The Ultimate Bedroom Playlist

Love, Self

Mood music isn't always love songs. Check your iTunes for these romantic songs.

Since that first school dance when, like a newborn colt, you staggered over to her side of the gym, you've understood that music keeps the rhythm of romance. Back then, you were sure she felt it, too—along with what seemed to be a roll of nickels in your pocket.

Now it's a roll of quarters, and your musical tastes have hanged, but whether you're trotting through a long-term relationship or riding a speed stallion of lust, music still gets things moving.

We all have songs that help set the tone before we walk out the door to face the world. It’s our theme music, whether we’re headed off to work or into a possibility-filled night.

For men, it’s usually something that puts us in a focused, purposeful headspace, like the music a ballplayer hears as he walks up to the plate. For women, it’s generally something poppy and full of fun.

Have you ever been at a party when "Blister in the Sun" by Violent Femmes comes on? Sweet Jesus, it's like you were air-dropped into a Sadie Hawkins dance, with all the girls pulled into a writhing cluster on the dance floor as if by some magnetic force.

Guys are just as bad, responding in kind to some equally mind-numbing songs, like Guns N' Roses' "Sweet Child of Mine." Don't get me wrong—I love Axl, with his hairspray and tight rattlesnake pants, as much as the next guy. But at the first note of that telltale opening riff, she'll inevitably go find her friends and head to the bathroom.

Some songs just won't get you any closer to each other. Others have a lot of promise in the abstract, but are tricky to wield effectively, and depend on timing. For instance, AC/DC's "You Shook Me All Night Long" has heat, but do you break it out after dinner and a hand-holding walk home? Unless you just ate corndogs and curly fries with a girl who wears an ankle bracelet and walks barefoot across parking lots to bum Marlboro Reds, the answer is no.

And ladies, when you've got him where you want him and his head is somewhere between your ankles and your brow, please refrain from putting on Gwen Stefani's "Hollaback Girl." Oh, he’ll still sleep with you—but you'll be buying your own breakfast.

Sure, everyone's got a unique "key" to achieving the good kind of sweaty, and some people's turn-ons are quirkier than others. But for most men and women, there's a small, magic universe of the right songs—in the right sequence— that can work like a bottle of tequila: They'll loosen inhibitions, bring emotions to the surface, and grease the wheels on the love train. (Without the jail time and nail-in-the-skull hangover.)

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