If you've ever wondered about the best music to play during sex, we have some research on the subject from music psychologist Dr. Daniel Müllensiefen from the University of London. According to this research, any song from the Dirty Dancing soundtrack provides the best music for love-making, followed by Marvin Gaye's "Sexual Healing," Maurice Ravel's "Bolero," and Berlin's "Take My Breath Away." Aside from the list of top songs, however, perhaps the most interesting conclusion from the study was the fact that a number of participants prioritized a seduction playlist over their partner. In fact, 40 percent of the participants said that listening to music was more arousing than actual touching in the bedroom. Huh?
There are many explanations for why this may be. Firstly, both sex and music are heavily reliant on rhythm, so it's only natural that listening to music would heighten one's sexual experience. In an interview with Mic, for instance, Los Angeles and New York-based sex therapist Moushumi Ghose claims that "sexuality has a rhythmic quality to it. The way we that we make love or the way we are in an intimate setting probably mimics greatly the type of music we like and inspires us in that moment."
Another explanation for the complementary nature of music and sex is that listening to music releases dopamine, the same neurotransmitter that's responsible for sexual pleasure. Still, there are some major differences between the production of dopamine during sex and while listening to music. In the latter case, music has the added benefit of providing an "aesthetic or intellectual reward." All the same, our perception of a song depends on the various feelings with which it is associated. If you had a pleasant experience listening a certain song the first time you had sex, for instance, it could heighten your libido later on. According to Dr. Müllensiefen:
The fact that Dirty Dancing has come top on the list of the best tracks to play during sex for both men and women is due to the fact that most people have a good knowledge of songs that represent romance, and these tend to be from cultural references such as film. People use this music to not only communicate their intentions in a romantic situation but to directly alter the mood during an encounter.
This also explains why Celine Dion's song "My Heart Will Go On" from Titanic, Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You" from The Bodyguard, and the Grease soundtrack all made the cut for the top songs to play during sex. Unfortunately, these songs are getting quite old, and we can't be expected to listen to "Hopelessly Devoted to You" in the bedroom for the rest of our lives. While songs like "Let's Get It On" will forever remain bedroom classics, it's time to step into the 21st century.
So, in the spirit of modern-day love-making, here are five new songs to add to your collection of mood music:
1. "Touchin, Lovin" by Trey Songz (feat. Nikki Minaj)
Or really any song by Trey Songz. They're all about sex.
2. "Climax" by Usher
The title says it all.
3. "Motivation" by Kelly Rowland
A bit of a throwback, but Kelly is the queen of baby-making music. "Kisses Down Low", anyone?
4. "Beg For It" by Chris Brown
I mean, how much more literal can you get?
5. "Pusher Love Girl" by Justin Timberlake
JT's magic is impossible to resist.
Images: Richard foster/Flickr, Giphy; Videos: YouTube