A Soundtrack For Your Body – By F. N.

How many orgasms do you want in 2017? Which guy or girl do you have your eye on, who — you swear on your grandmother’s grave — this year you will find the courage to make a move on? Which sexual adventures are on your 2017 calendar? Don’t tell me you don’t know. Don’t tell me you haven’t thought about it. Girl, it’s the start of a new year. You’re reflecting, you’re resolutioning, you’re planning and starting to execute. You’ve made a list of your goals and plans and you are full of hope and verve. Everything you didn’t get to do this past year, that has remained important to you, you are determined to do this year. You want to buy a house, you want to go back to school, you want to go on a trip, you want to get a promotion, you want to improve the relationship you’re in, you want to evolve spiritually, the list goes on and on.

It is a testament to how little we women prioritize our sexual pleasure that most of us, with this long to-do list for the new year, have neglected to apply our innate planning and go-getting skills to our sexual and reproductive lives. That stops now. 2017 is going to be the year in which we connect the most deeply with our bodies and our sexual identities. We will ask for what we want, we will advocate for our health, we will come to love our bodies, we will say goodbye to all the things that hold us back from solace and pleasure, we will get closer to having and being everything we deserve. Y’all better say Amen, now. Good. Amen rightbackatcha.

Last year I mentioned building a pleasure chest, an arsenal of all your favorite things where sex is concerned. A mental collection of all the things that make you feel like your best sexual self. We already talked about the quest for the ultimate condom. Now we’re going to move on to something even more important: what you use to set the mood and to keep it going.

For most of us it’s music. Whether we’re with a partner or just having quality time with our battery-operated-boyfriends, having something we love playing in the background can make what we’re doing feel a hundred times better. Music can make you feel more connected to the person you’re with because you’re both interacting with something outside of yourselves but doing it together. It can help break the ice because hearing something raunchy or ridiculous come out of R. Kelly’s mouth can make you both giggle or raise an eyebrow. The lyrics can give you ideas about how to make things more interesting. Music can mellow you out and bring this slow sensuality into the room. It can also introduce a sense of romance and caring and desire and passion and magic into the whole shebang. If you’re not a music person then sadly this pow-wow is not for you (I’ll be sure to holla at you later about something you find relevant to your pleasure chest) but if you are like me and music matters to you then it is of utmost importance that you figure out what music improves your ambience and experience and start collecting it in a playlist. Keep this playlist handy and use it whenever you need to, whether you’re flying solo or on a magic carpet with Aladdin.

I am a believer in the music matching the mood so I don’t just have the slow stuff that helps the seduction, I have foreplay stuff for when things are heating up, slow stroke stuff for when the action is starting, gittin’ it music for when I’m riding or being ridden, skin-tingling stuff for when I get to the promised land, and then afterglow music for when we’re lying there in a warm blanket of pleasure. I like words so a lot of the songs say things that are relevant to the action but some of them just have unbeatable tempos that force you to move your hips. Some of them, particularly the afterglow ones, say all the things you would say if you had the energy to lift your head and form coherent sentences.

I used to call my playlist “babymakin’ musiq” because it had a lot of the “let’s look into each other’s eyes as we make love” stuff but when I was creating a list of my sex goals for 2017 and then itemizing the things that would help me achieve those goals I realized “babymakin’ musiq” only covers a small spectrum of the full ride I want my 2017 sex playlist to take me on. So I made a new playlist for the pleasure chest. I added some new songs I had come to love recently and took out some of the ones that had gotten cheesy or I had had sex to too often to find compelling anymore. It’s arranged in order from top to bottom to cover all the phases of the experience. I call my 2017 playlist “from hello to bellow to mellow.” Hopefully something on it will work for your own pleasure chest and, more importantly, help you figure out the songs you need to collect for the one you create. Enjoy.

  1. For Lover’s Only – Maxwell
  2. Table for Two – Joe
  3. Lovers and Friends – Lil’ Jon & The Eastside Boyz ft. Usher and Ludacris
  4. Until Then (I Imagine) – Jill Scott
  5. Come Smoke My Herb – Me’Shell Ndegeocello
  6. Turn Your Lights Down Low – Bob Marley ft. Lauryn Hill
  7. Rocket – Beyoncé
  8. Till The Cops Come Knockin’ – Maxwell
  9. Cruisin’ – D’Angelo
  10. You’re My Fantasy – Robin Thicke
  11. Shhh – Tevin Campbell
  12. Sure Thing – Miguel
  13. Seconds of Pleasure – Van Hunt
  14. With You – Marsha Ambrosius
  15. Say Yes – Floetry
  16. Kissing You – Des’ree
  17. Half On a Baby – R. Kelly
  18. Good Enough – Bobby Brown
  19. Motivation – Kelly Rowland ft. Lil Wayne
  20. Slow & Sexy – Shabba Ranks ft. Johnny Gill
  21. House Call (Your Body Can’t Lie to Me) – Maxi Priest ft. Shabba Ranks
  22. Leave It to Me – Shaggy
  23. Beg Yuh a Fuck – Vybz Kartel
  24. Mr Eazi – Rotate Sketch
  25. Watch n’ Learn – Rihanna
  26. Good Kisser – Usher
  27. Buttons – Pussycat Dolls
  28. Dirty Diana – Michael Jackson
  29. Touch It – Monifah
  30. Gimme – Jill Scott
  31. Ripopgodazippa – Prince
  32. The Heat – Toni Braxton
  33. Rock The Boat – Aaliyah
  34. Giving Him Something He Can Feel – En Vogue
  35. Brown Sugar – D’Angelo
  36. Brown Skin – India Arie
  37. Ingele – Somi
  38. Whatever – Jill Scott
  39. Sandwich and A Soda – Tamia
  40. Late Nights and Early Mornings ­ – Marsha Ambrosius
  41. After We Make Love – Whitney Houston
  42. Let’s Do It Again – Lynden David Hall

Your playlist doesn’t have to be this long or this R&B heavy. It doesn’t have to have explicit or suggestive lyrics (though I would advise not fucking to Kim Burrell or Shirley Caesar). It doesn’t have to contain stages. There are no rules for a pleasure chest. The only thing I insist on is that you start building one. Okay, chile? Don’t make me come find you this 2017.

F.N. is a thirty something Ghanaian free-lance writer who alternates between living in Accra and Washington, DC.