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The 50 Kinkiest Rock Songs

Kinky Songs
Hulton Archive, Getty Images

Kinkiest Songs: Tracks 40-31 | Tracks 30-21 | Tracks 20-11 | Tracks 10-1

While tracks about sex abound, compiling the 50 Kinkiest Rock Songs takes a more considered ear. It’s not enough that the lyrics deal with something arousing; it must have some element of deviance, of danger. As such, the presence of a whip gets you in — even if it’s in the hands of flower pot-hat-wearing weirdos. Elsewhere, you’ll find dead bodies and dingy theaters, sex toys and sex workers and yes, a hint of violence. Now be warned, these kinky songs aren’t for the faint of heart. Bring your handcuffs…


‘You Can Leave Your Hat On’

Joe Cocker


From: ‘Cocker’ (1986)

Cocker’s growling version of this 1972 Randy Newman gem somehow only hit No. 35. But many of us will remember it forever as the soundtrack for this particularly sexy moment from the film 9 1/2 Weeks.



‘Cover You in Oil’



From: ‘Ballbreaker’ (1996)

Always the masters of overstatement, AC/DC pull no punches while describing their night-time plans in lip-smacking — and rather sticky — detail.



‘Whipping Boy’

Elton John


From: ‘Too Low for Zero’ (1983)

Lesson: Be careful about changing weight classes. By the time his underage lover was finished, the then-30-year-old Elton said he looked “like 50,” but felt “like 63.”



‘Make it Right’

Tim Buckley


From: ‘Greetings from L.A.’ (1972)

Singer-songwriters need love, too. Vicious, angry love, it turns out.



‘Sweet Head’

David Bowie


From: ‘Ziggy Stardust [reissue]’ (1990)

Considering that David Bowie mentions oral sex while hurling racial epithets, is it in any surprise this didn’t make the original track listing of The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders of Mars?



‘Where There’s a Whip, There’s a Way’

Faster Pussycat


From: ‘Wake Me When It’s Over’ (1989)

Faster Pussycat began their move away from strictly glammy hair metal toward darker, bluesier fare with this album-opening slice of S&M lechery.




The Byrds


From: ‘Never Before’ (1987)

A hippie-era paean to three-way love, “Triad” was written by David Crosby during the sessions for 1968’s The Notorious Byrd Brothers — but also went unreleased (wonder why?) for some 20 years.



‘Whip It’



From: ‘Freedom of Choice’ (1980)

From cowboys and hay bales to a cross-eyed chick and the aforementioned flower-pot hats, much of this remains deliriously non-sensical. But removing a buxom farm girl’s clothing, one whip snap at a time? Cool.




Van Halen


From: ‘For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge’ (1991)

This may seem silly in the internet age, but they used to have these numbers, and guys would call — OK, never mind. Just listen to the song.




Nine Inch Nails


From: ‘Pretty Hate Machine’ (1990)

In this case, the sin would be that Trent Reznor has a bag over his head. He could have at least enjoyed brief glimpses of this crazy/hot/mostly crazy woman in spelunking gear as she went off on him.


Next: Kinkiest Songs, 40-31

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