THE 50 SEXIEST SONGS: BY MARVIN GAYE, THE XX, FRANK OCEAN AND MORE

The 50 sexiest songs: By Marvin Gaye, the xx, Frank Ocean and more

Let our sexiest-songs playlist take you by the hand, whisper sweet nothings in your ear and lead you all the way to the bedroom. Yeah, baby!

Music may very well be the food of love, but it’s also—more deliciously—the food of loving. Because we know our readers have an appetite like no other, we present to you the connoisseur’s playlist. From the hottest turn-ons to the sweetest soundtracks, these are the 50 sexiest songs on the planet, according to us.

To be clear: These aren’t necessarily songs about the act of love (though many of them are pretty detailed); rather, they’re songs to do it to. Hence, W.A.S.P.’s “Animal (Fuck Like a Beast)” does not qualify, but the White Stripes’ metaphor-happy “Ball and Biscuit” does. For those sorts of songs, head to our grubby Best oral sex songs list.

A note on our list’s running order: While the top ten songs are, in our opinion, the ten most outrageously sizzing songs ever recorded, the runners-up are ordered—sensitively—for your listening pleasure. We want you to be able to enjoy your Spotify playlist with as few awkward, fumbling moments as possible. Now let us begin!

50–41

40–31

30–21

MORE

50–41

"Let’s Get It On" by Marvin Gaye

“Let’s Get It On” by Marvin Gaye

Not many artists could have claimed as many potential positions on this list as Marvin Gaye, who made a steady sideline in ministering sexual healing. But arguably, this indelible 1973 started the ball rolling, turning a page from the social consciousness of “What’s Going On” to more carnal concerns. Fact: There is no sexier guitar lick in existence than the one that starts this tune.—Steve Smith

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Watch the video for “Let’s Get It On” by Marvin Gaye

"Thinkin Bout You" by Frank Ocean

“Thinkin Bout You” by Frank Ocean

There’s little direct allusion to sex in this minimal Frank Ocean masterwork, perhaps the highlight of this year’s widely swooned-overChannel Orange. But that lighters-in-the-air falsetto in the chorus and the brief stunner of a bridge—”You know you were my first time / A new feel”—make this a boudoir ballad for the ages. What’s a bigger turn-on, after all, than knowing you’ve been on your lover’s mind?—Hank Shteamer

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Watch the video for “Thinkin Bout You” by Frank Ocean

"La Femme d’Argent" by Air

“La Femme d’Argent” by Air

From Zero 7 to Massive Attack, electronic musicians are no strangers to the power of lush dreamscapes. But none have used them to as sensual effect as Air, especially on this eternal sex jam, from the French duo’s 14-year old space-pop debut, Moon Safari. Languorous, smooth and breathless—this is easy listening made precisely for staying in bed all day.—Marley Lynch

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Watch the video for “La Femme d’Argent” by Air

"Justify My Love" by Madonna

“Justify My Love” by Madonna

Funny, isn’t it, how Madonna’s “Erotica” was everything but erotic, yet “Justify My Love” is so sexy, it could make you blush if it came on your iPod on the train. Such is the mystery of Madonna, and we won’t question it—merely take time to enjoy that insistent drum loop, the tentative string arrangements (the musical equivalent of a wandering hand), and whatever was really going on between Madonna and guest vocalist Lenny Kravitz at the time. Oh, and one more word: video.—Sophie Harris

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Watch the video for “Justify My Love” by Madonna

"Ooh La La" by Goldfrapp

“Ooh La La” by Goldfrapp

Sometimes you just want to get it on without all the responsibilities and romance that come with a relationship. At least, that’s what Alison Goldfrapp wants in her sultry disco-dance number; all poetic lovemaking aside, the commanding songstress coos poutily, “I don’t want it Baudelaire, just glitter lust.” And that, ladies and gents, is what booty calls are for.—Marley Lynch

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Watch the video for “Ooh La La” by Goldfrapp

"I Touch Myself" by Divinyls

“I Touch Myself” by Divinyls

Subtle as a flying hammer, this 1991 left-field hit made a one-hit wonder of Australian postpunk band Divinyls, assisted by Christina Amphlett’s grainy come-hither mewl. A kind of sex-positive feminist manifesto? Perhaps, but let’s face it, the bountiful cleavage Amphlett shared with the world in the song’s video surely inspired plenty of men to take her message in hand…er, to heart.—Steve Smith

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Watch the video for “I Touch Myself” by Divinyls

"Relax" by Frankie Goes to Hollywood

“Relax” by Frankie Goes to Hollywood

Would the BBC in Britain never learn that banning a song would merely guarantee its success? When cheesy disc jockey Mike Read realized what “Relax” was about, midway through playing the song in 1984—it must’ve been all the squelching and thudding, or perhaps the chorus, “Relax, don’t do it, when you wanna come”—he took the needle right off the record. The Beeb banned the song, which then became the fourth-biggest-selling single in British history.—Sophie Harris

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Watch the video for “Relax” by Frankie Goes to Hollywood

"Worked Up So Sexual" by The Faint

“Worked Up So Sexual” by The Faint

On its second album, Blank-Wave Arcade, the Omaha electropunk band tackled sex on a number of songs—“Sex Is Personal,” “Casual Sex,” etc. But this track is by far the most arousing, with a frenetic, synth-driven beat that all but encourages you to bump and grind with the person next to you on the dance floor. —Amy Plitt

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Watch the video for “Worked Up So Sexual” by The Faint

"Sledgehammer" by Peter Gabriel

“Sledgehammer” by Peter Gabriel

You could hardly be blamed for missing the sexual urge in this 1986 hit on the first go-round. English cult singer Peter Gabriel wasn’t known for libidinous content; here, a wonky song was abetted by a groundbreakingly loopy animated video. Still, the spermatozoa that introduce the video are a distinct clue; listen as Gabriel sings about bumper cars and pollination, and all becomes clear.—Steve Smith

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Watch the video for “Sledgehammer” by Peter Gabriel

"Soft as Snow (But Warm Inside)" by My Bloody Valentine

“Soft as Snow (But Warm Inside)” by My Bloody Valentine

Indie kids need sexy songs too—as proved by this track from shoegaze forefathers My Bloody Valentine, on the band’s seminal (sorry) 1988 album, Isn’t Anything. “Soft as snow but warm inside, penetrate then we divide…” All in the name of art, naturally.—Sophie Harris

 Download on iTunes    Download the MP3 on Amazon

Watch the video for “Soft as Snow (But Warm Inside)” by My Bloody Valentine

Listen to Time Out’s 50 sexiest songs playlist on Spotify

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