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The 50 sexiest songs ever made

These sexy songs will take you by the hand, whisper sweet nothings in your ear and lead you straight to the bedroom

Sexy songs
Photograph: REX/Shutterstock
By Sophie Harris and Time Out contributors |

Looking for a playlist of sexy songs to set the mood? Well, we've ve got just the thing for you. These certified sex songs are just what the doctor ordered. As you know, music is the food of love, but it’s also—more deliciously—the food of loving. Here we present to you a connoisseur’s playlist of the sexiest songs. Whether you’re heading back from a night out at one of the most romantic bars in NYC or thinking about hitting up one of the city’s best hookup bars, these tunes will set the mood with silky R&B love songs and floor-shaking best house music jams. 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. Think of it like our playlist of the best party songs, but for a party of two.

Listen to the best sex songs playlist

Best sex songs ranked

Photograph: Tony Duran

“Video Phone” by Beyoncé

If you’ve ever dreamed of Lady B paying a visit to your chamber, switch on this I Am... Sasha Fierce single, in which the singer laces her firm come-ons with plentiful coital oohs and ahhs. Let them inspire your own chorus of moans.—Andrew Frisicano

Sexiest lyric: “You saying that you want B? / So press record and let you film me”

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“Lady Marmalade” by Labelle

Few songs have thrown a spotlight on streetwalking the way this chart-topping 1974 smash did…and none made you want to get down (or learn to speak French) more. Cover versions have proliferated, but only Patti, Sarah and Nona deliver the real goods. All together now: "Voulez-vous coucher avec moi ce soir?"—Steve Smith

Sexiest lyric: “She said "hello / Hey Joe, you wanna give it a go?"

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Photograph: Rob Sheridan

“Closer” by Nine Inch Nails

You might remember it as a vintage-industrial keepsake, but Trent Reznor's 1994 hit is actually an X-rated funk masterpiece in disguise. That infamous "I want to fuck you like an animal" chorus flies only because the beat underneath it—famously simulated by a pumping heart in the video—feels so stubbornly sensual.—Hank Shteamer

Sexiest lyric: “I want to feel you from the inside”

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“Do Right Woman, Do Right Man” by Aretha Franklin

Has the Queen of Soul ever sounded more desirable than when she opens this ballad with the eternal couplet, "Take me to heart / And I'll always love you." Over the kind of slow-burn groove that has inspired bedroom moves for decades, Aretha sings of intense desire…but don't you dare forget to respect her while you work your moves.—Steve Smith

Sexiest lyric: “Take me to heart / And I'll always love you”

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Donna Summer
Photograph: Courtesy WME Entertainment

“Love to Love You Baby” by Donna Summer

When Eurodisco pioneer Giorgio Moroder famously asked Donna Summer to simulate throes of ecstasy for this trendsetting 1975 slab of taboo, the devoutly churchy singer initially demurred, then faked an estimated 22 orgasms for the track, inspiring millions to follow her lead. Time promptly dubbed her "the Queen of Love"; nowadays, we'd surely be less discreet.—Steve Smith

Sexiest lyric: “Do it to me again and again”

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Sade photograph

“The Sweetest Taboo” by Sade

In her 1984 hit "The Sweetest Taboo," Sade innocently sings, "Sometimes I think you're just too good for me / Every day is Christmas, and every night is New Year's Eve." Sade, just give it up. We all know what "New Year's" in this scenario entails. Between the English songstress's sultry voice and the sexy, Spanish-influenced melody, "The Sweetest Taboo" is a serious no-brainer when it comes to having a heart-thumping, sizzling-hot time.—Rachel Sonis

Sexiest lyric: “There's a quiet storm / And it never felt this hot before”

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Photograph: Courtesy of OMG Tour

“Climax” by Usher

One thing you can count on with Usher is consistency: Two decades into his career, the slick singer is still releasing songs as titillating as, say, “Bad Girl.” “Climax” dropped on Valentine’s Day 2012, and it's as surefire a soundtrack for horizontal listening as his previous hits; according to Diplo, Usher proposed the idea of "tak[ing] the strip club to the stadium" with its production. And with that dead-sexy falsetto and wax-melting grooves, you can hear it.—Marley Lynch

Sexiest lyric: “Love is the cloud / That keeps raining down”

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Azealia Banks
Photograph: AB Rankin

“212” by Azealia Banks

People say that the modern era lacks subtlety, and to an extent they’re right. But what Harlem rapper Azealia Banks’s filthy anthem lacks in sophistication, it more than makes up for in out-and-out joy. While Banks starts out suggesting you lick her plum in the evening, the song builds to its climax, with the MC declaring, “I guess that cunt gettin’ eaten!”—Sophie Harris

Sexiest lyric: “Now she wanna lick my plum in the evenin'”

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“I Just Wanna Make Love to You” by Etta James

Issued on her 1961 debut album, At Last!, Etta James’s impossibly honest blues tune revealed a lot about her spirit: swinging, slinky and sassy. It also showed that she was a woman who knew what she wanted. Upon its release, the song immediately shot to the top of the charts; we can only imagine that the soul diva got exactly what she wanted in the bedroom, too.—Marley Lynch

Sexiest lyric: “All I want you to do is to bake your bread / Just to make sure that you're well fed”

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Photograph: Virginia Rollison

“Ball and Biscuit” by the White Stripes

Dear Jack: Sure, some of your style choices over the years have been questionable (that Zorro mustache). But we will never, ever question the fact that this cut, from 2003 breakthrough album Elephant, is one of the sexiest songs committed to vinyl. That slow, thumping beat, those tantalizing, scratchy guitar licks and of course, those lyrics, dripping with innuendo: “I’ll let you see it if you want to…” For this most masculine siren call, we offer our sincere thanks.—Sophie Harris

Sexiest lyric: “Tell everybody in the place to just get out / We'll get clean together”

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