Boom Chicka Wow Wow: Music In Porn

I’m tits-deep in editing male masturbation scenes at present and currently feeling generally stressed about colour correction and exposure levels. Like you do. And then the other day I lost several hours perusing royalty-free music sites trying to find some ambient background music for a scene. Nothing seemed to fit. On a whim, I asked Twitter what people thought about music in porn.

It seems the resounding answer is no thanks. From what I’m seeing, porn viewers can do without having music playing over the top of sex scenes. They would infinitely prefer to hear the sounds of sex – the oohs, aahs and sundry squelching – than listen to the director’s latest musical thang. I did a bit of Googling and found similar thoughts here, here and here. Dutch women’s porn channel Dusk also said their surveys had found something similar. No music, thanks.

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Obviously this isn’t a universal thing – some people don’t mind music if it adds to the general buildup or atmosphere. And others are real fans of the old boom chicka wow wow 70s stuff (although here’s a long rant against it).

I’ve used music in several of my porn scenes and I sometimes edit it into pre-existing non-exclusive porn clips. There’s a couple of reasons for using music. One is that it can add an extra emotional or dramatic element to a scene. I’ve got one male solo scene that’s been made moodier and more sensual thanks to a quiet backing track, one that could perhaps be described as an ambient drone. I’ve also seen indie porn scenes where the blaring rock song in the background helps to identify the location or the characters within the scene. In Petra Joy’s The Female Voyeur, the medieval orgy scene is made more exotic thanks to its intense, Middle-Eastern inspired soundtrack. In these cases the music rarely covers the sounds of sex; it’s there to complement rather than detract.

The other reason for using music is to cover up cuts and dodgy sound. In some cases the director may be issuing orders in the background which tends to spoil the fantasy a little. I’ve seen some clips where there’s no natural sound at all, just the music.

I can see why that would be annoying. And because many people listen to their own music while surfing – be it porn or something else – a standard backing track can be a hassle. It can also be jarring to have someone else’s musical taste inflicted on you.

This little bit of research has been useful to me. I still want to use music when it’s appropriate and when it enhances the scene. But if most people aren’t that keen on it, I’ll be looking to edit more “natural” soundscapes from now on. If nothing else this will save time and money, and that’s always a good thing.

By the way… is it Bow Chicka Wow Wow? Boom Chicka Wah Wah? Or Wakka Chikka Wakka Chicka? Whatever, I’ve included a vid of the classic 70s porn music above. Worth a listen just for the way Ron Jeremy talks about “a happy ass” at the start.

In searching for an image for this post I’ve found numerous porn music albums on Amazon. So here they are:

Porn music: Sex O Rama 2
Porn music: Porno Sonic
Porn music: Inside Deep Note
Porn music: Porno Groove
Porn music: Wakka Chikka
Porn music: Deep Throat Anthology 1 and 2

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4 Replies to “Boom Chicka Wow Wow: Music In Porn”

  1. After looking up what “Brown chicken, brown cow” meant on Urban Dictionary I’d go with “Bow Chicka Wow Wow” but that’s just my opinion. 🙂

    I’m definitely a “no music” person. I understand why it’s there but what should set the mood seems to totally envelope it. I’d forgive the odd phone going off so I could enjoy the aural aspects of what’s happening.

  2. Actually, Andrew Blake’s earlier films had pretty decent soundtracks, written and performed by someone going under the unfortunate moniker of Rock Hard. A few of those songs would fit nicely on my iPod next to Telepopmusik, Hooverphonic or Portishead. Check ’em out.

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