A Brief Selection of Sad Songs About Sex (and Songs About Sad Sex)

Roughly 92.7% of Western song lyricism is about either wanting to get laid or actually getting laid. But shit, let’s be honest, most of those lyrics are full of shit. The cartoonish version of sex and love they promote bears little relation to how either works in the real world — sure, sex can be fireworks and volcanoes erupting and tidal waves crashing on shore, but it can also be a lot of other things: hilarious, underwhelming, comforting, and a thousand other shades of human emotion. And sometimes, it can just be flat-out sad. A morning of listening to much-missed Scottish miserablists Arab Strap got me thinking about the latter, so apropos of nothing in particular, here’s a playlist of sad sex songs. Have fun out there.

Arab Strap — “Blood”

The undisputed kings of the sad sex song, so much so that you could pick pretty much any Arab Strap song and have it slip perfectly between the sheets of this list, paunchy and still wearing its socks. Still, this one is particularly bleak: it starts with the line “I wish it was someone else’s blood on the johnnie” (that’s a condom, if you’re not au fait with British slang) and ends with the forlorn confession, “I’m looking for a woman but I’ll settle for a shag.” Sigh.

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Pantomime Horse is such a strange and original song laced with so much angst and alientation and tragedy. What blows me away is that all those things come through so clearly even though the lyrics are way abstract.


"Barrier Reef" by the Old 97's deserves a shout.  "I went through the motions with her/ On top, and me on liquor..." 

Rodrigo Fróes
Rodrigo Fróes

"Why is the bedroom so cold?
You've turned away on your side.
Is it my timing that flawed?
Our respect runs so dry.
Yet there's still this appeal
That we've kept through our lives.


You cry out in your sleep,
All my failings exposed.
And there's a taste in my mouth,
As desperation takes hold.
Just that something so good
Just can't function no more."


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