Guy and girl hooking up on a bed

I've been sexually active for almost a decade now, and what I've realized is that real sex isn't at all like how they show it on television and in movies. For one thing, clothes never come off that effortlessly. Usually someone's arm gets stuck in a sleeve and then you spend ten minutes trying to unbutton the cuff from inside-out. There's also very rarely ever candles; and if there are candles, you'll probably end up setting your curtain on fire when you try to re-enact a dismount routine you saw the 2012 USA Olympic Gymnastics Team perform in an effort to spice up the moment. (Not that that's ever happened to me.)

Also, in the movies, everyone looks really good naked. It takes a lot for most people to look good naked. You need soft lighting, rose petals, and Ray Lamontagne performing one of his hit songs next to the bed. I usually make the guy wear glasses with Vaseline smeared on the lenses so I appear more lovely.

The one thing you can do, however, is compile an epic sex playlist. Let's be honest, a soundtrack to your night of sweaty, slick passion is the closest you're ever going to come to recreating that scene in Titanic when Kate and Leo bone in the back of that car to that Celine Dion number. Here are eight songs to keep your sexual relations-ship from sinking.

P.S. Here's the playlist version. You can auto-play all the songs/videos below in any order you want.

1. "Fade Into You" – Mazzy Star

This is one of those songs you'd imagine hearing during a One Tree Hill sex scene, and for good reason. It's light, romantic, and just sensual enough to make even Chad Michael Murray look good in bed. I'd recommend this tune for the first time you bone someone, because it's idyllic enough to keep the mood romantic, even while you're trying to figure out how his penis is going to fit inside your vagina (spoiler alert: it expands down there, don't worry girls).

2. "Crazy" – Ray LaMontagne (Cover)

Gnarls Barkley did it well, but Ray did it better. While the original is a bit more upbeat, this version slows it down and actually allows you to pay attention to the lyrics. Also, if it were at all possible to fuck a voice, I'd be doing that to LaMontagne's right now. This is a great song for making sweet love to; the kind of love you find once in a lifetime. Or after several Long Island Iced Teas from the Mexican tequilieria down the street.

3. "Criminal" – Fiona Apple

Have you seen this music video? It's essentially a giant orgy while Fiona Apple walks around taking her clothes off. This is the type of song that, as a woman, you have sex to with a guy you have no intention of ever calling again; you just really want to be fucked. Fiona's voice has that rough, gritty tone that makes you feel sorta bad about what you're doing, but not bad enough to stop. It's also a good song to rub one out by yourself to. Again, not that I know from experience.

4. "Let's Get It On" – Marvin Gaye

Come on, you can't have a list of sex songs without at least one Marvin Gaye tune. He's like, the king of baby-making music. I don't know one person who hasn't heard this song, or "Sexual Healing," and thought to themselves, "I could really go down on a guy/girl in the back of a Chevy Malibu right about now." Okay, maybe not those exact words, but something along the same lines.

5. "Bump N' Grind" – R Kelly

I think Mr. Kelly said it best when he admitted, "I don't see nothing wrong with a little bump and grind." Long before peeing on adolescent girls or being trapped in closets, R Kelly was a sex-song-producing machine. This is like, the perfect song for boning your college girlfriend on the mattress lying on your bedroom floor because you're too poor to afford a real bed (i.e. my first sexual experience).

6. "I'm a Slave 4 U" – Britney Spears

The 16-year-old girl in me always imagined this would be the perfect song to strip and have sex to. Then again, the 16-year-old girl in me had never been kissed or felt the touch of a man, so her judgment isn't the most solid. (She also wore Old Navy and said things like, "That's gnarly!")

7. "My Pony" – Ginuwine

When this song first came out, it wasn't exactly clear to me what it meant to ride some guy's pony. I was about 11 and the only pony I knew about had the words "My Little" in front of it. However, looking back on this song, I can definitely see how it led to the impregnation of several teen girls with bastard children born out of wedlock.

8. "Sic Transit Gloria… Glory Fades" – Brand New

If you're looking for the perfect hate sex song, look no further. The tempo is perfect enough for angry thrusting, with some upbeat notes for when you really want to get in there. This is the kind of song you fuck someone up against a wall to. It's angry, raw, and passionate enough to fuel those four intense minutes (he's not lasting any longer than that). It also evokes that nauseating guilt sensation I suppose nailing someone you despise leads to (see also: how Catholics feel after sex).

* * *

Music really does make everything better, even sex (I know, I didn't think it was possible to make sex better either). But with the right person and the right Prince song, you can make magic happen. Sure, sometimes that magic has the potential to turn into an 18-year commitment nine months later, but that's what abortions and Planned Parenthood are for.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go listen to that Divinyls song, "I Touch Myself," while touching myself.