It's a classic debate in the realm of Creationism versus evolution, of the chicken versus the egg, of almond butter versus peanut butter: Should you listen to music while having sex or not?
I know this question has perplexed humans for decades. I'm sure that "back in the day," awkwardly fidgeting with a cumbersome record player before getting nasty was inconvenient, so most people just screwed in sad, sad silence.
But now, all we have to do is click open iTunes or Spotify, press the play button, and boom: Marvin Gaye can join you for some sweet lovemaking.
I thought a lot of people listened to music while having sex. For me, a good sex playlist has been an essential accessory in the bedroom and has only increased any and all physical sensations and emotional undertones.
It turns out, though, that most people I spoke to found playing music while having sex kind of weird, or never thought to prioritize it as an integral part of the experience in the first place. Other people said that they want to try, but never have the chance to actually turn some music on before starting.
Well, everyone should listen to music while having sex. And not just because everyone loves music, but because there are actual psychological benefits, including giving you the tools to be your absolute best in the bedroom.
Researchers from McGill University found that listening to music prompts the release of dopamine, the "feel good" chemical in our brains that also gets released when we reward ourselves with food, sleep and, of course, sex.
It looks like you can maximize your feel-good chemical release by listening to music while having sex -- that is, by engaging in two major activities that cause dopamine release at the same time. What could be more stimulating than that?
Here's even more proof: A variety of studies, including this one from 2006 and another from 2000, explored the relationship between listening to music and light exercise. These studies suggest that people who listen to music when they work out feel less fatigue and therefore exercise for longer periods of time than people who don't listen to music when they work out.
Researchers discovered that listening to music helps us narrow our attention to the physical activity task at hand, which means we are distracted from any sensations of discomfort that may arise from fatigue while exercising.
And when we're able to focus solely on our movements because we are sufficiently distracted from feeling tired and achey, the duration and intensity of our work out may also increase, which will certainly improve our mood.
So, what does all of this mean when it comes to sex? As most of us know, sex can be as exhausting as working out. Like a great session in the gym, a great sex session pushes you to your physical limits, tests your endurance and makes you sweat profusely.
Sometimes, it really does feel like an intense 30-minute sex session burns as many calories as the elliptical, especially when you incorporate strength training in the form of those complex, seemingly impossible positions from the latest issue of Cosmo.
It only makes sense, then, that listening to music while having sex has the same benefits as listening to music while engaging in any other kind of physical activity.
Cranking the tunes during sex can help you focus on your moves and distract you from negative thoughts or feelings (whether that's fatigue, stress or anything else) that might prevent you from reaching your full potential in bed.
You'll last longer, feel less tired and, because of how focused you are on the actual act, be hyperaware of every physical sensation.
Even Spotify thinks listening to music while having sex is important -- so important, in fact, that they conducted a study in 2012 to learn what kinds of music we're listening to while we get freaky.
Led by music psychologist Daniel Mullensiefen, the study asked 2,000 people in the UK between the ages of 18 and 91 their favorite songs to have sex to. Here are the top 10 results:
1. "She's Like The Wind" by Patrick Swayze
2. "Sexual Healing" by Marvin Gaye
3. "Boléro" by London Symphony Orchestra
4. "Take My Breath Away" by Berlin
5. "You See The Trouble With Me" by Barry White
6. "Let's Get It On" by Marvin Gaye
7. "Unchained Melody" by Righteous Brothers
8. "My Heart Will Go On" by Celine Dion
9. "Je T'aime" by Serge Gainsbourg
10. "I Will Always Love You" by Whitney Houston
I don't know about you, but this science-backed playlist seems way too heavy on the mushy side, so I'd like to offer my own version of this playlist, which consists of more sultry voices cooing against deep, unhurried basses -- if you're into that.
1. "High For This" by The Weeknd (also "Wicked Games" -- actually, pretty much anything by The Weeknd)
2. "Nirvana" by Sam Smith
3. "Pony" by Ginuwine
4. "Novacane" by Frank Ocean
5. "So Appalled" by Kanye West
6. "Let's Stay Together" by Al Green
7. "French Exit" by The Antlers
8. "Do I Wanna Know" by Arctic Monkeys
9. "Instant Crush" by Daft Punk
10. "Latch" by Disclosure