Valentine’s Day is upon us once more, and your timeline is probably inundated with snapshots of fancy dinners and lavish gifts. But what about dessert? Maybe you have a tried-and-true playlist, you need some inspiration to impress your hot date, or maybe you’re riding solo this year and want a jumpstart to the engine. Whatever the case may be, here are some of the sexiest, raunchiest, most titillating tracks for a cozy night in.
Doja Cat’s 2019 album Hot Pink is still inescapable three years later, and “Streets” remains as one of her most successful singles both as a viral TikTok hit and radio single. Her gorgeous wispy vocals combined with a sample from B2K’s “Streets Is Callin’” yearn for another chance with an ex, and she switches between singing and her iconic raspy rap without ruining the immersion. It is a rare radio-friendly hit that speaks to the essence of classic R&B.
English R&B duo Floetry’s hit “Say Yes” is the perfect song for yearning over that one person you can’t keep your mind off of. Marsha Ambrosius’s buttery voice contemplates settling down with the object of her affection, letting them know “all you gotta do is say yes.” What’s notable about the song is, despite featuring men throughout the music video, the song itself is gender neutral, opening itself up to being in many more bedrooms.
Some keen-earned folks may recognize Jacquees’ “Feel It” from the 2012 movie Magic Mike. The singer’s effortless voice harkens back to the hits of Ginuwine and Maxwell with a boyish charm. Don’t let it fool you, because Jacquees takes control like a grown man as he asserts that he’ll give the listener the best they’ve ever had alongside Rich Homie Quan. His voice intertwines with Lloyd’s for the infectious hook “I’m gon’ make you feel it,” a la R&B supergroup TGT. It’s an underrated 2010s nasty R&B gem that showcases the talents of all three featured artists.
Jill Scott has been one of the most revered soul singers since her inception in 2000, with a vocal range that encompasses the entire spectrum of sound. She has also never shied away from the importance of her own pleasure. On her 2007 album The Real Thing: Words and Sounds Vol. 3, Scott fully leans into her sensual persona that is as mature as it is explicit. Album standout “All I” is almost uncomfortable voyeuristic, and Scott acknowledges that in the intro: “You never saw me like this before, huh?” Reminiscent of her counterpart Janet Jackson’s controversial song “Would You Mind,” Scott lists off the ways in which she wants to be pleasured. She confesses, “Every time I close my eyes/all I dream about is making love.” It’s an honest, unashamed portrayal of ravenous love and intimacy while leaving some details to the imagination.
Over 25 years later, Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite is still one of the most sensual R&B albums to have ever been released. Released as a concept album, it focuses on female pleasure and commitment across its 11 tracks, cementing Maxwell as not only an innovator in R&B and Neo-soul, but as a sex symbol. The album’s first single, “…Til the Cops Come Knockin’” is also its most sexually explicit. The premise is simple: Maxwell propositions to “lock you up and love for days” and make love until someone calls to do a wellness check. His stunning falsetto and spine-chilling whispers drape over the luxurious drums as the song explodes into an erotic sensory overload dripping in restlessness and passion. It’s more pleasurable than menacing, and I’m sure Maxwell offers refreshments and breaks in the Urban Hang Suite.
Raheem DeVaughn’s poetic R&B fuses together the streetwise edge of Anthony Hamilton with the star power of Maxwell. He is a powerful songwriter, keeping Neo-soul afloat since his first album in 2005. On his 2021 offering LoveSick, which is a collaboration with Detroit producer Apollo Brown, the two have undeniable artistic chemistry. DeVaughn details every inch of his desires, both good and bad. “If I Made Love to You” has a distinct confessional nature as he presents himself in his most raw, sensual form. He promises to make his lover “squirt like a water hose” as the track builds its intensity, sounding both like an unsent letter and a desperate plea to prove his worth and prowess. It’s as erotic as it is vulnerable, and that’s exactly what makes DeVaughn such a fascinating artist.
Rick Ross’ luxurious raps have been a persistent theme across his albums, and so has his love for sex. Despite his gruff exterior and voice, his descriptions of love-making are gentler. Enlisting sex-song-cheat-code The Weeknd, who details a drunken night of sex and debauchery, the song makes way for Ross to reveal his fast-paced lifestyle to his loyal partner. The contrast between the two artists comes together, and Ross’ spine-tingling sensuality is a nice change of pace from the normal themes across his projects.
Sisqo is often synonymous with his hilariously dramatic “Thong Song,” but his 1999 solo debut Unleash the Dragon had a lot more to offer. While much of it is very cliche in execution, Sisqo’s confidence and natural showmanship transcends his stage presence and can be heard on every track on the album. “How Can I Love U 2nite” details an intense affair that overrides Sisqo’s guilt (“How can I love you tonight/when you know that I love somebody else and I know that you’re not mine”) that culminates in cathartic belts and lingering vocal runs as it rises and falls just like a romantic night in.
The Internet’s Syd released her debut solo album Fin in 2017, focusing on a poppier sound than her work with the aforementioned group. As one of the most popular lesbian artists of the past decade, the album switches between moody reflections on success and raw stories of queer sexuality. “Body,” the album’s second single, opens with Syd’s sexy falsetto which has often been compared to the late icon Aaliyah. With a magnetic cockiness packaged in such a soothing voice, Syd breaks down the stereotypes and expectations of masculine lesbians and makes a bedroom staple that transcends sexualities.
Tank’s 2017 album SAVAGE saw the singer explore more trap-influenced production. It complimented the singer quite well, adding a rougher edge to his magnetic persona and more dominant approach to sex. “When We” is the perfect middle ground between classic R&B with a new generation’s take on the classics infused within hip-hop and trap music. Tank’s infectious prechorus “Who came to make sweet love?/Not me/Who came to kiss and hug?/Not me/Who came to beat it up? Rocky” sets the mood for a sex song that will appeal to several generations.
Jade Gomez is Paste’s assistant music editor, dog mom, Southern rap aficionado and compound sentence enthusiast. She has no impulse control and will buy vinyl that she’s too afraid to play or stickers she will never stick.