Sexy Songs
November 24, 2004 12:40 PM   Subscribe

In the spirit of many "best [mood] songs" questions that have been asked... I need suggestions for songs fit for making out and well, taking it further if required. What are the sexiest songs you've heard?
posted by anonymous to Media & Arts (63 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

Anything by Marvin Gaye
posted by Roach at 12:47 PM on November 24, 2004

Nine Inch Nails - Closer, for the rather intense make-out session.
posted by icontemplate at 12:50 PM on November 24, 2004

The Collected Works of Barry White.

Failing that, there's always Slayer.
posted by Captain_Tenille at 12:50 PM on November 24, 2004

Nine Inch Nails - Closer, for the rather intense make-out session.

Under no circumstances. Ugh.

Al Green (greatest hits will do) or Air (try the Virgin Suicides Sountrack or Moon Safari).
posted by Quartermass at 12:55 PM on November 24, 2004

All She Wants Is - SCSI-9 (Whignomy Bros Mix)
posted by dydecker at 12:57 PM on November 24, 2004

Anything by Air. There's a song on "Moon Safari" that has always defined this genre of music for me: "Ce Matin-La".

Alternatively, there's a really sleepy band called "Alpha" that has some music that's good for hooey and not much good for anything else, sadly.
posted by selfnoise at 1:02 PM on November 24, 2004

posted by MrMoonPie at 1:03 PM on November 24, 2004


I'd go with Massive Attack.
posted by rfordh at 1:13 PM on November 24, 2004

Depending on your age, I always did well with Enigmas "Sadness"
posted by keep it tight at 1:13 PM on November 24, 2004

A band called Tristeza has an album called "Dream Signals in Full Circles". It's really excellent, ethereal ambiance music- dreamy-sounding, languid guitar melodies layed over deep, sensuous, pulsing bass lines and overlayed with bright, airy synth stuff. It's the best make-out album ever.
posted by baphomet at 1:17 PM on November 24, 2004 [1 favorite]

I seem to recall being rather, um, intoxicated by Cream's Disraeli Gears for such purposes in high school and college. (Of course, the actual intoxicants I may have ingesting at the time possibly contributed to this feeling.)

I also remember what was probably the greatest high school make-out session ever, which involved my away-at-college boyfriend's best friend (I know! I was bad!) in my old Mustang behind a local greasy spoon listening to a cassette of Tom Waits' Rain Dogs on a boombox while rain battered the roof... O my youth! How delightful you truly were!
posted by scody at 1:21 PM on November 24, 2004

The album Let's Get It On by Marvin Gaye. It's kind of short, though, at only about 1/2 hour.
Also I second the Al Green, although his earlier stuff is the place to be.
posted by OmieWise at 1:22 PM on November 24, 2004

Lamb's Gorecki is the most perfect longing-looks to soft kisses to passionate falling off the couch song Ever.

and the lovey lyrics transition into a few minutes of rapidly more intense instrumentals.
posted by th3ph17 at 1:25 PM on November 24, 2004

David Bowie's Diamond Dogs album
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 1:31 PM on November 24, 2004

"Ball and a Biscuit" by the White Stripes is just oozes sex. IMHO. (I almost wrote "is dripping with sex," but ewwwww!)

Ravel's "Bolero" has been known to work on occassion.
posted by arco at 1:33 PM on November 24, 2004

Luther Vandross' love songs, Anita Baker's Rapture, anything by Dinah Krall, and i second Marvin Gaye and Barry White.
posted by ramix at 1:34 PM on November 24, 2004

I'll readily admit that my husband and I have musical tastes that many of our 20-something friends don't share, but I love anything old and preferably live by Bob Dylan (example) or Bruce Springsteen (example). There's something about the beauty of the poetry in the lyrics, coupled with the raw emotion and passion of the vocals.
posted by handful of rain at 1:42 PM on November 24, 2004

Morcheeba, Who Can You Trust?
posted by heather at 1:43 PM on November 24, 2004

I can't believe nobody's mentioned Holly Cole (especially the Temptation album) yet. Eric Clapton Unplugged was the soundtrack for one unbelievable makeout session when I was 17. Hmm... for good hard nasty sex, though, nothing can beat some really good acid techno, or UK Hard House (say, Madam Zu Live @ WEMF, for example).
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 1:51 PM on November 24, 2004

'black cherry' - Goldfrapp
'secret heart' - Fiest
'live at leeds' (All of it!!)- John Martyn
posted by john-paul at 2:00 PM on November 24, 2004

I have an, um, extensive library of this kind of song. I've also, um, done quite a bit of research. And created a couple of customized, targeted playlists for particular people.

Delerium. There's a couple of great songs, like Underwater and Euphoria ('Firefly') that must have been intentionally designed for making out. The rythm's perfect, and there's lines like

"I feel a stirring deep within
Slowly picking up momentum
Like the tide coming into shore
Over and under in it's course

This feeling emblazed inside
Every nerve like a firefly

Hovering above me
glow glow glowing divine"

If you're dating someone who flirts with the edge of goth culture, Garbage (off of the self-titled album or 2.0) works surprisingly well. Be prepared for the fingernails to come out.

Air. Thievery Corporation. (esp. with clueless sorority chicks that haven't heard it before, if that's your thing). Selected Portishead songs, like "It could be sweet". (She also does a lot of stuff with Massive Attack)

Side note: It seems that every guy keeps an Enya CD in his car for this particular reason, but I've found that doesn't work too hot. Seriously, Air is the new Enya.

This local group called Dahlia (who just broke up ... *sniff* ... however, you can buy CDs via iTunes or CDBaby) has produced some great slow, intimate, comfortable makeout songs that have almost the same qualities as good poetry, like "Luminescence" and "Marcella with the Liquid Blue Eyes" ... Lines from Luminescence:

"Some stars
how glorious
we saved an evening
melts away our masks
lifts all mysteries of
our nakedness

pleased to meet you
with yesterday
awake in your name
are you
how your hands would look
upon my body

the night away
as it slides beneath
another day
and here
where time's not far
only slipped under
my pillow and door

to another pace
where your kiss will win
as our hearts race
where we bring our words
every movement made
a language learned
fingers moving so freely
changing me
so please
wrap your legs in mine
close your eyes

... use that as an intro and then follow up with something with a heavier rythm when you no longer care about words.

John Mayer works with some women. I usually throw "your body is a wonderland" into the mix just for the "oooh! *attack*" quality that it has on some women. Some women hate it, though, so be warned.

Remember Poe? As in, Angry Johnny and Trigger Happy Jack? Off of her first album, the self-titled one, the second half of the album is made for making out. "Dolphin", and "Fingertips" ... the thought of "fingertips" gives some girls chills in that *good* way. ;)

With someone that likes Dave Matthews Band, there's a song off of Crash that I don't have on my iPod but has the perfect tone. It starts out with about a 1.5 minute clarinet or flute or something woodwin solo and builds up to a crescendo. I think it's "Tomorrow we'll be friends" or something along those lines. Some people hate DMB though, and some of us are just tired of it.

Bebel Gilberto can be fun ... but again, the right woman. Anything with a samba rythm would probably work pretty well. ;)

I'm sure there's some I missed, but that's a good start.
posted by SpecialK at 2:02 PM on November 24, 2004 [1 favorite]

Almost all of my friends in college had a Sade record for the sole purpose of making out and seduction. Make of that what you will.

I will second the Air and Alpha recommendations and throw in some Daft Punk for those who can tolerate electronic music. Soul? Maxwell or Craig David. As for trip-hop (gawd, I hate that label), someone already said Massive Attack, and I would add Tricky's Maxinquae, Portishead's Dummy, Dobie's Sound of One Hand Clapping, "Apple" by Cibo Matto and "Peace Music" by Pizzicato Five.
posted by whatnot at 2:02 PM on November 24, 2004

Re: BarryWhite/AlGreen/MarvinGaye... Jesus, you'd better be a)old or b)comfortable with any music savvy partner knowing that you're just basically phoning it in. Also... Barry White sucks.

I've been having some fun to Dungen's album "ta det lugnt"... even though there's a few corny parts that you might want to, I don't know, talk over or go get more booze or something.

Also... (I can't believe I'm divulging my secrets)... THE GREATEST "totally-improbable-but-it-totally-comes-together-and-works" makeout song of all time is "Shook Ones Pt. II" by Mobb Deep...
posted by cadastral at 2:11 PM on November 24, 2004

the raincoats - the raincoats

on preview: dungen - ta det lugnt seconded.
posted by too many notes at 2:30 PM on November 24, 2004

Oh, I want to point out that Louis Armstrong & Duke Ellington "The Complete Sessions" is a great album for sitting around languidly the Afternoon After, especially if you're away from home. One of my fondest memories is the weekend a girlfriend and I borrowed a friend's beach house. I put that album on, and we sat around in the big bay window on the 3rd floor with the windows open watching the ocean and letting the long linen draperies blow all over us.
posted by SpecialK at 2:52 PM on November 24, 2004

Most of Tosca's releases, particularly suzuki, do it for me.
posted by geckoinpdx at 3:02 PM on November 24, 2004

Another vote for Portishead. In my mind, some Stereolab is forever associated with making-out, but then so is some Serge Gainsbourg. Honorable mentions include Julee Cruise and the Tindersticks.
posted by ktrey at 3:19 PM on November 24, 2004

No Enigma! That's the musical equivalent of flipping a switch that makes the lights dim, the fireplace ignite, and the big, red, round satin sheeted bed slide out of the hole in the wall.
posted by jennyb at 3:42 PM on November 24, 2004 [1 favorite]

Cadastral...I beg to differ. Barry White does not suck! Play "Practice what you preach" on the Icon is Love album and see if your significant other wont give up the goods for u! And you dont have to be OLD to enjoy good music! Heck, i'm just thirty and i've been enjoying Barry/Isaac Hayes/Al Green/Marvin Gaye for ever, and they were even before my time!

Anyway to add to that list, try David Sanborne's love album. Its just a sax playing contemporary love songs, but there's something quite seductive about the way he plays the saxophone.

Barry White sucks indeed...meh!
posted by ramix at 3:51 PM on November 24, 2004

Ed Keupper: "The way I make you feel"

(Just to get a plug in for old-school aussie music)
posted by arha at 4:03 PM on November 24, 2004

From Beck's Midnite Vultures comes the world's greatest make-out song, "Debra"...

I met you at JC Penney
I think your nametag, it said "Jenny"
I cold step to you with a fresh pack of gum
Somehow I knew you were lookin' for some, oh girl
Like a fruit that's ripe for the pickin'
I wouldn't do you like that Zankou Chicken
'cos only you've got a thing
That I just got to get with
I just got to get with you
And you know what we're gonna do

I wanna get with you (only you, girl)
And your sister
I think her name's Debra

Disclaimer: The unparalleled sexiness of this song may only applicable if you're making out with User 17803.
posted by Danelope at 4:08 PM on November 24, 2004

I second Sade. You can hear samples on the link, listen to "Slave Song" and "By Your Side" to preview your aural goodtimes.

And Barry White is still very cool. (Especially when you're gonna put the moves on grandma.)
posted by McGuillicuddy at 4:10 PM on November 24, 2004 [1 favorite]

An ex-girlfriend of mine thinks that Radiohead's "Bullet Proof ... I Wish I Was" is a good makeout song, and I think she's right.

John Martyn's Live at Leeds is a great album though I usually only listen to Outside In off it.
posted by kenko at 4:31 PM on November 24, 2004

Suzanne Vega - Caramel
Jimi Hendrixi - Angel
Shivaree - Oh, no
Morphine - Whisper
Morphine - Buena
Morphine - You Look Like Rain
Tricky - You Don't Wanna
Sister Machine Gun - Burn

Bordering on cliche make out music: Mazzy Star - Fade Into You and Portishead Dummy.

I second Massive Attack, particularly Mezzanine and Morcheeba Who Can You Trust?
posted by pedantic at 4:36 PM on November 24, 2004

Beauty Lies in the Eye and Dude Ranch Nurse, both by Sonic Youth.

I second pedantic's Morphine recommendations, but there's a lot more gold in them thar hills than s/he lists.
posted by LionIndex at 4:51 PM on November 24, 2004

the Lovage album Songs to Make Love to Your Old Lady By, especially Strangers on a Train

but whoever above suggested the Raincoats.. I'm feeling strangely attracted
posted by James_in_London at 4:55 PM on November 24, 2004

Arto Lindsay's Mundo Civilizado. Can't think of anything better.
posted by hydrophonic at 4:58 PM on November 24, 2004

I 2nd or 3rd (lost count in there) the Air selection. Moon Safari's good, 10,000Hz can get a little dark, and Talkie Walkie can be good as well. Maybe a mix would be best.
posted by rooftop secrets at 4:58 PM on November 24, 2004

Jazz, jazz and more jazz.
Bossa Nova is cool...Jazz Samba or Getz/ is more classically romantic stuff, like Chet Baker's Songs for Lovers.
You really can't go wrong if you've got Chet on.
I've also found success with early Tom Waits (Closing Time, Heart of Saturday Night) and Steely Dan's Aja.
posted by rocket88 at 5:00 PM on November 24, 2004

As a genre I have to agree with rocket88 that jazz is made out for make out songs.

However, the absolute best make out song is the one that gets her/him to hip shaking. It could be anything. I married a "smooth". I knew someone that got hot to Rump Shaker.

The sexiest song I've heard? Wicked Game.
posted by ?! at 5:26 PM on November 24, 2004

According to Douglas Adams (in So Long, and Thanks for all the Fish) Dire Straits' Making Movies album is the best for gettin' it on. Never really worked for me, though.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 5:28 PM on November 24, 2004

songs with great atmosphere:
ani difranco pulse
tricky she makes me wanna die

boxhead ensemble, mick turner

minimalist classical:
philip glass, steve reich
posted by ism at 5:29 PM on November 24, 2004

Roxy Music, Avalon
Doug Clark & the Hot Nuts, "Baby Let Me Bang Your Box"
posted by kirkaracha at 6:20 PM on November 24, 2004

SpecialK: The DMB song you're thinking of is "Say Goodbye". Good song. I also recommend "Lover Lay Down"; I actually lost my oral sex cherry (giving and getting) because of that song.

Also throwing my vote in for Portishead's "Dummy" and Chris Isaak's "Wicked Games." Ye gods.
posted by m0nm0n at 6:38 PM on November 24, 2004

hey guys, over here!

(I guess it's fair that you didn't find this one... but music+sex would've brought it up, I think...)
posted by cmyr at 7:31 PM on November 24, 2004

I'll third Morphine for being fucking sexy music. Plus most of Hendrix's studio recorded stuff. But am I the only one that finds reggae/dancehall damn fun to get down to? Toss in some Marley/Beenie Man/Eek a Mouse! and just get it on. I s'pose it all comes down to personal taste.

Or, if you're feeling classy and a bit nostalgic, the Smoking Popes will do in a pinch.
posted by Ufez Jones at 7:37 PM on November 24, 2004

depeche mode's "useless" (kruder and dorfmeister remix) wins this one hands down for me, but i also recommend:
-lisa shaw/ miguel migs "always" on the lazy dog album (disc 1, ben watt)
-moloko "cannot contain this"
-zero 7 "home" (ben watt remix)
-dj shadow "midnight in a perfect world"

i second massive attack, thievery corporation, and portishead- and would also suggest hooverphonic be added to the list.

sneaker pimps are also great-- particularly the bloodsport album (one of the sexiest male voices in music today, IMO).
posted by mireille at 7:45 PM on November 24, 2004

.Ruby Series (e.p.) - Rebecca Gates. I almost puked I must admit when I found out the W.B. Network used "Lure and Cast" as background music during a scene on Dawson's Creek where Jen and Dawson do it by the fireplace. Ewwwww. Rebecca's amazing an-evening-in-alone mood piece deserves a better audience than that!
.Twilight Singers and select Afghan Whigs (for example, 1965 but not Gentlemen or Black Love. While incredible, those two earlier records are way too sooty and depressing on the topic of love). As a friend once said, "Greg Dulli is sex." Check out his great soul covers too--the Barry White one from the Beautiful Girls soundtrack, the various Supremes covers from e.p.s and the Peel Session, the Al Green and Prince covers from live concerts...
.Spain (She Haunts My Dreams, The Blue Moods of Spain), for that whole fake-meaningful hipster cool lite background music vibe (the lead guy's dad is Charlie Haden, hee)
.My Bloody Valentine perhaps? Ha.
.select Piano Magic (the Son de Mar soundtrack, some of the more pastoral singles...)
.the radio single "Orange Crush" by Snapdragon is, one friend described it, great We'reHappyLet'sMakeOutLa! music
.Everything But The Girl
.select Field Mice/Trembling Blue Stars songs. Though, Bobby Wratten wistfully whispering "I want for us to make love" is more saddeepdowninyourtummy than romantic.
."I'm Beginning To See The Light," Peggy Lee's version, makes me want to kiss the company I'm with. Without fail. Especially when warming drink and cozy lighting is involved too.
.I imagine a lot of Blonde Redhead would be decent, as it's all about establishing a very breathy atmsopheric quality that envelopes a room
.Julie Doiron continues to be some of the most romantic/emotive yet sparse/intimate "evening music" I've heard. I'd especially start with Desormais (the French language record), the Will You Still Love Me? e.p., Julie Doiron and the Wooden Stars, or Heart and Crime.
.the proper selection of Low or Labradford could be moving, I think, in this context
.P.J. Harvey's um, friskier songs (ahem, "The Letter," "This Is Love," a lot of the earliest stuff). And if subdued but powerful is the approach more than bombastic and horny, Is This Desire? was a GREAT loveandwhatitmeanstobawomaninlovearetheconceptshere record (as well as a bside from it, "Sweeter Than Anything").
.it might be fucked up, but Lisa Germano (sonically at least) is very intimate, arguably "romantic" (eh...more like the pitfalls of being romantic!) music.
.Slowdive/Mojave 3.
.Portishead, naturally
.Massive Attack, they all say. Eh.
.It might be too ironic, but Dan Nakamura's Nathaniel Merriweather Presents Lovage: Music To Make Love To Your Old Lady By comes to mind.
posted by ifjuly at 8:14 PM on November 24, 2004

There's a new song by Handsome Boy Modeling School w/ Cat Power on vocals that just oozes sex.

I have it up on my blog at the moment, though I won't link to it. I'd reccomend it even if it weren't there.
posted by TTIKTDA at 8:39 PM on November 24, 2004

Bill Laswell, particularly his Miles Davis remixes
posted by Dr. Zira at 9:20 PM on November 24, 2004

Anything off of "Soul Mining" by The The, but notably, Giant and This is the Day.
posted by Tommy Gnosis at 9:25 PM on November 24, 2004

TTIKTDA, that song has been obsessing me too, and I'm not usually a Cat Power fan. It ranks up there with previous HBMS song "The Truth," which is also damn sexy.

There's Al Green sex, there's Portishead sex, and then there's the first record of Bitches Brew sex, which is space aliens landed in your sex chakra and taught you a whole new universe of sex that your puny human mind can't quite wrap around. That's extreme caution, make sure you don't have to go to work tomorrow, multiple disclaimer sex, so don't say you haven't been warned.
posted by melissa may at 9:33 PM on November 24, 2004

scody -- mad props for being THAT kind of Tom Waits fan :)

I nominate (or second, I'm not reading too carefully) "It's a Jungle in Here" by Medeski, Martin, and Wood... kind of alternates between fast and slow, but in a good way. And if you don't think that "bemsha swing / lively up yourself" mix is sexy, you're not really alive.
posted by rkent at 9:50 PM on November 24, 2004

For safe, ordinary sex, do the Coldplay thing, or even like Ben Folds, or heck, Radiohead. James Taylor? Whatever.

I second Mobb Deep's "Shook Ones, Pt. II," but if straight-up rap is too hardcore for your game, Mariah Carey actually did a sexy-ass job with the "Shook Ones" sample in her song "The Roof."

The sole purpose of contemporary R&B and hip-hop is to cultive sexxxtacular gyrations in your groin. I have experimented with countless musical styles, and while plenty of sweet or pretty music makes for a perfectly satisfactory encounter, only thumping, bass-heavy booty music on a nice system with some woof in it will actively assist your game. A distinction must be made between dance-hop and true booty music, however. Few songs work perfectly well on both the dance floor and the kitchen floor (was that TMI?), the songs that follow are for the latter.

Warning: booty songs should never cross the fine line between sexxxtacular and trashtastic, they must only straddle that line. With sex, in general, try to choose straddle over cross whenever the option is made available to you. Also, avoid songs with odd samples that may distract you from the act of raunchosity (e.g. Ginuwine's "Pony").

Get intimate with these songs before you get intimate with your partner. If you have enough time, look for lengthy remixes that suit your style (or make your own). Learn the backbeats; think of the vocals as one more instrument. And make sure there aren't any exposed hard surfaces or sharp edges in your bedroom.

I have included a few candle-lighting and foreplay-appropriate songs. If your playlist features the following songs in the following order, your sex will be boot-nasty (in the best way possible!):

Tango Fuego, "Tango Ciudad"
Ted Gioia and Mark Lewis, "Tango Cool"
Miles Davis, "Stella by Starlight"
Duke Ellington and John Coltrane, "In a Sentimental Mood"
En Vogue, "Giving Him Something He Can Feel"
Ray Charles, "Night Time is the Right Time"
Lauryn Hill and Bob Marley, "Turn Your Lights Down Low (remix)"
Tweet featuring Missy Elliot, "Oops (Oh My)"
- [Caution: AVOID AT ALL COSTS the bastardized radio remix featuring Fabolous]
Janet Jackson, "That's the Way Love Goes"
Missy Elliott, "Pussycat"
- [make sure you cut off the minute of talking at the end]
Missy Elliott, "One Minute Man"
Ciara, "One, Two Step"
Khia, "Lick My Neck, My Back"
Ciara, "Goodies"
Janet Jackson, "If"
Nas, "Oochie Wally"
Bubba Sparxx, "Ugly"
Missy Elliott, "Get Ur Freak On"
- [there's a reason Missy's all over this mug. She's a master. Er, mistress.]
Outkast, "Humble Mumble"
Playa, "Cheers 2 U"
The Roots, "Break You Off"
D'Angelo, "Lady"
Janet Jackson, "Anytime, Anyplace"

When you've reached this point, you need to select an album: "Floetic" by Floetry, "Voodoo" by D'Angelo, "Mama's Gun" by Erykah Badu, and "Embrya" by Maxwell are all excellent choices.

Depending on your stamina, you might want to pad the pre-album end section of the list with some more energetic numbers. Try a little Mystikal. No Sisqo or Nelly unless you're trying to be funny.
posted by grrarrgh00 at 10:53 PM on November 24, 2004 [1 favorite]

By the way, the Ciara songs will probably both be too fresh for use for at least a year. They're both damn good for moving the booty, but you don't want songs that are all over the radio right now, it'll pull you out of the moment. For the meantime, substitute anything with more Missy. Any of the vintage Missy booty jams will pinch hit nicely -- "Smooth Chick," "She's a Bitch," or "Crazy Feelings" all highly recommended.
posted by grrarrgh00 at 11:03 PM on November 24, 2004

Oh, and also: the Stone Roses' first record is pretty much pure aphrodisiac for me (potential MeFi suitors, take note!). You adore me / you adore me / I wanna / I wanna be adored / I wanna / I wanna / I gotta be adored...
posted by scody at 11:42 PM on November 24, 2004

looper - impossible things #2
posted by lotsofno at 12:35 AM on November 25, 2004

Isn't Missy Elliott a - shudder! - rapper?

Rap gets you horny?

(How about some suggestions for the Al Green - Marvin Gaye - Boyz II Men school of music lovin'?)
posted by madman at 5:25 AM on November 25, 2004

This is brill, thanks everybody. I'm also in the no Marvin/Al/Barry camp ... I seriously question a man's taste (heh) when those are queued up. Talk about the kiss of death by boring.

(and I wanna make out with pedantic and grrarrgh00 right this second!)
posted by thinkpiece at 7:21 AM on November 25, 2004

I'll second Voodoo by D'Angelo. Most surprising album of that year.

I'll riase it with Plantation Lullabies by Me'Shell NdegeOcello.

Yes, I'm digging you, like an old soul record...
posted by elphTeq at 1:29 PM on November 25, 2004

The Orb
posted by Bugbread at 1:52 PM on November 25, 2004

Miles Davis playing ballads...
posted by fingers_of_fire at 2:02 PM on November 25, 2004

i forgot serge gainsbourg, and i'm suprised he's only been mentioned once.

histoire de melody nelson is especially suited for this.
posted by too many notes at 7:51 PM on November 25, 2004

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