
WASHED OUT, “SOFT”: Lush bedroom pop that’s a little less dancey and a whole lot more sensual than their other records.
SBTRKT FT. SAMPHA, “TRIALS OF THE PAST”: UK singer Sampha’s velvety vocals and the track’s dreamy urban pop beats are a match made in music heaven.
Rough me up, baby
Then, there are times when all you want is a desperately hot, back-against-the-wall, wild fuck that your body will remember the next day. In this case, you need more energetic songs — preferably with a heavy, thumping bass that comes second to your own soundtrack.
JEREMIH, “FUCK U ALL THE TIME”: The creator of “Birthday Sex” gets chopped and screwed down in this tortuously slow tease.
JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE, “ROCK YOUR BODY”: JT at his best — get down on the dance floor and in the bedroom with this playful number.
N.E.R.D., “LAPDANCE”: An aggressive, hard-hitting beat and heartthrob Pharrell make this one a longtime favorite.
CAKE, “NEVER THERE”: More light-hearted and fun, this track is provocative all the same.
MELLOWHYPE FT. MIKE G, “LOADED”: Gnarly rap over a laid-back, lo-fi beat seems to do it for me, surprisingly.
PURITY RING, “OBEDEAR”: Off the ghostly synth-pop perfection that is Shrines, this song is equal parts sensual and dark.
LUDACRIS, “SPLASH WATERFALLS”: Whether you want to bring some chicken and beer into the bedroom is entirely up to you, but this Ludacris classic is dirty Southern rap at its finest.
Make it nasty
I’ve saved the best for last folks. Here are the dirty, panty-droppin’ songs you feel a bit naughty listening to on your iPod while walking to class in the morning. Press play and fill your night with more than just a little “Bump N’ Grind.”
THE NOTORIOUS B.I.G., “#!*@YOU TONIGHT”: This is self-explanatory, I would hope.
THE ISLEY BROTHERS, “BETWEEN THE SHEETS”: This is the funkadelic classic that has been bringing lovers together since the ’80s and has been sampled in every other hip-hop hit out there.
THE WEEKND, “WHAT YOU NEED”: This is a personal favorite of mine, this Canadian crooner could and should soundtrack all your R-rated adventures.
MISSY ELLIOT, “MELTDOWN”: Only Missy can get away with rapping, “He got that magic stick that make my little p***y quiver / Juices runnin’ like a river slowly down my kitty litter,” to a disco groove.
112, “U ALREADY KNOW”: This is a flirty, dirty little record from one of our favorite ’90s R&B groups.
USHER, “BAD GIRL”: If anything, this one’s a guilty pleasure, but don’t pretend like you aren’t tempted to sing right along with it.
R. KELLY, “SEX PLANET”: No sex playlist is complete without Kells. The number of space-themed sexual innuendos in this song is ridiculously amazing. If you dig this one, you also won’t want to miss out on “The Zoo,” either.