Originally Published February 12, 2016
“Don’t forget that I’m a sister with a thing for the sound
So make a sexy noise when you’re on your way down
Yeah, all the way down” Salt -N- Pepa
Though popular music is ripe with lyrics, beats, and basslines set to power our most libidinous desires, some songs take it a step further, featuring the sounds generally reserved for the private passion.
In honor of St. Valentine we invite you to kick back and let Cupid aim his arrow at the sticky, sweet spot where audiophilia meets erotica and enjoy a chronological recollection of the best pants, moans, groans, squeals and big O’s in modern music.
John and Marsha-Stan Freberg
Passion is just of one of the emotions expressed in Stan Freberg’s Soap Opera reading come commercial hit, “John and Marsha” so he was able to slide it past strict ‘50s censors.
Moi Je Joue-Brigitte Bardot
Je T’Aime Moi Non Plus- Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg
The French sex symbol and Serge Gainsbourg recorded “Moi Je Joue” in the early sixties which climaxes with Barot’s suggestive noises. Bardot claimed to find it embarrassing which lead to it being shelved until the 1980s. Serge Gainsbourg used the song as inspiration for 1969’s “Je T’Aime Moi Non Plus” which he recorded with paramour Jane Birkin expanding on the concept by having her moan seductively throughout the recording. It went on to become noted as one of the sexiest songs ever recorded. Moi Je Joue was also recently reinterpreted as “Moije Joue“ by Lana Del Rey.
The End-The Doors
Jim Morrison was a master of meaningful moans and in 1967’s “The End” he puts the big OOOOO in Oedipal chriscendO. Though the songs racy content and Morrison’s sexual overtures would get them banned from the Whisky a Go-Go, in our modern world and as any straight woman over 30 can attest, “Mother, I Want to F!#k You All Night” isn’t even close to the weirdest thing you’ve heard man yell mid thrust.
Whole Lotta Love-Led Zeppelin
These boys from Britain made a career of pillaging American Blues artists and Robert Plant’s sexy guttural yelps are no exception. Plant vocal climax is punctuated by Jimmy Page’s guitar work and they play off each other in a race to the finish. Then through the miracle of production, they alter the encounter through a slew of knob tweaking till it sounds like every guy’s fantasy of what he sounds like in bed.
Multiple Tracks- Betty Davis
While many female artists of her day flirted with sexual innuendo, raunchy soul queen Betty Davis released a record a year between 1973-1975 all of which feature blatantly sexual subject matter. Davis’ records not only employed some of the filthiest, funniest, funkiest hooks ever laid down, her whisky-tinged powerhouse vocal styling was often punctuated with overtly sexy moans and groans. Her self-titled debut concludes with her concluding on “I Will Take That Ride” and her entire catalog serves as a blueprint for the sexy disco soul about to transform the decade- influencing everyone from Donna Summer to Grace Jones.
Lovin’ You-Minnie Riperton
Though it was conceived as a musical way to calm a young Maya Rudolph, Mama Minnie Riperton’s 70s soul ballad morphed into a sweetly sensual inspiration for a generation of lovers to climax in High C.
Jungle Fever -The Chakachas
This funky, Latin Soul jam is punctuated with heavily breathing, primal moans and climactic dialogue delivered in Spanish proving The Chakachas were a one-hit wonder who knew the exactly what spot to hit.
Pillow Talk -Sylvia
The Godmother of Hip-Hop, Sylvia Robinson not only founded Sugar Hill Records, her three-decade career as a soulstress influenced generations of artists including Donna Summer. As part of the duo Mickey and Sylvia she helped the craft, “Love Is Strange” best known as the song that compelled Jennifer Grey to crawl to Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing. When the soon-to-be reverend Al Green deemed her track “Pillow Talk” too dirty she recorded it herself, adding moans and sexual requests in Spanish, making it a masterpiece of carnal delights which went on to fund “Rapper’s Delight”.
Love to Love You-Donna Summer
Noted as one of the most influential songs in modern music, Donna Summer channels Marilyn Monroe with her breathy vocal delivery and nearly 17 minutes of intermittent moans in this 1975 hit. Filtered through the ear of dance music icon Giorgio Moroder the song went on to become an anthem for the everything goes sexual landscape of the ‘70s and spawned a slew of O heavy imitators.
Since I Had You-Marvin Gaye
“This is a story about two lovers who shouldn’t have been
They did their thing, went their separate ways again
Then by chance, they happen to meet at the neighborhood dance
Got that feeling all over again…”
No stranger to the art of sensual song craft, Marvin Gaye ups the ante with guest vocalist Gwenda Hambrick in full blown orgasmode. Though his catalog is full of his own sensual noises, “Since I Had You” gives the rest of us a taste of what it’s like to be on the receiving end of Marvin’s sweet love.
Benihana- Marilyn Chambers
Looking for a so-so song full of ooohs, ahhhhs, and cultural appropriation? BINGO! – this “Love to Love You” imitation from professional moaner/porn star Marilyn Chambers has you covered. Why this song is called Benihana is a mystery, but apparently Ms. Chamber’s realllly enjoys her mediocre Asian cuisine prepared in view.
The Torture Never Stops- Frank Zappa
Zappa’s contribution to the mid-seventies moan-in adds an S&M spin. Always the provocateur, “The Torture Never Stops’” slew of moans, wails and whimpers ride the line between pleasure and pain, and Zappa leaves it with the listener to differentiate.
Orgasm Addict-The Buzzcocks
Slip it In-Black Flag
Even anti-establishment punk acts weren’t immune to infusing the art of getting off into their work. Pete Shelley’s mid-chorus Os on their debut single “Orgasm Addict” were delivered so convincingly they got the song banned on the BBC. Black Flag would later employ various sounds of carnal pleasure on the title track of 1984’s Slip It In , where Henry Rollins convinces a pre-L7 Suzi Gardner, that it’s the right time to slip it in even though she “kinda has a boyfriend”. To his credit, Rollins does secure definitive consent from her before the song concludes in a series of mutual moans that betray the forbidden nature of the relationship.
Feel It-Kate Bush
Kate takes a note from Minnie Riperton on the equally feminine and filthy, “Feel It”, letting her high notes cue her climax
Although his Royal Purpleness no longers allows we internet junkies access to his work for free, just stop and try to think of a Prince song created between 1979 and 1994 that doesn’t have a single sexually nuanced moan, groan, yelp, whimper, pant, scream or full blown ejactulatory celebration in it. Not even political anthems like “Sign ‘O the Times” were immune to the erotic charge of Prince Rodgers Nelson.
Sexy Eiffel Tower-Bow Wow Wow
Annabella Lwin brings kinky teenage theatrics to her vocal performance on “Sexy Eiffel Tower” which could be about a sexual suicide fetishist, a tribute to Frenchman Serge Gainsbourg’s work with Jane Birkin and Bardot… or could just be about craving giant dick, regardless, Lwin’s convincingly experienced delivery ruffled more than a few establishment feathers.
Give Your Dick to Me-Barbara Markay
Not exactly subtle, Barbara Markay’s brief foray into the world of dance pop features orgasms as ridiculous as the song itself.
Kiss, Kiss, Kiss -Yoko Ono
Ono’s climactic conclusion on Double Fantasy’s “Kiss, Kiss, Kiss” is a feminist FUCK YOU to her haters, audibly forcing Lennon’s fans to confront the passionate heat in their then much-maligned relationship.
It should come as no surprise a song called “Sex (I’m A)” contains a slinky backing mix of moans and Os supporting Terri Nunn’s already sultry delivery.
She Bop-Cyndi Lauper
Though music critics at the time were quick to label Madonna “sexy” and Cyndi “quirky” it’s Lauper’s “She Bop” that stands as an ’80s sex anthem. Tongue-in-cheek lyrics and coded jargon got the track tons of commercial radio play while its signature panting in triplette, briefly betrayed this track was about more than dancing to the tweens it had been marketed to.
Relax-Frankie Goes to Hollywood
While many tracks employ moans and “huhs” only Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s “Relax” goes so far as to produce synthesized ejaculate explosions so perfect you practically can smell the testosterone, stale beer and ancient splooge of an Regan Era, West Hollywood Gay Bar.
Big Love -Fleetwood Mac
The emotional torture of Stevie Nicks has served Fleetwood Mac ( in particular Lindsey Buckingham) well for decades. Buckingham not only wrote some pretty scornful lyrics about Nicks she was forced to sing night after night, but in 1987 she has to endure him feigning sex with himself on the single “Big Love” in a his and hers vocal styling producing noises so ridiculous they became a running joke on Late Night with David Letterman for years after.
Rocket Queen-Guns ‘n Roses
Rocket Queen serves as the climax to one of the greatest rock ‘n roll records ever made Appetite for Destruction. The band’s notoriously volatile relationships and drug use may have stoked their scorching debut but it would ultimately be their undoing, mostly because if rock ‘n roll had a Hall of Fame for assholes, Axl Rose would be its admission standard. Axl’s idea of cementing a solid kinship with his band mates meant banging their girlfriends in the recording studio in front of their friends and then featuring her orgasms prominently on their record.
Lil Louis -French Kiss
Starting off as a fairly benign dance jam, “French Kiss” rolls on till its midway point where the track slows to a near standstill and a woman literally cums out of nowhere as the song then rebuild to its original pace. This influential jam has not only been heavily sampled, it inspired a generation of dudes to grab their brother’s VHS porn collections and a Roland and hone what would become an actual subgenre of electronic music as evidenced in the following examples.
OOOOh baby, baby, indeed. Salt and Pep would later go on to record one of the greatest pro-sex feminist records of the ‘90s Very Necessary, but it was the pussy power behind “Push It” that put the Queens of Queens on the map.
Do Me -Bell Biv DeVoe
Just Don’t Bite It-NWA
1990 must have been an exhausting time for women who enjoyed the company Hip-Hop artists. Forget work, shopping or getting your hair and or nails done girl because the gentlemen of Bell Biv DeVoe wanted you to “do them” morning, noon and night with implicit instructions as to exactly how they wanted to be done. NWA’s standards, however, were a bit more lax. On their Ruthless Records debut, they simply required that you “ Just Don’t Bite It. These guys might as have been better served with a (toothless) Fleshlight as both songs are severally scoped through a male lens and only their pleasure is singularly audible. Guess they can’t all be Boyz II Men... Am I right, ladies?
In the Closet-Michael Jackson
No stranger to peppering his work with sexy noises, horned up heeeeheeeheeeees or the occasional crotch grab, MJ’s “In the Closet” is his first foray into explicit “O” territory. Subtle male and female love moans, pick up and play out mid-tune, perhaps in an effort to butch up this track that Jackson defended as being about hetero love, even though “keep it in the closet” was already strongly associated with secret gay relationships.
I Touch Myself-Divinyls
There may be the occasions when orgasm in a song can seem superfluous, but when your songs called “I Touch Myself”, it’s a perfection-though some would argue Chrissy Amphlett’s smoldering vocals get the job done on their own.
Principles of Lust-Enigma
Because it’s been used to accompany so many goofy sex scenes in comedies and not sexy sex scenes and supposedly serious films, it’s easy to forget this unlikely pop hit once packed a punch below the belt.
Obscene and Pornographic Art-Bongwater
Smart, political and schooled in a variety of musical stylings, the criminally underrated NYC performance art band Bongwater were no strangers to the provocative. Their 1992 effort The Power of Pussy sported the title track- an ode to loving all kinds of labia – and parodeed beastliatly, group sex, Hugh Heffner and the pervy power of classical art in “Obscene and Pornographic Art”, which also showcased frontwoman Ann Magnuson’s simulated comings in a myriad of styles.
2 Live Crew-Me So Horny
Maybe it’s the repetitively lazy chorus, or maybe it’s the blatant misogyny but somehow Mr. Luther Campbell and the 2 Live Crew managed to make sexy moaning boring and icky to anyone over the age of twelve. Even with radio edits that reduced it to near nothing, the Crew still scored a hit with “Me So Horny”.
Rid of Me & Workin’ For the Man- PJ Harvey
PJ Harvey doesn’t always play the pussy card, but when she does you better watch out. Few women in popular music are as in touch with and as directly comfortable with the primal aspects of their sexuality as Ms. Polly Jean. The shriek with which she delivers the line “Lick my legs I’m on Fire” on “Rid of Me” conveys female sexuality isn’t always pretty or even appealing, it can be weird and warped too. Harvey’s drawn out moans on “Workin’ for the Man”, see her playing with conventional female orgasmic tropes and blowing them up as big as her 50 Foot Queenie persona.
Justify My Love- Madonna
Though equally pioneering in the push for female sexual liberation via music Madonna’s approach is wholly her own. On “Justify My Love” she takes the era’s hang-ups and perversions and wraps them in packaging so exquisite you can’t look away. As far as we’ve come in the last twenty some years it’s hard to believe this video was once deemed so controversial it couldn’t be shown on cable television, but in 1993 you had buy the video (and present ID) to get your Madge on.
Work It-Missy Elliot
Ahh, Missy. She knows exactly how where and when to lay the moans down and she exhibits how strategically they can be applied in Work It. Though subtly incorporated, Missy makes those purrs essential to the mix and the track wouldn’t be the same without them.
Shirley Manson is a bad bitch and she’ll be the first to remind you. Her persona suggests both love and terror which may be why uber-producer Butch Vig decided to serve up Shirley’s attention demanding brand of getting off as the opening to the twisted pleasure palace track that is #1 Crush.
Doin It-LL Cool J
Much like when a tree falls in the forest, How would you ever know if LL and his lady love from Brooklyn were in fact, “doing it well”, if we didn’t actually hear them? Fortunately, we’ll never have to wonder because the chick in “Doin It” is having such a good time the entirety of the 5 boroughs are like “keep it down already”. LL had his hands on the mix of this track which may explain why this woman is sooo over the top with pleasure.
We know the Ladies Love you, It’s in your damn name, plus you have the kinda abs we want to eat room service off of… we’re good, LL we’re, good.
All of the Teaches-Peaches
Some could argue Peaches the queen of perfectly executed, filthy song craft having picked up the crown abandoned by Prince in his pursuit of Jehovah. You could also argue she does it even better because her content doesn’t confine itself to the restraints of heterosexuality, which means, her squeals, moans and “huhs” are generally not meant to be please the ear of hetero men, porno style. Every BODY is invited cum to a party at Peaches. Not only does Peaches have some of the most provoking content lyrical, she rarely resorts to full blow, traditional Os (because that would be boring), she instead frequently creates song structures that build to an intense musical climax, making for an equally sexy, if not more interesting approach.
Would You Mind-Janet Jackson
This is most certainly the case where we should addressing Janet as Ms. Jackson because she gets down right nasty on 2001’s “Would You Mind”. JJ leaves no margin for error as this song is essentially a sensual checklist of how exactly how she’d like to be pleased, and exactly what she’s going to do to you, but unlike other songs from a male perspective she’s asking with a sensual politeness (the song concludes with her asking her partner if they came) and provides a series of moans to let you know you’re not only doing a stellar job-you’re in it together.
Black Tongue, Sacrilege & Many, Many More- Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs
If it’s possible for Karen O to open her mouth without making a sexy noise you wouldn’t know it from Fever to Tell. Karen whelp, yelps, moans and squeals explode on nearly every song on the band’s debut. It’s her genuine and spontaneous execution keep her style from sounding gimmicky and she’s allowed her voice to mature with band’s sound- making her Os even sexier.
Beyonce-Need we say more?
You gotta give it to Beyonce once she discovered her lady boner she never let go. While most young pop stars are quick to graduate into “adult territory” the Queen Bee waited to address the more hardcore aspects of her sexuality as a grown woman, giving a depth to all of her post sexual awaking tunes and the moans and orgasms within, that would have seemed false as an Ingenue.
Destroya-My Chemical Romance
There is no reinvention of the wheel here, MCR drops a standard porno interlude reverent of G‘NR’s “Rocket Queen” mid-song.
Yes, it’s hard to get past the Chris Brown factor on this track, but it’s incredibly interesting that Rihanna would deliver one of her most highly charged and sexually driven performances in a collaboration with him, it’s almost as if she’s using her moans to take ownership of the narrative around this song.
I’m in It -Kanye West
“I’m in It” starts with traditional female moans but later delves into the deviant, as fisting is a topic rarely gets discussed in pop music. His inclusion of the tasteless phrase “put my fist in her like a civil rights sign” somewhat dismisses the erotic appeal, but there is no doubt a successfully executed a fisting should sound (click in at the 2 minute 30 second mark) exactly the way Kanye reps it on record.
Scream opens with a carnal ferocity that makes for terrifying turn-on, sounding like someone cracked open the mind of Kill Bill’s schoolgirl killing machine Gogo Yubari and spilled it all over this track. It’s seductive, twisted, brutal delivered in a menacingly sweet baby voiced package- the audio equivalent a picture perfect cupcake encasing arsenic, both inviting and deadly.