FYI: Bach Is Not Affecting My Sex Life

“Is Bach affecting your sex life?”

Well, what a question to ask.

It was this inquiry that I encountered while perusing the Omaha World-Herald‘s site this week. Intrigued, I had to read more.

It turned out that it was a column about sex and music written by Brier Jirka, a sex therapist with the Methodist Physicians Clinic Women’s Center.

She writes:

You know it as soon as you hear it.

THE song that brings back memories of a special moment between you and your partner. That moment when fireworks exploded and you knew love was in the air.

The fact that music has such a prominent place in our relationships should not be surprising. We all listen to music on a daily basis, and a person’s taste can vary from classical or rock to country, pop or R&B.

For some, that special song is anything by the band Boston or ever popular REO Speedwagon. For others it could be by Marvin Gaye or one of today’s superstars – Usher, Carrie Underwood, or dare I say Justin Bieber!

But have you ever thought about how much music actually influences your sexual behavior?

It’s a common question I hear in sex therapy: What music should I play to set the mood?

“Let’s Get It On” or “Sexual Healing” usually come to mind right away. However, an article on the subject published in Softpedia noted research which showed those that enjoy jazz music have 34 percent more sex than those who like pop music.

The least sexually active group – those who prefer classical, like Bach or Beethoven.

So what gives? Blame brain functions. The left hemisphere is linked to language and the right to our feelings. Music often triggers both at the same time, resulting in stronger outward behavior, AKA movement. Simply put, music encourages touching.

Both men and women rate tactile (touching) stimuli as most important in sexual arousal. However, when it comes to musical stimuli, men are often less responsive than women.

For men, the type of music doesn’t really matter. But for females, “her song” will likely result in positive thoughts and feelings.

Next time you want to set the mood for love, consider what your partner’s ears prefer.

And in case nothing comes to mind, here is a list of songs that may help set the mood, followed by those which will ruin your chances for intimacy.

This list was generated from a combination of online polls and my professional suggestions.

Top 5 Mood Setters

• I’ll Make Love to You (Boyz II Men)
• Come A Little Closer (Dierks Bentley)
• Shook Me All Night Long (AC/DC)
• Too Afraid to Love You (The Black Keys)
• Feel Like Making Love (Bad Company)
• I’ve Got You Under My Skin (Frank Sinatra)

Top 5 Mood Spoilers

• How You Remind Me (Nickelback)
• Boyfriend (Justin Bieber)
• I Wanna Sex You Up (Color Me Badd)
• I’ll Do Anything for Love (Meatloaf)
• Anything Disney – seriously it’s wrong to mix sexual intimacy and Disney music

OK, I know Jirka says that men are less responsive than women to music, but I can say that if any lady out there tries to seduce me with the mood setters listed above (aside from The Black Keys) I’m likely to either burst out laughing or run away in horror. (“Feel Like Making Love” actually makes people want to make love? Are you kidding me???)

However, I’m glad to see people are turned off by Nickelback, Bieber and Meatloaf.

“I Wanna Sex You Up” though? I could handle that if we were in the right mood — as in, not a serious mood. It’s certainly better than AC/DC. Seriously.

Now, you know what comes next. This is where I have to list 10 songs that I think are great mood setters (because I will go 200 percent for those I love — and because I don’t have the discipline to pick only five). I’m not going to disappoint you.

Turn down the lights. Spread the rose petals. Don’t those candles smell great?

Let’s get started.

“This wine tastes great. Hey, are you familiar with this song that Robert Smith wrote for his fiance as a wedding present. Whenever I hear it, I can’t help but think of you.”

“Would you like to hear some poetry? ‘If you stay, I’ll chase the rain-blown fields away. We’ll shine like the morning and sin in the sun. Oh, if you stay, we’ll be the wild ones running with the dogs today.'”

“I really don’t have the words.”

“I’ve got a genius idea. Let’s have some fun. Natural fun. (Please don’t slap me.)”

I don’t gotta say a word …

“‘It may not be the right time. I might not be the right one. But there’s something about us I want to say.”

“I thought you’d want to hear about this really incredible book.”

“Girl, why mess with the rest when you got the best? I’m what you need.”

“This is one of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard in my life. I can’t believe I’m with the most beautiful woman I’ve ever met in my life right now. What a coincidence.”

“Can we just cuddle already?”


So, uh, how was it? Was that Bach or Boys II Men?

(By the way, if you’re visiting this post via “Freshly Pressed,” WELCOME! Thanks for checking out “An Inland Voyage.” Please look around and share any thoughts. Find out more about me and “An Inland Voyage” here. — Nathan)

44 thoughts on “FYI: Bach Is Not Affecting My Sex Life

  1. I enjoyed the list, even though the theory about classical music fans is an incorrect hypothesis. Bach himself had 20 kids! My experience is that lovers of classical ALSO appreciate jazz, pop, gospel and everything else. We understand the value of practice, and know more positions 😉

  2. I had no idea till now that music played such a role with sexuality. But now that I think about it, it doesn’t surprise me; after all, plants grow better to classical music than to the latest hip-hop track. I’ll have to keep this in mind from now on when I write scenes where characters get in the mood.

  3. I would classify the classical like Bach into the meditation category. But your choice of ‘The Weekend’ …… now let me tell you, that song is the ultimate ‘PANTY WETTER’

    Thoroughly enjoyed the read!


  4. “First day of my life” is one of my favorites. Definitely a cuddley song.

    What about “Stalker” by Piebald? Gets me every time.

    By the way, how do you get links to Spotify songs?

  5. This is good man. I find the songs I most associate with a past partner are very unconventional, not those shit songs that are designed specifically for a couple to be able to look at each other all doughy eyed when they hear it and say ‘oh this is OUR song’. Quite revolting. However, the real songs are the spontaneous ones you just put on that time you were getting ready together and you looked at her and just thought ‘fuck, you are beautiful aren’t you’. Fond memories aren’t pre-meditated and the ones you list at the start, and rightfully don’t like, are the types of songs that do seem pre-meditated. The song I most associate with my ex? ‘Chain Gang’ by Sam Cooke. Hardly a romantic song given the content, but it would be ‘our song’ nevertheless.

    Thanks for posting, really enjoyed it.

    • I don’t know, the sounds of the men working on the chain gang could easily be mistaken for something else. Ha. But I agree, it’s often the context where a song was heard in a relationship that can make an otherwise unromantic song very special. For my girlfriend and I, that song is Phil Collins’ “Against All Odds.” In a sense it’s romantic in that this guy is putting his heart out there. But it is also soooo 80s and is really just a sad, sad song. But because of its context in our relationship, it is special to both of us and reminds us of why we’re together. (Please don’t throw stones at me for putting “Against All Odds” in your head for the rest of the day!)

  6. Pingback: Freshly Riffed 17: The Very Model Of A Modern Major General « A VERY STRANGE PLACE

  7. hmm I never thought of music as such a large part of one’s sex life. very interesting stuff here. thanks for sharing! i look forward to the next post. oh, and of course, congrats on being Freshly Pressed! It’s so exciting!

  8. Love your blog, great music! Thank you. But music puts me off at the crucial moment. I find I’m listening rather than getting on with the job. So for me it is music before, and music after but never music in between. Tony

  9. I have a feeling this ‘list’ could vary from person to person, couple to couple. I for one would pick some songs from your list, some from the other one and then add my own mix.
    That being said, I have to agree there are so many things out there better then AC/DC. Oh and Kiss has got to be the best dammed thing up there on your list.
    side note-congrats on the freshly pressed, and loving your blog!!!

  10. So glad you put Nickelback at the top of the “spoiler” list…- I think the declining birth-rate in the western world can be directly correlated to the emergence of this band.

  11. It’s all matters of taste. Bach didn’t find his own music a turn-off, to judge by the number of kids he had. My list doesn’t include any of the numbers you’ve given. But it’s all good – there is no absolute ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ and what counts is the meaning to each person.

  12. **I thought everyone knew everything is better with music as the background! ESPECIALLY love making…And if given the 2 choices above without a doubt; Boys 2 Men. Enjoyed reading you..2 thumbs UP.

  13. Great piece. Coincidentally I was just talking about this the other day, how when I was in college guys all had their particular “mood setting” albums. One guy swore by “Knights in White Satin” which had been out for like 15 years, boring. Other guys used Luther Vandross or Prince. Nothing in particular ever got me in the mood. Oh except maybe New Order. I have no idea why. lol

  14. No offense but if I were you I would take some advice from the article and let the girl choose. If she likes the music you listed then thats great! I’m a girl and personally, if anyone played the songs you chose (aside from the last one) the last thing I’d be is “in the mood”. In fact I’d prob focus more on ignoring it then fooling around and that wouldn’t be so good for either party involved

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