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Still from FKA twigs’ ‘Papi Pacify’
Still from FKA twigs’ ‘Papi Pacify’via

Songs about sex that are better than the real thing

Didn’t get laid this Valentine’s day? Listen to these NSFW bedroom jams instead, from FKA twigs to Peaches

How did you spend this Valentine’s Day? Having mind-blowing sex with your significant other/a random person? Or watching RuPaul’s Drag Race re-runs with a 12-inch takeaway pizza? While you might expect that a lot of people would be getting up to the former, it turns out that only one fifth of British couples will have got between the sheets on V Day, with their single counterparts not doing too much better. With that in mind, to celebrate a nation under the grips of involuntary celibacy (or voluntary, if you’re these people), here’s a definitive rundown of all the best sex jams that you can listen to instead of the actual deed itself. Or, if your very existence results in hot sex around every corner, then you can treat these tracks as a kind of foreplay playlist. 


Peaches’ pumped-up 2000 sex anthem “Fuck the Pain Away” might seem like the immediate go-to, but it’s her winking bedroom jam “AA XXX” (which is also from The Teaches of Peaches) that deserves some serious recognition. In it, the electroclash icon speak-raps over a stripped-back, grinding beat that sounds brilliantly similar to the rhythmic thwack of mattress springs. “I like the innocent type, deer in the headlight, rocking me all night, doing it right, keeping me tight, taking a bite out of the peach tonight,” she drawls lazily, her voice sounding like she’s letting you in on a secret, with a glass of wine in her hand and one eyebrow cocked.


Part of Kehlani’s appeal is her totally uncensored, self-possessed take on sexuality, a take she directs towards all genders. In her slinky, supercharged sex ode “First Position” (below) she “holds it down for the gay girls”, singing the blush-inducing lyrics, “I start off slow so you feel secure / just let me know where you feel it more / If your breath gets quick that’s normal / If my hands move slick, that’s normal.” She’s never been afraid of who she is, and her inner confidence is contagious. “The girl that needs me is the outspoken, awkward tomboy,” she told The Fader. “She looks hard, but she’s very soft. She’s misinterpreted, coming into herself, openly growing.” 


“It’s not necessarily about sex,” Grace Jones has explained about her iconic 1981 club anthem “Pull up to the Bumper”, casually adding: “I kind of like the doggy position myself, but that doesn’t mean it’s going up my arse.” Although, of course, the lyrics are hardly innocuous, which is why we love the track so much. “Pull up to my bumper, baby / In your long black limousine / Pull up to my bumper, baby / Drive it in between” she growls in deep lilting tones over dub-disco grooves. “Grease it / Spray it / Let me lubricate it.” Who knows, maybe it really is just about the proper way to park a car...


If you hadn’t guessed already, sex with Rihanna is amazing, and we know because she told us herself in “Sex With Me” (below), the X-rated deep cut off her latest album ANTI. “It’s always wet, a bitch never ever had to use lip gloss on it / Imma need you deeper than six, it’s not a coffin,” she sing-slurs over a laidback, slow-mo beat with lyrics that would make a prude gasp in shock. “We’re not making love, tryna get nasty / Wrap up your drugs, come and make me happy.” Whoever is too busy with their drugs to have sex with Rihanna needs to rethink their priorities.


On “OICU” (below), two of this generation’s freshest voices team up for this super-chill and sleazy sex jam, merging stripped-back, spidery production from P Morris over Auto-Tuned, heavy-lidded vocals. “You looking at me lusty now, I wanna see you bare / don’t stop until we’re taking off underwear,” raps New York rapper Le1f in tones suggesting a whispered come-on at a party, before Kelela glides in like future R&B’s reincarnation of Janet Jackson, singing: “Get in the car, I’m taking you home, clothes are coming off, taking drinks to the dome.” The seductive, club-ready R&B collab never made it onto any of Kelela’s mixtapes, but we’ve had it on repeat ever since regardless.


From the moment FKA twigs slinked onto the scene, she has positively emanated and owned her sexuality, and nowhere is this more ice-clear than in “Two Weeks” (below). “Feel your body closing, I can rip it open / suck me up I’m healing for the shit your dealing / smoke on the skin to get those pretty eyes rolling,” she sings in a breathy falsetto before the real kicker, “My thighs are apart for when you’re ready to breathe in.” As ever, twigs plays with being submissive, but dominant in her delivery, the perfect subversion of sexual politics, as if she is saying, You can control me, but only when I tell you to.


Songs about sex don’t always have to be steamy slow jams or raunchy club hits, as this chaotic slice of distortion-filled guitar noise from shoegaze greats My Bloody Valentine proves. “Change my mouth, here with your tongue, your body soft, over there where you're laying down,” sings frontman Kevin Sheilds in his distinctive syrupy tones, which are buried underneath swathes of textural sound. Their blatant eroticism is typically hard to pin down, as Mark Richardson explained in Pitchfork: “My Bloody Valentine offered a new expression of androgynous sensuality in pop, crafting deeply sexual but also abstracted music, short on specifics but heavy with feeling.”


Granted, Miguel can be cheesy, but he doesn’t seem to care and he makes no attempt to hold back. On his drugged-out, glistening pop gem “Flesh” (below), he offers a raw, blood-red ode to skin-on-skin action. “Skin on you is always, calling me with your face / Wrap yourself around me, do whatever I say / Kiss me like a cream pie, sweet, sweet control,” he sings with his glimmering, Prince-style falsetto, before the song explodes into a distortion-filled wall of lush, silky-smooth harmonies.


Hip hop queen Missy Elliott has always promoted autonomy within female sexuality in her music, championing her own body as well as encouraging other women to do the same. Nowhere is this more evident than in “Work It” (below) where she literally raps, “Go downtown and eat it like a vulture.” She also uses the same track to defend strippers and sex work, rapping: “Girl, girl, get that cash / If it’s 9 to 5 or shakin’ your ass / Ain’t no shame, ladies do your thing / Just make sure you ahead of the game.” Read our piece on how Missy Elliott’s feminist legacy is criminally underrated here.


To be fair, around 75 per cent of Jeremih’s music could be on this list, because – in the style of our most timeless R&B stars – he sings about sex a lot. But on this track he turns up the heat, singing: “FaceTime when I’m gone, she gives me dome from a distance, and she loves to climb on top, because she loves to walk off limping.” Sure, they might not be the most “seductive” lyrics of all his super-charged bedroom jams, but different tracks for different moods, am I right?