10 Songs for a Striptease

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Last year, around Valentine’s Day, we assembled a couple of lists that explored the best music to listen to both when getting horizontal and after a bad break up. But this year, we’re lending our talents to those looking to treat their significant other to a good old fashioned striptease. Stripping has had its share of hits over the years, from Def Leppard’s “Pour Some Sugar On Me” and Motley Crue’s “Girls, Girls, Girls” on up to Ginuwine’s “Pony.” But we’re looking at it from a slightly different angle. Thinking outside the pole, so to speak. These ten striptease songs should get anyone’s motor running, and leave some clothes on the floor.

Iggy and the Stooges - Raw PowerIggy and the StoogesI Need Somebody
from Raw Power
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For as much time as Iggy Pop spent shirtless, or stripped down to even fewer articles of clothing, The Stooges’ first couple albums aren’t conventionally sexy by any measure. But that sort of changed in 1973 when the band released Raw Power, an album that had a little more groove to it, a little more libido, and a lot more noise. This album is deafeningly loud at times, but one of its few moments of relief, the swaggering strut of “I Need Somebody,” is steamy, sweaty sex appeal in a five-minute package. It’s all hip-swinging, swampy burlesque tease, and it’s glorious. Still plenty loud, of course, but its strongest signals are broadcast from the loins. – JT

Rolling Stones - Some Girls striptease songsRolling StonesMiss You
from Some Girls
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Mick Jagger sang of many a bedded conquest in his day, and for that matter bedded many a conquest, so it stands to reason that the Stones would have more than a few dirty, nasty duds-doffing jams in their repertoire. Essentially anything of theirs recorded from Sticky Fingers on up to Tattoo You fits the mold perfectly. But Some Girls in particular found the rock ‘n’ roll legends at their most lewd. Leadoff track “Miss You” is a paean to horny desperation, the narrator losing sleep as he’s left to his lonesome. It’s, perhaps, not entirely about sex, but that groove says otherwise. If there’s a stripper in the world that couldn’t get down to this song, then he or she might be better off looking for another line of work. – JT

Cramps - Songs the Lord Taught UsThe CrampsI Was a Teenage Werewolf
from Songs the Lord Taught Us
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The Cramps’ late, great frontman Lux Interior was something of an amateur ecdysiast himself, sometimes stripping down to his bikini briefs while the band performed, not to mention strutting in high heels and subverting gender expectations. But the group’s punk-rockabilly sound made the perfect platform for Lux to show his stuff. As campy and b-movie themed as it was, The Cramps’ music had a certain retro sex appeal that couldn’t be denied. Take “I Was a Teenage Werewolf,” which puts aside the whole sexy vampire business in order to tap into some carnal canine lust. It moves slowly, Poison Ivy’s riffs ringing out against a hypnotic tribal beat made for setting hips to sway. If it’s good enough for Lux, it’s good enough for you or your exhibitionist significant other. – JT

Prince - 1999PrinceLittle Red Corvette
from 1999
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Prince’s music is engineered for maximal sensuality, so His Purple Badness pretty much could fill this entire list if there wasn’t any rule about one song being allocated per artist. Take “Kiss,” which is fun and funky enough to also be appropriate at a wedding. Or the raunchy “P Control,” which, word has it, very much is an exotic dancer staple. Let’s split the difference and go with “Little Red Corvette,” a not so veiled metaphor for a fast woman who’s “got an asssss like I’ve neeee-uhhh-verrr seeeeeen,” per Mr. Rogers Nelson. It’s funky, and it’s catchy, but with enough atmosphere to draw out the sexy suspense. Plus this song inspired another entry on this list, which we’ll get to soon. – JT

INXS - Kick INXSNeed You Tonight
from Kick
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Up until the untimely death of Michael Hutchence and the band’s dubious reality-show frontman replacement system, INXS ensured themselves a legacy as one of the sexiest bands in rock ‘n’ roll. “Need You Tonight” is the most convincing example of this, and its video likewise, featuring Hutchence bare-chested in a leather jacket, pretty much seals it. This song is sex, so it’s not that much of a leap to say it’s also a perfect fit for a dance of seduction. As Justin Timberlake would say, INXS is “gonna have you nekkid by the end of this song.” – JT

Nine Inch Nails - The Downward Spiral Nine Inch NailsCloser
from The Downward Spiral
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Our Adam Blyweiss hit the nail right on the angst-ridden, intoxicated head when he dubbed The Downward Spiral one of the best between-the-sheets albums of all time. Mind you, it’s pretty noisy and aggressive, but it oozes some (very explicit) sex appeal. I mean, Trent Reznor wore fishnets on stage in the ’90s — the man knows sexy. Perhaps “Closer” is a too obvious choice, but even a funky industrial disco single that beckons “I wanna fuck you like an animal” probably still hasn’t been spun in gentlemen’s clubs as often as “Girls, Girls, Girls,” “Hot In Herre” or “Pour Some Sugar On Me.” Regardless, the rhythm of this track is among the steamiest and sultriest in the Nine Inch Nails catalog, a surefire soundtrack to a dance of seduction. – JT

Goldfrapp - Supernature GoldfrappRide a White Horse
from Supernature
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You may very well hear some Goldfrapp the next time you hit up a strip club, most likely “Ooh La La” or “Strict Machine” at your hipper establishments (there’s a pirate-themed strip club in Portland, so yeah, there is such a thing). But the campy, theatrical vibe that Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory espouse lends itself better to a more specific sort of tease, perhaps a burlesque performance in Marlene Deitrich drag. “Ride a White Horse” is just the track for such a show, putting aside some of the duo’s raunchier sounds in favor of a slinky, streamlined fembot jam that’s still sexy, with a bit more tease than straight-up bump ‘n’ grind. – JT

The Knife - Silent ShoutThe Knife Silent Shout
from Silent Shout
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True story/full disclosure: My home base of Philadelphia is, quietly, a nexus of adult entertainment. We’re a hotbed of burlesque revival; we’re home to some storied strip clubs; we have a bubbling scene/lifestyle underground; we birthed some of the biggest hosting companies for online porn. My wife worked in IT at one of those web companies, and we eventually found a common admiration for porn star Belladonna. If you’ve never seen the girl in action she’s adorably petite, goth-leaning, and quite filthy. All four of Philly’s porn worlds merged one night when Belladonna came to Philly on a short stripping tour. She was all done up in vintage black underthings, eventually baring herself to a soundtrack heavy on dark modern music. This track in particular should put pros and amateurs on notice: Update your shit, then grind to that shit, because there’s more to make your junk move than just bluesy cock-rock. – AB

Queens of the Stone Age - Era Vulgaris Queens of the Stone AgeMake It Wit Chu
from Era Vulgaris
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Queens of the Stone Age have a playful streak, and a sense of fun that very few other bands emit so powerfully, but I’m not sure I’d go so far as to say that many of their songs are actually sexy. There are exceptions to that, of course, and a pretty big one in “Make It Wit Chu.” Sung by the totally badass Mark Lanegan, and originally found on one of the Desert Sessions recordings that Josh Homme had amassed between QOTSA albums, “Make It” is all strut, all slink, and pretty blunt about its aims. The chorus goes thusly: “I wanna make it wit chu.” Pretty straightforward, but why rush? It’s a raunchy, though not explicit, little blues-rock number, and if it can help make the night a little sexier, you should let it. – JT

The-Dream - Love King The-DreamYamaha
from Love King
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Thematically speaking, this is more or less just a variation on the same themes explored in “Little Red Corvette” — sexy woman reminds singer of a fast-moving vehicle, has dynamite posterior, etc. These are universal ideas that go all the way back to T. Rex at least, and probably even earlier. But The-Dream, much like Prince, is able to turn this song into writhing, acrobatic, pole-twirling magic. It’s not as up-front dirty in its groove as some of the other tracks here, but make no mistake, there’s some sexy stuff going on here. The only thing that’s missing is a fog machine. – JT

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