Music has an almost magical effect on people. Some songs make us want to bone, some make us want to crawl under our beds and cry, and some make us want to punch Chad Kroeger in the face. We may not know exactly why these things happen, but isn't that what makes music so special? If so, too fucking bad, because science has looked into the matter and determined perfectly rational scientific explanations for long-standing musical mysteries. Such as ...
6 Why Do Certain Songs Get Us In The Mood For Sex?
Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Just from seeing the word "sex," this song popped into your head:
It takes different strokes to move the world and all (somewhere out there, some frenetic duo is humping to Skrillex), but most people will agree that the songs of Marvin Gaye have an inherent bone-ability to them. Now, how many of you thought of the following sexterpiece? Make sure your pants are on securely, in case they fly off:
As weird as it sounds, the classical "Bolero" is officially right up there with "Let's Get It On" in terms of sexitude, according to a survey of 2,000 Spotify users between ages 18 and 91. Dr. Daniel Mullensiefen, a music psychologist at the University of London, explains that both songs are "smooth and have no distracting orchestration," which is a smarter way of saying that they're very easy to listen to and thus not off-putting to your genitals. "[Bolero] has the perfect structure -- it's 17 minutes long, the right length for a sex episode," the incredibly optimistic Dr. Mullensiefen added. Also popular: "Take My Breath Away," "Unchained Melody," the entire soundtrack to Dirty Dancing, and literally anything by Barry White.
One time he farted in public and 47 people orgasmed.
Another thing these songs have in common is that they possess what Mullensiefen calls a "circular quality." Basically, they repeat themselves a lot. So if you come up with a simple, repetitive melody (adding raspy, high-chest vocals doesn't hurt), someone, somewhere will get laid to your work. Meanwhile, despite having been rated as "better than sex" by Spotify users, Mullensiefen claims that "Bohemian Rhapsody" is one of the worst songs ever for actually doing it, because it has too many sudden changes and sections that demand your attention. Plus, it's a real mood killer when both participants start yelling "Galileo!" at the top of their lungs.
5 Why Do Some Songs Get Stuck In Our Head?
Ethan Miller/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Remember "The Lion Sleeps Tonight"? Yeah, that's probably all it took. Sorry.
If you have that melody stuck in your head now, at least you're not alone. "Earworm" infection rates are enormously high: One study found that 91 percent of people suffer from this at least once a week, with 26 percent suffering from multiple ear-invasions every single godforsaken day. Despite the difficulty in studying this phenomenon -- you can't consistently force someone to get it, and if you could, it would go against the Geneva Convention -- the researchers were able to determine some common characteristics in all earworm songs. Not only do the songs have to be simple and repetitive (and thus arouse you, per our last entry), but they have to have "some incongruity," like when the Baha Men go from "Who let the dogs out?" to "Woof, woof, woof, woof." Is it the dogs themselves singing or the person wondering about the dogs?!
Artemis Records, Edel AG
Not even the cover art itself can decide.
Our dickish brains also seem to like songs that "have notes with longer durations but smaller pitch intervals," making them easier to sing. If a song takes no effort to sing in real life, it also takes no effort for some tiny part of your brain to repeat over and over like the guy who's had a few too many at the karaoke bar and thinks he's Billy Idol. And you can probably guess that you're likely to catch an earworm if you listen to a song all the time, but that's not all. They are also more likely to happen when you're "tired, stressed, or idle," which is naturally the ideal time for "It's A Small World After All" to start looping in your head like a skipping record player.
Thankfully, there are things you can do to get rid of an earworm that don't involve a screwdriver in your ear. Doing something related to language, like talking with someone or vainly attempting a crossword puzzle, can take up the brain resources that are used to power your head's eternal song loop function. Alternately, you could dive in and listen to the entire song a couple of times. Since you almost always have only a snippet of a song stuck in your head, listening to the whole thing helps put the earworm to rest like a vengeful ghost. At least, until some asshole says the words "We Built This City" and you-- oh, whoops. Sorry again.
Might as well give in.