When it comes time to do the horizontal mambo, conventional wisdom dictates that you go with the usual suspects on the stereo: James Brown, Al Green, Barry White, Marvin Gaye, D'Angelo, Donna Summer, Serge Gainsbourg, AC/DC, Sade, etc. (Note: Joe Tex's "I Gotcha" is too raunchy to have sex to.) But conventional wisdom is by definition dull, and dullness stunts the libido. Instead, why not be a little more adventurous and try the songs below to soundtrack your libidinal exploits? These tunes have been mattress-tested by experts in the field. If you find them not to be aphrodisiacs, you may want to see a specialist — or a new paramour.
1. Funkadelic, "Mommy, What's a Funkadelic?" (Funkadelic). Any song from this album will do the trick, but "Mommy" inches in because its lascivious groove and slicker-than-Astroglide vocals can get you off before the groping even begins. How can you resist a song that begins with the proclamation "If you will suck my soul, I will lick your funky emotions" ? You cannot. And the funked-to-the-chakras, woozy blues vamp that follows seals the deal with copious amounts of do-it fluid.
2. Dennis Coffey, "Scorpio" (Big City Funk). Straight-up breakdancing classic from 1971 makes the transition to the boudoir with flying bongos. Staccato electric guitars strike like orgasmic lightning in the intro, announcing a track that is among the five funkiest ever cut. The extended breakdown with all that meaty hand percussion (including a mean cuica) and a spare but eloquent bass line is ideal for rising to the occasion and reliving your sexual peak. Put this one on repeat, and let the hips fall where they may.
17 songs to make bedsprings sing
3. The Stooges, "Loose" (Fun House). Slap "Loose" onto the turntable and experience one of the crudest anthems ever to inflame loins. These Motor City miscreants waste no time with niceties (or nice ties): This is sheer rhythm & bruise.
4. Rolling Stones, "Hot Stuff" (Black and Blue). "Hot Stuff" lives up to its promising title, generating a potent-as-hell groove that makes it impossible not to grind one's pelvis toward the nearest genitalia. Mick Jagger channels some studly Jamaican guy while Keith Richards and guest six-stringer Harvey Mandel's guitars put a shimmy-shimmy-ya in your stroke. The rhythm section finishes you off to the last drop.
5. Sugar Billy Garner, "I Got Some" (DJ Shadow's Slurped Too! mix). Mr. Garner's got your penis-enlarging panacea right here. "I Got Some" may be the funkiest joint ever waxed. Play this and feel your virility/femininity exponentially expand. "I got some, and it sure feels good!" Garner observes, and truer words were never grunted.
6. Otis Redding, "Hard to Handle" (Amen). Let's be obvious for a minute. Otis is a goddamned force of nature here. The introductory horns foreshadow a momentous occasion: Redding is going to light your candle, 'cause, mama, he's sure hard to handle. If you can't hit paydirt with a pretty young thing via Otis' help here, then resign yourself to monasticism — or onanism.
7. Rufus, "Tell Me Something Good" (Rags to Rufus). The louche guitars on the chorus work like come-hither fingers while the keyboards squelch like gooey genitals conjugating during sloppy thirds; meanwhile, the male backing vocals sound like they're on the verge of climaxing ("ooh ahh ooh ooh ahh"), punctuating Chaka Khan's salacious boasts, including, "I'll make you wish there were 48 hours to each day." Truth.
8. Roxy Music, "Both Ends Burning" (Siren). Suave singer Bryan Ferry imbues this song with a fatalistic charm that makes even this het dude want to bed him (now, that's charm). The music has a sweeping grandeur (cue swirling Mellotron, crashing cymbals) and nonchalant swagger that will have you feeling as cosmopolitan as James Bond.
9. This Mortal Coil, "Song to the Siren" (It'll End in Tears). Employed to heart-piercing effect in an outdoor love scene in David Lynch's Lost Highway, this Tim Buckley composition is the most beautiful song in creation — and one that will likely lead to procreation. Thanks to a stunning vocal performance by Cocteau Twins' Liz Fraser, "Siren" positively shivers with poetic, romantic longing. The agony is the ecstasy.
10. Aphex Twin, "Windowlicker" (Windowlicker EP). Sometimes, you need a wild card in your repertoire. "Windowlicker" will put the "what the" into your "fuck." The spasmodic electro with elongated male/female sighs and groans elicits a bizarre erotic aura. Think of "Windowlicker" as the third breast of this list — yeah, it's freaky, but it's also kind of a wicked turn-on.
11. Air, "Casanova 70" (Premiers Symptomes). We need at least one piece for post-coital sighing and sugary pillow talk. That's where this soufflé-light bit of glamorous ambience comes in — after you both come.
12. Darondo, "Legs (Part 1)" (Let My People Go). This ex-pimp's elastic, erotic ode to the lower extremities will also do wondrous things to crotches. Darondo sounds like a hornier Eddie Kendricks as his band saucily funks it up à la Commodores' "Brick House." Is it hot in here?
13. Zapp, "More Bounce to the Ounce" (Zapp). So precise yet so damned sexy, "More Bounce to the Ounce" is a self-fulfilling sonic prophecy (and the funkiest track of the '80s). Roger Troutman's talkbox-augmented voice adds an alien allure to this priapic paean to voluptuousness. Heavy rotation is advised (nudge, wink).
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14. Betty Davis, "Game Is My Middle Name" (Betty Davis). Something for the alpha females, this jam — powered by Sly & the Family Stone's rhythm section — stalks with predatory stealth. Any man worth his coins will submit to Miles Davis' ex's demands. You will get yr freak on.
15. Bobby Byrd, "Hot Pants (I'm Comin')" (Snatch soundtrack). Byrd makes his boss James Brown sound like a shrinking violet here. This is all rock-hard urgency and potency, like a 19-year-old dude and a 35-year-old cougar bumping uglies eight miles high in a 767 bathroom.
16. LCD Soundsystem, "Yeah (Crass Version)" (LCD Soundsystem). The power of positive thinking leads to hours of restorative bonking. Epic disco punk with massive amounts of cowbell plonking and Roland 303 squelching. Yeah, indeed.
17. The Contortions, "Contort Yourself" (Buy). Need something S&M-ish? The tightly torqued, no-wave funk of "Contort Yourself" should tie you into provocative knots. "It's better than pleasure/It hurts more than pain/I've got what it takes/To drive you insane," James Chance barks. Ouch... mmmm.