By Julia Smith-Eppsteiner, For the Daily
Published February 6, 2011
We’re days away from Valentine’s Day — a time when college students purchase and butter up someone special with cards, flowers, jewelry, candy, hearts and candy hearts. They’re all hoping for one thing: sex. And what goes better with sex than chocolate? Music.
A friend once told me: “The only thing better than sex is music. And the only thing better than that is putting the two together.”
The combination? Sex playlists. These creations are always relevant, but particularly so at this time of year, when snowy cupids are looking for warmth.
Familiar with sexmusiccontest.tumblr.com? For girls into reading Cosmopolitan, the website is its alternative — a free way of enhancing the experience. (Experience meaning ... well, you know.) It isn’t pages of tips like, “trace his entire bod with an ice cube,” but it gives playlists to get down to. And boys, assuming you don’t read Cosmo, take the endless minutes spent browsing websites involving infinite X’s and check out Tumblr instead.
So let’s equate your sexy-time to a narrative structure. It’s a play, a book, a movie. First in the plot comes the exposition. Who are the two characters? Maybe there are three. Where are you? Perhaps his bed, her bed, the shower, the stacks, the rug. This all could affect what playlist will set sparks flyin’. The time of day is also a key determinant. Classic evening, 3 a.m. blackout, morning or a lunchtime pick-me-up? These factors, plus the characters’ noise levels, preferences and duration coalesce to form the ideal playlist.
Before continuing on to the sequence of plotted events, we must address the issue of mainstream playlists versus the version for the Juno MacGuffs and Paulie Bleekers out there making babies in “the chair.”
Though Tumblr’s suggestions (and my own) diverge from the mainstream, it seems that universally appealing hookup music is less Flo Rida and more Radiohead. If you want to ram-jam to “Grenade” by Bruno Mars, be my guest, but you might not care to read on. Though a fairly stellar playlist can be made with the current Top 10 in iTunes, specifically Christina Perri’s gorgeously icy “Jar of Hearts,” other songs could give you more bang for your buck.
Back to the plot: Rising Action. Suspense. This means foreplay if you’re into that. If not, skip past this step and go straight toward the 'O.' Personal suggestions: “Becoming A Jackal” by Villagers and “Bloodstream” by Stateless.
Climax. This is where that song of the week needs to be heard. Your song. Or their song. Something with the same ecstatic energy as “Sweet Disposition” and “Love Lost” by The Temper Trap, or if the lust is coming from a darker place, “White Blank Page” by Mumford & Sons — though hopefully the song playing at this point of the plot is no longer heard by the participants.
Tumblr highly recommends “All to All” by Broken Social Scene, which I’m far from opposed to, but a less trancey, more powerful artist that won’t disappoint would be Kings of Leon. And I’m not just speaking of “Sex on Fire” but also “Ragoo” and their newer songs, “Pyro” and “Birthday.”
Falling Action. Snuggle? Eat? Re-do? This isn’t as common as some would like in this undergraduate setting, but if this musical go-’round ends with a snuggle session, I’m thinking “Cold Fame” by Band of Skulls or anything by Ray LaMontagne and Bon Iver. Either would complete the ride with a beautiful exhale. Both are quiet enough to feel the hotness of you catching your breath, and the lyrics make you feel more connected than you probably are. They’re also quiet enough to embrace the awkwardness of the conversation that precedes one partner’s discombobulated exit. Either way, you should re-fuel with some food — whether it is shared buttered toast under sheets or a more depressing coffee-to-go.
The denouement or resolution of this plot is what you listen to the next day by yourself, on your individual iPod. In addition to your newly purchased, Tumblr-advised songs, both “Ode to the LRC” and “The Great Salt Lake” by Band of Horses are great choices for walking and thinking about that last-night encounter — whether it was perfection or should never happen again.
If it was perfection, and not just an attempt on Valentine’s Day to convince yourself you’re not lonely, you might also want to try the two songs by Band of Horses at the next go-around. If not — eat your candy.