The 38 Best Songs About Sex

By Rob Tannenbaum

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As the film Reservoir Dogs begins, Mr. Brown (Quentin Tarantino) announces, “Let me tell you what ‘Like a Virgin’ is about.” The song’s narrator, he says, is a hussy whose man has an enormous rod, and when the two of them copulate, “it hurts just like it did the first time. Hence, ‘Like a Virgin.’?” Madonna later gave ­Tarantino a signed CD, on which she had written, “To Quentin—It’s about love, not dick.”

Lots of musicians have sung about venereal disease, even in the operetta Candide, which includes two songs on the topic. In this oddly cheerful ditty, the British group describes an unlucky tourist who returns from London with the pox. The word leaking creates a disturbing image; the BBC banned the song.

Did you think the song was about poison ivy? Hint: It’s about a girl named Ivy. If you mess around with her, she’ll “make you itch.”

A rapper takes a girl home soon after meeting her, brags to his friends and three days later, while “drip drip dripping,” howls in pain. It’s both explicit and comic and ends with an endorsement of condoms.

Prince has recorded dozens of great songs about sex, and it pains us not to include “Head,” about staining the gown of a bride on her way to the altar. But we’ll praise this Purple Rain track about a girl sitting “in a hotel lobby, masturbating with a magazine,” because it outraged Tipper Gore and caused her to form the Parents Music Resource Center after she found her 11-year-old daughter listening to it.

The title? It stands for “Let Me Lick Your Pussy,” and some of the lyrics are borrowed from Prince songs. In concert, the twisted cult act Ween often ended shows with a 30-minute version of this funk jam. It was the band’s “Stairway to Heaven.”

How could a fantasy about statutory rape make it to number one? The great guitar riff bounces like a braless prom queen and obscures the panting pronouncement “I always get it up for the touch of the younger kind.” Bluesmen have long sung about lusting for schoolgirls, but “My Sharona” is the only paean to underage sex to make it onto President George W. Bush’s iPod.

In this ecstatic tale of heavy petting and discontent, John Lennon pleads with his girl for…maybe a blow job, maybe a hand job, but release of some kind. Comically, this is the song that lit the flame of Beatlemania and set girls screaming and eager to please a ­Beatle, or even all four of them. (By the way, “I Saw Her Standing There” is basically about pedophilia. The Beatles: perverts?)

A chirpy New Wave track about a club girl pining for a vain guy who won’t take her home because he’s busy posing in the mirror. Horny and impatient, Basil resorts to a promise that’s also a taunt: “Anyway you want to do it/I’ll take it like a man.” Mickey’s chief interest, apparently, is not women.

Dancehall songs are way filthier than American hip-hop, if you understand the patois. Here, over a thrilling electronic beat, two Jamaican rappers bond over their massive egos: Spice brags about the tightness of her pussy, and Kartel counters, “Me cocky longer dan me Nike/Tell me wuh yuh like/Yuh waan me drive or yuh waan ride it like a bike?” Clever and oddly tender, it led Jamaica’s broadcasting commission to ban songs about sex.

The slow, sleazy R&B groove evokes Barry White, Hennessy and a water bed. But Biggie, the obese Brooklyn rapper, doesn’t have seduction on his mind. “I’m fuckin’ you tonight,” he announces plainly. This song would make a great play­list with Akon’s “I Wanna Fuck You,” Noreaga’s “I Wanna Fuck You,” N.W.A’s “I’d Rather Fuck You” and Beenie Man’s “I’m Gonna Fuck You.”

The narrator of this glorious R&B melodrama is an unhappy newlywed. On her wedding night she and her husband “stayed in separate rooms,” and she implores him to return “and love me like you tried before.” Tried? WTF? Maybe the bride had a case of vaginismus. (Look it up.) More likely the groom was incapable—Cialis didn’t exist in 1970.

There’s nothing subtle or mysterious about this one. It’s not about an ice cream truck.

A taunting, unsympathetic sneer from this female-fronted British quartet: “Is it something you lack/When I’m flat on my back?” Elastica’s great first album added endorsements of lube (“Vaseline”) and sex in and on top of automobiles (“Car Song”).

Beer isn’t always your friend, guys.

Seduction is sleazy, and so is Rod Stewart. In this bubble-bath ballad, Stewart plies a sexual novice with booze, guilt, pressure and metaphor (“Spread your wings and let me come inside”). The gist is this: “Just let me put the tip in.”

In this filthy Depression-era blues song, Bogan alternately brags about her skills (“I would fuck you, baby, honey, I would make you cry”) and tells her lover he has crabs in his ass. “I got somethin’ between my legs’ll make a dead man come,” she boasts, which likely inspired Mick Jagger’s similar lyric in “Start Me Up.”

Bryan Ferry has had one of the most enviable sex lives of any musician, but in this haunted dirge he imagines an inflatable doll is “the perfect companion.” He yearns to serve her, brings her to his mansion, changes her clothes every day, pledges eternal love—but like Dr. Frankenstein’s monster, she betrays him. “I blew up your body/But you blew my mind,” he sobs, and the track explodes into psychedelic torment. Doll and man can never mate.

The single-minded Kelly recorded songs with the titles “Bump n’ Grind,” “Freak Dat Body” and “I Like the Crotch on You” all on the same album. (“Feelin’ on Yo Booty” came later.) His R&B romps often have a streak of outrageous comedy, and his tallest tale, “In the Kitchen,” isn’t about Guy Fieri. Risking a grease fire, R. freaks his girl near the stove, “on the counter/By the buttered rolls.” He even shouts, “Girl, I’m ready to toss your salad.” Every healthy diet needs some roughage.

Jack Black is a master of the amorous science, and he offers this acoustic ballad as a tutorial to lesser men: Sometimes you have to woo your girl before you penetrate her. Don’t always fuck her hard, he says; occasionally you can fuck her gently. And after that courtliness? “And then I’m gonna love you completely/And then I’ll fuckin’ fuck you discreetly/And then I’ll fuckin’ bone you completely/But then I’m gonna fuck you hard.” Mrs. Jack Black is a lucky lady!

This Adult Video News Hall of Famer is unlikely to ever join the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but no gay-porn star has ever recorded a funnier or franker country song about butt-boning a straight guy.

Two girls have a sleepover that leads to explorations and gasping. Dad gets suspicious; the girls tell him nothing’s going on. They’re lying.


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