A Brief History
People have often fallen in love with performers whose songs strike the listener to the core. Sometimes it is the look, the clothes, the words, the beat, the rhythm, the dance moves, the gyrations or just the plain old sex appeal oozing off the singer like drops of water dripping off a young Ursula Andress as she comes out of the ocean in Dr. No. Other times, the song itself is the turn on, with a combination of the right words sung the right way with the right voice coming together in a sort of sexual serendipity that makes us say, “Hey, that is one sexy song!” Here we list 10 songs we think are among the sexiest of all time. Remember, the live or video presentation is part of the song. (Note: Being a family site, we do not include X-rated songs.)
10. “Sexual Healing,” Marvin Gaye, 1982.
A #1 R&B and a #2 Pop hit for Gaye, this Grammy-winning song has been described as the successor to Olivia Newton John’s “Physical” as the most sexy song. Apparently, according to this song, sexual activity with a real partner is therapeutic as he urges her “please don’t procrastinate, it’s not good to masturbate.” As smokin’ hot as this song is (read the lyrics), the fact that it is all about the needs of the singer and not those of his partner keeps “Sexual Healing” from scoring higher on the list.
9. “Paradise By The Dashboard Light,” Meatloaf, 1977.
Anyone who experienced their teen years in or around the 1970s can relate to this song “all the way.” Back in those days, first sexual experiences were quite likely to be in a car, softly lit by the dashboard gauge lights. The young man begs and makes promises in order to get sex, and the young woman demands long-term commitment in return for sex (“Do you love me? Will you love me forever?), leaving young the man in a tense conundrum. Finally, overcome by a “tidal wave” of lust, the poor sap pledges eternal love, something he quickly regrets.
8. “Dinah-Moe Humm,” Frank Zappa, 1973.
At a time when music, television and movies were testing the boundaries of censorship, Zappa sang about a bet that he could make a prostitute orgasm. “Dinah-Moe Humm” is definitely “different,” but endearing in an oddball sort of way. This song is also kind of funny in parts, too. The subject matter, “got nekkid an’ laid on the floor” and “knees down and buns up,” makes it sexy enough for this list.
7. “Physical,” Olivia Newton John, 1981.
Ruling the American charts for 10 straight weeks, “Physical” became Olivia’s all-time biggest U.S. hit. I was overseas with the Marine Corps at the time this song created a stir and was anxious to hear what the fuss was about. The buzz was this production was so hot it would burn your ears! I immediately got the album, but was underwhelmed by the song until I saw the video. The video completed the song, and I then understood why the song was such a sexy sensation. Almost all of the Marines and sailors on our ship wanted to get ‘Physical’ with Olivia Newton John.
6. “Let’s Get it On,” Marvin Gaye, 1973.
Gaye just drips sensuality as he invites his proposed partner to “get it on.” After all, “there’s nothing wrong, with me, loving you.” Talk of “giving yourself to me can never be wrong” sounds almost like every teenaged boy begging for consideration from his girl. If you have to talk someone into sex, then this is definitely the way to do it. Marvin sounds persuasive indeed. The album by the same name is considered one of the great albums of all time, and the single heralded Gaye’s first venture into Funk. “Let’s Get it On” reached #1 on both the Pop and Soul charts, making it Gaye’s biggest hit of all, officially earning him the reputation as perhaps the most seductive singer.
5. “Help Me Make It Through The Night,” Sammi Smith, 1971.
First released in 1969 by Kris Kristofferson who wrote it and also recorded by a slew of major artists (to name a few: Elvis; Jerry Lee Lewis; Gladys Knight; Joan Baez; Tammy Wynette; Loretta Lynn; Lynn Anderson; Johnny and June Cash; Olivia Newton John; Peggy Lee; Dottie West; and Engelbert Humperdinck; okay, that was more than a few…), the definitive version is, of course, the Sammi Smith recording that went to #1 on the Country charts and #8 on the Pop charts. Offered first to Dottie West, she originally refused it as too suggestive but later did record the song when others had already achieved success with it. (Ray Price did a great male version and in general has done great justice to many of Kristofferson’s songs.) With allusions to stripping the female singer, laying by her side and her not wanting to sleep alone, the sex message is direct yet subtle at the same time.
4. “Sixty Minute Man,” The Dominoes, 1951.
Yes, this song from a more pastoral era really means what you think. “Lovin’ Dan” sings about “15 minutes of kissin’, then you holler please don’t stop, 15 minutes of teasin‘, 15 minutes of pleasin’ and 15 minutes of blowin’ my top!” Although banned on some radio stations, the song did reach #1 on the R&B charts and #17 on the Pop charts with listeners from both the black and white populations. As if “Sixty Minute Man” was not risqué enough for the 1950s, the Dominoes also sang a sequel song titled “Can’t Do Sixty No More,” in which poor old Dan has apparently lost his mojo.
3. “Don’t Touch Me There,” The Tubes, 1976.
Sounding a lot racier than it really is, having a guy and girl seemingly singing about sex was plenty risqué for the day, especially with references to “your salty taste” and rivets rubbing together. Combined with a decidedly sexy stage show, this suggestive song got its message across, even though no one ever defined where “there” in “Don’t Touch Me There” was, though one can probably guess. Honorable Mention: Donna Summer’s 1975 disco hit “Love to Love You Baby,” a sexy, throaty repetitious song that captures the mood Summer aimed for, that of a sex goddess in the throes of ecstasy.
2. “Stacy’s Mom,” Fountains of Wayne, 2003.
“Stacy’s Mom” is the ultimate “MILF” (Mother I’d Like to F***) song. The video features super alluring and beautiful Rachel Hunter in the title role and a young girl as Stacy who will surely grow up to be a beauty herself. The topic of pining after a friend’s mother was not mainstream until this song, and the terms “Cougar” and “MILF” are commonplace now. You can almost feel the longing and hopelessness on the part of the young man who seemingly sings the song. Perhaps the song brings back fond memories for some people.
1. “I Touch Myself,” The Divinyls, 1990.
In a stroke of appropriate coincidence, this song comes from Down Under (gratuitous innuendo, double entendre), since The Divinyls hail from Australia. A pretty, slinky girl who coos the sexy lyrics allows the listener’s imagination to run just about wherever it wants to. “I Touch Myself” simply oozes sexiness. Honorable Mention: Katy Perry’s “I Kissed a Girl.”
Question for students (and subscribers): Perhaps your list of favorites is different. If so, let us know what songs you think should be listed and why in the comments section below this article.
Your readership is much appreciated!
For more information, please see…
Various Artists. Naughty, Naughty – the Sexiest Hits of the ’80s (Re-Recorded Versions). Cleopatra Records, 2012.