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How to Create the Perfect Sex Playlist

Emily Flake answers your questions about plastic surgeries, happy (fictional) marriages and Walter White cosplay

Black, biracial couple, slow dancing in living room
Boone Rodriguez/Gallery Stock

I need a new sex soundtrack. What are some good tunes to get things spicy when you’re in your 40s and would probably rather just go to bed early than make the effort?
—Nathan, Huntington Beach, CA

What am I, Naughty Spotify? (Naughtify! There, I just named your playlist!) Since I neither know you personally nor have access to your precious algorithms, I’m left racking my brain for songs I think are sexy, and it’s dawning on me that perhaps I have no idea what actually constitutes a sexy song. Romantic ballads of any genre fill me with suspicion and orneriness. Truly, all I want is to be railed to the Melvins’  “A History of Bad Men,” but you try explaining that to a partner who thinks you’re a normal person. 

I think what you’re suffering from is a kind of sexual ennui. Once we’re throwing around words like “effort” in a sexual context, it’s time to take a step back and see what needs changing. I think switching up your music choices is a good first step, but it might be worth taking a more holistic approach and finding the source of the disconnect between you and your partner. 

Here’s your homework: Make said partner a mixtape. The attention and care you put into selecting songs and compiling them on a pain-in-the-ass format like a blank Memorex might just remind you of what you love about them in the first place. And not for nothing, but if I were presented with such a thoughtful gift, it would certainly get me in the mood for something a little more interesting than chore sex.

Do women like guys in sexy underwear? I wear tighty-whities and my wife calls me Walter White, which I don’t think is a compliment. Is there a male version of lingerie?
—Tony, Memphis, TN

Sir, are you being deliberately obtuse? Or have you just blocked out the memory of the Marky Mark Calvin Klein poster that was on literally every girl’s bedroom wall in the ’90s? I get it if Boston meatheads are not your thing, but it does answer the question, and the answer is: boxer briefs. They come in a variety of colors and patterns even!

Alternatively, you could engage in a bit of Walter White cosplay, which will either make the teasing stop or guarantee that she’ll do it forever.

My wife wants to get plastic surgery. Nothing major, just little needles to deflate her eye bags. But it’s stressing me out. I don’t want her to change her face. What should I do?
—Kyle, Cincinnati, OH

Listen, it’s her face. Her eye bags, her choice. But I’ll say this: My husband and I have had this conversation plenty of times. For me it’s my neck, a puckered, wrinkled disaster that I quail at the sight of and would do anything to fix. Anything, that is, except spend the 11 grand I don’t have for a lower-face “redraping” (what a word, right?). My husband argues, correctly, that besides the fact that money renders the point moot, if I had my neck redraped, the locus of horror and shame would simply shift to a new target. My batwings, for instance. Or my weird little eyes.

You get the idea. He’s right, but it’s annoying that he’s right. A more effective tactic might be to pull out all the marketing stops to convince her that she’s beautiful, not prove it like it’s a debate you’re trying to win. Think of it as daily maintenance that will, in the long run, spare you both grief. In the meantime, can I interest you in a GoFundMe for my neck?

Please settle a disagreement between me and my wife. I think Homer and Marge Simpson have a great marriage. They love each other deeply and support each other unconditionally. My wife, however, thinks Homer is an abusive alcoholic, and Marge feels trapped in a horrible marriage that she can’t leave because of the kids and their financial situation. She loves Homer, but she’s profoundly unhappy. Who’s right?
—Joshua, Phoenix, AZ

Joshua, this debate is not about the Simpsons.

Follow Article Topics: Sex-&-Relationships