I like music. I like sex. I love combining the two, and I like to think I know what I’m doing – at least with the music part. But playing bedroom DJ is a lot different from spinning at a frat party or hosting a radio show on WCBN-FM, so I conducted some very scientific “research” with my girlfriend, followed by asking her roommates some very personal questions. What I found out may titillate you, may shock you and just might come in handy the next time the lights are dimmed and you’re hurriedly trying to find something to throw on before you lose the mood.

Before I get to that, I want to get one thing cleared up. Some I talked to claimed they didn’t like music during sex. This is ridiculous, and we’re going to ignore that entire line of thinking. I’ll chalk that one up to unfortunate experiences and questionable taste. Of course sex is better with music. All of your senses are heightened by arousal – you don’t have to take it from me, because I’m sure some doctor somewhere on the Internet agrees with me. And if you find music “distracting,” then you’re beyond my help.

So what’s the best music to muffle moans? It depends. What it doesn’t depend on, though, is the kind of music you like. Throw it out the window. While you’re at it, forget what kind of music your partner likes. Doesn’t matter. You’re going to have to trust me on this one.

Keeping that in mind, the biggest thing I need to emphasize is the indisputable rule that goes like this: R&B is the sexiest music in the world. This is not up for debate. I don’t think it’s any huge revelation to all you lovers out there, but sometimes the obvious isn’t as obvious as I assume. Furthermore, the more over the top the singer is the better. You might think Barry White is for old people, Luther Vandross is cheesy or, God forbid, Al Green is too predictable, but you’d be wrong.

Put on some Al Green, preferably on vinyl (flipping the record every 20 minutes will make it last longer!), and I absolutely, positively guarantee it won’t be the last lovemaking session you and your partner share to his sweet soul songs. Sure, everyone in your house will know what’s happening behind your door, but that’s kind of sexy, too, right?

Subtlety should not be a concern. The songs should be straight-up dirty. Marvin Gaye’s “You Sure Love to Ball” or, more famously, “Let’s Get It On” might sound cheesy when you’re driving around in your car, but when you’re between the sheets and the music is pumping, those lyrics go from laughable to lascivious pretty damn quick.

But you don’t always have to listen to sex jams. My girlfriend would like to point out that it’s OK to show a more sensitive side once in a while, which is why I would recommend cuing up Jens Lekman or a Wes Anderson soundtrack before R. Kelly on your playlists. Indie rock is dicey, though, and the over-the-top rule does not apply: raunchy lyrics sung by a skinny dude with moppy hair and tight jeans just sound silly.

Instrumental music can also be used quite effectively. While normally I love it, stay away from jazz or classical music in sweaty situations. Miles Davis made some damn sexy music, but that kind of weaponry ought to only be used by professionals. Pick something else with a time signature you can groove to and that has a steadily building intensity. King Curtis or Godspeed You Black Emperor! are but two of your many erotic options. A word to the wise: stay away from European dance music unless it’s Justice. Oh, and absolutely no hip hop or reggae under any circumstances unless both of you are really, really stoned.

Keep in mind, I’m talking about fucking, not the bizarre ritual of getting someone into your bed in the first place. For that, you’re on your own.

– E-mail your kinkiest musical taste to Cargo at lhcargo@umich.edu.

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