Turns out there’s a reason people listen to music in the bedroom—and it’s not just out of courtesy to roommates. A new study, conducted by internet-radio service Spotify and Dr. Daniel Müllensiefen, a director of the University of London’s program in “Music, Mind, and Brain,” reveals that sexy song choices do make a difference. The survey, which asked 2,000 Brits about their soundtrack preferences, found that nearly half of respondents are more aroused by music than by touch.
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But that doesn’t mean aspiring lovers should just make due with whatever’s on the radio. Different songs serve different purposes. Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On” is best for a romantic dinner. Abba’s “Dancing Queen” came in first for dance-club flirtation. Another Gaye track, “Sexual Healing,” was found to set the mood best. None of those choices seem particularly surprising, but what about during the act itself?
It turns out your best bet is “Dirty Dancing — Anything from the soundtrack.” First of all, that’s not actually a song. Second of all, “Time of my Life” isn’t exactly an intimate groove. But in a statement accompanying the survey results, Müllensiefen provides a rationale for that pick: his own research has found that music ties into the brain’s perception of pleasure, and the choice of Dirty Dancing means that references to the well-known movie signify the intention to, well, dance dirtily, even if there’s no fancy lifting involved. “People use this music to not only communicate their intentions in a romantic situation but to directly alter the mood during an encounter,” he said.
We’ll admit it’s pretty sweet that people want to convince their partners that they can be like Baby and Johnny—but that doesn’t explain the rest of the answers. Among the expected choices (“Sexual Healing” at No. 2, the Barry White catalog at No. 5, “I’ll Make Love to You” by Boyz II Men at No. 17) are some truly left-field grooves. Ravel’s “Bolero” at No. 3. “My Heart Will Go On,” from Titanic, at No. 8. “The Sound of Music” at No. 13. The 1812 Overture at No. 14. The Star Wars soundtrack at No. 20.
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It’s almost enough to make you think some respondents weren’t taking the survey seriously…or to make you think we just accidentally insulted the thousands of English people who make love to the sweet, sweet sounds of “The Lonely Goatherd.”
Decide for yourself—would you consider the following NSFW tracks?
One survey result, however, was no surprise at all. In the category of songs that are better than sex, the top pick was an easy one: Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.”