Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Spotify claim 1 in 3 people can think of a song that's "better than sex"

Why, yes, the good people at Spotify have produced a graphic depicting certain informsations - an "informatograph", you might want to call it, which shares findings it has made up ("been told by Dr. Daniel Müllensiefen") about sex and music.

Müllensiefen is an academic at Goldsmiths college, which provides a worrying aspect to his findings, drawn from talking to 2,000 people. Let's just hope, then, that he just happened to choose the wrong person 2,000 times for his research, as the findings are - well, let's be fair to the good doctor and go with "miserable" rather than "unlikely-sounding".

Let's start with that one in the headline up there - 1 in 3 people can think of a song that's better than sex. Now, I love music, a very great deal. A very, very great deal. And music is there for me. It got me through some barren times. And maybe at those points, I could have told myself that 'these songs are better than sex'. But, just as when you walk home in tears and throw your takeaway over a hedge and mutter to yourself "he stinks anyway", you know you're just being brave.

Music is a great replacement. It's a wonderful comfort. Like instant coffee, it can give you warmth and a sense of flavour and tell you that it's going to be alright.

Now, I'm told that sex can sometimes be pretty underwhelming, that it isn't so great all the time. But this poll is putting one single song up against sex as a category; I guess some fair-minded people may have approached the question scientifically and gone with the median point in their sexual history rather than the night they'd normally think about if they were in bed alone, only they're not because they're thinking of this one song instead. But surely an academic would make that clear in their report? "1 in 3 people can think of a song that's better than the mid-point sex they had in a declining relationship'.

And, to be fair, around 1% of people don't care for sex at all, and to them, genuinely, the theme from EastEnders is better for them than sex.

But if 1 in 3 people are telling this doctor that they know a song which is better than sex, then the headline is not that music is great, but 33% of us are either doing sex totally wrong, or not at all, or both.

But hang on. There's more. For this isn't 660 people thinking of 660 different tracks. Apparently, the group think goes deep enough that Spotify have managed to draw up a chart of songs which are better than sex.

Which they have hen shared with us.

And so we can now discover these better-than-sex tunes. I shall give you a moment to go and slip on something a little looser. To take the phone off the hook. To close the curtains. And to send children out the room.

Ready? Here we go...

Livin' On A Prayer - Bon Jovi.

Yes, because what could be more erotic than a song about people trying to survive during a withdrawal of labour following a problem down at the docks? On this basis, Boys From The Blackstuff would be better than never having to use the safeword.

Meatloaf - Bat Out Of Hell

- Do you want sex, honey?
- Oh, no, because I'm humming along to a bloke in a frilly shirt two sizes too small for him spitting in my face as he tells me that nothing ever grows in his rotting old hole.
- Yes, I surely can't compete with that

Robbie Williams - Angels (I'm not embedding that, but you know how it goes; like one of the Kray twins has had a bit too much ginger wine at a party.)

Worryingly, as well as being "better than sex", this is one of the most popular songs to be played at funerals. We're a confused little country, aren't we?

Kings Of Leon - Sex On Fire

I'm not sure people really mean that this is better than sex; it's surely rather the phrase "sex on fire" is guaranteed to make you never want to have sex again, coming as it does with the imagery of a large course of penicillin and needing to wear very, very loose-fitting trousers for two or three months, while having to send out postcards to your exes.

Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody

Better than sex? Even if you buy the idea that it's actually possibly to find a scale upon which you could measure both 'sex' and 'songs', and even if you travel far enough along that hypothesis to conclude that some songs might outrank sex, we are expected to believe that this is the track for which the gap between 'sexy sex' and 'music' gets to be the greatest. Really?


Did 660 people get halfway down the street from the interviews and all clutched their heads and say "sex! That thing with two or more people and rubbing! I thought he was talking about those new Dyson handdriers. God, I told him that I thought the overblown and overplayed Queen song BoRap was better than sex, when all I really meant was that it's a bit better than waving your hands through a jet of hot sterile air. And, to be honest, if there was some way of using a Dyson to dry your armpits Madonna-style, I wouldn't even have handed Queen that victory. Boy, I hope another six-hundred odd people don't make the same mistake, or else the results are going to look a bit crazy."

There's some other findings - apparently people will still lazily yell "Marvin Gaye" when asked any question about music and sex; the hum-and-humping survey equivalent of premature ejaculation.

Because, let's face it, there's nothing sexy about Sexual Healing - as soon as Marvin announces that he's got a heart like an oven, the moment has gone. Your heart is like what? An empty box with a light at the top and a stain that's baked on which might be cheese sauce from the Christmas before last? Is it a gas oven? Are you saying your heart is wanting me to be some sort of Sylvia Plath figure? Put the fucking lights on, give me back my shorts, I am GOING HOME.

Other people, asked to name a song that's best for "flirting on the dance floor" choose Lady In Red.

No, I thought that - 'it must be a different song' - but they say Chris DeBurgh. And no, it's not a different Chris DeBurgh, either, or a typo. It might just be Daniel Müllensiefen including a response so unbelievable he's actually sending a coded message; that he's sat handcuffed to a radiator somewhere thinking 'surely people will realise that my claiming Lady In Red is a flirty song is a signal that the Lobster People have stormed my office and are keeping me as a pet; surely now help will come?'

But let's assume it's not. ("Ha! Your plan failed" snurfles the King Of The Lobster People.)

First of all, where on earth would you be that plays Lady In Red - to dance to, under circumstances that would mean the dancefloor has people on it with whom you would wish to flirt? Seriously, in even the circumstances of the most ill-judged office party booking, long, long before Dave Doubledecks opens up the Chris DeBurgh jewel case anyone with whom you might ever want to flirt would have abandoned the event.

More bizarrely, even if you did manage to maintain an interest in sex, or living, while Lady In Red plays, how would you be flirting to it? It's a slow song. It's an end of the night song (or, more honestly for its target audience, it's a 'you better leave now if you want to make it home for Emmerdale' song.)

If you're going up to someone and flirting with them while Lady In Red plays, you've missed your opportunity. You're turning up too late. And if you're just continuing a flirt from the previous song - which would have been Agadoo - your flirting if failing.

Finally, for our dip into these statistics:

40% of people think listening to music is more arousing than touch during sex
Sorry? Only six people out of every ten get more sexually aroused by touching their partner than by having Westwood on in the corner of the room?



Frankosonic said...

It was much easier in the old days of cassette walkmans. You can't get your nob in an mp3 player. Or am I doing it wrong too?

paul wells said...

Looking forward To next months poll where they tell us which songs are better than food and water.

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