*adds to playlist*
It’s no secret that doin’ it to a nice sexy-time playlist equals a totally elevated experience between the sheets. So, if you’re having a hard time getting in the mood for sex, you may want to try some sweet, sultry tunes to get you feeling all hot and bothered. Whether it’s a slow, rhythmic bass or something decidedly spicier, having a trusty playlist of songs to get you in the mood is a must. And what if these songs were all compiled in a nice little list for you to discover? Well, buckle up, because they are.
But first, what is it about music that makes everything feel hotter? Aside from the way movies tend to equate music with arousal, there is also a bit of research to back up this phenomenon. A 2011 Nature Neuroscience study found that music induces happy hormone releases in the brain and can stir feelings of euphoria. What’s more is that music uses the same reward pathways as sexual pleasure in the brain, according to 2017 Scientific Reports study. When you and your partner pregame your love-making by listening to music together, your neurons will start to fire off at the same rate, releasing oxytocin, aka the “love hormone.” It’s like your brains are actually in sync — how cute is that?
As sexy as neuroscience is, expert sexologists also back the idea of music as an aphrodisiac. “The lyrics of a song can obviously make you think of sex right away — such as sounds of whispering, panting, moaning, [or] screaming,” offers Martha Lee, doctor of human sexuality (DHS), relationship counselor, clinical sexologist, and founder of Eros Coaching. “Sexually suggestive lyrics might make sex-related thoughts and behaviors in one’s mind more accessible and cause one to continue thinking about sex long after a song is over.”
But your selection of songs to set the mood don’t have to be purely about sex to be helpful in the bedroom. “Music can get you out of your head, [which is] especially useful if you are the nervous type prone to self-talk and worrying yourself out of having fun in bed,” Carol Queen, Ph.D., staff sexologist at Good Vibrations, tells Elite Daily. “[This] can make it hard to get or stay aroused, to have an orgasm, and to feel comfortable with a new (or ongoing) partner ... What you need are some tunes that point your brain in a different direction.”
What songs, in particular, should you be listening to when you want to get it on? It’s different for everyone, but Queen recommends trying tunes with sexy lyrics, breathy vocals, and a great beat. “If you feel like dirty dancing to the song, it's likely a good sex tune,” she says. Still unsure? Don't worry — here’s a list to get you started. And keep you going. All night long.
Here are the top 23 “in the mood” songs to add to your dirty playlist now.
1. “Earned It (Fifty Shades Of Grey)” by The Weeknd
Honestly, go ahead and hit “save” to anything and everything from Fifty Shades of Grey. You know why. You can’t not get hot and bothered by these violins.
Best Lyric: “You're my favorite kind of night / So I love when you call unexpected / 'Cause I hate when the moment's expected”
2. “Ride” by SoMo
Anything SoMo is a guaranteed bang-able bop. In addition to the man’s seductive voice, this song is 100% about laying down your partner and giving it to them real good.
Best Lyric: “I'm gon' take care of your body / I'll be gentle don't you scream / It's getting hotter, make it softer / Feel your chest on top of me”
3. “Crazy In Love (Fifty Shades Of Grey)” by Beyoncé
Looking for something to put a saucy spread of goosebumps down your entire body? This slowed-down, deeply intense, and hot version of the classic tune by Beyoncé will do the trick. Plus, Queen Bey is making some very moan-adjacent noises throughout.
Best Lyric: “I look and stare so deep in your eyes / I touch on you more and more every time”
4. “When I R.I.P.” by Labrinth
If something vibey à la Euphoria is more your speed, Labrinth is your new go-to sex playlist artist. Albeit not exactly a sex song lyric-wise, the smooth, boppy tune will still make you want to move your body, and the dopamine will be flooding.
Best Lyric: “Just alive tryin' 'cause it's been a long day (ba-da-ba-dam) / 'Cause I'm asleep when I R.I.P (ba-da-ba-dam)”
5. “Paradise” by H.E.R. (feat. Yung Bleu)
Slippery smooth vocals with a chill-vibe rhythm will put you both in a silky, relaxed state, perfect for gettin’ down.
Best Lyric: “You giving me paradise / I don't think I was ready 'cause it's better than it's advertised”
6. “Or Nah” by Ty Dolla $ign, The Weeknd, Wiz Khalifa, Mustard
This one is nice and dirty. Like, real dirty — it will definitely get you in the mood to wear fewer clothes as quickly as possible.
Best Lyric: “Do you like the way I flick my tongue or nah?”
7. “We Can Make Love” by SoMo
SoMo just knows how to get the people in the mood. And this one is highly effective: sleazy beats, sexy lyrics, satin smooth voice, and the list goes on.
Best Lyric: “Baby, let me rock your body, ride your body / Kiss your favorite spot”
8. “Had Some Drinks” by Two Feet
If all this song had was the bass, it would still be a certified turn-on. But the sultry voice and casually cool, sexy snapping makes it that much better.
Best Lyric: “If I said too much, I know you're mine to lose / I had some drinks and said some things to you”
9. “Wicked Games” by The Weeknd
When it comes to songs to get you in the mood, The Weeknd gets it done every single time. “Wicked Games” is no exception — expect to be thoroughly seduced upon exposure to this buttery ballad.
Best Lyric: “Listen, ma, I'll give you all of me / Give me all of it, I need all of it to myself”
10. “Good For You” by Selena Gomez ft. A$AP Rocky
If you can find it on the After soundtrack, you can trust it will get the job done. This one will have you feeling hot and confident — plus, the snazzy beats definitely qualify it as a “horizontal bop.”
Best Lyric: “Let me show you how proud I am to be yours / Leave this dress a mess on the floor”
11. “PILLOWTALK” by ZAYN
If you know this song, then you know it’s about being very quiet in bed. (Kidding.) This ex-One Directioner took a turn for the saucy when he put this one out, and no one’s complaining.
Best Lyric: “A place that is so pure, so dirty and raw / In the bed all day, bed all day, bed all day”
12. “Fade Into You” by Mazzy Star
For some decidedly tender love-making, queue up this sweet number. Lee suggests tuning into some mellow melodies to help you relax, and this soul-soother is up for task — plus, it touts some softcore bang-worthy beats to boot.
Best Lyric: “I wanna hold the hand inside you / I wanna take the breath that's true”
13. “Dirty” by Tank
The title should tell you enough, but in case it isn’t abundantly clear: This song is about getting dirty and will make you feel like doing so, promptly. It’s sweet, sexy, and suave — what more could you want from a song to set the mood?
Best Lyric: “You ain't even gotta ask / You like when I do you dirty”
14. “Satisfy” by Russ
Everything about this song is assured to get you going in the best way. Aside from the lyrics being all about the determination to satisfy, the rhythmic beat (along with the smooth, caressing lull of Russ’s heavenly voice) is everything you’ll need in preparation to be satisfied.
Best Lyric: “Satisfy, grab your legs, point 'em to the sky while I / Satisfy, I'm staying in it 'til I hit the spot, hmm, yeah, yeah”
15. “Go To Town” by Doja Cat
You can’t help but be down to go to town when listening to this track by Doja Cat. By the first run of the chorus, you’ll be all set to get busy down south on each other.
Best Lyric: “If you're down, boy, really down / Baby, let me watch you go to town”
16. “BEST ON EARTH” by Russ feat. BIA
First of all, the bed-squeaking noise in the background must be discussed. It’s abundantly clear what this song is about right off the rip. Then you have the explicitly vivid picture the lyrics paint — you’re welcome.
Best Lyric: “And I know I've been around / But I swear you got the best on earth, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah”
17. “Drunk in Love” by Beyoncé feat. JAY-Z
Again, the Queen hails over all things sexy. Case in point: “Drunk in Love.” You’ll feel the bass to your core and will definitely be inspired to get it on.
Best Lyric: “Then ride it with my surfboard / Surfboard, surfboard / Grainin' on that wood / Grainin'-grainin' on that wood”
18. “The Hills” by The Weeknd
Last one by The Weeknd, promise. This one’s too good to leave off the list, though — give it a listen and you’ll see why.
Best Lyric: “I'm just tryna get you out the friend zone / 'Cause you look even better than the photos”
19. “Pony” by Ginuwine
If it’s from Magic Mike… enough said. From the first hit of the bass, you’ll be geared up to get on your bump and grind ASAP. Flashbacks from the movie featuring Channing Tatum are just a helpful bonus.
Best Lyric: “If you're horny let's do it / Ride it, my pony / My saddle's waiting / Come and jump on it”
20. “Skin” by Rihanna
Slight moaning, sexual lyrics, a total aphrodisiac for a beat, and a smidge of intense build-up throughout — this one is the perfect recipe to inspire some action. Plus, it’s Rihanna, so is it even possible not to get turned on?
Best Lyric: “You a beast, oh, you know that I like that (your skin) / Come here baby, all I wanna see you in is just skin”
21. “Streets” by Doja Cat
Doja Cat is another artist who can get it done. The slow, sultry beat pairs too well with an atmosphere of dim, flickering candlelight, a bottle of red wine, and ultimately — some horizontal exercise.
Best Lyric: “I found it hard to find someone like you / Like you, like you”
22. “Neighbors Know My Name” by Trey Songz
A story reminiscent of “PILLOWTALK,” this one’s a nice pre-2010s throwback R&B number to set the mood. Plus, it’s nice and descriptive, which is always welcome.
Best Lyric: “Take this pillow right here (grab this) / And I know you're so excited, if you bite it they won't hear”
23. “Don’t” by Bryson Tiller
With lyrics essentially worshiping his woman and a slick beat to boot, Tiller is definitely on the right track. As Queen put it, you know it’s a good one if it makes you want to dirty dance — an effect this one’s likely to have.
Best Lyric: “Somebody gotta step up / Girl, I'm that somebody, so I'm next up”
Salimpoor, V., Benovoy, M., Larcher, K. et al. Anatomically distinct dopamine release during anticipation and experience of peak emotion to music. Nat Neurosci 14, 257–262 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1038/nn.2726
Mallik, A., Chanda, M. & Levitin, D. Anhedonia to music and mu-opioids: Evidence from the administration of naltrexone. Sci Rep 7, 41952 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1038/srep41952
Carol Queen, Ph.D., staff sexologist at Good Vibrations
This article was originally published on