We’ve put together a list of 51 of the world’s best sex songs. These are the ultimate songs about sex that have ever been made!
The right music can supercharge any sexual experience, set your skin on fire and connect your mind with your partner’s on a groundswell of synced synapses across parallel universes. The wrong song can stampede through the stratosphere, trampling the moment in its wake.
Whether your intentions are romantic or purely carnal, you’ll find a bit of magic here for any intimate occasion.
1. “Criminal” by Fiona Apple
This song and this list opens with Apple telling us how bad, bad of a girl she’s been. Rarely breaking eye contact with the camera, Apple slides her feral voice up and down across the melody as she rips off her socks like a week-old Band-Aid. With a messy beat that sounds slightly off in places and a sultry delivery of its delinquent lyrics, Apple knows exactly how to punish us with pleasure.
2. “Yours” by SG Lewis
Bringing the emotional to the electronic, SG Lewis sets the scene with a gentle patter of rain pierced by a soulful voice pitched seductively low. “Yours” is the physical embodiment of a dark, smoke-filled room barely lit around the edges with jagged red stabs of neon. The warm and woody piano frames the hollow percussive snap of the mallet snare like lightning striking a feather pillow. When the wobbling alligator synth explodes out of the song’s murky depths, you might find it feels good to be trapped in its jaws.
3. “Closer” by Nine Inch Nails
More than a vintage relic of a parallel steampunk universe, “Closer” is still an industrial sex machine with retractable claws. With X-rated lyrics and a relentless kick like a fluttering heartbeat, the track encourages listeners to decouple from their cortex and let their lizard brain out to play. Although Nine Inch Nails was built on a burning pyre of stubborn social resistance, this song makes us more than happy to comply.
4. “I Put a Spell on You” by Nina Simone
All about possession, both the ownership kind and the demonic kind, “I Put a Spell on You” offers unrequited lovers an alternative way to hang on to their other halves. With voodoo overtones and carefree scat breaks, this bluesy piano ballad soaks us in witchcraft and wishes. Under three minutes in length, however, we’d put a spell on this song to make it last longer.
5. “Redbone” by Childish Gambino
Gambino, Donald Glover’s alter ego, lays the falsetto on thick in this funky R&B jam spread with peanut butter lyrics and toasty whole wheat bass. Glover gets a lot done with minimalist instrumentation and a wah pedal that whines deep into our marrow. The longing lyrics will creep into your brain on the back of an earworm that will make you want to put the bone in “Redbone.”
6. “Earned It” by The Weeknd
This song gets brownie points in all the most sensual categories, from The Weeknd’s vocals, sparkling and gushing with sensuality, to the stop-and-go orchestral beat that makes us feel like the richest man in the world who’s missing only you. The sensual lighting and mood of the video earns it extra credit, featuring an undulating backdrop of bodies and bondage as the jaded rock star uses a scantily clad woman as a microphone.
7. “Thinkin Bout You” by Frank Ocean
Like the tornado it opens with, this tune is an emotional act of a higher power, a whirlwind that will pick you up and send you flying. There are no overtly sexual lyrics here, just a bleeding heart stream of consciousness that feels like a diary entry no one else was supposed to see. This is a song about love and the making of it, and we can’t help but fall in love with Frank’s falsetto.
8. “212” by Azealia Banks
If subtle isn’t your thing, hike up your volume and lick along to a banger by Azealia Banks. There’s nothing sophisticated or romantic about this anthem of cunning linguistics, so put your roses away and grab a fruit basket instead. The music video centers around a smorgasbord of close-up shots of Banks’ lips as she tells you what to do with yours. Like its saucy subject, the song builds to a rowdy, screaming, in-your-face climax that might leave you breathless.
9. “No Diggity” by Chet Faker
Chet Faker mixes Chet Baker’s dreary 50s jazz with Blackstreet’s leather-coated 90s R&B to create a seductive masterpiece. Layered over ambient street noise, Faker’s cracked vocals and gritty, decapitated instrumentation always lands milliseconds behind the kick to let us know that there’s neither diggity nor hurry. His organ notes ripple in time with the penetrating clicks of his wood scraper, and the lead vocal is so tangled in its beard of whispery reverb you could lose yourself in it.
10. “Sexual Healing” by Marvin Gaye
We could probably fill this list with songs by Marvin Gaye, but “Sexual Healing” is one of his sexiest. The music is fuller and groovier than many of his other hits, swaddling you in an entrancing rhythm that won’t let go until you’re completely healed. This is a softer, more tender Gaye than usual, which does nothing to detract from the raw, sweaty sexuality of his world-famous voice. If you like your intimacy restorative, don’t leave out this erotic Hippocratic Oath.
11. “Watch” by Arca and Shygirl
“Watch” is a honeycomb of vocal distortion buzzing with lyrics that don’t care about your misplaced modesty. We were hooked right from the percussive digital moans that open the song instead of regular kicks and snares. The beat sounds like robots eating each other alive, licking their android lips. This is a song for those of you who like your sex in chaos.
12. “Untitled (How Does It Feel)” by D’Angelo
There’s a reason soul singer D’Angelo’s sort of untitled ode to sexuality keeps showing up on lists of sensual songs. The vocals tiptoe just a split second behind the percussion, which makes us feel like a lazy afternoon of debauchery in the dappled sunlight. D’Angelo’s voice opens with a light chorus effect that pops like chewed bubblegum, and you can hear him smirking at the microphone as he croons some of the world’s sexiest lyrics. If you haven’t seen it, check out the music video. You won’t be disappointed.
13. “I’m on Fire” by Bruce Springsteen
For those of you who like a slow burn, this catchy 80s sex ballad will make you simmer. Watching the video, we weren’t sure whether Springsteen was singing to his girl or her car, since he spends the majority of his on-screen time inside the latter. Subject aside, you can hear the desperate longing in his sultry voice, trying to sound casual as he insists he’s burning to the ground. We are too.
14. “Montero (Call Me by Your Name)” by Lil’ Nas X
Back from the dusty country and trading in his horse to ride something else, Lil’ Nas X explodes with lust in this modern hookup anthem. Even if you never see the blasphemous music video featuring a sexy alien in the garden of Eden who turns into a pole-dancing demon, the raw energy of this dancehall gem will have you taking a bite out of your own personal forbidden fruit.
15. “Love To Love You Baby” by Donna Summer
Originally a devoutly religious church singer, Donna Summer was probably more surprised than anyone when she became a 70s sex symbol. The song’s airy beat matches thrust for thrust with Summer’s angelic lead vocals, but her backing vocals were what ended up making history. Producer Giorgio Moroder encouraged her to lay down an alarmingly sexy backup vocal track and, while the Queen of Love initially pushed back, the steamy wall of sounds she ended up spawning landed this song firmly amongst the sexiest of all time.
16. “Love Is a B**ch” by Two Feet
Perfect for two people in a dark room relying only on their sense of touch, Two Feet strips down the music at the beginning of the track. The whispery, nearly solo vocals are punctuated with a lone guitar slap that ripples with longing. When the song finally explodes into clinging lead guitar and rumbling bass, it will make you want to rumble as well.
17. “Pull Up to the Bumper” by Grace Jones
Even though androgynous disco queen Grace Jones later insisted that “Pull Up to the Bumper” wasn’t written about sex, sorry, but we still have our doubts. To give her the benefit of them, however, we guess it’s possible she wanted to use actual mechanical grease to lubricate an actual long, black limousine as it pulled up to her bumper.
18. “I Want Your Sex” by George Michael
Like an 80s Justin Timberlake, George Michael took a leap of faith in leaving his comfortable boy band and landed squarely in the middle of sex symbol status. As you might imagine from the title, “I Want Your Sex” is full of explicit lyrics that probably raised a lot of eyebrows in its time, as well as a few other things. Even today, this song still gets us in a funky and nostalgically sexy mood full of musky man scents and flashy 80s vibes.
19. “Lollipop” by Lil Wayne
This mix of rap, rock and videogame music smears just the right amount of grime over your ears to make you want more. Wayne’s voice sounds like a chocolate bar in the gutter: filthy and brash to fit the unapologetic lyrics, with just a touch of Autotune candy. The sticky beat drips with warmth and honey, smoother than the titular lollipop and with enough sugar to give you a heart attack.
20. “If We Were Vampires” by Jason Isbell
A song for long kisses and yearning eye contact, “If We Were Vampires” turns the genre on its head. These aren’t the hardcore vampires, splashing with blood and gore, that you might think. These are gentle guitar-plucking vampires with subtle country harmonies crafted more for an evening of romance than of hair-raising horror, but it might still have you up till twilight.
21. “Wicked Games” by Chris Isaak
Who said the 90s weren’t sexy? Chris Isaak’s unholy hit leaks with lust from the opening guitar riff. It bends its forlorn notes first hauntingly down then suggestively back up and down again, like the rollercoaster romance of the titular co-dependent relationship. This song is equal parts raunchy and romantic, getting us dreaming of those significant souls that make you feel you must either stay far away or never ever leave.
22. “Do You Mind” by the xx
There’s something about this song’s smoky harmonies and rippling guitar riffs that makes love to our mind. The xx delivers a subtly slow nocturnal thumper that’s really only missing one more x. As the muted beat spills into your ears, you may notice the shy politeness of the reticent lyrics that almost leave you wondering whether the singer wants to jump you or take you home to meet her parents. If you’re a sucker for a soft touch, you won’t mind this one at all.
23. “Climax” by Usher
From the opening sample, which is actually a vinyl record slipping but sounds more like a zipper unzipping, to the sparse chorus groove that could melt a candle, “Climax” begs to be heard horizontally. Usher wrote this song with the intention of making the stadium feel like a strip club. He nails it so hard that it’s thoroughly capable of bringing the strip club anywhere it’s played, be that your bedroom, kitchen, living room, porch or even the backseat of your car.
24. “Oh Yeah” by Yello
Ferris Bueller’s love letter to truancy might seem like an unlikely source for one of the best sex songs of all time. The impossibly deep lead voice, bass like a sex marathon, soaring synths and whispered backup vocals prove that sometimes irony really can be sexy. Before you put this song on, we recommend making sure your partner has a sense of humor. While the song punches above its weight in raw carnality, we also recommend just playing the audio without the music video in the background.
25. “I Just Wanna Make Love To You” by Etta James
This sassy, swinging number by 60s superstar Etta James will make you want to hop on and swing right along with it. Her vocals jump from raspy and jarring to satin smooth, like a crocodile eating a kitten. James was known for her brutally honest lyrics, and this song is no exception. Chock full of housekeeping and foodie metaphors that seem mild today, it may not make you blush like it would have your parents, but it’s still up for a rollicking good time.
26. “Nothing’s Gonna Hurt You Baby” by Cigarettes After Sex
When you’re not in the mood to rush things, this song’s slow bass, subtle guitar strumming and ambient pipe organ notes will encourage you to take your time. More ear erotica than ear p*rn, it oozes a romantic vibe perfect for an afternoon of cuddling with your significant other as the rain drizzles against the foggy windowpane.
27. “Let Me In” by Moodymann
Come for the casual sexual banter between the female lead and male backup vocals; stay for the naked beat interspersed with echoing guitar riffs and delayed vocals that ricochet through the walls of your mind. If you listen closely, you can hear the backdrop of tender vocal murmurs, à la Donna Summer, as the lead vocal holds her wavering note for just a second too long to make sure you know she’s serious about letting her in.
28. “Pony” by Ginuwine
Even though Ginuwine’s “Pony” has been soulfully slow jamming through living rooms since the 90s, it was Magic Mike who made it reappear on the 21st century sex scene. The iconic rasp of the halting vocalized synth can’t help but get you in the mood. The lyrics might be too instructional for some, but others will love being told what to do. Whether you want to put on a show for your partner, Channing Tatum style, or skip the business and get straight down to pleasure, this song can pony up the goods.
29. “What’s Your Pleasure?” by Jessie Ware
If you like your sexy songs quivering with breathy vocals saying explicit things, Jessie Ware knows exactly how to give you what you want. “What’s Your Pleasure?” is a wave of neon synths and roller-skating beats that brought disco crashing back down on a 2020 shore, and Ware’s purring voice makes a good argument for wishful doing over wishful thinking.
30. “Video Phone” by Beyoncé
If you´ve ever thought about making an explicit video with your partner, this song might just push you over the top. Beyoncé’s bold vocals merge perfectly with her ballsy lyrics daring you to whip out your phone and press record. The booming kick pairs just right with the finger-snap snare and the glistening hi hats to forge a beat made for just one thing. Beyoncé knows exactly what she wants, and she’ll make you want it too.
31. “White Tee” by Summer Walker
It might seem odd for one of our all-time sexy songs to open with a plea from the guest singer to not get him dirty, but the vocal fry and sultry, half-spoken verses suggest the lyrics might have facetious intentions. The crackling snare will make you want to pound to its rhythm, and the overtly sensual backup chorus may just convince you that actions speak louder than words.
32. “In the Morning” by Zhu
There’s just something we love about the contrast between a lead vocal with the pitch tuned a bit down and backup harmonies that gasp suggestively. The warm, gooey liquid music rides Zhu’s trademark muffled beat like a halfpipe, enveloping your ears and sinking into your skin. If you’re a fan of a good sunrise session, what they call in Spanish “un mañanero,” you won’t be able to resist bouncing along to the unstoppable energy in the kick.
33. “You the One Fish in the Sea” by Liv.e
Classic lo-fi in a pressure cooker, “You the One Fish in the Sea” is a synchronized school of discordant R&B notes forging through an underwater jungle of ghostly backup voices. There’s nothing sexier than a bit of vinyl distortion on the dragging hiss of a closed hi hat, and the overall effect feels like running through melted chocolate.
34. “TKN” by Rosalía and Travis Scott
Rosalía helped produce this superpowered mutant child of reggaeton and flamenco parents. Her sexy, crooning vocals, sounding like someone who always gets what she wants and knows it, pair salaciously with Scott’s lightly autotuned baritone. He leans hard into the Spanish, backing up her bilingual chorus vocals with his own a couple of octaves lower and even rapping a few choice Latino words.
35. “Tear You Apart” by She Wants Revenge
There’s something infectiously sexual about the lead singer’s fragile baritone treatment of his dangerously obsessive lyrics. This is a schoolyard song about the first crush of a couple of young lovers, but it has the sexual energy of a horror movie. The harbinger bass rumbles deep in your throat as a hypnotic chain of power chords wraps around your wrists and drags you to the bottom of the ocean.
36. “First” by SoMo
SoMo’s lonely, wistful piano notes punctuate a trap beat that’s just the right speed for grinding, and the layered background synths croon along like a voyeuristic R&B choir. The music video built around the singer’s abs reminds us of D’Angelo’s untitled number elsewhere on this list. His tanned torso emerging from dark water is a nice extra touch, as is the skin sliding across skin when the singer acts out his lyrics with his on-screen partner.
37. “Miss You” by the Rolling Stones
Whether or not you think Mick Jagger still sweats sexuality from his pores, I think we can all agree that he did in this song. Mick’s moaning pairs handsomely with Keith’s funky guitar riffs and Bill’s rolling bass. Released when the Rolling Stones were still on a roll, “Miss You” grooves with craving that you can see in the whole band’s faces as they stare into each other’s eyes to croon the wordless chorus.
38. “Even if It Hurts” by Tei Shi and Blood Orange
This mesmerizing musing on love and hurt is soaked in reverb and emotional pain. The fairy vocals and melancholic melody make a simmering soundtrack for any daydreaming duo.
39. “Je T’Aime Moi Non Plus” by Serge Gainsbourg
You may not remember this song’s name, but I bet you remember its breathy literal climax. The catchy organ licks slide smoothly into the rude bassline as the singing duo ignores them both and gets down to business with the microphone still recording. Rumor has it that, unlike Donna Summer’s, this song’s, shall-we-say “backup vocals”, were the real deal. Whether or not that’s true, it didn’t stop the song from getting banned in Britain in the 70s when it was shall-we-say released.
40. “Use Me” by Bill Withers
Although Bill Withers usually stuck to making inspirational songs like “Lean On Me” and “Lovely Day,” this track showed that he could lean into his sensual side any day of the week. A balancing act between jaunty and jagged, “Use Me” tells a familiar story of a man unable to back out of a toxic relationship because the swell parts were too swell, inadvertently indicating that sometimes using each other doesn’t have to be all bad.
41. “Straight To Number One” by Touch and Go
If you like it slow, the soft-spoken voice and mellow bongo-based beat that open this song will drag your eardrums through molasses. The chorus blossoms into twinkling piano notes over a metallic melody of feathery hi hats. It’s a perfect frame to a romantic evening that starts with roses and slow dancing and ends in even slower dancing. When the sax finally kicks in furiously at the end, its stumbling, growling paroxysms swell to a screeching sensual climax that would make Kenny G blush.
42. “WAP” by Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion
Even the mild YouTube version that chants “wet and gushy” and blanks out practically every third word would still belong on our list of sexiest songs. The original version leaves nothing to the imagination, with history’s most explicit acronym and verses that hit harder than their lyrics demand you to. There’s no romance in this one, only empowered horsepower and raw, animalistic cardio.
43. “Sexy MF” by Prince
Prince might be the only artist in history who could pull off rapping the cringe meta-superlative “mostest” in a song intended to be sexy. His swagger manages to make us look past the schoolhouse rhymes, and the rest of the song sizzles with heat. If you listen closely, you can hear the bass frolicking in the background just behind the roaring horn sections. If you surrender to it, it’ll make you want to frolic and roar along.
44. “Shallow” by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper
It’s a rare acoustic guitar-driven ballad with roots firmly in country music that has the provocative chops to appear on a list of songs for sex, but Gaga and Cooper dive into the deep end and manage to pull it off. While the beat won’t knock your socks off, the sheer passion in their intertwined vocals is hot enough to melt any speaker it comes out of.
45. “Physical” by Dua Lipa
Another clash of colors and sweaty synths bringing disco back, “Physical” makes us want to dance like Jane Fonda wearing a headband and nothing else. Dua Lipa’s sweltering voice finishes every sentence in that sexy vocal growl that puts one thing on our mind, and it isn’t spiritual. If you’re in the mood to do it like they did in the 80s, this one will get your pulse pumping.
46. “Bon Appetit” by Katy Perry and Migos
Another slice of sexy edible innuendo, this dance number comes with a driving a beat behind an infectious hook, and we’re the fish. Perry bastes us in flour, oil and double entendre with raunchy lyrics and a slippery voice that sounds like finger food for the ears. From the opening sugary squirt of the music video’s title scene to the thousand hands kneading and prepping Perry’s body, “Bon Appetit” makes us hungry, but not for food.
47. “Weak” by Flo Milli
At heart, “Weak” is an internal debate on the drawbacks and benefits of Milli’s various friends with benefits. All strength and sexual independence, Milli lets us know her opinion on which is actually the weaker sex. If you like the idea that everything is about sex except for sex, which is about power, this song brings it vividly to life. It’s a freewheeling romp through sexual selection dynamics layered over a bubbly beat that will make you make it rain.
48. “Good for You” by Selena Gomez and A$AP Rocky
Selena Gomez ventures into R&B territory with a tune that starts off restrained and chaste before bursting into our ear canals like a marshmallow explosion with a voluptuous vibe. For a song about dressing up to look good for your partner, we’re not sure whether any of those carefully selected clothes will remain in place by the time it ends.
49. “The Great Gig in the Sky” by Pink Floyd
Pink Floyd’s slow-building masterpiece shows that you don’t always need to use words to speak volumes. The lead singer’s raspy lyric-less screams bristle with lascivious energy over a triumphant backing track, making a convincing argument that even progressive rock can smolder.
50. “LOVE” by Kendrick Lamar and Zacari
“LOVE,” in attention-starved caps, hooked us from the first few seconds. It opens with a grungy kick and a sub bass that slides counterintuitively up followed by a low lead voice with just the right amount of distortion. It’s rare for a rap song to be both deeply sexual and cheesy romantic, but there are plenty of nights where it will fit the menu perfectly.
51. “High for This” by The Weeknd
Oozing with debauchery, the last song on our list features The Weeknd’s signature voice layered over hi hats that hiss like rattlesnakes. The sidechained synth sounds like a motorcycle revving with purpose, anticipating and building up to each beat. From the opening warble of the monotone sine wave, licking one ear then the other, to the first few kicks pillowed in a bed of reverb, “High for This” establishes itself firmly as our final favorite sex song.
As the Head Editor at Music Grotto, Liam edits content produced from over 30 professional music/media journalists and contributing writers. He works closely with journalists and other staff to format and publish music content for the Music Grotto website. Liam is also the founding member of Music Grotto and is passionate in disseminating editorial content to its readers.