Discovering a new favorite song is a great feeling…but is it as good as sex? Scientists at McGill University in Montreal think you may not be exaggerating when you describe the new Rihanna single as “orgasmic”—in fact, they’ve found that listening to music stimulates the same part of the brain as a night of lovin’.
Researchers had volunteers listen to 60 pieces of previously unheard music while undergoing fMRI (functional resonance imaging) and providing information on how much they would spend on each piece of music in an auction. So what’s that got to do with sex? Well, the more volunteers enjoyed the piece of music, the stronger the connections were in their reward region of the brain…the region that’s operated by dopamine, a chemical that promotes desire. The more they enjoyed the music and found it rewarding, the more they were willing to spend on it. It’s a similar reaction to the one that happens when people have emotional or sexual stimulus.
This particular study doesn’t talk about what might happen if one were to have sex while listening to good music, but it does remind us of research done last year that explored the link between music and seduction.
The study, commissioned by Spotify and focused on 2,000 participants in the UK, found that music playing in the background is 40% more likely to turn them on than the touch of their partner. The soundtrack that’s most likely to win points during the horizontal tango? The soundtrack to Dirty Dancing. And the tune that’s “better than sex,” according to one out of every three of the participants? Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
Click on the next page to listen to 6 of the top-picked “sexiest” songs: