Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

Catherine Townsend: Fantastic kisser, awful taste in music

Catherine Townsend
Catherine Townsend - Sleeping Around

I was really excited about my second date with Charlie, a gorgeous art dealer who also turned out to be a fantastic kisser. We went back to his flat, where he poured me a glass of wine, and led me to the bedroom.

"I'll just put some music on," he whispered, but when he came back I was horrified to hear the beginning of the lame R&B group Color Me Badd singing "I Wanna Sex You Up".



I shut my eyes and tried not to giggle, but the assault on my senses continued with more saccharine tracks. By the time I'd heard the beginning of Chris de Burgh's "Lady In Red" while Charlie's hand hovered over my right breast, I knew that I had to call time on our make-out session.



"Um, I think we're both really tired," I said, "why don't we try and get some sleep?"



When he started to snore, I snuck out. But on the way, I paid a visit to his CD collection. What I saw shocked me: the guy had impeccable taste in art, yet his walls were lined with heinous boy band albums, punctuated by the odd Celine Dion single.



I don't want to seem like an eccentric character from High Fidelity who dismisses a potential partner just because their tastes are different to mine, but I do think that musical selection, much like dental hygiene, should be carefully considered before stripping off.



"Girls tend to like the classics, but the key is to not pick the most overt track," says my friend Michael. "So Marvin Gaye is cool, but starting out with 'Let's Get It On' would be cheesy."



Another friend of mind, Luke, swears by Maxwell's "Ascension", which he says is "perfect to make love to". He has a remote-controlled fireplace and shag-pile carpet, so I have to take his advice with a pinch of salt.



Still, you can tell a lot about a man by surreptitiously scrolling through their playlist. It reminds me of my pre-iPod teenage years, when boys would agonise over making mixed tapes for girls they liked. I confess that I once swore by my own late 1990s love CD, Massive Attack's Mezzanine.



But then I started to suspect that the music was distracting me, especially after I read about a study involving male and female orgasm. It seems that for women, turning off fear and anxiety is key to achieving ecstasy. To aid the study, researchers dimmed the lights in the room and shut out all noise distractions. Which could be why Luther Vandross causes me to roll my eyes back in exasperation, not ecstasy.



When I next saw Charlie, I gently asked if we could switch music genres, and relaxed once I heard Nina Simone. But suddenly, the CD changed, and I heard Meatloaf's "I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)".



I got up and turned it off, but the spell had been broken. I'm not sure if it was the wailing vocals, the discordant rhythm, or imagining a fat man with a mullet serenading me, but the title of the song pretty much said it all.



c.townsend@ independent.co.uk

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