Express your deepest
actually having to,
you know, express your
By Steve Almond
1THE NOT-SO-SUBTLE-SEX BEG Every mix I’ve ever made for
a woman has carried one of two
(a) Sleep with me.
(b) Please don’t ever stop
sleeping with me.
You need at least one track that’s
designed to induce erotic and
limbic abandon in its recipient.
I always go with “The One”
by Cee-Lo Green, a joyously blunt
proposition camouflaged as a
feminist dance anthem.
4THE MAKE-HER-YEARN TRACK Before a guy was able to lurk
on Facebook after a breakup,
he’d sit by the phone, thinking
surely she’d dig out that mix he
gave her. So always include one
song ripe with sexual nostalgia.
My go-to was “Last Good Taste”
by Dayna Kurtz, in the hope that
Kurtz’s sultry, yearning growl
would induce the desired state:
a thirst for whiskey and the bad
decisions it engenders.
2THE NEXT-LEVEL ENTREATY Me and my pal Rich were drinking
one night and complaining about
our love lives. I mentioned that I
was having trouble getting my
girlfriend to take me seriously; he
put on Etta James’s epic cover of
“Take It to the Limit.” Her voice
rose rapturously over a gospel
choir. Soon I was complaining to
Rich that I needed more space.
5THE HAPPY BACKSLIDE ANTHEM
I realize the Marvin Gaye classic
“Sexual Healing” is the designated
anthem for makeup sex, but the
song has two inherent flaws.
First, it’s a cliché. Second, it’s only
4 minutes long. A better option is
“And the Healing Has Begun” by
Van Morrison. Over an aching
violin, Van makes an impassioned
plea for reconciliation. The whole
endeavor exudes a sensual
sloppiness that just feels right
for backsliding. Bonus: It clocks
in at 8 minutes.
3THE JUJITSU CONFESSION Men take women for granted in
most relationships. Period. We
stop paying attention. We stop
listening. Eventually the woman
gets fed up, and fighting ensues.
It is at this thorny juncture that
you need a song designed to
acknowledge culpability, a kind of
musical apologia. Consider “Angel
from Montgomery” by Bonnie
Raitt and John Prine, a stunning
acoustic duet about a couple
looking back on the wreckage
of their failed marriage.
6THE FULL EMOTIONAL MONTY Just in case makeup sex devolves
into acrimony, include “You Don’t
Miss Your Water” by Otis Redding.
It’s heart-crushing blues, and
when I hear it, I still think of my
college girlfriend, naked and
beautiful in the blue light of midnight. I may have listened to the
song too late, but it went on the
first mix I ever made for my wife.
STEVE ALMOND IS THE
AUTHOR OF ROCK AND ROLL
WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE.
OF WOMEN SAY THEY WOULD
SWOON IF A GUY MADE A MIX
TAPE FOR THEM
OF WOMEN SAY IF A MAN JUST
TRIES TO DANCE, IT’S SEXY—EVEN
IF HE’S NOT ANY GOOD AT IT
THE DANCE MOVE
HALL OF LAME
YOU SHOULD BE DANCING, YEAH—
BU T LIKE J. T., NOT LIKE THIS
JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE’S CHIEF CHOREOGRAPHER, MARTY KUDELKA, SAYS “SHOWING CONFIDENCE—
even if you’re faking it—is more impressive than trying too hard.” Less is more: “Stick to a simple one-two step:
left to right, right to left,” he says. Men who use their upper body are seen as better dancers and therefore more
attractive, a German study found—and J T proves it. “If you watch Timbaland and Justin in the studio, as soon as
the beat drops, they lean back together,” says Kudelka. “If you lean forward, it just looks goofy. But when you lean
back, your whole upper body gets involved—your shoulders are going with you.” —LAURA ROBERSON
“That’s just awkward,” Kudelka says.
“Women may laugh, but they don’t
actually think it’s funny.”
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IN-HER-FACE LIP SYNCING
“It’s probably a crutch, but it’s
a bad one. Even if you feel like it’s
helping you relax, it’s corny.”
“Who wants her man flopping
around on the floor?”
NECK NIBBLE WHILE GRINDING
“You need to go home at this point.
Get a cab.”