Sex playlists come in all different forms. Some are slow and sensual; others are more alluring, provocative, and at times, a little sinister. Luther Vandross, Marvin Gaye, and Sade are the epitome of boot-knocking tunes. FKA twigs and The Weeknd hold a modern day candle to them. While we all might not recognize a great sex song when we hear it, we all, for sure, know when we hear a song that’s terrible for it. Something about the tone, lyrics, or both, rub you the wrong way. You go from being turned on to being turned off, and your prospects of even getting any go from yay to nay. Just like there are a million songs perfect for getting down, there are a million songs that just aren’t. It’s not that they’re bad songs per se; they’re just bad songs to get it on to. Take note in the pages ahead.
J-Kwon - “Tipsy”
Most Mood-Killing Lyric: “Teen drinking is very bad. Yo, I got a fake ID, though!”
Instead, Listen to This Song When… you want to be transported back to awkward middle school dances where everyone tried to rap.
Nothing kills the mood quite like song about teen drinking and fake IDs…
Gary Jules - “Mad World”
Most Mood-Killing Lyric: “I find it kind of funny / I find it kind of sad / The dreams in which I’m dying at the best I’ve ever had."
Instead, Listen to This Song When… you're watching Donnie Darko.
It’s not that this song is bad, it’s just that this song is so sad. Who wants to make love to a song about no love?
Bright Eyes - “Lua”
Most Mood-Killing Lyric: “The love I sell you in the evening by the morning won’t exist.”
Instead, Listen to This Song When… it’s rainy, you’ve made yourself a cup of tea, and want to curl up in a blanket and read something like Kinfolk.
Bright Eyes is, actually, not that bad of an artist to get down to. One of the authors of this story may or may not have dated someone who exclusively played a playlist consisting of Joanna Newsom and Bright Eyes while they had sex. This song is a downer and a half. Speaking from personal experience, sexy time was always over when this song—a song about addiction, shallow love, and loneliness—started playing.
Creed - “With Arms Wide Open”
Most Mood-Killing Lyric: All of it. It’s a song about procreating and speaking to an unborn child.
Instead, Listen to This Song When… you want to be that guy at a party.
Imagine if Scott Stapp’s voice came blaring through your speakers during sex. Just imagine it.
Ying Yang Twins - “Pull My Hair"
Most Mood-Killing Lyric: The entire song.
Instead, Listen To This Song When… you really want to make your friends uncomfortable.
This song is so nasty, it’s kind of good. The Twins should be applauded for their dedication to transforming “Wait (The Whisper Song)” into something even filthier.
Vanessa Carlton - “A Thousand Miles"
Most Mood-Killing Lyric: "Making my way downtown / Walking fast / Faces pass / And I’m home bound."
Instead, Listen to This Song When… you want to reenact White Chicks.
It’s almost humanly impossible to not sing the opening lyrics of this song. Not the kind of thing you want to say during sex.
Chumbawumba - “Tubthumping (I Get Knocked Down)"
Most Mood-Killing Lyric: “Pissing the night away.”
Instead, Listen to This Song When… you’re at karaoke.
This song is not a sex song. It is a 2am, drunk karaoke song for you and your friends to scream to. The rhythm is not made for humping. It is made for jumping. Or tubthumping.
Evanescence - “My Immortal"
Most Mood-Killing Lyric: “These wounds won’t seem to heal / This pain is just too real / There’s just too much that time cannot erase.”
Instead, Listen to This Song When… you want to feel #feelings…like sad feelings.
Evanescence’s song “Going Under” has the dark allure and pounding beat that could take you on a wild, boot-knocking trip. “My Immortal,” however, does not. It brings tears. Moody, black-and-white tears.
Israel Kamakawiwoʻole - “Somewhere Over The Rainbow/What a Wonderful World"
Most Mood-Killing Lyric: “Someday, I wish upon a star / Wake up where the clouds are far behind me / Where troubles melt like lemon drops / High above the chimney top / That’s where you’ll find me.”
Instead, Listen To This Song When… you’re sipping a beach cocktail and daydreaming of warmer days.
This is a lovely song. Really. Lovely isn’t sexy, though. You want to see stars during sex, not wish upon one.
Sarah McLachlan - “Angel"
Most Mood-Killing Lyric: “In the arms of an angel…”
Instead, Listen to This Song When… you really, really want your day ruined.
For most of us, this song brings back memories of that SPCA commercial that shows sad animals. Who wants to imagine sad animals in the middle of coitus? Who?
Randy Newman - "You've Got A Friend In Me"
Most Mood-Killing Lyric: "When the road looks rough ahead / And you're miles and miles from your nice warm bed / You just remember what your old pal said / Boy you've got a friend in me."
Instead, Listen to This Song When… playing a montage of your favorite moments with your childhood best friend on an especially nostalgic evening.
Oftentimes, literal lyrics work. Other times, they don't.
Smashmouth - "All Star"
Most Mood-Killing Lyric: "So much to do, so much to see / So what's wrong with taking the back streets? / You'll never know if you don't go / You'll never shine if you don't glow."
Instead, Listen To This Song When… working out, or while doing any other physically exerting task.
If you're in need of a pep talk, try having one internally instead.
Black Eyed Peas - "Where Is The Love"
Most Mood-Killing Lyric: "If love and peace is so strong / Why are there pieces of love that don't belong / Nations droppin' bombs / Chemical gasses fillin' lungs of little ones / With the ongoin' sufferin' as the youth die young / So ask yourself is the lovin' really gone / So I can ask myself really what is goin' wrong."
Instead, Listen To This Song When… you're making an essential early-aughts playlist.
When a song is meant to have you thinking about the destruction of humankind, it's probably best to keep outside of the bedroom.
Rick Astley - "Never Gonna Give You Up"
Most Mood-Killing Lyric: "A full commitment's what I'm thinking of / You wouldn't get this from any other guy / I just wanna tell you how I'm feeling / Gotta make you understand."
Instead, Listen to This Song When… Rick-rolling someone.
When listening to this song, only one word comes to mind: stalker.
George Michael - "Father Figure"
Most Mood-Killing Lyric: "That's all I wanted / Something special, something sacred In your eyes / For just one moment / To be bold and naked / At your side."
Instead, Listen to This Song When… the time has come for you to be scarred for life.
Perhaps there's something connecting those named George Michael with incestual desires.
Shaggy - "It Wasn't Me"
Most Mood-Killing Lyric: "How you can grant the woman access to your villa / Trespasser and a witness while you cling to your pillow / You better watch your back before she turn into a killer."
Instead, Listen To This Song When… reliving the most shocking songs of your childhood.
If cheating doesn't set the mood, then we don't know what to tell you...
Aqua - "Barbie Girl"
Most Mood-Killing Lyric: "I'm a blonde bimbo girl, in a fantasy world / Dress me up, make it tight, I'm your dolly / You're my doll, rock 'n' roll, feel the glamor in pink / Kiss me here, touch me there, hanky panky."
Instead, Listen to This Song When… you finally find your old Sony Walkman.
"Barbie Girl" is satire of childhood sexualization at its best.
Ashlee Simpson - "La La"
Most Mood-Killing Lyric: "You can meet me on an airplane / Or in the back of the bus / You can throw me like a boomerang / I'll come back and beat you up."
Instead, Listen to This Song When… you're visiting your parents house and start trying on all of your old Hot Topic gear.
There are many other ways to make yourself, and your partner, scream.
LMFAO - "Shots"
Most Mood-Killing Lyric: "The ladies love us / When we pour shots / They need an excuse / To suck our c*cks."
Instead, Listen to This Song When… you find yourself in the middle of a frat party.
No. No. No. No. No. No.
Eric Clapton - "Tears In Heaven"
Most Mood-Killing Lyric: "Would you know my name / If I saw you in heaven? / Would it be the same / If I saw you in heaven?"
Instead, Listen to This Song When… mourning the loss of a loved one.
This song is beautiful, but depressing. Death and sex just don't mesh well.