Music has been an integral part of my life since I was very young. I’ve played multiple instruments since childhood, and have performed professionally as a drummer, percussionist, guitarist, and singer: solo and in groups.
Like most people, certain types of music or specific songs can transport me to different times in my life, or trigger memories of events, both positive and negative. And I always have my favorite music selections for the type of day I’m having or the mood I’m in. But can it possibly go deeper than that?
Most of us have seen the Hollywood scenes with a man scurrying about the room quickly setting the mood with lighting and music before his lady arrives. We’ve also seen advertisers championing the benefits of buying the latest collection of romantic tunes, along with viewing females throwing their panties onstage for whatever “flavor of the month” music idol gets their juices flowing. And most of us have heard claims of research proving music’s ability to alter our mood in one form or another, a topic I studied briefly while going for my Psychology degree. So I naturally began wondering if there might be any correlation or benefit between music and D/s in general, as well as with my relationship to Kat.
What I discovered was that there are literally thousands of academic papers discussing the findings of hundreds of scientific experiments and psychological tests designed to clarify specific mood changes as a result of music. Everything from general questions about a positive or negative response to music to very specific questions, like “Can we pinpoint specific songs that inspire sex?” have been investigated by experts in the medical and psychological fields, businesses, and college professors and students.
Types of research and their findings
A recent study from Durham University in the United Kingdom and the University of Jyväskylä in Finland found that even sad music brought comfort and pleasure to most listeners. Although, there was also a segment of the research group that experienced negative feelings and profound grief from the sad tunes.
A similar study, published in the Journal of Consumer Research, saw a strong trend with people preferring sad music during periods of personal loss. And the study’s authors concluded that it may give the listener a feeling of having an empathetic friend.
Another study published in the Journal of Positive Psychology (in 2013) discovered a very strong connection to improved moods and feelings of happiness when listening to upbeat and inspirational music.
Music therapy programs can easily be customized to enhance memory, manage stress, and alleviate pain claims the American Music Therapy Association.
Various studies confirm the AMTA claims, such as a review in The Lancet (in 2015) which established patients that listened to music prior to, during, and after medical procedures experienced less anxiety, pain, and required less medication, compared to people that did not listen to music. And the patients with the best results were those who selected their own music.
Another study validating the benefits of music therapy, published in the World Journal of Psychiatry, found that music therapy can potentially reduce depression and anxiety, while improving self-esteem, mood, and quality of life, and can be an effective treatment for mood disorders related to neurological conditions. And music therapy programs that include the creation of music, instead of just listening, are equally beneficial to the participants, claims Anthea Innes, Ph.D.
As technology continually advances, medical researchers are even discovering how the brain and music interact: allowing a better understanding of how music alters moods, influences emotions, and affects brain synopses.
A study conducted at the University of Groningen, in Northern Netherlands, by Jacob Jolij and assisted by Maaike Meurs, established convincing evidence to show how music genres have the ability to effect visual perception in a unique way. They discovered that the type of music a person listens to alters their perception of people. If they listen to positive upbeat music they perceive people to be a lot happier, while negative music creates a negative perception of people they see.
Research undertaken at Northwestern University by Nina Kraus, professor of neurobiology and a leading expert on the psychology of music, establishes a correlation between musical sounds entering our nervous system through the brainstem, where it translates into correlating brainwaves, and allows our bodies to naturally synchronize with music, similar to our constant, rhythmic heartbeats.
There are even studies that show how music lowers blood pressure and increases libido. A Long Island Conservatory study shows people that listened to familiar music they like have lower stress and blood pressure than individuals who listened to music they did not like. George Stefano, lead author of the study, claims, “The emotional response triggers a profound physiological response,” a feel-good system that allows individuals to relax.
This coincides with many studies showing that individual heart rate, ventilation, and arousal levels increase when listening to upbeat music with simple but dominant rhythmic structures. In fact, a study from California State University at Monterey Bay, found a strong correlation between hard rock and other raw and percussive style music and individuals craving physical stimulation and adrenalin highs. While other studies have shown that women who listen to music with sexually provocative lyrics place increased emphasis on sex appeal in potential partners. Sylvia Knobloch-Westerwick, Ph.D, claims, “They had been ‘primed’ to think about sexuality and were more likely to view everything from that perspective.” A finding that is backed up in other studies, like one conducted at the University of North Carolina, where they found test subjects listening to sexually suggestive music predominantly judged test profiles by physical traits instead of personality.
Additional studies show a direct correlation between listening to music and the release of dopamine, the pleasure hormone. And most adults know that sex releases dopamine. So it doesn’t take much imagination to figure out that combining sex and music can increase arousal and excitement levels.
Correlation & Benefits to D/s
Although I was unable to locate any study or research specifically targeting music’s effects in D/s relationships, numerous studies—such as those listed above—have established many benefits from listening to music that is compatible with D/s relationships and activities, many of which I have personally experienced. But I’ll just point out the most obvious, in general terms:
Various conclusions from the known research show individuals receive various forms of cathartic release from listening to music. Catharsis may be in the form of emotional, mental, or physical release. And those of us in D/s know many of its benefits equally include cathartic release. And by combining the two—music and D/s—the benefits are enhanced.
Mind, Mood, & Emotions
Improved moods, reduced depression, stress management, better self-esteem, and feelings of joy, contentment, and happiness have all been achieved listening to specific types of music. And all can easily be found in loving D/s relationships. Therefore, combining the two would naturally have a positive impact on D/s couples.
The vast amount of research, like those stipulated earlier, has established many positives relating to the body as a result of listening to music. Those positive results include, but are not limited to, the following: reduced physical stress, lower blood pressure, increased heart rate, improved ventilation, better digestion, improved muscle relaxation, and alleviating pain. And one of my personal favorites, the study that showed our bodies have a natural tendency to synchronize with music, especially with strong percussion, similar to rhythmic heart beats. And we all know that when your body functions improve it enhances every physical activity, including the activities D/s couples engage in.
Although the above benefits—catharsis; mind, mood, and emotions; and body—can each contribute to better sexual intimacy, there are several research findings from the aforementioned list strictly tied to human sexuality. Those results include, but are not limited to, the following: physical arousal, a craving for physical stimulation and adrenalin highs, and altered visual perception (becoming more physical based instead of personality based in judging partners); and my favorite, the release of dopamine, the pleasure hormone.
D/s Chemical Cocktail
It is a fact that listening to music you love releases dopamine, the pleasure hormone. It is also a fact that sex releases dopamine. And now throw in the fact that D/s activities also include a certain amount of sex-oriented activities that spark enough pain to release endorphins (which allow a greater pain-to-pleasure endurance), and you have a nice Chemical Cocktail to enhance the activities of any loving D/s couple.
It is obvious that the right music can inspire you, keep you better focused, elevate your mood, energize your body, and stimulate your arousal. And then it adds an extra shot of dopamine, the pleasure hormone, just to help bring that arousal to an elevated climactic finish, solely, or in combination with D/s activities that release endorphins, for a sexually charged chemical cocktail.
My Personal Music Plan
Throughout the day
Although I can function without music, I can easily feel the effects of prolonged periods with little or no music. It is such an integral part of my life that my mind, body, and emotions always perform better with a healthy supply of music throughout the day (and night, since I sleep better with soft music and instrumentals playing).
I have very diverse tastes in music. And I have found that most, but not all, music can be beneficial throughout the day if it is music that suits me, and is harmonious, melodic, and primarily upbeat with strong rhythms (to satisfy my love of percussion). But I also listen to a variety of instrumentals—primarily blues, jazz, classic rock, and classical—when I need to concentrate, because good lyrics have a tendency to draw my attention away from other things.
Setting the mood
The styles of music I listen to throughout the day can be used to set the mood throughout dinner and leading up to sex sessions, especially the instrumentals that allow for uninterrupted conversation, although I do favor rock ballads thrown into the mix—particularly if I want to serenade Kat (and we both like singing along with songs we love). And having a good time and enjoying each other is what it’s all about.
Although I’m a firm believer in foreplay beginning the moment you wake up, and how you treat your mate 24/7, we also know the time you take stimulating your mate emotionally, arousing her physically, and utilizing anticipation (through building up and denying or prolonging) is also called foreplay. And I like using soft rock, blues, and jazz tunes that have dynamic tempo changes to help alter the rhythm of our sexual play during the build-up and arousal period (along with the loving rock ballads thrown in for good measure).
When the arousal is approximately half way to a fever-pitch there is no other music that gets me energized and keeps me going and going like the traditional raw style of hard rock and heavy metal. Electrifying musical energy with driving tunes and strong rock-solid beats help stimulate the raw passion that inflames my desire to pound pussy and ass until I hear whimpers, moans, and screams of pleasure.
Music is far more valuable than just being pleasant to your ears. The proven benefits of music can improve individual quality of life and enhance many activities we participate in, including those within D/s relationships. So let it improve yours; it’s meant to be turned on, tuned in, and turned up!