My 4 Rules for Curating a Great Sexy-Times Playlist

Feel free to steal some of my song selections.
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Claire Lower
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Feel free to steal some of my song selections.

Music is a mood setter, and the most fun mood to set is a sexy one. Picking sexy time songs can be tricky though, and these things cannot be left to a Pandora station. Sexy songs must be curated ahead of time, to ensure there are no boner-killing snafus.

Mostly, it's all about providing pleasant, relaxing, not-at-all distracting background music that also communicates a strong desire to bone without being overly obvious. At least that's my goal, but I may be overthinking it. (I'm definitely overthinking it.) 

Either way, I think I curate a pretty good "boning" list, and I do it by keeping four rules in mind.

Claire's Rules for Creating a Perfect Sexy Times Playlist:

1. Keep it Quiet-ish: Just because a song is "sexy" doesn't mean it's good for a sexy time. There are quiet sexy songs and there are loud sexy songs and your list is best filled with the quieter kind, so as not to distract from the activities at hand. If a song has ever made you want to play the air guitar or pretend drums, it is best left off.

2. That being said, I like to start the list with a song that is slightly more upbeat than the rest of this list: If you kick off your list with a slow jam, your plan becomes immediately obvious. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but nothing says "please take your pants off" like "oh, let me put on some music." 

*Puts on Beach House.* 

Starting with a sexy, slightly louder song lets you ease into the mood, prolonging delicious tension that much longer. (Actually, if you want to communicate in no uncertain terms that you wish to sleep with someone, invite them in and put on a Beach House record.)

3. Keep it Fairly Obscure: Nothing ruins the mood like a sing-a-long. (Seriously, I once made the mistake of putting on The National before sleeping with a huge National fan and he kept singing. It was both hilarious and distracting.) Also, playing songs your "friend" is unlikely to know prevents them from having an annoying, dissenting opinion. This is why I try to keep my absolute favorites off such a playlist, as nothing wrecks my mood like "ugh, I hate this thing you treasure deep in your heart and soul."

4. Don't get too bogged down in lyrics: The songs you choose don't have to be about sex. "Let's Spend the Night Together" is a great song about sex, but a terrible song to have sex to. (Same goes for Minus the Bear's "My Time.") You are cultivating a mood that has more to do with tone and rhythm than lyrics. Besides, if you're doing things right, no one is listening to the words anyway.

Obviously, such a playlist is influenced by personal tastes, backgrounds, and associations, but I think these are helpful guidelines, no matter what genre of tunes populate your list.

Of course I have an ever-evolving playlist for such occasions. It is called "Smirk," and I think it is quite good. Right now it's got a few more songs on it than it usually does, because I wanted to you some options. For example, the first few are what I'd classify as those "louder songs" which I usually try to keep those down to one or two. Also "Beast of Burden" is on here, even though I can't personally have sex to "Beast of Burden" because I can't listen to it without shoulder dancing and singing along. 

You should definitely click over to Spotify to see the whole thing, but I'll include a few choice songs below for your enjoyment. (There are some repeats from other playlists, so I'll try and highlight those I haven't mentioned before.)

"Breakdown" -- Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

Though it's a pretty chill rock 'n' roll song, "Breakdown" is still a rock 'n' roll song, so it is "beginning playlist" material. That being said, it's also a very obvious song; no one will doubt your intentions once you put it on.

"Will Do" -- TV on the Radio

This one is also a little upbeat, but we're starting to wind down here and get into a sexy groove, which is only helped by sweet, sweet vocal stylings of Tunde Adebimpe.

"Look at Where we Are" -- Hot Chip

Maybe I have a warped sense of what "sexy" means, but I find there's a fine line between creepy and sexy, and this song walks that line.

"Gila" -- Beach House

Obviously.

"Without Permission" -- The National

You could actually just put this whole album on and call it an evening.

"Baby" -- Ariel Pink's Haunted Grafitti

This song is all style and almost no substance, but it's just the style of song you're looking for.

"I'm On Fire" -- Bruce Springsteen

There are a few cover versions of this song. All are inadequate when compared to the original. Also, this freaking music video is amazing.

"Teardrop" -- Massive Attack

The only drawback to putting this song on is that you may end up having a conversation about the show House, not that House is a bad show.

"Your Arms Around Me" -- Jens Lenkman

This is a sweet dreamy song that is actually probably best suited for making out, rather than boning. I don't know why there's a distinction in my mind, but there is.

"Fade Into You" -- J. Mascis

Obviously the original Mazzy Star version works well too, I'm just really into this cover right now (and have been for weeks, tbh).

Do you have a sexy time playlist? What is called? What is on it? Sub-question: What's the weirdest music you've every had sex to?