It can take a long time to learn your lover’s rhythms. Each person has their own inner beat, and nowhere (except for television channel changing) is it trickier to synchronize your tastes than in bed. Have you ever zigged when you should have zagged? Has your lover ever zagged when they were supposed to zig, even after you made puppy noises when they almost zigged, and any halfway sensitive person would have noticed that and damn well zigged ’til they were blue, but no, your lover had to go and zag like a selfish bastard and throw you completely out of the moment and the whole time your lover was looking at you like you weren’t pissed off, right, and yelping at you like an idiot, “Say my name! Say my name!”
Well, we’ve all been there.
Establishing a rhythm during lovemaking can be tricky, especially for those of us who sing only in the shower or more than 300 yards away from other people, by court order. You can try putting really loud clocks in the bedroom, or even a metronome on the headboard as a cool decoration and valuable pace-setting tool (use 100-120 bpm in 2/4 time for a lively evening, only moving up to 160-172 bpm if you have a durable partner and a strong heart). You could even use dance rhythms to keep your focus, although if your partner overhears you muttering “One, two, three, one, two, three,” under your breath over and over you soon may be dancing alone. But these methods, while dependable, leave you with a steady, boring beat that will bring your partner to ecstasy only by perseverance and long-lasting batteries. Much better to use music.
Music has long been used to establish a mood for romance, seduction, and laying the pipe down. It may have been why music was invented in the first place, Rohypnol being thousands of years in the future. But here I’m suggesting using the cadence of the tune, not the atmosphere the music creates. Fix a tune in your mind and thrust along with the words. Hump to the beat! Instantly you’re a sex god, moving with confidence and driving her wild! There’s a reason that rock stars get so much poon, and it can’t be their looks. It’s that driving, pounding rhythm that gets into the soul and drags you along, forcing your body to pulsate at their frequency and resonate to their every movement. Also the drugs.
Next time you’re intimately connected, pump, lick or suck in time with the catchiest song you can think of. Doesn’t have to be sexy, or even good, just fun and bouncy. Here’s the sex score for the first two lines of You Are My Sunshine:
Unh uh uh UNH UNH, unh uh oh UNH UNH
Unh uh unh UNH UNH, unh uh ah unh…
That’ll get her going! Almost any song will work, although you might want to avoid rap and bluegrass banjo until you’re more comfortable. Try starting slowly, with some songs that all but tell you when to thrust, such as The Beatles’ “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer” (Bang! Bang!) or Billy Squire’s “The Stroke.” Once you get the hang of it, try more complicated melodies for different effects. Queen’s “We Will Rock You” is an obvious and insistent choice, Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love” seems to have had this purpose in mind from the start, “Livin’ La Vida Loca” can drive you over the edge of the bed, Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” is a good, dependable guide when you want to pace yourself, “The Anvil Chorus” is surprisingly effective, the chorus of The Beatles’ “Yellow Submarine” can bring anybody off, and “Amazing Grace” can produce a truly astounding orgasm if you can last for all six verses.
No matter what tempo you have in mind for your ugly-bumping, there’s a song to help you out. Remember, all you need from it is the rhythm, it doesn’t matter what the song is about. Want to go slow and steady? Go with Simon and Garfunkel’s “Scarborough Fair,” Five for Fighting’s “Superman,” Whitney Houston’s “Exhale (Shoop Shoop),” Arlo Guthrie’s “Alice’s Restaurant” (why not?) or “Air for a G String” by Bach. Pop music, up-tempo classical and feisty country songs are ideal for playful romping with variable rhythms, such as Madonna’s “Open Your Heart,” Randy Travis’s “Before You Kill Us All,” Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy,” or anything by Belle and Sebastian (even though the sounds of kids playing during “If You’re Feeling Sinister” throws me off). And if you’re in the mood for jackhammering, you can’t go wrong with Queen’s “Stone Cold Crazy,” or “One Week” by Bare Naked Ladies. Be sure to do some stretches first, and stay hydrated. My wife and I once tried to keep up with Savage Garden’s “I Want You” and it took us a week to work out all the leg cramps.
As long as the cadence of the lyrics or the beat of the song matches your sexual needs, there’s no reason not to pick songs that match the moment. I think highly of Bloodhound Gang’s “Bad Touch” and Tenacious D’s immortal “Fuck Her Gently.”
And don’t neglect television theme music! Theme songs are easy to keep stuck in your head and they can provide fantastic thrashing rhythms as long as you keep repeating them over and over until you’re done. Just think about the themes from Mission Impossible, Barney Miller, Sesame Street, Rawhide, Gilligan’s Island… I get all shivery just thinking about it. And the commercial jingles! Repetitive, maddening, why not use that to your advantage? Besides, the erotic uses of the Oscar Meyer theme song are so obvious they don’t bear repeating.
Schoolhouse Rock songs are unbelievable.
Musical accompaniment works wonderfully for other forms of sex besides just the ol’ in-and-out, y’know. Use your hands to Busta Rhymes’ “Woo Hah! Got You All in Check” (“Woo Hah,” indeed), touch your lover to the beat from Pink’s “Don’t Let Me Get Me” (RUB rub rub RUB RUB!), and while Ludacris’s “What’s Your Fantasy” is a strong runnerup, “The Marriage of Figaro” is, quite simply, the single best guide to oral sex ever devised:
Lick lick lick LICK lick
Lick lick lick LICK lick
Lick lick lick LICK lick, lick LICK lick, lick lick lick lick
Lick lick lick LICK lick, lick LICK lick, lick LICK lick lick
LICK LICK LICK LICK LICK LICK LICK LICK LICK LICK LICK LICK, lick
LICK LICK LICK LICK, lick
Lick lick lick
Lick lick lick
Lick lick lick lickalick lick lick lick lick lick slurp!
Don’t stop during the instrumental parts or your lover may look at you oddly, wondering why everything shut down, while you’re mentally waiting for the next verse. Keep right on going, playing the air guitar with your hips, which is basically what Mick Jagger has been doing for forty years now. If you’re the lady on top, twist your hips to the tune from Hotel California by the Eagles, or bounce merrily along to Disney’s “It’s a Small World,” although you might want to hum that last one to yourself.
Instrumental pieces also add an impressive feeling to the encounter, like you have an orchestra backing you up as you prong away. “The Ride of the Valkyries” is majestic and aggressive, “The Flight of the Bumblebee” is ideal for that office quickie, “Mars, The Bringer of War” from Holst’s “The Planets Op.32” works well for that l-o-n-g slow grind, and nothing, but nothing beats “The Main Title March” from John Williams’ stupendous Superman movie soundtrack. Starts slow, builds up, goes slow, builds up, gets fast, goes slow again, ends triumphantly. Up, up and away!
If you’re in the moment and having problems thinking of the perfect melody (don’t you hate that?), try turning on the radio and taking pot luck. Pick a station with heavy playlists and few commercials, and try to avoid the afternoon show or you may find yourself trying to screw to a traffic report. If you’re really feeling adventurous, set your radio to “scan” and let the rhythm change every five seconds. Can you keep up? Don’t use MTV or VH1 for this, since the last thing you’ll ever catch a music video channel doing is actually playing a music video. If you get really cocky try a Weird Al Yankovic polka medley.
There’s no reason you can’t share your new found love in music with your lover. You can spend an exciting time looking through each others’ collections and selecting the night’s playlist, and you can sing to each other as you happily bang away. The gift of a specially-made best-of CD carries even more meaning if you know it’s the menu for the evening. And if you both know what’s coming up you can time things better, such as holding back because you know she loves to climax just as “A Day in the Life” builds up to the crashing piano chord.
Once you get good at it, it’s time to go for an entire evening of musical sex. Play entire CDs and keep up with the changes. Theme albums work well for this – Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” may be too depressing to permit arousal, but Styx’s “Kilroy Was Here” is a ball-drainer, and “Downward Spiral” by Nine Inch Nails speaks for itself – and the variety of songs on the average CD makes for a unpredictable romp in the sheets. Try any album by Tangerine Dream, or Dream Theater.
Different things work for different people. For me, it’s soundtracks. I’ve already mentioned Superman, but I call to your attention the outstanding sexual potential of such greats as the Indiana Jones theme, the “Imperial March” from Star Wars, and The Pirates of Penzance (do “Modern Major General,” I dare you). I have a personal fondness for The Nightmare Before Christmas, and I cannot recommend highly enough the soundtrack to the movie The Princess Bride, although I usually lose it during the sword fight theme.
After awhile you may find yourself thinking in terms of musical selection when you size up new dates. Would she prefer the gentle lovemaking of Edwin McCain’s “I’ll Be” or John Mayer’s “Your Body Is a Wonderland,” or does that hungry look in her eye call for a screaming “Bat Out of Hell” rodgering? Do you feel like doing Bon Jovi’s “It’s My Life” on that guy at the bar until he can’t remember his parent’s names? Are you in the mood to Ja Rule somebody tonight? You may even find yourself characterizing people by genres, and choosing your lover based on the Billboard charts. I know I’ve started judging new music for its lovemaking properties. When I first heard Norah Jones “Don’t Know Why” I knew immediately why she couldn’t come: her song was too damn slow. Stick in a big drum solo finish and she’d have popped one off, no problem.
Naturally, despite my exhaustive research, I’ve completely forgotten the ultimate sex song, but I’ll bet you’d be only too happy to show me the error of my ways. So tell me? Add your comments below and we’ll make a playlist. Remember, we’re looking specifically for cadence and rhythm, not emotional meaning or quality. Even if the song sucks and makes the average listener cringe and try to yank their own ears off in frantic self-defense (and here, of course, I’m thinking “Achy Breaky Heart”), as long as it has a catchy beat and you can hump to it, send it on.
I’ll just be sitting here with my headphones on, don’t mind me.
My thanks to the people who already tossed in ideas to augment my frozen-in-the-mid-80’s tastes, especially Rick and Dana.