Let’s be real, everyone knows that music affects our mood. Music has been proven to influence the mind in ways that we don’t even know yet. Some of us say we can’t live without music (each person would have a personal interpretation of that). Some people listen to sad music when they are feeling low, and it helps. Perhaps you are a person who likes to listen to upbeat music in the morning to set your day off on a good note. Or have a hyped-up gym playlist. So, if hyped up music makes you amp up your workout, will sexy music make us sexy? Basically, does music affect your sex drive? Well, YES, it does! How you ask?  a very simple answer is:

Music = Pleasure = Sex

Robert Zatorre, a professor of neurology and neurosurgery at Montreal Neurological Institute, studied brain activity in response to pleasurable music (Blood & Zatorre, 2001). Together with Blood they used positron emission tomography (PET scan) to study brain activity in response to intensely pleasant music. He found Cerebral blood flow changes were in response to the participants selected music that elicited the highly pleasurable experience like “shivers-down-the-spine” or “chills.” (Blood & Zatorre, 2001)

The participants who reported chills were also accompanied by changes in heart rate, electromyogram, and respiration. As intensity of these chills increased, cerebral blood flow increases, and decreases were observed in brain regions thought to be involved in reward/motivation, emotion, and arousal (Blood & Zatorre, 2001). These brain structures are known to be active in response to other euphoria-inducing stimuli, such as food, sex, and drugs of abuse (Blood & Zatorre, 2001).

So, a very short explanation is he found that your brain releases dopamine, when you are listening to music, that is the pleasure hormone, And, sex also activates the release of dopamine. Therefore, simple math would conclude that both sex and music excite you.

Ok, so now we know that music does in fact have influence on our sex drive how can you improve it? First of all, not all of us have the same taste in music. Some people may want you to stick needles in your ears. Which leads you to picking your own music and finding out what turns you on, start off by creating a playlist, this can be extremely helpful. Perhaps multiple playlists for the different ‘sexual moods’ romantic, passionate, hardcore, BDSM whatever you want, as obviously this makes a difference. 

Creating these different types of playlists will help you understand yourself better, this playlist does not have to be completed at once it can be ongoing perhaps you hear a song on the radio and you instantly think ‘oh this can be added to playlist 3’ for example. Then try out the playlist when you are with your intimate partner, or even try it out with yourself as a tester, see what songs get you going and it may be the lyrics or the beat or anything and then simply find more songs like that. 

Stef Gafa’ is a counsellor with Willingness who has a particular interest in trauma, attachment, domestic violence and the LGBT community.

If you think that you can benefit from professional support on this issue you can reach out here.

References: Blood, A. J., & Zatorre, R. J. (2001). Intensely pleasurable responses to music correlate with activity in brain regions implicated in reward and emotion. Proceedings of the national academy of sciences98(20), 11818-11823.