[Ed. Note: While we were off watching Night Ranger videos or something - which should tell you all you need to know about our own sex life at the moment - Rocks Off No. 2, Craig Hlavaty, and Web Editor Katharine Shilcutt started going back and forth about how men and women want to hear very different things while making sweet, sweet love. Rocks Off decided there's only one real way to settle this. As always, ladies first.]
Take it from a woman: We do not want to hear Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On" when we're -- ahem -- trying to get it on. Instant mood killer, as are other cliched moves such as reading E.E. Cummings' "she being Brand" (automotive analogies are only arousing to a certain point) or putting rose petals and/or satin sheets on the bed (save that shit for the Dynasty-throwback soft-core porn you're making). Instead, burn a CD of these songs - all of which are made of pure, unadulterated sex - and leave the lights on.
1) Street Hassle, Lou Reed: While this may not seem like an obvious choice at first, its magic is in the gentle, bouncy melody that masks some terribly filthy lyrics. A good song to start the evening off to, as it's the equivalent of not coming on too strong while at the same time making your point quite clear to someone who's paying attention.
2) Libertango, Astor Piazzola: Two songs in, and you've already shown your girl that you dig the little-known classics and the suave tango stylings of Astor Piazzola. You're a worldy man with mature tastes, appreciating the pounding intensity and intricate, dizzying scales of the Libertango. ...and who also wants to do a little tango of his own.
3) Summertime, Janis Joplin: We're still taking it easy at this point, although Joplin's bluesy, whiskey-breathed, aching, whisper-howl of a song should ease you and your girl right into position.
4) Superstar, Sonic Youth: This just goes to prove that even Carpenters' songs can be sultry when properly tarted up. "What to say / to make you come again?" You don't need to say anything; just keep fingering that...fretboard.
5) Empty House, Air: A swirling, ephemeral heartbeat of a song with a hard, tenebrous edge, that reminds you of the sharp shivers that go straight to the base of your spine when someone strokes your neck in just the right spot or whispers in your ear.
6) Sea Song, Doves: This song is the aural equivalent of muddled thoughts and blood and adrenaline pulsing aimlessly yet pleasurably through your head. Its slow but driving beat climaxes ever so gradually but without any real resolution, compelling you forward to the next song...
7) The Operation, Charlotte Gainsbourg: ...in which we discuss dissecting your partner as if they were a science experiment. But trust me, it comes across far sexier than you might initially think. The dark, pulsing melody and breathy lyrics speak for themselves: "Now I'm inside you / my hands can feel their way / further inside than I have ever been."
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8) Inertia Creeps, Massive Attack: You can't go wrong with a classic, and Massive Attack's music was made for making it, pure and simple. From the exotic samples in the background and driving drum beats to the slow crescendo and repeated rythyms, spoken like someone who's too focused on everything else around them to think of anything clever to say.
9) Closer, Nine Inch Nails: By now, all subtlety and pretense has been abandoned. We're in that purely carnal moment that Trent Reznor puts so elegantly in the song: "I want to fuck you like an animal." This is the good part, folks.
10) Mercy Street, Peter Gabriel: The denouement. The come-down. The unfocused eyes, the sweaty panting, the elated exhaustion, the "did that just happen?" thoughts. This song and its calming, dreamy atmosphere will bring you back down to earth as you happily intertwine yourself between your girl and the sheets, especially with its soft, quiet yet still sexy ending, perfect for drifting off to sleep.
Check out Craig Hlavaty's male version of the list here, now with 95 percent more Pantera!