Yr Blues: Let’s talk about sex … and music

February 11, 2010

Feburary 14 is upon us, so it’s time to set the mood. You know what I’m saying—maybe it’s a nice bouquet, a little bit of chocolate, or a thoughtful card that will get the evening in motion. Throw a few logs on the fire, dim those lights, crack open a bottle, put on your favorite Kenny Loggins record … or maybe we could skip this altogether and spoon ‘til dawn.

When it comes down to it, the amount of preparation that Hallmark and Co. expects everyone to put into Valentine’s Day is absurd: If you were to seduce someone like they do in the commercials, eight times out of ten you’d be dumped by March for being unimaginative. Music as an element of V-Day activities can be a difficult area to navigate. In order to shed some light on this topic, I decided to poll a few folks (who will remain anonymous) about their music-during-sex preferences.

More than anything, if you’d like music to enhance your Valentine’s Day experience, you should introduce it as an element of the ambiance early in the evening, not when sex is rapidly approaching. As one interviewee put it: “If you want to have fun, spontaneous sex then do you really wants to take a pause to go set up speakers?”

Others argued that if you have a strategically placed remote, the transition can be made subtly and without repercussions, but the best policy seems to be that “if it’s there, leave it there”—don’t interrupt something great because you like to literalize Marvin Gaye lyrics.

Suppose, though, that you need the music to cover up the noise and you’re unprepared. Is it better to go with an album or a playlist?

“Once you’re in some sort of defined relationship, I think that playlists become [more] acceptable,” another friend said. “Otherwise it could come off as creepy if [someone] notices that you have a playlist on your iPod called ‘baby-makin’ music.’”

On the other side of the spectrum, some suggest that the goal is to try and find something pleasant, but unimposing. In other words, “never have sex to your favorite records”—think instead setting the right mood.

If you opt to go with a playlist, exercise caution, as quickly throwing on “any old thing” could lead to some uncouth reactions: “What if [you’re] in the mood for slow sex and all of the sudden AC/DC starts blaring?”

Choosing the wrong kind of music can be a very real danger. Personally, I would not be able to continue the sexual act if you throw on, say, “John Wayne Gacy, Jr.” (the Sufjan track about a serial killer), though others insist that they “can’t imagine music that’s so bad that it would ruin good sex.”  Most interviewees claimed that they could handle a decent variety of background music, but no one’s going to blame you if you politely put your foot down (“If you go through three picks that the [other] person doesn’t like, you should probably just get down to business without it,” one recommended).

Ultimately, it’s best to be attentive to your partner’s predilections, because music during sex isn’t for everyone. Bring the topic up during a non-heated juncture, when you have time for a proper discussion. Otherwise, you’ll never know how the other really feels about it. For some couples, it’s too contrived—“If I put on something ‘appropriate’ we would just lol,” a friend said—but others had a different opinion.

“Having both [sex and music] at the same time, so that the human passion/grunting is going on at the same time as the music, and so it all kind of mixes together—oh man, that’s what makes life worth living.”

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone.

Want to know what Dan listens to when he’s making whoopie? Ask at dcook@georgetownvoice.com.

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