From The Straits Times    |

Photo from Everett Collection: Ghost (1990) Unchained Melody is synonymous with this pottery-turned-foreplay scene. 

Other than a memorable make-out session to The Weeknd’s first album, music hasn’t had a major presence in my steamy encounters. Perhaps I should have given it more airtime. After all, getting it on to a set playlist gets a lot of good hype. The problem is – where do I even start? And what songs do I put on my playlist to make magic happen? 

The first thing you need to know is – making a great playlist to do the deed to does not equal a random cobbling together of songs you like. A lot of thought needs to go into making sure the music makes a good time even better. “Before you even make a playlist, think about what your aim is,” says DJ and producer Tinc. Certain songs are more stimulating and can make us feel more connected to our bodies while making movements more sensual

Use your playlist to create the vibe. Say you’re on a beach holiday and want fun and playful vibes. Singer-songwriter Linying says songs that hit no more than 100 beats per minute (bpm) are your jam. We hear this tempo has a rep for being one of the sexiest, namely because it mimics the rhythm of hip movements during sex. We’re talking songs like The Weeknd’s I Feel it Coming and Fifth Harmony’s Worth It. If you’re not sure how to calculate tempos, google. Plenty of sites (try let you key in a song title and generate a bpm. “But if you want an emotional and intense experience, go for songs that have significance to both of you. Think of tunes that take you back to moments that characterise your relationship, like the song you put on repeat while on a road trip,” she says. or pick stuff that features the soaring strains of the piano and violin if you want a more visceral experience, adds Roger Low, a film sound designer teaching at Singapore Polytechnic. “These instruments have a human element that electronica and house don’t have.”



Photo from TPG Images: Titanic (1997): Jack and Rose’s “I’m flying” scene wouldn’t be complete with the iconic My heart Will Go On theme. 

Which brings us to the next point – create your bedroom playlist together. After all, everyone responds differently to songs, and what gets you moving could well evoke unpleasant memories for him. Linying says: “Nothing is fail-safe. Even the best love song ever written could be what your significant other cried to during a break-up.” You don’t want him triggered midway during your hook-up

So far, so good. I put these theories to the test, roping in my partner to come up with a playlist together. Even though he prefers big ballads and I’m into dance music, we managed a compromise that included songs from Aerosmith and Sia (for him), and Ariana Grande and One Republic (for me). But here’s a major tip – don’t just hit shuffle. 

Photo from TPG Images: Romeo + Juliet (1996): Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes meet cute through a fish tank, to the strains of Des’ree’s Kissing You. 

In our case, things got off to a great start because I was really into the first two songs on the playlist. But then come a song that was a little more downbeat, and I immediately felt my mood drop. Listening to the entire soundtrack before getting down and dirty would help pinpoint the tunes that feel out of place, and minimise the buzzkill. 

So to answer the big question: I’d say music set the tone for a good time. It upped the feels and made things more fun. It’s also dependent on positions – if you’re the one taking charge, music helps you set the pace. 

So don’t go for a generic playlist in Spotify. Curate one. I’d say the payoff is worth it. 


This story was originally published in the August 2018 issue of Her World.