Tunes that Turn Us On

“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination
and life to everything.” — Plato

Romantic concept - white rose on piano keys

As many of you know, here at Girl Boner Central we believe that sexuality goes far beyond what happens between the proverbial sheets, and is far more prevalent in the air we breathe and our connectedness with others than what we see in pop culture. Every once in a while, however, a film comes along that seems to truly capture sensuality, or parts of it. I saw one the other day that did so in the most unconventional—and controversial—of ways.

In Stoker, a psychological thriller written by Wentworth Miller, the teenage India (played by Mia Wasikowska) grapples with the sudden and troubling presence of an uncle she never knew existed, just after her father’s death. In one of the most riveting scenes, India plays a piano duet with her uncle. As they play, palpable emotions rise up in India, her fervor crescendoing with the electrified song. It is, in a word, orgasmic. Really orgasmic.

What I loved about the scene wasn’t the familial sexual synergy, of course, but all that was felt and conveyed through music. It was more sexual than most nude-on-nude scenes I’ve seen, though no clothes were shed, and more sensual than many romance flicks, though their lips never touched. In fact, the scene barely involved the uncle at all. Through the ivory keys, India allows herself to be swept up into a state of hungry euphoria, perhaps discovering parts of herself for the first time.

I’ve often thought that music is the closest we can get to sex without having it. Melodies, harmonies, rhythms and lyrics can take us to entirely different realms, convey ideas and emotions where words might fail and touch places within us that can seem unreachable. I’m not ashamed to admit that Adele’s voice has tickled my Girl Boner, or that live concerts have turned me on equally or more than the ex-boyfriends I shared them with. Apparently I’m not alone.

A recent Spotify study I mentioned in a previous post showed that music is 40 percent more sexually stimulating than touch. The study involved thousands adults ages 18 to 91, about half women, half men. Without scrolling down or Googling, guess what the top sexually-stimulating music choice was for men and women.

A) Dirty Dancing soundtrack
B) Watermark, Enya
C) Sexual Healing, Marvin Gaye
D) I’m Too Sexy, Right Said Fred
E) Criminal, Fiona Apple
F) Here With Me, Dido
G) Who Let The Dogs Out?, Baha Men

guitar hearts

The answer is…A! Are you as surprised as I was? If my husband blasted Dirty Dancing mid-foreplay, I might burst out laughing. Then again, I do see the GB potential in She’s Like the Wind, the most popular track in the study. Otherwise, I’d probably prefer Dido or Fiona.

Sexual Healing and Criminal both made the Cosmo’s “Best Songs to Have Sex To” list, along with R&B hits Cockiness, by Rihanna, and Usher’s Love is in This Club, and acoustic rock numbers, like Dave Matthews Band’s Crash Into Me. Other artists popular in the Spotify results include Ravel, The Righteous Brothers, Whitney Houston, Celine Dion and Aerosmith.

I suppose Girl Boner music functions like other aspects of sexuality. Personal preference plays a big role; what puts you in the mood might zap another’s, and vice versa. I also imagine that variety can help, by showing us what we and our partners enjoy and inspiring us to venture into new terrain. And no music, tantalizing or terrible, can make or break a sex life. Music is one of many potentially valuable tools.

If it works, use it! How funny/awesome would it be if a particular song made us boogie and strip? Or prowl around, arched and purring like Cat Woman? No song can likely make us do anything, obviously—even under hypnosis, unless we want that result. But I definitely believe that music can help us slip into more gratifying eroticism and rev good sex up to mind-blowing intensity.

This sexy music chit chat inspired another Ally McBeal flashback. If Barry White can boost “The Biscuit’s” confidence…

What songs illuminate your GB? Do you use music often during sex? Does it turn you on in general? I love hearing your respectful thoughts, so share, share away!

Leave a comment


  1. Shocked that I didn’t see “Let’s Get It On” on the list!

  2. This reminds me I need to re-watch Ally McBeal on Netflix. Again. There is gold in that series, and tons of it. 🙂
    The Dirty Dancing soundtrack has a couple other songs that would qualify: “Hungry Eyes” and “In the Still of the Night” come to mind.
    For me, it can depend on my mood. But! 🙂 A lot of Prince’s music can turn the heat up, as well as some string- and horn-heavy classical/neo-classical pieces, which hit me right in the solar plexus.
    Fun stuff. 🙂

  3. Nothing to do with sex, but my favorite song all-time is Harry Chapin’s “Cat’s in the Cradle.” It’s about father-son relationships. ‘Nuff said. As for my wife and I, “our song” is Neil Diamond’s “The Story of My Life.” There is no more expressive song in the world for a writer! (“Each chapter sings your name; each page begins with you.”)

    • Great picks! From what I know of you two, “The Story of My Life” suits you. I’ll have to add that to my novel-tea party mix. 😉

  4. Grr! Moving to a new website certainly has made it hard to like or comment on other blogs. So, if you somehow wind up with two comments from me…this would be why.

    I think that music could go a long way toward spicing things up in the bedroom (or wherever), but I don’t remember ever having it playing during sex (at least not intentionally). If I were in a relationship with a guy who enjoyed that kind of thing though, it would have to start long before we got down to serious business…as in cuddling/dancing/making out. And it would include my favorites by Chicago and Air Supply. Maybe even some BSBs. Yeah, they’re older, but in my opinion…they can’t be beat for setting the right mood. 🙂

    • Only one appeared. 🙂

      I like what you said about setting the mood. That’s arguably the best use, whether we listen before or during sex. And I think your song choices rock. 🙂

  5. Bolero. Yeah, I’m a dweeb, but I also have the soundtrack to ‘Deep Throat’ for a little “brown-chicken brown-cow”.

  6. Thanks for the Barry White/Ally McBeal video! God, how I miss that show. 🙂

  7. Making Love in the Rain by Herb Albert – the first note of that song and I’m in the zone. Secondly, is Moments in Love (all six or seven versions) by The Art of Noise. Ohhh, and weee, call it a day when that tune is playing. Man, this post made me think, I miss the days when seduction included some good music and a man dancing with some skill and lots of confidence. Fast or slow, there is something about the way a man moves to the music…smh. Great post.

  8. Chan Chan – Buena Vista Social Club – slinky, slightly dangerous – the Spanish kills, and so does the trumpet solo .

  9. And all this time I thought it was Chocolate that was the closest to sex. I learn something new everyday August. I did almost loose it after Ellen’s comment above. “A lot of Prince’s music can turn the heat up…horn-heavy classical/neo-classical pieces, which hit me right in the solar plexus.” Yes, indeed! LOL! 🙂

  10. Raani York

     /  March 18, 2013

    Okay, here we go…
    I for some reason have liked soft classical piano in the background, when making love… but that’s a LONG LONG LOOOOOOONG time ago.
    After I found out that I don’t like certain music during this time…
    It’s one thing to be tenderly loved while the “moonshine sonata” is silently played in the background…

    But I found out that apparently men are different within their music taste during this “time frame” as well – and sometimes their taste is awful. Not to talk about the fact that apparently they tend to pick up the rhythm of the sound (which is normally by far too loud)…

    Can you imagine lying on your back while the Pointer Sister are “so excited” – and your partner changes from “tender mood” to “full speed” which is going to make you feel like actively attending a Rodeo??
    I could vividly imagine the word “worn out” gets a whole new meaning… *sigh*

  11. mgedwards

     /  March 18, 2013

    LL Cool J’s “Doin’ It” is one of the hottest turn on songs. Can’t listen to it without getting a boy boner!

  12. No music for me, thanks! I either get distracted by listening to the lyrics, or if it’s only instrumental, I start mentally writing. I suppose that’s because I listen to mostly soundtracks and classical when I’m writing. It naturally ‘puts me in the zone’, I guess. But you know, I don’t think I’ve ever missed having music playing, so it’s all good!

  13. I do love music and there is a lot that really can get me in the mood, but I like instrumentals best, so I don’t get caught up in the words.
    BTW – my favorite sexy singer is Christina Perri. I especially love “Arms”.

  14. I may have mentioned once of seventy-three times that Country Strong is my favorite go-to sound track and movie du jour(ssssssss).

    There is a song titled Give in to Me on that sound track that is come-hither sex set to music. When Garret Hedlund and Leighton Meester sing that song together, my brain and libido go wonky. Get a room wonky. No, wait! Get me a room wonky.

    Wonky, in this instance is defined as “wired for sex.”

  15. Well, instead of sharing my own tracks from the soundtracks of love, I’ll let you in on a song *not* to bring into the boudoir: “Henry the VIII”, by Herman’s Hermits. I sang it in the shower once pre-coitus, and, the coitus nearly didn’t happen. Like, very nearly. I had to put a super save in motion.

    So, second verse is *not* like the first.

  16. I just finished watching Ally McBeal again on Netflix. A golden show! Love the Barry White breakout music in it – especially the bathroom scenes. LOL. Wish I had a tiny room to hide in there too 🙂 Crash into Me by Dave MAtthews is a good one. To get really wild give me some Scorpions and Rock Me Like A Hurricane 🙂 Music so heightens the senses and can change the mood instantly.

  17. I don’t go for musical accompaniments so much any more, though did in my youth! I’d have to say Ravel’s “Bolero” would be a great soundtrack. It’s just about the perfect length (15 minutes or so) and has that wonderful repetition that builds and builds and builds… (I was surprised to learn from Radiolab ( that brain disease may have played a part in Ravel composing it.)

  18. Kourtney Heintz

     /  March 20, 2013

    I love music during any of my creative exploits. I write best to it. I work best to it. And it definitely adds to the intimate moments. I loved Sade’s By Your Side.

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