Dear Kiki: What are some good songs for the bedroom?

Questions about love and sex in the Iowa City/Cedar Rapids area can be sent to (queries can also be sent anonymously using this form). Questions may be edited for clarity and length, and may appear either in print or online.

Illustration by Jav Ducker

Dear Kiki,

Can you recommend some let’s-get-it-on music that’s not “Let’s Get It On”? In other words, how would you set the scene without being heavy-handed and melodramatic? I’m open to all genres of music, but not a huge fan of sappy romantic tunes.

Thanks, Beyond Marvin Gaye

Dear Beyond,

Thank you for such a fun, flirty question! Music creates the urge to get romantic, or passionate, or dirty, or playful. Curating playlists to get your dopamine going is a delicate balance of naughty and nice and totally depends on the type of sex you want to have. Might wanna avoid songs too dirty — “Me So Horny” is a little on the nose — or too cheesy, like “Lost in Love” by Air Supply, which would probably make me cry.

A few things to consider would be the setting and the trajectory of the experience you’re fantasizing. Where will you be getting it on? Is it a long, slow night together at home? A steamy, naughty romp in a hotel room? A quickie in the car? Each of these scenarios call for individualized selections. I can vividly recall replaying certain songs over again while waiting for a lover, wanting our first kiss to be so hot we both get goosebumps; getting skin orgasms in response to the beat and to the heat. Fuck—I’m going to play Kevin Drew’s video “Good Sex” right now because damn, that’s what I wish I was doing right now.

In any case, make sure that the music lasts through your escapade. No one wants to be in the middle of a steamy session when suddenly: dead silence. It’s almost as disappointing as premature ejaculation.

Timeout’s article “The 50 sexiest songs ever made” and Askmen’s “The 13 best songs to make love to” contain some great suggestions, from “Wicked Game” by Chris Izaak to “Wicked Games” by the Weeknd, with plenty of Prince, Rihanna and Bruce Springsteen in between.

I’d like to share an apropos story (which definitely dates me). When I lost my virginity, the song playing on the radio through my 1980s Sharp QT-50 Pink Boombox was “End of the Innocence” by Don Henley. For the next 28 years, whenever I have heard that cheesy fucking song, I am taken back to the first time I had sex, and I giggle and cringe and am reassured that that song will never make my love-making playlist. If you’re picking the tunes, it might be worth consulting your partner to see if they have a blacklisted track as well.

–Xoxo, Kiki

This article was originally published in Little Village issue 242.

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