Haven't we all, at some point, found ourselves squashed awkwardly against another person on a single bed at age 16 dry-humping to dodgey nu metal? And, ten years and a bank account later, aren't most of us pretty much in the same position? Relying on chart music and clichés to guide us towards a "night of passion" rather than the moment someone "thinks they should go"? How many of us are still frantically scrolling through our iTunes at the last minute struggling to find an album that won't shut down the vibe faster than the meteropolitan police at a grime event?
One good way to avoid a tragic night struggling to pump to 'Smack My Bitch Up' after it came on shuffle is to assemble a compilation of sensual songs in the age-old format "the sex mix". Here are some tips on how you should approach putting one together to ensure you don’t screw up your screwing.
Absolutely No Music About Sex
Despite what every single “date movie” of the 90s will tell you, R&B is a sexual minefield. There is a line thicker than Mariah Carey’s thighs between songs about sex and songs to play during sex and if you’ve landed on the same side as R. Kelly you need to re-think some basic life principles. You know that moment in films when someone pops their top off in slow-mo and something like Barry White or Hot Chocolate or Silk pipes up? Well statistically nobody wants that to happen to them in real life. If ‘Freak Me’ started playing while I was undressing, I’d be putting my clothes back on in an Uber faster than you can press play on a curated mix called “Songs For Women”.
Absolutely No Acoustic Singer/Songwriters
Thanks to Wes Anderson, you might be tempted to include stuff like Iron & Wine on a sex mix as a way of showcasing your sentimental side - the one that says “I will bake you vegan cookies and go thrifting for things to put in our future shared flat right after we’re done rimming”. Do not give in to that temptation. Prince aka walking sex has made his way through more genres than women and not even he dabbles with an acoustic guitar, because it is a one-way ticket to sad genitals. Do you know what a good way of showcasing your “sentimental side” is? Doing all the cute things the song is supposed to be saying about you instead of expressing them via sickly bedroom activity. Being fondled to a song like ‘Upward Over The Mountain’ is just weird anywhere outside of a tent at Green Man Festival where it’s unavoidable. Singer/songwriters are ok if you’re feeling lonely and crying into a muffin on the bus in the rain having just been fired, but when you’re feeling hot as shit and about to go to town on someone then it has absolutely no place. The only thing more disappointing than bad sex is sad sex, and that will remain true until Bill Gates discovers a way to make a half-decent lubricant from tears on his way to designing those next-gen condoms.
The More Drone Music The Better
Once, I went out on a limb and let God is Good by OM play through because it was all I’d been listening to that week and had forgotten what other music was. Turns out, OM is a major sex band. They even made giving head the best thing ever and that is a heterosexual blue moon. All the lyrics are about sacred flames and universal structure and stuff and if you really let yourself get into it, it starts to feel like you’re a part of some erotic ritual. Drone music is characterised by long drawn-out notes, slow pace and having a sense of atmosphere without being oppressive because everyone was high as fuck when they were making it, so it slips into the background quite easily. Do be careful with your selections, though. You can’t just do a Spotify search and hope for the best because if you land on something like Sunn O))) it won’t be a sexy cosmic experience at all. It’ll be terrifying goblin sex.
Make Them Long
How long can you usually go for? Well take that number and triple it. Nothing kills a vibe more than having your mood-music cut out midway so you start to hear all the weird wet slapping sounds Beach House had previously been drowning out. Everyone loves some post-coital pass-out music, but if you’re not planning on spending the rest of the night together it’ll drown out the audible sighs of relief that escape immediately after the door shuts. But, as is the rule with dicks, length is no excuse to slack on consistency. If you’re constantly flipping between lusty down-tempo tracks and club bangers at least one of you will end up in A&E.
Make It Selfish
This one is particularly important for anyone who has ever “faked it” (which I don’t condone as a rule but occasionally it’s just like who has the time?). What High Fidelity says about mixtapes being full of things that make the other person “happy” just doesn’t apply here. Mixtapes and sex mixes are two very different things and the worst thing you can do is confuse the two. A mixtape is a thoughtful gift you give someone you want to get to know. A sex mix is mostly something unintrusive that you stick on primarily to override the sounds made by your shit mattress and old floorboards so the other people you live with won’t hate you completely. The secret to any great sex mix is to put sex out of your mind almost entirely when putting it together. That way, even if the night turns out to be totally hopeless, at least you’ll get to enjoy some D’Angelo.