by Laura Dawn Lewis, 
Author of the Sensuality Series
Music influences me profoundly and I use it to charge myself up before a big meeting, relax after a difficult day and even put myself in the right mood for a romantic evening.  I also find it very useful when trying to come up with words for stories in the Sensuality Series. 
The idea for Midnight in Volume One came from the first three lines of a 1982 Brazilian pop song called Menina Veneno, (Dangerous Woman). When I need some inspiration, these are the selections I listen to. I call these songs aural foreplay and they are my own personal picks for the most sensual songs of all time.

1) Miracles, Jefferson Starship
Shown: Jefferson Starship, Hits

This one was easy.  The entire 7 minute song is about making love in graphic detail.  Even the rhythm quietly builds from foreplay to Climax with vivid words and salacious detail as to the action taking place.  Close the windows, crank up the volume and it's like getting a virtual quickie during rush hour, even in the middle of the East LA Interchange!  If you've never listened to the words, do.  We're talking major sexy stuff! TOP

2) Kashmir, Led Zeppelin
Shown: Led Zeppelin, Box Set

Two wasn't too hard either, in fact I find this song so seductive I wrote it into "Wilshire", the first story in Sensuality Volume Two.  Hypnotic with a slow, penetrating beat it's the perfect tempo for, you know.  It's also a pretty long song, which limits the interruptions.  Not what I'd refer to as a romantic song, Kashmir is pure, unadulterated lust.  Reserve it for the nights when demure is out and the missionary style is not allowed. TOP

3) Bolero, Ravel
Shown: Ravel: Bolero / La Valse / Daphnis et Chloé / Rapsodie Espagnole

At 17-minutes, this is the longest selection in my line up.  If you're not familiar with it, it's orchestral and from the Romantic period.  Like Kashmir, Bolero contains a hypnotic beat.  A sexual metronome, it begins slow and quiet, steadily building power and intensity until it consumes the room with a commanding and insistent beat, pleading  for participation and movement.  Intoxicating and mesmerizing and the perfect roadmap for making love.  It even comes with training wheels! 

4) Unchained Melody, The Righteous Brothers
Shown: Anthology 1962-1974

Personally I consider this to be the most romantic song ever written and The Righteous Brothers rendition to be pure genius.  I hold it so sacred I will not dance to with a man unless I'm passionately in love with him, ergo, I've only danced to it with one.  The melody, the words the feelings it evokes are the ideal and dream of true love.  This is a song that will put almost any woman in the mood. 

5) Wicked Game, Chris Isaak
Shown: Heart Shaped World

This is a woman's favorite and Chris Isaak's best known work.  There is just something about his deep, musty, soulful and deliciously masculine voice that sends a woman's mind in every lascivious direction.  I'll admit it. I'm a voice slut.  Nothing turns me on like a deep, clean melodic male voice.  Just listening is sin, more so when combined with my rather vivid imagination. Probably the poignant idea about this song is that it illustrates a man's struggle when he suddenly realizes he's fallen completely and totally in love, without wanting to. This is where every woman wants her man. 

6) Un Bel Di, Vedremo, Opera
Shown: The Most Famous Opera Arias featuring Act II. Madame Butterfly: sung by  Ghena Dimitrova

You do not need to understand one word of this famous aria. The emotions and passion pouring from her lips are provocative alone in sound and tone.  Listening to the chorus you feel as a woman succumbing to the passion of a man for the first time.  Feel her struggle, wanting to hold on to her virtue yet unable to resist temptation.  That subtle anguish mixed with the sweetness of  passion's release.  The guilt, the wanting and the final submission, her voice illustrates this poignant surrender. That moment when at last a woman gives herself to man heart, soul, loving and complete.   

7) Nights in White Satin, Moody Blues
Shown: The Best of the Moody Blues

It's the melody that drives this song to number seven.  Rather ethereal and very unreal the song beckons images of ladies fair and days of old when chivalry became the order of the day...only the song isn't about those kind of knights:)  It's about love.  I also enjoy the poem at the end, speaking of "Impassioned lovers who wrestle as one.  A lonely man cries for love but has none..."  It reminds me to appreciate the passion when present and it is a reminder of why all men and women love. 

8) Feels So Right, Alabama
Shown: Alabama's Greatest Hits

When I picture love between a man and a woman in its purest sense, this song represents the milestone of achievement.  Romantic yet extremely sensual it speaks of the quiet appreciation a man holds when he truly cherishes the woman at his side.  Randy Owen's voice sets the tone, soft, tender and brimming with masculine sensitivity. TOP

9) Kiss You All Over, Exile
Shown: Exile the Complete Collection

I was eleven when this song was released and had no clue what it meant.  I just liked the chorus.  Couldn't understand why my grandmother told my mom it was scandalous for me to listen to it.  Hum.  As an adult, I not only still appreciate the vocal climax, I really appreciate the visual one that plays along with the song in my mind. TOP


10) Tonight's the Night, Rod Stewart
Shown: Unplugged and Seated, Live

Finally, when I hit thirty I figured out why my mom loves Rod Stewart.  His songs are pretty graphic and very sexy in a romance novel sort of way.  His voice reminds me of a man's after an evening out on the town when the smoke and drink make all raspy and thoughts turn to less vocal pursuits. As a kid I thought "wings" referred to an angel and had no idea the song was about a woman losing her virginity.   Fortunately, mom never clued me in on that one. 

And others that are darn close to my top 10, (no particular order): 

  • Feel Like Makin' Love Listen
  • Bad Company
  • Love to Love You Baby, Donna Summer
  • Paradise in the Dashboard Lights, Meatloaf
  • Amazed, (Country Version), Lone Star
  • I'm on Fire, Bruce Springsteen
  • In the Air Tonight, Genesis
  • Maybe I'm Amazed, Paul McCartney & Wings
  • Baby I'm-A Want You, Bread
  • Any Sinatra ballad, Frank Sinatra

Lorne commented on 23-Aug-2011 10:04 PM3 out of 5 stars
Great list of sensual songs. But with the death of Nick Ashford I root for some Ashford & Simpson!

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