The Scarlet & Black

The Independent Student News Site of Grinnell College

The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

SHIC provides tips for bedroom music, birth control

Dear SHIC,
So… I can’t help but notice that silent sex can get real awkward in a hurry. Any advice for types of music or specific songs that might help create/maintain a sexy ambiance?

Silent, but Deadly

Oh heeeey, Silent but Deadly,
Surprisingly enough, some sources assert that music should not be played mid-coitus. Background music is distracting, and on some level pulls your focus away from the task at hand. Additionally, playing music has the potential to hamper any fantasies that may otherwise develop amid your own chorus of heavy breathing and bed creaking.

However, we simply can’t deny the stimulating powers of music when it comes to setting the mood. The right tunes undoubtedly make you feel more confident in your sexual abilities. And the sexier you feel, the sexier you make your partner feel. Music can help to enliven things and result in more energetic and rambunctious sex.

You won’t find “Birthday Sex” on our list. Nothing is more of a turn off than a song that insults your intelligence. So what tunes do we suggest? Try these understated selections: “Hearts on Fire” by Cut Copy, “Bluish” by Animal Collective, “Crystalised” by the xx and “Heart it Races” by Architecture in Helsinki. This list is clearly not comprehensive. You should experiment to see what works best for you and your partner.

What to keep off the playlist? We definitely don’t discriminate against the oldies. But could you honestly take seriously anyone who resorted to Barry White, all irony aside, as music to set the mood? We didn’t think so.

That said, ambient noise can be just as arousing. It’s equally as wonderful to listen to the rain pounding on the roof or crickets chirping on a summer night. The possibilities are endless!

Dear SHIC,
I’ve had quite the saga as far as birth control is concerned. The pill, the ring, the patch … I’ve tried them all, and they’ve all given me trouble—crazy mood swings, weight gain, irregular periods, etc. And on top of that, it’s expensive to keep buying birth control every month. I mean, I always use a condom, but I’d really like to have a second method for pregnancy prevention. Any ideas?
Been there, done that.

Dear Been there,
While it seems like everyone and their cousin is on the pill, there are other options out there. It’s important to be your own advocate and ask for more choices than your doctor might first offer you. Birth control is not one size fits all and finding the best method for you is critical. It sounds like your body is not a fan of the common hormonal methods, so how about an introduction to non-hormonal contraception?

Condoms are the most common barrier method, but diaphragms and cervical caps are also viable options. The cervical cap is a silicone cup that is placed in the vagina, fitted over the cervix. It blocks sperm from traveling towards the egg and must be used in conjunction with spermicide to immobilize the sperm. Diaphragms fit and function in the same way but are made of latex. After intercourse, the diaphragm or cervical cap must be left in for at least another six hours, though no more than twenty-four. Both are very portable and can be inserted up to six hours before intercourse, so as not to interrupt any romancing that might occur beforehand. They are immediately effective and reversible, but cannot be used during your period. You can get a diaphragm or cervical cap at a pharmacy with a prescription after being fitted by a healthcare provider.

Intrauterine Devices (IUDs) come in hormonal and non-hormonal forms. The non-hormonal IUDs, sold under the name ParaGard, are made of copper and last for up to ten years. The IUD sits in the uterus and prevents the sperm from joining with the egg, saying something along the lines of, “Hey! There’s already someone in here! Go away!” Not only is the IUD good at telling sperm to back off, it has a lower rate of failure than many methods because, after a healthcare provider inserts the device, there’s nothing to mess with or mess up. Peace of mind is a valuable thing, and although it the price tag for an IUD is higher up front, it’s way cheaper than ten years of pills.

So, there you have it—a few contraceptive methods that don’t mess with your hormones and might even save you some money. With those perks in mind, please remember that diaphragms, cervical caps and IUDs do not protect against STIs—that’s where condoms come in handy.


The Sexual Health Information Center is a student-run resource center located on the first floor of Main Hall. SHIC offers confidential one-on-one peer education sessions and also sells condoms (more than 20 kinds!), dental dams, lube, pregnancy tests and more for affordable prices.

We’re open 3-5 p.m. on Sundays, 7-9 p.m. Mondays and Thursdays, and 4-6 p.m. Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
Donate to The Scarlet & Black
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The Scarlet & Black Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *