10 of the Sauciest Songs About Sex

The art of seduction to the sensual and soulful, and downright naughty—there’s a song for every mood.

Videos by American Songwriter

Down to its core, sex is universal and so is music, so it’s no wonder why the two have naturally collided multiple times over time, from The Kinks’ sexually charged “You Really Got Me” to Marvin Gaye’s “Sexual Healing,” and Bob Marley’s sultry Exodus track, “Turn the Lights Down Low,” through Salt-n-Pepa’s 1986 hit “Push It,” Mariah Carey’s “Touch My Body,” and Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s raunchier 2020 hit, “WAP.”

All are just a handful of endless songs navigating sex, desire, lust, and all the acts in between.

Here’s a chronological look at 10 of the best songs about sex over the past 50 years.

1. “Let’s Get It On” Marvin Gaye (1973)
Written by Marvin Gaye and Ed Townsend

Initially, Marvin Gaye wrote “Let’s Get It On” about getting on with his life after his struggle with addiction, but the lyrics shifted after he met his second wife Janis Hunter. The song transformed into more baby-making music, much like Gaye’s 1982 classic “Sexual Healing.” The title track of Gaye’s 1973 album, the song was co-written with Ed Townsend, who wrote and sang the 1958 hit “For Your Love” and previously worked on Gaye’s 1971 album, What’s Going On.

Let’s get it on
Ah, baby, let’s get it on
Let’s love, baby
Let’s get it on, sugar
Let’s get it on, woo hoo

We’re all sensitive people
With so much to give
Understand me, sugar (ooh ooh)
Since we’ve got to be here
Let’s live
I love you

There’s nothing wrong with me
Loving you, baby no no
And giving yourself to me can never be wrong
If the love is true, oh baby

Read the full story behind the meaning of “Let’s Get It On” HERE.

2. “Love to Love You Baby,” Donna Summer (1975)
Written by Donna Summer, Giorgio Moroder, Pete Bellotte

In 1975, Donna Summer brought a more sensual spin to the disco world. Co-written by Summer with composers Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte, “Love to Love You Baby,” also the title track of the disco queen’s second album, peaked at No. 11 on the Billboard Hot 100.

When you’re laying so close to me
There’s no place I’d rather you be than with me

I love to love you, baby
I love to love you, baby
I love to love you, baby

Do it to me again and again
You put me in such an awful spin, in a spin

3. “You Shook Me All Night Long,” AC/DC (1980)
Written by Brian Johnson, Angus Young, and Malcolm Young

More tongue-in-cheek, which AC/DC does so well, the band’s 1980 hit “You Shook Me All Night Long” may have referenced cars—She was a fast machine, she kept her motor clean—but it is full of blatant sexual innuendos. Off the band’s Back in Black album, “You Shook Me All Night Long” was also the first song singer Brian Johnson wrote as a member of AC/DC following the death of the band’s original vocalist Bon Scott.

She was a fast machine, she kept her motor clean
She was the best damn woman that I ever seen
She had the sightless eyes, telling me no lies
Knocking me out with those American thighs

Taking more than her share, had me fighting for air
She told me to come, but I was already there
‘Cause the walls start shaking, the Earth was quaking
My mind was aching and we were making it

Read our entire Behind the Song on “You Shook Me All Night Long” HERE.

4. “I’m On Fire,” Bruce Springsteen (1984)
Written by Bruce Springsteen

Closing side A on Born in the U.S.A., Bruce Springsteen‘s “I’m On Fire” is about the terrible pains of desiring someone. The painstaking sensuality and lust in the lyrics are clearly provoked by the thought of the most carnal act with this person.

At night I wake up with the sheets soaking wet
And a freight train running through the middle of my head
Only you can cool my desire
Oh, oh, oh, I’m on fire

5. “I Want Your Sex,” George Michael (1987)
Written by George Michael

Before Michael’s hip-swiveling “Faith” video and lyrics—Well, I guess it would be nice / if I could touch your body—which came out later in 1987, the British pop icon got straight to the point with his earlier single “I Want Your Sex.” Featured in the 1987 comedy-drama Beverly Hills Cop II and on George Michael‘s solo debut, Faith, that same year, “I Want Your Sex” shot to No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Sex is natural, sex is good
Not everybody does it
But everybody should
Sex is natural, sex is fun
Sex is best when it’s one on one

6. “Pour Some Sugar on Me,” Def Leppard (1987)
Written by Joe Elliott, Phil Collen, Steve Clark, Rick Savage, Robert John “Mutt” Lange

“Pour Some Sugar On Me” reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and became one of Def Leppard‘s signature songs. The band’s 1987 album Hysteria was clearly about sex and according to singer Joe Elliott was a metaphor for whatever sexual preference you enjoy.

“It means exactly what you think it means,” said Elliott discussing the meaning of the song in 2012. “Love. Emotion. Sex. You name it,” he added. “Whatever you want it to be. It’s like in a movie where the guy goes, ‘You want a little sugar, honey?’ She comes up to his place and he makes her some coffee, but we all know what it really means. … Use your imagination.”

Razzle ‘n’ a dazzle ‘n’ a flash a little light
Television lover, baby, go all night
Sometime, anytime, sugar me sweet
Little miss innocent sugar me, yeah, yeah

Now c’mon, take a bottle, shake it up
Break the bubble, break it up

Pour some sugar on me
Ooh, in the name of love
Pour some sugar on me
C’mon, fire me up
Pour your sugar on me
I can’t get enough

Read the full story behind Def Leppard’s “Pour Some Sugar on Me” HERE.

7. “World in My Eyes,” Depeche Mode (1990)
Written by Martin Gore

Depeche Mode‘s 1990 album, Violator, is full of mercurial delights. “World in My Eyes” is one of them and explores one’s submission to pleasure and gratification. “It’s a very positive song, said Depeche Mode’s Martin Gore, who wrote the track. “It’s saying that love and sex and pleasure are positive things.”

Let me take you on a trip
Around the world and back
And you won’t have to move, you just sit still
Now let your mind do the walking
And let my body do the talking
Let me show you the world in my eyes

I’ll take you to the highest mountain
To the depths of the deepest sea
And we won’t need a map, believe me
Now let my body do the moving
And let my hands do the soothing
Let me show you the world in my eyes

8.”Gett Off,” Prince (1991)
Written by Prince

Never a stranger to sex-oozed songs with “Soft and Wet,” “Darling Nikki,” and “Head,” among his many others, Prince was a musical maestro of sex, and “Gett Off” is one of his best offerings. On his 13th album, Diamonds and Pearls, “Gett Off” talks about, well, getting off with someone. Prince’s sexed-up single hit No. 1. on the Billboard Dance Club Songs chart and peaked at No. 6 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.

They say that you ain’t you know what
In baby who knows how long
It’s hard for me to say what’s right
When all I wanna do is wrong

Gett off, 23 positions in a 1 night stand
Gett off, I’ll only call you after if you say I can
Gett off, let a woman be a woman and a man be a man
Gett off, if you want to baby here I am

9. “Closer,” Nine Inch Nails (1994)
Written by Trent Reznor

Along with “The Only Time” and “Sanctified,” among other salacious songs, Nine Inch Nails couldn’t get more visceral around the “act” than on their Downward Spiral track, “Closer.” The song is about the need for sexual release, or close thereto, and the most lascivious of acts.

You let me violate you
You let me desecrate you
You let me penetrate you
You let me complicate you

I broke apart my insides
(Help me) I’ve got no soul to sell
(Help me) the only thing that works for me
Help me get away from myself

I wanna fuck you like an animal
I wanna feel you from the inside
I wanna fuck you like an animal
My whole existence is flawed
You get me closer to God

10. “SexyBack,” Justin Timberlake (2006)
Written by Justin Timberlake, Tim Mosley, Nate Hills

Pop can get just as down and dirty, and Justin Timberlake did bring sexy back with his 2006 hit. Written and produced by Timberlake, Nate Hills, and Tim Mosley, “SexyBack” pulses around the thrill of the hunt. “SexyBack” became Timberlake’s first No. 1 single on the Billboard Hot 100, where it remained for seven weeks.

Dirty babe
You see these shackles baby, I’m your slave (uh-huh)
I’ll let you whip me, if I misbehave (uh-huh)
It’s just that no one makes me feel this way (uh-huh)
Take ’em to the chorus

Photo: Nancy Bundt / Courtesy of The Prince Estate

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