Turn down the lights, turn up the stereo. We’re having a party for two – and you, beatific reader, beautiful reader, are very much on the guestlist. It’s time for The 69 Sexiest Songs About Sex. Get down!
Queens of the Stone Age, ‘Make It Wit Chu’
Lovely Josh Homme gets down and indeed dirty with this crunching sex jam. “If I told you I knew about the sun and moon,” he croons, “I’d be untrue.” Lyrically he casts himself as a big, dumb lunk that knows nothing about nothing, besides the fact he wants to “make it wit you”. And you’ll let him, reader. You’ll lie back and you’ll let him.
Prince, ‘Gett Off’
See also: literally everything Prince ever did. Still, this might have been his sexiest moment, as that ear-splitting opening shriek ushers in a louche cacophony of flute, breakbeats and Purple One’s saucy croon. And yes, ‘Purple One’ does sound rude.
Marvin Gaye, ‘Let’s Get It On’
As romantic as it is sexy, this lush track has so long been associated with love time that it’s become a cliché. I once attempted to listen to it on a packed train, little realising that the earphone jack had come loose, meaning I blasted it out while standing uncomfortably close to – and making occasional eye contact with – a stranger. We have now been married for five years and enjoy an intensely satisfying sex life.
The Undertones, ‘Teenage Kicks’
The soundtrack to your da’s adolescence. Think of him, all teenage and randy, as he dreamt of getting teenage kicks right through the night. Alright!
Beyoncé and Nicki Minaj, ‘Feelin’ Myself’
Female masturbation is a bit like Miles Kane’s solo career: everyone knows it happens but no-one ever talks about it.
The Spice Girls, ‘2 Become 1’
Look, I’m no expert – I’m not very good with numbers and got a D in GCSE Maths – but it seems that this song might be about shagging someone for the first time. The two is a pair of balls and the one is a foof… I think. Again, I’m no expert.
Donna Summer, ‘Love To Love You Baby’
This banging disco track – confusingly – manages to be classy (the tinkling piano) and filthy (Summer’s eyebrow-raising moans) all at the same time. It’s the best way to make your bedroom feel like an all-singing, all-dancing episode of blinging disco-era Netflix musical The Get Down. Talk about Netflix and chill.
Madonna, ‘Like A Virgin’
The lyrics to this shimmering slice of 80s pop are actually super sweet and sensitive, exploring the idea of loving as if it’s your first time. Ever the canny marketer, Madonna was sure to make the most of its saucy overtones. Long live her Madgesty.
Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin, ‘Je t’aime… moi non plus’
Like ‘Let’s Get It On’, this song has become almost comically sexy after years of being associated with love time. Originally recorded with Gainsbourg’s then-lover Brigitte Bardot, it was later re-recorded with another of his lovers, Jane Birkin, who sounds so hot and flustered that there was a rumour they’d actually done the nasty during record. Gainsbourg’s reply: “‘Thank goodness it wasn’t, otherwise I hope it would have been a long-playing record”.
Billie Holiday, ‘Lover Man (Oh Where Can You Be?)’
One of the world’s all-timer great vocalists, jazz legend Billie Holiday here conveys her aching desire to get jiggy with it, begging her lover man to “make love to me”. Pretty racy for 1944, eh?
Frankie Goes To Hollywood, ‘Relax’
So sexy it was banned! Or not. Rumour had it that the BBC blacklisted the song because of its rude lyrics, though this has been disputed. Either way, it’s about not spunking yourserlf silly “until you want to cum”.
Rihanna, ‘Sex With Me’
Want to hear the most Rihanna lyric ever? “Sex with me’s so amazing / But it’s all work, no vacation.” That is the most Rihanna lyric ever, and you and your consequently red-hot sex life are welcome.
Aaliyah, ‘Rock The Boat’
While we’re on choice lines, how about some lyrics from this cool 2002 R&B slowjam? “Work the middle / Change positions / Do positions… Stroke it for me / Stroke it for me”. Come to think of it, that could have been written by my pet hamster Maurice, because that little guy just loves to be fussed over. Great guy, Maurice. Great guy.
This soulful slow-jam was accompanied by literally the sexiest music video ever made. It starts with the mega-toned R&B singer licking his lips and ends with him almost-but-not quite showing his bits. Okay yeah, maybe ‘Stacy’s Mom’ was the sexiest music video of all time.
Lil Kim, ‘Big Momma Thang’
Lil Kim heard male rappers drooling over womankind in their lyrics and gave them a taste of their own medicine, out-filthing them at every turn. The production here is crisp as fuck, Kim never sounded more badass and the lyrics are thrillingly rude: “Tell me what’s on your mind when the tongue’s in the pussy / Is it marriage? / Baby carriage? / Shit no!”
Boyz II Men, ‘I’ll Make Love To You’
Fourteen weeks at the top of the charts. That’s more staying power than Serge Gainsbourg!
Britney Spears, ‘I’m A Slave 4 U’
Brit went all steamy with this Neptunes-produced track. In our track review we said, “Not quite ‘Get Ur Freak On’ or ‘Bootylicious’, but coming up hard along the bend nonetheless”. Coming up hard. Shameless.
The Kinks, ‘You Really Got Me’
This must have sounded un-fucking-believable in 1964. Hard to imagine how dangerous and dizzying those jagged power chords must have sounded back then: the first stirrings of punk, more than a decade early, and so hyped-up on teenage hormones it leaves a wet patch on your bed sheets.
George Michael, ‘I Want Your Sex’
Oh, George. A pop genius, a really cool dude, an inspiration to millions. But what better way to remember George Michael than shagging yourself – and ideally someone else – silly while he sasses away in the background?
James Brown, ‘Get Up (I Feel Like A) Sex Machine’
It’s not the louchest of tracks, but goddamnit there’s lashings of passion in this fast, funked-up masterpiece. Just don’t try and shag in time to it because you will literally die.
The Rolling Stones, ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’
Rarely has sexual frustration sounded so hot – and upon release in 1965 was played exclusively on pirate radio because it was considered just too bloody saucy for delicate ears of the mainstream. God bless those randy pirates.
Pulp, ‘Pink Glove’
Gonna be honest, pretty sure the pink glove here is a vagina.
Barry White, ‘Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love, Babe’
If you have only four minutes and 34 seconds to get jiggy with the sexy, sexy man or woman in your life, make sure you choose this soulful slice of saucy good times from the Godfather of gettin’ down. It begins with Barry whispering sweet nothings in the listener’s ear and ends with the steady, familiar rhythm of that cowbell pounding gently away until – suddenly – it’s all over and all that’s left to do is bask in the warn, satisfied afterglow.
Lana Del Rey, ‘Cola’
Not sure how sexy the lyric “My pussy tastes like Pepsi cola” really is, tbh, but we’re now 24 tracks into this playlist and I’m so overwrought that, like a can of fizzy pop that’s been tossed about, I’m ready to blow any minute.
The booming production alone – courtesy of The Neptunes – is enough to get you in a froth, even without those suggestive lyrics. Kelis has downplayed suggestions that the song’s about oral sex, saying, “It means whatever people want it to; it was just a word we came up with on a whim, but then the song took on a life of its own.” Yeah yeah, whatever Kelis.
Ciara, ‘Body Party’
Sampling ‘My Boo’ by Ghosttown DJs, this slinky R&B track sees Ciara assure the listener that “your love is always on my mind”. Always. Even when she’s doing her tax returns. Every time she’s stuck at traffic lights. Talk about a one-track mind!
TLC, ‘Red Light Special’
Fun fact: the video for this 1995 slowjam is set in an all-male brothel, with Left-Eye as a pimp and Chili and T-Boz as punters. Get fucked, the patriarchy.
Jeremih, ‘Birthday Sex’
This baby-making number was originally called ‘Birthday Text’, but Jeremih saw an opportunity to sex it up, helping the song reach number one in the Billboard R&B/hip-hop charts. Literally just put the word “sex” in something and it will do well. It’s how this article got commissioned!
Blackstreet featuring Dr. Dre and Queen Pen, ‘No Diggity’
Unbelievably, this crisp, quintessentially 90s rap tune manages to be really sexy, even though it samples ‘Grandma’s Hands’, a song on which Bill Wither pays tribute to his dead grandmother. That’s dedication.
Bruce Springsteen, ‘I’m On Fire’
“At night I wake up with the sheets soaking wet / And a freight train running through the middle of my head”. If you’ve ever felt about some-one the way Bruce does on this minimalist, guitar-driven song about desire and restraint, you have lived a full and, indeed, sexy life.
Nine Inch Nails, ‘Closer’
Equally you may relate to this relentless electro-punk banger, on which Trent Reznor bellows “I WANNA FUCK YOU LIKE AN ANIMAL!”
Mariah Carey, ‘Touch My Body’
Kenneth from 30 Rock appears as a horny dweeb in the video for this tinkling (and extremely mid-noughties) pop song, which is all you need to know about how seriously it takes itself. And that is what makes Mariah Carey our queen.
Silk, ‘Freak Me’
We all need to stop saying that Another Level covered this song, because it didn’t happen. It didn’t happen okay.
AC/DC, ‘Whole Lotta Rosie’
The late AC/DC singer Bon Scott liked big butts and he could not lie. This raucous rock’n’roll track is about a woman with whom he had a thrilling one-night stand. A celebration of her virtues as a lover, it combines near-perfect classic rock and, if we’re honest, Too Much Information.
Khia, ‘My Neck, My Back’
15 years on, and the lyrics to this 2002 single from Khia’s debut album ‘Thug Misses’ are still breathtakingly rude: “My neck, my back / Lick my pussy and my crack”. Khia later reveals that “the best head comes from a thug”, making her a sort-of oral sex Trip Advisor.
The Isley Brothers, ‘Between The Sheets’
‘Quiet storm’. This is the sub-genre of R&B that emerged in the 80s, characterised by a mellow vibe and soft synths. The sound is epitomised by this louche little number, which sees R&B legends The Isley Brothers make it rain between the sheets, rhyming “fantasy” with ecstasy” to a sleepy drum beat. Play this when: you have just blown your lover’s mind and need to gently piece it back together.
Fuck me – what is with the weird squelching sound effect on this? If that’s the sound of a small horse ejaculating, I want my money back.
This soulful 2012 love song has been described by many as a modern-day ‘Sexual Healing’. It came to Miguel in a dream, as he was on a plane to meet his partner after some time apart. “These lips can’t wait to taste your skin,” he croons in the manner of a sexy R&B Hannibal Lecter.
Def Leppard, ‘Pour Some Sugar On Me’
“I’m hot / Sticky sweet / From my head / To my feet, yeah.” Run this man a hot bath immediately, and, for the love of God, don’t let him anywhere near a wasps’ nest.
Labelle, ‘Lady Marmalade’
This is arguably the best version, despite the song having been recorded a bunch of times over the years (including the one done for the Moulin Rouge soundtrack by Lil Kim, Christina Aguilera, Mýa and Pink). After recording the song, vocalist Patti Labelle said: “I didn’t know what it was about. Nobody – I swear this is God’s truth – nobody told me what I’d just sung a song about.” It’s about a sex worker, Patti.
Anderson .Paak, ‘Heart Don’t Stand A Chance’
Some sexy songs are just about shagging; some are about loving and shagging. This lush slow-jam falls into the latter category, as Anderson – whose moniker was once breezy Lovejoy – vows to get down with the object of his affection. And smoke a blunt. Gotta keep your priorities straight.
Teddy Pendergrass, ‘Close the Door’
Please, please watch the video, below, for this super-sexy 1978 R&B number. It’s like a vintage porno (with, admittedly, all the exciting bits taken out).
The Doors, ‘Light My Fire’
This infamous psychedelic rock song, from 1967, is a lesson in how to use your organ.
Every public figure has a private life. According to this slinky pop song, Bey closes the door on her adoring public and gets down with her man, who will “Monica Lewinski all on my gown”. If we’re being political, it’s better than a Trump.
Bob Dylan, ‘I Want You’
The lyrics to the verse of this folk song are complex, introducing a varied cast of characters, from a “guilty undertaker” to a “dancing child in a Chinese suit”. The meaning of all this is pretty impenetrable (that hasn’t discouraged countless commentators from attempting to crack the code, mind). The chorus, though, is beautifully simple. “I want you”, Dylan sighs, “so bad.” In other words: forget all this nonsense, let’s get to the shagging.
Softly, softly, Usher croons in a falsetto about that one last shag with a love lost. “I gave my best,” he sighs, “it wasn’t enough.” There there, Usher, at least you tried.
Goldfrapp, ‘Ooh La La’
Here Alison Goldfrapp celebrates a lover who is “just made for love”, while confessing that she needs an “ooh la la”. We’re not entirely sure what is, but in terms of absolute filth is probably registers somewhere near a “zig-a-zig-ah”.
Peaches, ‘Fuck The Pain Away’
Is this the greatest song on this list? No, it is the greatest song of all time. When she’s not encouraging sex positivity, Peaches, a former school teacher, finds time to reminds us to “stay in school / ‘cause it’s the best”. Peaches is a badass bitch who knows how to get shit done and you should listen to every word she says.
Nelly, ‘Hot In Herre’
THIS IS A PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: Nelly feels like bustin’ loose and he feels like touchin’ you.
Bob Marley, ‘Turn Your Lights Down Low’
Bob Marley is deservedly associated with good vibes, good weed and gracing posters in student bedrooms. But you might have missed this slinky, soft little number, in which he vows to gift you with some “good lovin’”. He’ll take you higher than you’ve even been before.
INXS, ‘Need You Tonight’
You will think you look like Michael Hutchence as you writhe about to that unforgettable riff. You will be wrong, but you will be happy. And people like happy people, so there’s still a chance you’ll get lucky.
Nelly Furtado, ‘Maneater’
Nelly Furtardo also recorded a song called ‘Promiscuous’, which you’d think would be her sexiest song. But no. It is this, in which she dizzies you with a whirling synth line and then pounces to devour you whole, like a female spider eating its mate after gross, sticky spider sex.
T Rex, ‘(Bang A Gong) Get It On’
The giddy rush of first love, the first flush of teenage hormones: it’s all in this glam rock stomper, which was definitely playing in the background the first time your parents boned.
Justin Timberlake, ‘Senorita’
It’s mainly about that last bit, which sees J-T lead a call-and-response refrain with male and female backing singers catcalling each other. If it doesn’t make want to get jiggy with it, please pop a Viagra – whatever your gender – and get back to me.
Salt-N-Pepa, ‘Push It’
Some people say this isn’t a sexy song. To which I say: “Ah, push it / Ah, push it / (Hit it) / Oooh, baby, baby / Baby, baby / Oooh, baby, baby / Baby, baby / Get up on this!”
Arctic Monkeys, ‘Do I Wanna Know?’
There was a time when Alex Turner and pals were scruffy, precocious upstarts, but that time has passed. With this slow-burning banger, the Arctic Monkeys transformed into leather-clad, bequiffed rock gods, strutting around with sexy guitar riffs and lyrics like, “Simmer down and pucker up / I’m sorry to interrupt it’s just I’m constantly / On the cusp of trying to kiss you”. Run your hands through Alex’s ultra-gelled hair, but remember to wash your hands because that stuff gets everywhere.
Etta James, ‘I Just Wanna Make Love to You’
From the brassy raunch of that opening horn section to the yearning and saucy if gastromomically inaccurate lyrics (“I just wanna cook your bread”), there’s no wonder this sexy track was used on that unforgettable Diet Coke advert in 1996. Still furious at the notion that you cook bread though.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs, ‘Cold Light’
All in all, ‘Fever To Tell’, the debut album from these New York City punks, was a pretty sexy affair. Here vocalist Karen O revels in the thought of sharing bodyheat with her man in the cold night. Well, it’s cheaper than an electric heater because they are a dreadful waste of money.
Neiked and Dyo, ‘Sexual’
This song is really fun at the time. It’s a cheap, fleeting, nasty thrill. But afterwards you will feel that you need a hot shower and a good, hard think about yourself.
LL Cool J, ‘Doin’ It’
This quintessentially 90s hip-hop track features the rapper LeShaun, who moans like Donna Summer throughout. No-one has moaned this much since I had to clean out Maurice’s cage last week. Still, great guy, Maurice. Great guy.
Drake ft. Majid Jordan, ‘Hold on, We’re Goin’ Home’
Drake’s infamous sensitive side comes to the fore here. “I want your high love and emotion,” he croons, before whisking you away for three-and-a-half minutes of exquisite lovemaking between his Egyptian cotton sheets, after which he will sob quietly as you call yourself an Uber.
The 1975, ‘The Sex’
On this reverb-drenched guitar-pop track, singer Matt Healy invites the listener into the back of his van for a bit of sexy time. He’s a proper rock star, Matt Healy. He has access to – at best – a private jet and – at worst – a luxurious tour bus, the kind with proper beds and everything. Just because he’s got great hair and looks fantastic in a pair of leather trousers, do not let him fob you off with a quickie in the back of a van.
The XX, ‘Crystalised’
This ultra-hip indie R&B number uses basically the same metaphor as ‘2 Become 1’. It’s enough to make you wanna peel off your black rollneck and get down, while of course feigning cool disinterest.
Bill Withers, ‘Use Me’
The best bit of this swaggering track from the master of soul comes at the end, where he gets a bit too sleazy, leering that “it ain’t too bad the way you’re using me / ‘Cause I sure am using you… to do the things you do,” so the engineer swiftly fades him out mid-way through. Okay, Granddad, that’s enough, we’ve all had a drink.
The Beatles, ‘Why Don’t We Do It In The Road?’
Paul McCartney once saw two monkeys shagging on a road in India and wrote a song asking why humans don’t just do the same. It’s called dogging, Paul. Look it up and meet me on the M4.
Skepta ft. D Double Ea and A$AP Nast, ‘Ladies Hit Squad’
The charismatic grime don unveils his sexy loverman persona on this R&B-influenced track. It’s a randy rap banger with a sensitive slowjam in the middle. A slowjam sandwich, if you will.
CSS, ‘Let’s Make Love And Listen To Death From Above’
If you use this song title as your Tinder bio you’ll get at least a thousand matches a day. And that’s an NME promise.
Tove Lo, ‘Talking Body’
Here the Swedish pop star sings, “If we’re talking body / You got a perfect one / So put it on me / Swear it won’t take you long / If you love me right / We fuck for life”, over buzzing electropop. The offer is catchy, yes, but not legally binding.
The Stranglers, ‘Peaches’
Let us, reader, end this filthy list in a fittingly filthy manner: with London punks The Stranglers’ leering 1977 classic. A satirical take on macho posturing, it’s about an old letch feeling randy at the beach. Gross, yeah, but then I’m also in a lather after writing about The 69 Sexiest Songs About Sex. Please excuse me as I take a series of cold showers.