2020 has been a strange time for love. While some people saw their sex life dwindle throughout lockdown, others saw it increase as they spent more time with their partner at home. But whether your love life is more of a solo gig or a duet, if you want to get in the mood, a sexy song is a must.
And with Spotify you’re never too far away from streaming some steamy songs. Research has highlighted that 1 play on the streaming service is worth an average of £0.0034 (or $0.00437).
After completing extensive research, we've curated a list of the top 100 saucy songs, based on their titles and lyrics, before uncovering just how much money these songs have made the artists, proving that sex really does sell.
So, when it comes to songs for the bedroom, which bangers are racking up the most plays, and making artists the most pounds?
‘The Hills’ Is Spotify’s Steamiest Song, Racking Up Over £3.5 Million For The Weeknd
The Hills has been revealed as Spotify’s Steamiest Streamer in our study, with 1,046,121,517 plays, meaning that this song has earned him a staggering £3,556,813.16 (or $4,571,551,03).
The song was released in 2015 by Canadian artist, The Weeknd, and was the second single from his second album. Time named it the fifth best song of 2015 and an article in Pitchfork called The Hills a “dark, almost discordant meditation on lust, drugs, and fame”.
The Top 20 Raunchy Records Revealed
From our list of 100 tracks, we uncovered the top 20 raunchy records bringing in the big bucks.
Surprisingly, just 3 female artists, Selena Gomez, Rihanna and Nelly Furtado, made the top 20, suggesting that Brits prefer the deep tones of a male voice to entice us to bed. R&B is cited as a music genre in 18 out of the 20 tracks. While some mix in electro, pop or hip hop, R&B plays a crucial role in this sexy playlist.
The Top 10 Artists Making A Profit From Their Seductive Songs.
Our investigation revealed those artists who were repeat offenders, making money from multiple songs in our list.
The Weeknd Is the Most Popular Artist to Bump and Grind To
We counted up the artists and their plays across our entire 100 strong list, to find out the top artists banging out the hits. The Weekend appears a staggering 7 times, with a combined total of 3,673,343,031 plays. Keeping the pay-out of an average stream, this amasses to a whopping £12,489,366.31 ($16,052,509.05). You could buy a lot of beds with that!
Rihanna Is on Top as the No. 1 Female for Making Seductive Songs That Sell
Although there were only 3 females in our top 20, Rihanna had the most songs and total plays of the trio. The beauty from Barbados is often known for provoking music that makes the listener want to bump and grind, so it should come as no surprise that she is the number one female for making the highest number of saucy songs.
Her tracks are suitably sultry: S&M, Sex With Me and Skin all feature, combining to make her £1,949.158 or $2,505,242.
Marvin Gaye Is Still Getting It on with 2 Appearances in The Top 10 Artists
Marvin Gaye’s Let’s Get It On is often cited as one of the sexiest songs ever made, so it’s no surprise to see this track made an appearance in our top 100. He did in fact make it into the top 10 artists to listen to as well, with Sexual Healing also on the list and racking up a combined total of 371,500,365 plays, which nets him (or his estate), £1,263,101 or $1,623.457.
He beats Donna Summer, Usher, SoMo and Tory Lanez. It’s good to see the old classics still get the heart racing.
Cardi B’s WAP on Track to Become the Steamiest Single on Spotify
American rapper Cardi B released her hit single WAP on the 7th August 2020. It broke US records, hitting 93 million streams across streaming, radio airplay and sales in its first week. But how do the profits compare to the sensual songs we’ve previously discussed?
In the days since its release on Spotify, WAP has averaged 39,495,015 plays a week, which puts it miles ahead of any other song on our list.
The nearest contender was Call Out My Name by The Weeknd, with a difference of 34,347,770 plays per week. And if you compare it with the most played song on Spotify, Ed Sheeran’s Shape Of You, there’s still a difference of 26,169,244 plays per week. This equates to a profit of £88,975 or $114,966. While it’s still early days for WAP, this indicates it could become one of the most streamed and steamiest songs on Spotify.
Is Music The Food Of Love?
When Shakespeare wrote the line “If music be the food of love, play on,” he was really on to something. The chemicals in the brain that are released as a result of having sex or eating tasty food are the same as when you listen to a favourite tune.
Research also shows that music is likely to affect 3 areas of the brain. The pleasure system, the social affiliation or bonding system and the limbic system (which processes emotions). The key chemical that is released is dopamine, a neurotransmitter linked to desire, wanting, motivation, craving and anticipation – of someone or something.
Endogenous opioids are also released, increasing pleasure and enjoyment. These 2 systems work together to enhance the pleasurable experience of sex and intimacy when coupled with music, allowing you to more deeply bond with your partner. Diana Dimofte, founder of Alpha Sounds explains further. “Sounds are vibrations, and vibration is energy moving through matter. Our body is composed of more than 100 trillion cells with different vibrations for each cell and organ. We select and resonate with specific tunes naturally, that put us in a feel-good state, that is to say harmonising the body, as we get restored by listening to the music that heals us and puts us "in the mood".
5 Ways A Steamy Playlist Can Spice Up Your Sex Life
Not convinced a sultry song can improve your bedroom antics? Here are 5 ways that music can spice things up between the sheets.
1. Couples Who Listen To Music Together Have More Sex
According to a study by Sonos, over 2/3 (67%) of couples who listen to music together have more sex than couples who do not. Nerve cells in the body begin operating at the same rate as your partner’s, and the love hormone oxytocin is released. So when you feel like you’re ‘on the same level’, your cells quite literally are.
2. A Good Playlist Can Help You Last Longer
A carefully curated list can help you last longer in the bedroom too. A study in 2005 found the median time for heterosexual couples from penetration to ejaculation was 5.4 minutes. But there are ways to delay your gratification by incorporating foreplay at the start and cuddles at the end. Curate your playlist from 1 hour to 1 hour 30 minutes and build the anticipation with songs that are about these parts of the sexual experience. Listen to the lyrics too. If it makes you blush, it might be one for your list.
3. Set The Scene For Intimacy With Synchronisation
When people listen to a song together, neurons in the brain begin to synchronize. That’s why everyone singing along together at a concert is so enjoyable and makes people bond. When 2 people listening to a song together are also attracted to each other, then oxytocin and serotonin are released too, setting the scene for intimacy.
4. Feelings Are Enhanced
When you’re feeling good, and the happiness and love hormones are flowing, you’re more likely to say ‘I love you.’ The Sonos research found that 18% admitted to dropping the L word as a result of a song they’d heard and being ‘in the moment’.
5. Music Can Build Your Confidence
If lockdown has dented your sexual confidence, or you’re just a little shy in the bedroom, music can help enhance emotions and actions. A study from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University found that heavy bass music increased confidence. So if you want to feel powerful, sexy, perhaps even dominant, pick a song that gives you chills and try listening to it on your own. Move your body to the beat. Once you’ve found your rhythm, it’s time to test it out on your partner.
If you’re still not sure if music can have such a strong effect, it may just be that you haven’t found the right tunes yet. We’ve got you covered here at MattressNextDay as we’ve created a Spotify playlist from our carefully curated lineup used in our investigation.
For this piece, we curated a list of sexy songs, based on their titles, lyrics and inclusion in other “top sexy songs” lists. We looked at over 100 different records, old and new, to build our top 100. We then multiplied the number of streams (as of Sept 10th 2020) by the cost per stream to see which songs were making the most money. It’s reported that artists only take 10-15% of the revenue, with the rest going to the labels. The average is reported to be an average of £0.0034 (or $0.00437), but can vary by artist.
For our WAP comparison, we took data from the day the single was released, not the album, up to the 8th October 2020.