I started dating my long-distance boyfriend of a year partially because of his sense of humor, partially because of our similar tastes, partially because I thought he was cute, but really because he mailed me a completely excellent mix CD. Thirteen tracks counting in at around forty-four minutes wooed me so thoroughly I’ve spent hundreds of dollars over the past twelve months taking the Fung Wah back-and-forth from New York to visit him.
This isn’t to say we wouldn’t have started dating without his masterful song selection, but there’s no denying that music is a mighty powerful aphrodisiac. Whether you’re looking to move from friends to more-than, celebrate an anniversary, or just get it on with the super hottie who sits next to you in 18.02 recitation, music just might be able to say what hormones can’t.
For me, nothing says love like ’90s rock — maybe nostalgia is my key to happiness, but I’ll take Pavement’s Terror Twilight, Radiohead’s The Bends, and Elliott Smith’s Either/Or in bed over just about anything else. Other favorites are Built to Spill’s There’s Nothing Wrong With Love and Grizzly Bear’s 2006 masterpiece Yellow House.
But don’t just take this plaid-loving rockaholic’s advice. I anonymously e-mail polled various MIT students and asked for their takes on the best hooks for a hook-up. I got a range of replies, varying everywhere from Tool to Michael Buble. Responders stood strongly by their picks for best wooing devices, but I’ll let you make up your own minds as you sift through these advisory gems.
By far the most popular selection was Michael Buble, and although I personally wouldn’t touch him with a thirty-nine-and-a-half foot pole, responders seemed to like the slow and romantic “Dream a Little Dream of Me” and “Everything.” Other sappy but sweet songs recommended were Peter Cincotti’s “Sway,” “God Must Have Spent a Little More Time on You” by *NSync, Brian McKnight’s “Back at One,” and “All My Life” by K-Ci & JoJo. I’d say these are picks for all-encompassing, soul-oozing, picture-perfect romance.
For a more casual and relaxed encounter, many responders turned to good old fashioned acoustic guitar ballads. “Your Body Is a Wonderland” by John Mayer is an obvious college favorite, but I also got responses for “Wasting Time” by Jack Johnson (which the supporting student cited as “the ultimate casual sex song”) and “When She Believes” by Ben Harper.
If you’re looking for a classier approach to the goings-on between the sheets, take the advice of one Baker House resident, who provided the following recommendation: “It’s definitely old school slow songs … from artists like Barry White, Boyz II Men, Jodeci, Keith Sweat, The Isley Brothers or Luther Vandrass. That’s only if you’re into [the] slow and sensual.”
Of course, this is MIT, and we all come here with diverse backgrounds and interests. These diverse interests also lend to diverse mood music picks, and some of the least classifiable selections are some of the best that appear in this article. Said one sophomore, “Air. Enough said. More specifically, the album Moon Safari.” That’s one atmospheric pick I can thoroughly stand behind. A supporter of Morphine defended her selection by explaining that “saxophones are sexy.” A Senior House resident recommended Rocky Votolato’s “White Daisy Passing,” which made my playlist last fall as an excellent but unique acoustic folk number. I also received requests for Janis Joplin, Infected Mushroom, and Brand New.
One surprising mail-in recommended Tool’s “Hooker with a Penis,” but for a seemingly good reason. “If she doesn’t like this anti-consumerism ballad of hate, she’s just not my type,” said the Senior House resident behind the recommendation, who also recommended anything by Cake, citing them as a “no brainer.”
Remember, in the words of C.S.S., “music is my hot, hot sex” — just don’t play C.S.S., no matter what you do. Good luck and happy wooing!