Turn it up to turn us on: It’s soundtrack over six-pack in the bedroom

·         Spotify’s Science Behind the Song study explores the relationship between music and romance
·         Over 40% of people say that listening to music is more arousing than touch during sex, with Dirty Dancing named the best soundtrack in the bedroom
·         Marvin Gaye’s Sexual Healing voted top track to get a partner ‘in the mood’
·         Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody voted the number one song that is ‘better than sex’
Under embargo until: 00:00 Wednesday 24 October 2012: New research out today reveals the importance of music to our love lives. The study – carried out by music psychologist Dr Daniel Müllensiefen from Goldsmiths, University of London – was commissioned by Spotify to examine the relationship between music, romance and seduction.
The research revealed that what’s on your seduction playlist is more important than what’s underneath your clothes when it comes to success in the bedroom. Over 40% of people felt that the music listened to during sex was more likely to turn them on than the touch or feel of their partner.
Dr Müllensiefen commented: “It is no surprise that so many respondents claimed to find music arousing in the bedroom. From neuro-scientific research we know that music can activate the same pleasure centres of the brain that also respond to much less abstract rewards such as food, drugs or indeed sex.”
The survey also revealed that the most arousing music to play during sex is anything from the classic 80s film Dirty Dancing. The iconic soundtrack - which features popular hits from the 1950s, and one sung by Patrick Swayze himself, the film’s leading man - was voted number one to play in the bedroom, interestingly coming top for both male and female respondents. Marvin Gaye’s Sexual Healing took second place on the top list with Ravel’s Bolero finishing a surprise third.
Dr Müllensiefen said: “The fact that Dirty Dancing has come top on the list of the best tracks to play during sex for both men and women is due to the fact that most people have a good knowledge of songs that represent romance and these tend to be from cultural references such as film. People use this music to not only communicate their intentions in a romantic situation but to directly alter the mood during an encounter. The study also revealed that men are more likely than women to change their music tastes and listening habits in order to ensure greater success in the bedroom – which explains the popularity of Dirty Dancing for both sexes.”
Spotify’s Science Behind the Song study uncovered the top 20 tracks to ‘get us in the mood’ for sex, and it seems there’s only one man for the job: music legend Marvin Gaye. Iconic track Sexual Healing was voted the number one track to ‘get us in the mood’ and Let’s Get it On took second place. Barry White followed closely in third place, with respondents claiming that hearing any track by the man also known as The Walrus of Love’ was enough to ‘turn them on.’ 

Dr Müllensiefen observed: “The study unveiled that the best tracks for seduction in the bedroom – essentially what gets us in the mood – all possess the same qualities including a greater dynamic range, more use of the high chest voice, more raspiness in the voice and less use of vocal vibrato. These specific attributes are strongly evident in the Marvin Gaye tracks, Sexual Healing and Let’s Get It On.”
The study also revealed that one in three people can name a track that they consider to be ‘Better than sex’, with Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody voted number one on the list. Sex on Fire by the Kings of Leon took second place and Robbie Williams was voted third in the ‘Better than sex’ list, with his 90s ballad Angels. 
Dr Müllensiefen said: “Songs that our participants have named as ‘better than sex’ are all unique and many can be considered epic ‘masterpieces’. When listening to music we build up an expectation of how the music is going to continue. If it violates our musical expectations and takes a different turn our involuntary emotional response is highly positive and it is mainly these unexpected turning points in the music that generate strong emotional feelings.”
Angela Watts, VP of global communications for Spotify, commented: "Music provides the soundtrack to the lives of Spotify users every day, wherever and whenever they are, and Spotify’s study reveals today that music plays a particularly big role when it comes to our love lives. We now know that Marvin Gaye is key to success when it comes to seducing a partner in the bedroom. And if you don’t have a partner, we can highly recommend Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody, which is officially ‘Better than sex’!”
The study interviewed 2000 people aged between 18 and 91 years old, with an almost equal gender split.
Spotify has created a series of romantic playlists based on the voting from the survey. The Spotify playlists can easily be linked or listened to for news stories, blog posts and social media using the following links. Full track listings in notes to editors below:
Notes to Editors
Full track listings*:
  1. Queen- Bohemian Rhapsody   
  2. Kings of Leon - Sex On Fire
  3. Robbie Williams- Angels
  4. Meatloaf- Bat Out Of Hell
  5. Bon Jovi- Living On A Prayer
  6. Celine Dion- My Heart Will Go On
  7. Adele- Set Fire To The Rain
  8. Black Lace- Agadoo
  9. Pink Floyd- Comfortably Numb
  10. Queen- Don`t Stop Me Now
  11. Queen- I Want To Break Free
  12. Faithless- Insomnia
  13. Bruno Mars- Just The Way You Are
  14. The Killers- Mr Brightside
  15. Guns`N`Roses- Paradise City
  16. Coldplay- Viva La Vida
  17. Queen- Who Wants To Live Forever
  18. Elton John – Your Song
  19. Luther Vandross – Anything
  20. Bruce Springsteen – Born In The USA or Born To Run
1.      Marvin Gaye- Lets Get It On
2.      Chris Deburgh- Lady In Red
3.      Marvin Gaye- Sexual Healing
4.      Eric Clapton- Wonderful Tonight
5.      Andy Williams- Moon River
6.      Elvis Presley- Love Me Tender
7.      Celine Dion- My Heart Will Go On
8.      Robbie Williams- Angels
9.      George Michael- Carless Whisper
10. Whitney Houston- I Will Always Love You
11. Lionel Richie- Three Times A Lady
12. Adele- Someone Like You
13. Savage Garden- Truly Madly Deeply
14. Al Green- Lets Stay Together
15. Aerosmith- Don`t Wanna Miss A Thing
16. Spandau Ballet- True
17. John Denver- Annie`s Song
18. James Blunt- Beautiful
19. Ravel- Bolero
20. Righteous Brothers – Unchained Melody
  1. Abba- Dancing Queen
  2. Chris Deburgh- Lady In Red
  3. IMFAO- Sexy and I know It
  4. Dirty Dancing- Anything From The Soundtrack
  5. Rod Stewart- Do You Think I`m Sexy
  6. Hot Chocolate- Sexy Thing
  7. Pussycat Dolls- Don’t Cha
  8. Kings of Leon- Sex On Fire
  9. Maroon 5- Moves Like Jagger
  10. Tom Jones –Sex Bomb
  11. Christina Aguilera- Dirty
  12. Marvin Gaye- Sexual Healing
  13. Justin Timberlake- Sexy Back
  14. Nelly - Hot In Here
  15. Arctic Monkeys- I Bet You Look Good On The Dance floor
  16. Right Said Fred- I`m Too Sexy
  17. Bee Gees- Night Fever
  18. Marvin Gaye- Let’s Get It On
  19. Sophie Ellis Bextor- Murder On The Dance floor
  20. Beyonce- Single Ladies
  1. Marvin Gaye - Sexual Healing
  2. Marvin Gaye - Let’s Get It On
  3. Barry White - Anything
  4. Serge Gainsbourg- Je T`aime
  5. Kings of Leon – Sex on Fire
  6. Hot Chocolate- You Sexy Thing
  7. Ravel - Bolero
  8. Boyz To Men- I`ll Make Love To You
  9. Chris De Burgh – Lady in Red
  10. R Kelly- Bump & Grind
  11. Whitney Houston- I will Always Love You
  12. Robbie Williams- Angels
  13. Elvis Presley- Love Me Tender
  14. Frankie Goes to Hollywood - Relax
  15. Donna Summer- I Feel Love
  16. Adele- Make You Feel My Love
  17. Andy Williams- Moon River
  18. IMFAO- Sexy And I Know It
  19. Adele- Someone Like You
  20. Lionel Richie – Anything  
  1. Dirty Dancing- Anything from the soundtrack
  2. Marvin Gaye- Sexual Healing
  3. Ravel - Bolero
  4. Berlin- Take My Breath Away
  5. Barry White- Anything from his collection
  6. Marvin Gaye- Let’s Get It On
  7. Righteous Brothers- Unchained Melody
  8. Celine Dion- Titanic Soundtrack / My Heart Will Go On
  9. Serge Gainsbourg- Je T`aime
  10. Whitney Houston- I Will Always Love you
  11. Aerosmith- Don`t Want To Miss A Thing
  12. Kings Of Leon- Sex On Fire
  13. Rodgers & Hammerstein- Sound of Music
  14. Tchaikovsky – 1812 Overture
  15. Grease- Grease soundtrack
  16. Donna Summer- I Feel Love
  17. Boys To Men- I’ll Make Love To You
  18. ABBA- Mama Mia
  19. Tom Jones – Sex Bomb
  20. Star Wars –Anything form the soundtrack
* Track listings are all based on the vast catalogue of tracks available on Spotify
Embedding tracks online
The playlists can also be embedded online to enhance editorial coverage using the Spotify Play Button.
If you need help embedding tracks, albums or playlists please follow the easy-to-use, step-by-step guide on the Spotify blog, found here. Or just get in touch and we’ll sort out some technical support.
About Dr Müllensiefen
Dr. Daniel Müllensiefen is co-director of the Master programme in Music, Mind and Brain and Senior Lecturer in the Department of Psychology at Goldsmiths, University of London. 
For more information on the course visit -
He is also Scientist in Residence with London-based ad agency adam&eveDDB.
About Spotify
Spotify is an award-winning digital music service that gives you on-demand access to over 18 million tracks*. Our dream is to make all the world’s music available instantly to everyone, wherever and whenever they want it. Spotify makes it easier than ever to discover, manage and share music with your friends, while making sure that artists get a fair deal.
Spotify is available in 15 countries: USA, UK, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, France, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Belgium, The Netherlands, Spain, Australia and New Zealand, with more than 15 million active users, and over 4 million paying subscribers.
* Number of tracks licensed globally. Catalogue size varies per market.
Further information
For more information, please contact the Spotify press office at
Jessica Turner at M&C Saatchi PR – / +44 (0)20 7544 3804
Jack Hutchinson at M&C Saatchi PR – / +44 (0)20 7544 3616
Leigh-Anne Leonce at M&C Saatchi PR – / +44 (0)20 7543 4741


Dr Daniel Müllensiefen Interview
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Dr Daniel Müllensiefen GVs
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Goldsmith Exterior GVs
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Dr Daniel Müllensiefen with French VO
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Dr Daniel Müllensiefen - Spanish
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Dr Daniel Müllensiefen - German
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Angela Watts Interview
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Angela Watts GVs
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Spotify A Roll
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Woman choosing tracks on laptop
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Student listening to music
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Woman searching for romantic songs
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Couple choosing songs in a café
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Dr Daniel Müllensiefen
Dr Daniel Müllensiefen
Dr Daniel Müllensiefen
Dr Daniel Müllensiefen
Dr Daniel Müllensiefen
Dr Daniel Müllensiefen
Dr Daniel Müllensiefen
Dr Daniel Müllensiefen
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