What’s that one song that gets you in the mood more than any other? Ever wondered why?
In 2012, Spotify commissioned a study, helmed by music psychologist Dr. Daniel Mullensiefen of Goldsmiths University in London. Interviewing 2000 people, Dr. Mullensiefen examined the link between music and sexual arousal from a neuroscientific perspective.
The results were revealing: Almost half of respondents admitted that they were more turned on by certain songs than they were by the touch of their partner.
So why is music such an aphrodisiac? Turns out that the parts of the brain that are positively stimulated by drugs, food and sex itself are similarly impacted by music.
Researchers at McGill University conducted a brain-scanning experiment that monitored people while they listened to music that gave them goosebumps. The results showed that 15 minutes after listening to their favorite songs, people’s brains were flooded with dopamine.
It also comes down to the perception of pleasure. For example, the Dirty Dancing soundtrack ranked as the best bet for getting in the mood. But it’s not necessarily because the songs are particularly sexy, but rather they represent the promise of, well, dirty dancing. The mere recall of a sensual scene associated with a song, or the mental images that lyrics may conjure (not so subtle in the case of Marvin Gaye), can be enough to spark arousal.
Other songs that consistently ranked as the ultimate sensual mood music included Serge Gainsbourg's 'Je T'aime,' Ravel's 'Bolero' and Berlin's 'Take My Breath Away.' (Even maudlin can be sexy—Whitney Houston’s ‘I Will Always Love You’ and Celine Dion’s ‘My Heart Will Go On’ were also winners.)
We aren’t here to critique anyone’s music taste, but we have compiled a list of our own that we think will help set the mood: