Not in the mood for sex? Turn the radio on, and let the music play.
“Music can increase one’s libido,” said Curtis Levang, PhD, a Minneapolis area clinical psychologist and licensed marriage and family therapist, who co-authored the book Become a Better Lover in Thirty Days with his wife, Elizabeth.
Research backs this up: By studying images of the brain, researchers at McGill University in Montreal found that listening to music releases the feel-good neurotransmitter, dopamine.
Frank Diaz, PhD, an assistant professor of music education at the University of Oregon, said music also releases serotonin, another neurotransmitter that helps to regulate our mood. That’s why music can have a powerful effect on emotions and help put a man with symptoms of low testosterone in the mood for sex. (70 percent of men with low testosterone levels report they have erectile dysfunction, and 63 percent report a low sex drive.)
Music to Get You in the Mood for Sex
Y. Mark Hong, MD, a urologist with Arizona Urology Specialists in Phoenix and Scottsdale, added that music is not just “music to your ears. But it’s also music to your brain and your emotions.”
Like music, sex has as big an emotional side to it as it does a physical aspect, Dr. Hong said. That’s why, if you are a man with low testosterone who needs to boost his sex drive, you should try listening to music, advised Hong.
Michael Krychman, MD, executive director of the Southern California Center for Sexual Health and Survivorship Medicine and the medical director of sexual medicine at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach, Calif., said he often recommends patients use music to revitalize their sex lives.
“As a sexual counselor,” Dr. Krychman said, “you recommend a variety of different things to decrease your stress levels and increase your testosterone, and music can be one of them.”
Music to Improve Low Testosterone
What music might work to improve your low testosterone and get you in the mood?
The soundtrack from the 1987 movie Dirty Dancing was named the top music to get you in the mood for sex by more than 2,000 Brits between the ages 18 and 91 who were surveyed by the music streaming service, Spotify. According to the survey, the top five individual songs to get you in the mood for sex are two by Marvin Gaye, Sexual Healing and Let’s Get It On, Barry White’s Anything, Serge Gainsbourg’s Je T’aime, and Kings of Leon’s Sex on Fire.
Krychman said “music is in the eye of beholder,” and the songs that work for one may not work for another. You may be a person who identifies with certain songs, and songs that invoke positive, pleasant, or romantic memories might work best for you.
Levang agreed. “Everyone has a different road map in regard to what turns you on.” He added that country music could be a good choice because it tells stories “and that can help people move out of the moment and into that story. It can help them get outside of themselves in a way.” Just don’t pick a breakup song.
When to Turn on the Music
If you’re going to use music to improve your low testosterone, timing is everything, but again highly individualized. “Some men listen to music on their way home and get in a better mood and are then more receptive to cues from their partner,” Krychman said. “Others like music playing during foreplay. Others might find music during sex distracting.”
Hong said music for low testosterone is worth trying. “If it works, ‘let’s do it,’” he said. “And if it doesn’t, it doesn’t cost that much and it does no harm.” Of course, he added with a smile, “there is the potential that you play the wrong music — it turns your partner off — and you don’t get to have sex.” The solution? Involve your partner in compiling your lovemaking playlist.