Is there anything sexier than R&B? The sultry grooves, the laidback swagger, the ecstatic vocals … it's like every R&B song was made before, during, or about the act of physical love.

It's no mistake that R&B grooves occupy so many slow jam and bedroom mixtapes. The slow-crawling beats are the perfect accompaniment for foreplay, the longer and more drawn-out, the better.

And when it explodes into a climax of red hot saxophones, glistening trap beats, and orgiastic moans and cries, it's almost better than sex.

R&B means a lot of things to a lot of people, however. To some, it could be the cosmopolitan electric blues of B.B. King or Muddy Waters. For others, it could be the smooth elevator jams of Sade or Earth, Wind, and Fire.

For most of us, however, we tend to think of 21st Century R&B when we hear the phrase.

Here are 10 of our favorite modern R&B love songs for getting it on. And Happy Valentine's Day from We Are: The Guard!



The best love is long, drawn out to an almost excruciating length, until you're almost begging, crying, sobbing for it. It's the exact opposite of today's immediate gratification culture.

Childish Gambino's "Redbone" reminds us to … wait for it. The best things in life are worth waiting for. "Redbone" pays off in dividends, with its greasy funk and falsetto vocals. It'll set the mood just right.



Everyone's got a different idea of what love looks like. Listening to the lyrics of Post Malone's "Stay," you'd think someone was describing a horror movie or true crime spree. But, hey, you do you … we're not here to judge. Get your kicks however you want, as long as its consensual and no one gets too hurt.



Frank Ocean's tender ballad to lovesickness sounds more like your classic '70s r&b than the first two selections on our list. Ocean's clear, high falsetto, and gentle, ornate spirit just ooze sensuality. It's like smooth skin sliding between satin sheets, but twice as smooth.



For a song to truly, truly be sexy, it must strike the right balance between romantic and seductive. Fall too far in one direction and it's just smutty. Too far in the other, and you feel like you're at church camp.

Free Nationals' slow-groovin' "Beauty & Essex" finds that perfect middle ground. Musically, it'd sound right at home at any High School prom. Lyrically, it'd make Madonna blush.



Love is a strange mixture of vulnerability and fronting. Love-making, even more so. You must be raw and honest to reach the heights of passion, but you've also got to be willing to put on a show. This dichotomy is at the crux of Pink Sweat's "Honesty," a tear-jerking ballad about holding back, then falling hard and fast.



Despite its problematic power dynamics and completely implausible premise, 50 Shades Of Grey is a lot of people's idea of the height of risqueness. The idea of a hot, powerful billionaire losing his composure and crawling after a young woman gets a lot of people hot and bothered.

The Weeknd's contribution to the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack is the perfect approximation of a BDSM lifestyle. It's got enough restraint to build the tension to a nearly unbearable



Like everything Janelle Monae touches, "Primetime" is a steamy slice of r&b eroticism, wrapped in a sick style and a solid concept. "Primetime" tells the story of Cindi Mayweather, played by Monae, and her first love Joey Vice, voiced by Miguel.

Like everything Miguel touches, "Primetime" is pure sex, wrapped in a sleek, cybernetic bow. Call it future sex. We're here for it.



Alright, we're finally getting somewhere. It's all good to have a slow build, but too much seduction and not enough action just becomes torturous after a while. You need a payoff. Sometimes, you need it hard, hot, and heavy.

Juice Wrld's "Lucid Dreams" is just that. It's the sound of complicated emotions, of love and hate intermingling in sweat and maybe a bit of blood. Turn the lights down low. Let the shadows dance.



Sometimes the sleaziest things are going on right under our noses. You never know what's going on behind closed door, with curtains drawn. This is sort of what it's like, listening to Daniel Caesar's "Who Hurt You." At face value, it's a smooth slow-burning r&b groove. Peer through the blinds, however, and there's nothing demure about it. The lyrics are down-right X-rated. Drop this late in your mixtape, following the climax, for an epic comedown.



Finally, we round out our list with a classic sexy banger. Ella Mai's "Trip" keeps things light and skippy, with a 90s-style hip-hop vocal over some mid-tempo Trap beats. It's less complicated than the others on our list, less tormented, less conflicted. It's just an old-fashioned love song, to quote Paul McCartney, with just the tiniest dash of lysergic edge.

Happy love making. May your sesh be long, prosper, and satisfying.


J. Simpson occupies the intersection between criticism, creativity, and academia. Based out of Portland, Or., he is the author of Forestpunk, an online journal/brand studying the traces of horror, supernatural, and the occult through music, fashion and culture. He plays in the dreamfolk band Meta-Pinnacle with his partner Lily H. Valentine, with whom he also co-founded Bitstar Productions, a visual arts collective focused on elevating Pop Culture to High Art.